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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Animals ▸ LionView Options:  |  |  |   

Lions on Ancient Coins

Chersonesos, Thrace, c. 386 - 338 B.C.

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Chersonesos is Greek for 'peninsula' and several cities used the name. The city in Thracian Chersonesos (the Gallipoli peninsula) that struck these coins is uncertain. The coins may have been struck at Cardia by the peninsula as a league, or perhaps they were struck by lost city on the peninsula named Chersonesos. Chersonesos was controlled by Athens from 560 B.C. to 338 B.C., aside from a brief period during this time when it was controlled by Persia. It was taken by Philip II of Macedonia in 338 B.C., Pergamon in 189 B.C., and Rome in 133 B.C. It was later ruled by the Byzantine Empire and then by the Ottoman Turks.
GS89040. Silver hemidrachm, McClean II 4120; Weber 2432; BMC Thrace p. 186, 50; HGC 3 1437; SNG Cop -, Choice gVF, fine style, well centered, tiny edge cut, weight 2.370 g, maximum diameter 13.6 mm, die axis 270o, Chersonesos (Sevastopol, Ukraine) mint, c. 386 - 338 B.C.; obverse lion forepart right, head turned back left, tongue protruding; reverse quadripartite incuse with alternating shallow and deeper sunken quarters, pellet above X in one sunken quarter, kerykeion in the opposite sunken quarter; ex CNG e-auction 249 (9 Feb 2011), lot 34 (realized $320 plus fees); $350.00 (€308.00)
 


Persian Empire, Lydia, Cyrus - Darios I, c. 546 - 520 B.C., Kroiseid Type

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The Lydian King Croesus minted the first silver and gold coins. He was famous for his extraordinary wealth, but after his defeat by Cyrus about 546 B.C. Lydia became a Persian satrapy. The Persian conquerors of Lydia continued to strike the same Croesus' coin types. This coin is a later example issued under Persia. We can tell because under Croesus the lion and the bull were struck separately, with one punch at a time. Later examples, such as this coin, were struck with only one reverse die, simulating two separate square punches.
GS91751. Silver siglos (half-stater), SNG Cop 456; SNGvA 2877; SNG Kayhan 1025; BMC Lydia p. 7, 45; Traité I 409; SGCV II 3424, F, a few bumps, etched surfaces, weight 5.259 g, maximum diameter 14.5 mm, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, c. 546 - 520 B.C.; obverse on the left, forepart of a roaring lion right, confronting, on the right, the forepart of a bull left, struck with a single die; reverse two incuse squares, of unequal size, side by side; $300.00 (€264.00)
 


Miletos, Ionia, c. 340 - 325 B.C.

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Didyma, on the coast of Ionia, was the largest and most significant sanctuary in the territory of the great classical city Miletus. It contained a temple and oracle of Apollo, the Didymaion. Next to Delphi, Didyma was the most renowned oracle of the Hellenic world, first mentioned among the Greeks in the Homeric Hymn to Apollo, but an establishment preceding literacy and even the Hellenic colonization of Ionia. The 6th century Didymaion, enclosed its smaller predecessor. Its treasury was enriched by gifts from Croesus. To approach it, visitors would follow the Sacred Way to Didyma, about 17 km long. Along the way, were ritual way stations, and statues of members of the Branchidae family, male and female, as well as animal figures. Some of these statues, dating to the 6th century B.C. are now in the British Museum, taken by Charles Newton in the 19th century. The ruins of Didyma are located at a short distance to the northwest of modern Didim in Aydin Province, Turkey.The Didymaion

GS89071. Silver drachm, cf. Marcellesi 3; SNG Cop 957 ff.; BMC Ionia p. 189, 53 ff., gVF, toned, some roughness, weight 3.421 g, maximum diameter 14.4 mm, die axis 0o, Miletos (near Balat, Turkey) mint, c. 340 - 325 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo left; reverse lion standing left, head turned back right, star above, MI monogram before, magistrate’s name in exergue (off flan); ex CNG e-auction 231 (14 Apr 2010), lot 96; $250.00 (€220.00)
 


Thracian Tribes, c. 400 - 338 B.C., Imitative of Chersonesos

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This "barbarous imitation" was likely minted by a Thracian tribe living near the Greek colony of Cherronesos. Imitative tribal coinage such as this was common in the outlying regions of the classical world as peoples who traded with the ancient Greeks and Romans, also emulated their ways. The coin's simplified style is typical of such coinage. Tribal coinage has not been as well studied or documented and apparently no Cherronesos imitatives are listed in the references held by Forum.
GS91080. Silver hemidrachm, cf. McClean II 4056; BMC Thrace p. 183, 8; Dewing 1301; SNG Cop 824; Weber II - (Chersonesos prototype), VF, crude style, porous, edge crack, weight 2.161 g, maximum diameter 13.81 mm, tribal mint, c. 400 - 338 B.C.; obverse lion forepart right, head turned back left; reverse quadripartite incuse square with alternating shallow and deeper sunken quarters, pellet at the center of each of the two opposite deeper quarters; rare; $250.00 (€220.00)
 


Thracian Tribes, c. 400 - 338 B.C., Imitative of Chersonesos

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This "barbarous imitation" was likely minted by a Thracian tribe living near the Greek colony of Cherronesos. Imitative tribal coinage such as this was common in the outlying regions of the classical world as peoples who traded with the ancient Greeks and Romans, also emulated their ways. The coin's simplified style is typical of such coinage. Tribal coinage has not been as well studied or documented and apparently no Cherronesos imitatives are listed in the references held by Forum.
GS91082. Silver hemidrachm, cf. McClean II 4056; BMC Thrace p. 183, 8; Dewing 1301; SNG Cop 824; Weber II - (Chersonesos prototype), VF, extremely crude lion, light marks, weight 2.040 g, maximum diameter 13.4 mm, tribal mint, c. 400 - 338 B.C.; obverse lion forepart right, head turned back left, tongue protruding; reverse quadripartite incuse square with alternating shallow and deeper sunken quarters, pellet at the center of each of the two opposite deeper quarters; $250.00 (€220.00)
 


Kingdom of Thrace, Lysimachos, 305 - 281 B.C.

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Lysimachus, one of Alexander the Great's personal bodyguards, was appointed strategos (general) in Thrace and the Chersonesos after Alexander's death. He became one of the diadochi (successors of Alexander) who were initially generals and governors, but who continuously allied and warred with each other and eventually divided the empire. In 309, he founded his capital Lysimachia in a commanding situation on the neck connecting the Chersonesos with the mainland. In 306, he followed the example of Antigonus in taking the title of king, ruling Thrace, Asia Minor and Macedonia. In 281, he was killed in battle against Seleucus, another successor of Alexander.
SH88882. Silver drachm, Thompson 127, Price L27, Müller Alexander L21, HGC 3 1752e (R1), Choice VF, well centered, attractive toning, weight 3.377 g, maximum diameter 17.7 mm, die axis 0o, Kolophon (near Degirmendere Fev, Turkey) mint, 299 - 296 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean Lion skin, scalp over head, forepaws tied at neck; reverse Zeus Aëtophoros seated left, eagle in right hand, scepter in left hand, right leg drawn back, lion-forepart left over Φ (control symbols) in left field, pentagram (control symbol) under throne, ΛYΛIMAXOY downward on left, BAΣIΛIΩΣ below; $200.00 (€176.00)
 


Thracian Tribes, c. 400 - 338 B.C., Imitative of Chersonesos

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This "barbarous imitation" was likely minted by a Thracian tribe living near the Greek colony of Cherronesos. Imitative tribal coinage such as this was common in the outlying regions of the classical world as peoples who traded with the ancient Greeks and Romans, also emulated their ways. The coin's simplified style is typical of such coinage. Tribal coinage has not been as well studied or documented and apparently no Cherronesos imitatives are listed in the references held by Forum.
GS91081. Silver hemidrachm, cf. McClean II 4056; BMC Thrace p. 183, 8; Dewing 1301; SNG Cop 824; Weber II - (Chersonesos prototype), VF, crude style, etched surfaces, weight 2.301 g, maximum diameter 12.8 mm, tribal mint, c. 400 - 338 B.C.; obverse lion forepart right, head turned back left, tongue protruding; reverse quadripartite incuse square with alternating shallow and deeper sunken quarters, pellet at the center of each of the two opposite deeper quarters; rare; $200.00 (€176.00)
 


Thracian Tribes, c. 400 - 338 B.C., Imitative of Chersonesos

Click for a larger photo
This "barbarous imitation" was likely minted by a Thracian tribe living near the Greek colony of Cherronesos. Imitative tribal coinage such as this was common in the outlying regions of the classical world as peoples who traded with the ancient Greeks and Romans, also emulated their ways. The coin's simplified style is typical of such coinage. Tribal coinage has not been as well studied or documented and apparently no Cherronesos imitatives are listed in the references held by Forum.
GS91083. Silver hemidrachm, cf. McClean II 4056; BMC Thrace p. 183, 8; Dewing 1301; SNG Cop 824; Weber II - (Chersonesos prototype), VF, crude style, etched surfaces, edge crack, weight 2.249 g, maximum diameter 13.2 mm, tribal mint, c. 400 - 338 B.C.; obverse lion forepart right, head turned back left, tongue protruding; reverse quadripartite incuse square with alternating shallow and deeper sunken quarters, pellet at the center of each of the two opposite deeper quarters; rare; $200.00 (€176.00)
 


Velia, Lucania, Italy, c. 334 - 300 B.C.

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Signed! The KE monograms are the signatures of Kleudoros, the artist or mint master of Velia. We know his name because he signed his full name in the genitive case on one obverse die. On his reverses there is, in addition, usually a control mark, ether Θ, Φ, or A.
GS91331. Silver nomos, Williams 340 (O176/R243++); BMC Italy p. 312, 79; HN Italy 1296; HGC 1 1314; SNG Cop -; SNG ANS -, VF, light rose gold toning, light scratches, die wear/rust, small lamination defects, obverse flatly struck, tiny edge crack, weight 7.484 g, maximum diameter 22.5 mm, die axis 0o, Velia mint, c. 340 - 310 B.C.; obverse head of Athena left, wearing crested Phrygian helmet with decorated with a centauress on bow, KE (Kleudoros monogram) behind neck; reverse lion standing left devouring prey, Φ (recut over A) above, trace of Kleudoros KE monogram below, ethnic in exergue has been erased from the die and replaced with a "tablet" upon which another ethnic, YEΛHTΩN, is lightly engraved; $200.00 (€176.00)
 


Miletos, Ionia, c. Late 6th Century B.C.

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One of the earliest coins struck in silver.
GA91393. Silver 1/12 stater, SNG Kayhan 462; SNG Cop 952; BMC Ionia p. 186, 34; SGCV II 3533, aEF, toned, well centered on a tight flan, weight 0.577 g, maximum diameter 9.9 mm, Miletos (near Balat, Turkey) mint, c. late 6th century B.C.; obverse forepart of lion left, head turned back right; reverse ornamental pattern in incuse square; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; $200.00 (€176.00)
 




  



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