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

Dogs on Ancient Coins

Kyzikos, Mysia, c. 550 - 450 B.C.

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Kyzikos, purportedly the first Milesian colony, was located on the southwest shore of the Propontis in ancient Mysia next to the river Aisepos. Its prosperity was due principally to its two fine harbors, which made the city a convenient stopping point for merchant ships trading between the Aegean and Black Seas. Its principal export was the tunny, of which its waters had abundant stock. The prevalence of winged beings in Kyzikene coinage is a reflection of archaic mythological convention that assigned wings to most divine or sacred entities as an immediately visible and understandable symbol of their nature, and in the case of gods, of their power to move at will across great distances. In the case of the winged animals, we should probably understand these to be attributes of or animals sacred to a particular Olympian god.
SH86217. Electrum stater, Von Fritze I (Nomisma VII) 104 & pl. 3, 23; Boston MFA 1433; SNG BnF 245; SNG Cop -; SNGvA -; BMC Mysia -, VF, tight flan, edge cracks, weight 16.091 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 0o, Kyzikos mint, c. 550 - 450 B.C.; obverse winged dog seated left, head turned back right, curved archaic wing, wearing collar, tunny fish below to left; reverse quadripartite incuse square; extremely rare; $7400.00 (6290.00)

Phaistos, Crete, c. 3rd Century B.C.

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In Greek mythology, Talos (or Talon) was a giant winged man of bronze who protected Europa in Crete from pirates and invaders. He circled the island's shores three times daily. The author of Bibliotheke thought Talos' bronze nature might indicate he was a survivor from Hesiod's mythical Age of Bronze. The satirist Lucian took this absurd notion that men of Hesiod's Age of Bronze were actually made of bronze and, for humorous effect, extended it to men of the Age of Gold.
GB85359. Bronze AE 17, Svoronos Crte 74; SNG Cop 520; BMC Crete p. 64, 27-28, F, a little rough, weight 3.702 g, maximum diameter 17.1 mm, die axis 225o, Phaistos mint, c. 3rd century B.C.; obverse Talos advancing right, nude, hurling stone in his right hand, holding another in his left hand; reverse hound on the scent to right, ΦAIC/TIΩN in two lines, starting above, ending in exergue; rare; $250.00 (212.50)

Pheneos, Arkadia, Peloponnesos, Greece, c. 300 - 240 B.C.

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Feneos lies at the foot of Mount Cyllene, mythical birthplace of the god Hermes. It therefore was an important cult center for the god, notably during the annual festival of the Hermaea. Catullus (Poem 68) mentions the seasonal flooding of the plain and says it was drained by an underground channel dug by Hercules during his Twelve Labors. According to Herodotus the river Styx originates near Feneos. In the Aeneid, Evander's fond memories of a visit by Aeneas' father Anchises to Feneos are one factor in his decision to ally his Arcadian colonists to the Trojans.
GB85884. Bronze chalkous, BCD Peloponnesos 1629; Imhoof-Blumer MG 257; Trait III 905 & pl. CCXXV, 13; HGC 5 995 (R2); SNG Cop -; BMC Peloponnesus -, F, dark olive green patina, reverse slightly off center, weight 2.693 g, maximum diameter 15.1 mm, die axis 0o, Pheneos (Feneos, Greece) mint, c. 300 - 240 B.C.; obverse head of Artemis Heurippa right, quiver behind; reverse hound running right, ΦE above, syrinx (Pan pipes) below; ex J. Cohen Collection; very rare; $130.00 (110.50)


Catalog current as of Friday, March 23, 2018.
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