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

Lizards on Ancient Coins

Kamarina, Sicily, c. 420 - 405 B.C.

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A Gorgoneion was a horror-creating apotropaic Gorgon head pendant. The name derives from the Greek word gorgós, which means "dreadful." The Gorgons were three sisters who had hair of living, venomous snakes, and a horrifying face that turned those who saw it to stone. Stheno and Euryale were immortal, but their sister Medusa was not, and was slain by Perseus. Zeus, Athena, Hellenistic kings and Roman emperors wore Gorgoneion for protection. Images of the Gorgons were also put upon objects and buildings for protection. A Gorgon image is at the center of the pediment of the temple at Corfu, the oldest stone pediment in Greece from about 600 B.C.
GI79953. Bronze tetras, Westermark-Jenkins, type C, 189; BMC Sicily p. 39, 36; Calciati III, p. 53, 16; SNG Stockholm 432; HGC 2 546; SNG Cop -; SNG ANS -, Choice gVF, fine style, nice green patina, well centered and struck, light marks, very light corrosion, small edge split, weight 4.731 g, maximum diameter 17.5 mm, die axis 0o, Kamarina (near Scoglitti, Sicily, Italy) mint, c. 420 - 405 B.C.; obverse facing head of Medusa (gorgoneion) round face, wild locks, no hair band, large eyes, straight mouth; reverse KAMA (upward on left), owl standing right on right leg, grasping lizard with head down in the left talon, three pellets (mark of value) in exergue, Γ (control mark) right; $500.00 (€445.00)
 


Kamarina, Sicily, 413 - 405 B.C.

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Kamarina was suffering a plague. A marsh north of the city was the suspected source. The town oracle advised them not to drain the marsh, but in 405 B.C., the leaders ignored the advice. Once the marsh was dry, there was nothing to stop the Carthaginian army. They marched across the newly drained marsh, razed the city, and killed every last inhabitant.
GI76938. Bronze tetras, Westermark-Jenkins 200; Calciati III pp. 63 - 65, 33; BMC Sicily p. 40; 40; SNG München 415; SNG ANS 1228; SNG Cop 169; HGC 2 548, gVF, nice green patina, tight flan, weight 3.242 g, maximum diameter 14.5 mm, die axis 90o, Kamarina (near Scoglitti, Sicily, Italy) mint, 413 - 405 B.C.; obverse head of Athena left, wearing crested Attic helmet decorated with wing, dot border; reverse KAMA (downward on right), owl standing left on left leg, head facing, lizard in right talon, three pellets (mark of value) in exergue; $400.00 (€356.00)
 


Kamarina, Sicily, 420 - 405 B.C.

Click for a larger photo
Kamarina was suffering a plague. A marsh north of the city was the suspected source. The town oracle advised them not to drain the marsh, but in 405 B.C., the leaders ignored the advice. Once the marsh was dry, there was nothing to stop the Carthaginian army. They marched across the newly drained marsh, razed the city, and killed every last inhabitant.
GI76951. Bronze tetras, Westermark-Jenkins 195.12; BMC Sicily p. 40, 38; Calciati III p. 57, 24; SNG Cop 168; SNG München V 410; HGC 2 547 (S); SNG ANS 1226 var. (style), gVF, well centered, attractive dark brown surfaces, some light corrosion, weight 3.552 g, maximum diameter 14.8 mm, die axis 225o, Kamarina (near Scoglitti, Sicily, Italy) mint, 420 - 405 B.C.; obverse facing head of Medusa (gorgoneion) with neatly waved hair, pearled headband, smiling expression, dimpled cheeks; reverse KAMA (downward on right), owl standing left on left leg, head facing, lizard with head down in right talon, three pellets (mark of value) in exergue; scarce; $300.00 (€267.00)
 


Kamarina, Sicily, 420 - 405 B.C.

Click for a larger photo
A Gorgoneion was a horror-creating apotropaic Gorgon head pendant. The name derives from the Greek word gorgós, which means "dreadful." The Gorgons were three sisters who had hair of living, venomous snakes, and a horrifying face that turned those who saw it to stone. Stheno and Euryale were immortal, but their sister Medusa was not, and was slain by Perseus. Zeus, Athena, Hellenistic kings and Roman emperors wore Gorgoneion for protection. Images of the Gorgons were also put upon objects and buildings for protection. A Gorgon image is at the center of the pediment of the temple at Corfu, the oldest stone pediment in Greece from about 600 B.C.
GI73157. Bronze tetras, Westermark-Jenkins, type C, 185; Calciati III p. 51, 10; SNG München 408; SNG Cop 167; SNG ANS 1222; BMC Sicily p. 39, 34; HGC 2 546, gVF, green patina, light corrosion, weight 3.457 g, maximum diameter 15.5 mm, die axis 180o, Kamarina (near Scoglitti, Sicily, Italy) mint, 420 - 405 B.C.; obverse facing head of Medusa (gorgoneion) with wild locks, hairband indicated, s-shaped eyebrows, bow-shaped upper lip; reverse KAMA (upward on left), owl standing right on right leg, head facing, lizard with head down in left talon, three pellets (mark of value) in exergue; $200.00 (€178.00)
 


Eion, Macedonia, c. 470 - 460 B.C.

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Published examples of this type are about twice the weight of this coin and identified as diobols and trihemiobols. Our coin might be an underweight diobol or trihemiobol, but the weight is closer to an obol.

Eion was only about 3 miles from Amphipolis and after the 5th century was merely a seaport of its large neighbor. The denomination is either a diobol or trihemiobol. The significance of the obverse type is not clear, but presumably makes reference to the characteristic fauna of the region at that time.
GA79647. Silver obol, cf. SNG ANS 275; McClean 3084; BMC Macedonia p. 75, 21; AMNG III/2, p. 140, 37 (diobols and trihemiobols), VF, etched surfaces, weight 0.664 g, maximum diameter 10.4 mm, Eion mint, c. 470 - 460 B.C.; obverse goose standing right, on decorated base, left leg raised, head turned back, lizard left above, Θ lower left; reverse rough mill sail incuse pattern; $180.00 (€160.20)
 


Kamarina, Sicily, 413 - 405 B.C.

Click for a larger photo
Kamarina was suffering a plague. A marsh north of the city was the suspected source. The town oracle advised them not to drain the marsh, but in 405 B.C., the leaders ignored the advice. Once the marsh was dry, there was nothing to stop the Carthaginian army. They marched across the newly drained marsh, razed the city, and killed every last inhabitant.
GI73183. Bronze tetras, Westermark-Jenkins 198; Calciati III p. 61, 28; BMC Sicily p. 40; 39; SNG ANS 1230; SNG München 419; SNG Lloyd 882; Weber 1258; HGC 2 548; SNG Cop -, gVF, green patina, light corrosion, weight 4.222 g, maximum diameter 15.6 mm, die axis 0o, Kamarina (near Scoglitti, Sicily, Italy) mint, 413 - 405 B.C.; obverse head of Athena left, wearing crested Attic helmet decorated with wing, dot border; reverse KAMA (retrograde upward on right), owl standing left on left leg, head facing, lizard in right talon, three pellets (mark of value) in exergue; $160.00 (€142.40)
 


Eion, Macedonia, c. 500 - 437 B.C.

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Eion was only about three miles from Amphipolis and from the late 5th century onwards served merely as a seaport of its much larger neighbor. The denomination is variously described as a diobol or trihemiobol. The significance of the obverse type is not clear, but presumably makes reference to the characteristic fauna of the region at that time.
GA77599. Silver trihemiobol, SNG ANS 280 - 283, SNG Cop 180 corr., SNG Berry 29, Klein 151, BMC Macedonia p. 75, 21, aVF, well centered, light toning, edge split, porous, weight 0.661 g, maximum diameter 11.5 mm, Eion mint, c. 500 - 437 B.C.; obverse goose standing right, looking back, lizard above; reverse quadripartite incuse square; $155.00 (€137.95)
 


Kamarina, Sicily, 420 - 405 B.C.

Click for a larger photo
Kamarina was suffering a plague. A marsh north of the city was the suspected source. The town oracle advised them not to drain the marsh, but in 405 B.C., the leaders ignored the advice. Once the marsh was dry, there was nothing to stop the Carthaginian army. They marched across the newly drained marsh, razed the city, and killed every last inhabitant.
GB67649. Bronze onkia, Westermark-Jenkins, type F, 196; Calciati vol III, p. 57, 22; HGC 2 553 (R1), VF, green patina, weight 1.382 g, maximum diameter 10.9 mm, die axis 90o, Kamarina (near Scoglitti, Sicily, Italy) mint, 420 - 405 B.C.; obverse facing head of Medusa (gorgoneion), smooth neatly waved hair tied with ribbon, symmetrical locks on forehead, dimpled cheeks, protruding tongue; reverse KAMA, owl standing left, head facing, lizard with head down in right talon, one pellet (mark of value) in exergue, no control marks; rare; $115.00 (€102.35)
 


Kamarina, Sicily, 420 - 405 B.C.

Click for a larger photo
Kamarina was suffering a plague. A marsh north of the city was the suspected source. The town oracle advised them not to drain the marsh, but in 405 B.C., the leaders ignored the advice. Once the marsh was dry, there was nothing to stop the Carthaginian army. They marched across the newly drained marsh, razed the city, and killed every last inhabitant.
GB67660. Bronze onkia, Westermark-Jenkins, type A, 182; SNG München 411; Calciati vol III, p. 47, 2; BMC Sicily p. 40, 41 var. (A rev. right); SNG ANS -; SNG Cop -, aF, weight 1.362 g, maximum diameter 11.7 mm, die axis 315o, Kamarina (near Scoglitti, Sicily, Italy) mint, 420 - 405 B.C.; obverse facing head of Medusa (gorgoneion), smooth neat hair tied with ribbon, symmetrical locks on forehead, protruding tongue; reverse KAMA (upward on left), owl standing right, head facing, lizard with head down in left talon, one pellet (mark of value) in exergue, no control marks; $65.00 (€57.85)
 


Kamarina, Sicily, 420 - 405 B.C.

Click for a larger photo
Kamarina was suffering a plague. A marsh north of the city was the suspected source. The town oracle advised them not to drain the marsh, but in 405 B.C., the leaders ignored the advice. Once the marsh was dry, there was nothing to stop the Carthaginian army. They marched across the newly drained marsh, razed the city, and killed every last inhabitant.
GI65649. Bronze onkia, Westermark-Jenkins, type A, 182.5; Calciati vol III, p. 48, 4/1; SNG München 414; BMC Sicily p. 40, 41; HGC 2 552 (R1); SNG Cop -; SNG ANS -, VF, nice green patina, weight 1.179 g, maximum diameter 13.4 mm, die axis 90o, Kamarina (near Scoglitti, Sicily, Italy) mint, 420 - 405 B.C.; obverse facing head of Medusa (gorgoneion), smooth neat hair tied with ribbon, symmetrical locks on forehead, protruding tongue; reverse KAMA (upward on left), owl standing right on right leg, head facing, lizard with head down in left talon, one pellet (mark of value) in exergue, A (control mark) right; $55.00 (€48.95)
 







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Catalog current as of Thursday, March 23, 2017.
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