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Home>Catalog>CollectingThemes>Nautical&Marine PAGE 1/3123»»»

Nautical & Marine Themes on Ancient Coins

Here we include coins that depict Poseidon, Neptune, ships, anchors, prows, dolphins, sea eagles, crabs, scallops, and all things related to the sea.


Messana, Sicily, 411 - 408 B.C.
Click for a larger photo Founded by Greek colonists in the 8th century BC, Messina was originally called Zancle, from the Greek meaning "scythe" because of the shape of its natural harbor (though a legend attributes the name to King Zanclus). In the early 5th century BC, Anaxilas of Rhegium renamed it Messene in honor of the Greek city Messene.
GB66780. Bronze hemilitron, Calciati I p. 51, 9mv4/1; BMC Sicily p. 107, 71; cf. SNG ANS 390 (controls obscure), VF, weight 4.673 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 180o, Messana mint, obverse ΠEΛΩPIAΣ, head of nymph Peloria left, hair in ampyx and sphendone, dolphin behind neck; reverse MEΣΣANIΩN, trident, A P between prongs, scallop shell left, hare downward on right; rare; $220.00 (€165.00)

Mygissos, Caria, c. 350 - 300 B.C.
Click for a larger photo Many Greek cities had names beginning MY, and this type has been attributed to many of them. Most references attribute the type to Myus. Mygissos is most likely correct because nearby Nisyros issued coins with a very similar reverse with NI above the dolphin.
GB69183. Bronze chalkous, SNG München 335 (MY...), SNG Cop 1022 (Myus), SNGvA 2114 (Myus), SNG Tüb 3115 (Myus), SNG Keckman 235 (Myndos?), SNG Kayhan 847 (Myndos), VF, pitting, weight 1.910 g, maximum diameter 11.0 mm, die axis 270o, Mygissos mint, c. 350 - 300 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Poseidon right; reverse dolphin right, MY above, trident right below; rare; $180.00 (€135.00)

Syracuse, Sicily, Hieron II, 275 - 215 B.C.
Click for a larger photo Hieron II was tyrant and then king of Syracuse, c. 270 to 215 B.C. His rule brought 50 years of peace and prosperity, and Syracuse became one of the most renowned capitals of antiquity. He enlarged the theater and built an immense altar. The literary figure Theocritus and the philosopher Archimedes lived under his rule. After struggling against the Mamertini, he eventually allied with Rome.
GB71350. Bronze tetras, BMC Sicily p. 218, 608; Calciati II p. 395, 197 (ΛY right not listed); SNG Cop 852; SNG München 1403; SNG ANS 964 ff.; HGC 2 1550 (S), Nice gVF, bold, nearly as struck except for nice green patina, weight 5.760 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 45o, Syracuse mint, c. 268 - 218 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Poseidon left; reverse ornamented trident head, dolphin downward flanking on each side, IEPΩ−NOΣ horizontal across field divided by shaft, ΛY lower right; $180.00 (€135.00)

Osco-Latin, Central Italy, Late 4th - Early 3rd Century B.C.
Click for a larger photo  
RR70495. Cast bronze Aes Formatum, cf. G. Fallai, IAPN 8, plate 6, 2-2e; Alvarez-Burgos P28; Thurlow-Vecchi -; molded from bipod shell, VF, weight 24.610 g, maximum diameter 31.8 mm, uncertain Osco-Latin mint, late 4th - early 3rd century B.C.; $175.00 (€131.25)

Osco-Latin, Central Italy, Late 4th - Early 3rd Century B.C.
Click for a larger photo These small cast bronze scallop shells were used as money in central Italy.
RR90918. Cast bronze Aes Formatum, cf. G. Fallai, IAPN 8, plate 6, 2-2e; Alvarez-Burgos P28; Thurlow-Vecchi -; molded from bipod shell, weight 22.675 g, maximum diameter 28.4 mm, $175.00 (€131.25)

Akragas, Sicily, c. 425 - 406 B.C.
Click for a larger photo Akragas was founded early in the 6th century by colonists from Gela. It was second only to Syracuse in importance on Sicily, but was sacked by the Carthaginians in 406 B.C. It was renamed Agrigentum after it fell to Rome in 210 B.C.
GB70596. Bronze hexas, cf. Calciati I, p. 188, 70; HGC 2 144 (S); SNG ANS 1053 var (both fish right); SNG Morcom 524 var (same); SNG Cop 79 var (same and eagle on fish), F, weight 6.890 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 315o, Akragas mint, c. 425 - 406 B.C.; obverse eagle right, wings open, standing on hare in talons; reverse crab, pellets outside each claw, two fish below the one on top left, the one below right; scarce; $170.00 (€127.50)

Mygissos, Caria, c. 350 - 300 B.C.
Click for a larger photo Many Greek cities had names beginning MY, and this type has been attributed to many of them. Mygissos is most likely correct because nearby Nisyros issued coins with a very similar reverse with NI above the dolphin.
GB67788. Bronze chalkous, SNG München 335 (MY...), SNG Cop 1022 (Myus), SNGvA 2114 (Myus), SNG Tüb 3115 (Myus), SNG Keckman 235 (Myndos?), SNG Kayhan 847 (Myndos), F, weight 1.655 g, maximum diameter 11.1 mm, die axis 0o, Mygissos mint, c. 350 - 300 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Poseidon right; reverse dolphin right, MY above, trident right below; very rare; $155.00 (€116.25)

Taras, Calabria, Italy, c. 430 - 425 B.C.
Click for a larger photo The obverse depicts Taras, the son of Poseidon and of a local nymph, Satyrion, being saved from a shipwreck by riding a dolphin sent to him by Poseidon.
GS69586. Silver nomos, Fischer-Bossert 227 (V111/R167) Vlasto 276 - 277, SNG ANS 864, SNG Cop 798, HN Italy 847, aF, typical tight flan, a little rough, weight 6.830 g, maximum diameter 20.5 mm, die axis 270o, Taras mint, c. 430 - 425 B.C.; obverse TAPANTINΩN (as typical mostly off flan), Taras astride dolphin left, raising left hand, right hand on the dolphin, scallop shell below; reverse nude youth on horseback galloping left, bridle in right, whip at side in left; $155.00 (€116.25)

Syracuse, Sicily, Hieron II, 275 - 215 B.C.
Click for a larger photo Hieron II was tyrant and then king of Syracuse, c. 270 to 215 B.C. His rule brought 50 years of peace and prosperity, and Syracuse became one of the most renowned capitals of antiquity. He enlarged the theater and built an immense altar. The literary figure Theocritus and the philosopher Archimedes lived under his rule. After struggling against the Mamertini, he eventually allied with Rome.
GB71006. Bronze litra, Calciati p. 399, 198 R1; BMC Sicily - ; SNG Cop -; SNG ANS -; SNG Munchen; HGC 2 -; SRCV I -, aVF, nice green patina, weight 7.329 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 315o, Syracuse mint, c. 217 - 215 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Poseidon right; reverse ornamented trident-head, dolphins at sides, IEP−ΩNOΣ in lower field divided by shank, ΛY lower right; very rare head right; $150.00 (€112.50)

Syracuse, Sicily, Dionysos I, 405 - 367 B.C.
Click for a larger photo Dionysius I was tyrant of Syracuse. He conquered several cities in Sicily and southern Italy, opposed Carthage's influence in Sicily and made Syracuse the most powerful of the Western Greek colonies. He was regarded by the ancients as an example of the worst kind of despot - cruel, suspicious and vindictive.
SH63456. Bronze drachm, Calciati II p. 111, 62; SNG ANS 454; SNG Cop 720; SNG München 1135; SNG Morcom 697; BMC Sicily p. 187, 287; SGCV I 1189, F, weight 29.678 g, maximum diameter 30.3 mm, die axis 270o, Syracuse mint, 395 - 367 B.C.; obverse ΣYPA, head of Athena left wearing olive wreathed Corinthian helmet; reverse sea star between two dolphins; ex Ancient Imports; $145.00 (€108.75)



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Catalog current as of Tuesday, November 25, 2014.
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Nautical & Marine