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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Animals| ▸ |Dolphin||View Options:  |  |  | 

Dolphins on Ancient Coins
Syracuse, Sicily, Timoleon and the Third Democracy, c. 344 - 317 B.C.

|Syracuse|, |Syracuse,| |Sicily,| |Timoleon| |and| |the| |Third| |Democracy,| |c.| |344| |-| |317| |B.C.||dilitron|
Threatened by Carthage and dominated by Hiketas, the tyrant of Leontini, Syracusans sent an appeal for help to their mother city, Corinth. By a unanimous vote Corinth selected Timoleon to set sail for Sicily with a few leading citizens of Corinth and a small troop of Greek mercenaries. After defeating Hiketas, Timoleon put order to Syracuse' affairs and established a democratic government. He repelled Carthage in several wars, ending with a treaty which divided the island. Timoleon then retired without any title or office, though he remained practically supreme. He became blind before his death, but when important issues were under discussion he was carried to the assembly to give his opinion, which was usually accepted. When he died the citizens of Syracuse erected a monument to his memory, afterward surrounded with porticoes, and a gymnasium called Timoleonteum.
GI95238. Silver dilitron, SNG ANS 518; SNG Cop 717; SNG Munchen 1126; BMC Sicily p. 186, 283; Weber 1644; HGC 2 1373 (R2), VF, well centered, very dark toning, porosity, edge crack, weight 1.226 g, maximum diameter 14.3 mm, die axis 45o, Syracuse mint, c. 344 - 317 B.C.; obverse laureate Janiform female head, ΣYPAKOΣI-ΩN upward on left, two dolphins nose to nose on right; reverse horse galloping right, barley ear right above, N below; ex Forum (2018); rare; $400.00 (€368.00)
 


Syracuse, Sicily, Dionysos I, 395 - 367 B.C.

|Syracuse|, |Syracuse,| |Sicily,| |Dionysos| |I,| |395| |-| |367| |B.C.||drachm|NEW
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.
GI93807. Bronze drachm, Calciati II p. 111, 62; SNG ANS 454; SNG Cop 720; SNG Munchen 1135; SNG Morcom 697; BMC Sicily p. 187, 287; SGCV I 1189, F, mottled green patina, thick flan with rounded edge and pre-strike casting sprues (as expected for the type), weight 32.565 g, maximum diameter 32.0 mm, die axis 0o, Syracuse mint, 395 - 367 B.C.; obverse ΣYPA, head of Athena left wearing olive wreathed Corinthian helmet; reverse sea star between two dolphins; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $270.00 (€248.40)
 


Olbia, Sarmatia, c. 5th Century B.C.

|Olbia|, |Olbia,| |Sarmatia,| |c.| |5th| |Century| |B.C.||cast| |dolphin|NEW
Small cast dolphins were cast in Olbia, beginning c. 550 - 525 B.C., first as sacrificial objects for worship of Apollo and later as a form of currency. The Hellenic city of Olbia was founded in the 7th century BC by colonists from Miletus. Its harbor was one of the main ports on the Black Sea for the export of cereals, fish, and slaves to Greece, and for the import of Attic goods to Scythia.
GA96583. Bronze cast dolphin, Apparently unpublished with pellet; cf. SNG BM 373, SNG Pushkin 27, SNG Cop 69, SNG Stancomb 339 (no pellet); 1.680g, 27.9mm long, VF, green patina, earthen encrustations, Olbia (Parutino, Ukraine) mint, c. 5th Century B.C.; obverse dolphin with raised eye and dorsal fin; reverse •ΘY; extremely rare variant; $160.00 (€147.20)
 


Olbia, Sarmatia, c. 5th Century B.C.

|Olbia|, |Olbia,| |Sarmatia,| |c.| |5th| |Century| |B.C.||cast| |dolphin|NEW
Small cast dolphins were cast in Olbia, beginning 550 - 525 B.C., first as sacrificial objects for worship of Apollo and later as a form of currency.
GA96585. Bronze cast dolphin, cf. SNG BM 369 ff., SNG Stancomb 339, SNG Pushkin 21 ff., SNG Cop 69 (all with normal ΘY reverse); 0.828g, 17.4mm long, VF, green patina, earthen encrustations, nose chipped, Olbia (Parutino, Ukraine) mint, c. 5th Century B.C.; obverse dolphin with raised dorsal fin, no tail; reverse YΘ (retrograde ΘY); very rare with retrograde reverse; $125.00 (€115.00)
 


Byzantion, Thrace, c. 340 - 320 B.C.

|Byzantion|, |Byzantion,| |Thrace,| |c.| |340| |-| |320| |B.C.||siglos| |or| |drachm|NEW
Byzantion was founded by Greek colonists from Megara in 657 B.C. The city was rebuilt as the new capital of the Roman Empire by Constantine I in 330 A.D. and renamed Constantinople. It became the capital of the Ottoman Empire when it was conquered in 1453. Today it is Istanbul, the largest city in Turkey, and the country's economic, cultural, and historical heart.
GA97276. Silver siglos or drachm, Persic standard; Schönert-Geiss Byzantion 1 ff.; SNG Black Sea 21 ff.; SNG Cop 475 ff.; BMC Thrace p. 93, 1 ff.; HGC 3.2 1389; SNG Stancomb -, VF, lightly toned, bankers' marks on reveres, tight flan, scrapes on obverse, small edge split, tiny test cut, weight 5.271 g, maximum diameter 16.3 mm, Byzantion (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, c. 340 - 320 B.C.; obverse cow standing left on dolphin left, BY above (the first letter is an archaic Greek form of "B" used at Byzantium); reverse square four part stippled mill-sail pattern; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 86 (20 Feb 2020), lot 61; $120.00 (€110.40)
 


Byzantion, Thrace, c. 340 - 320 B.C.

|Byzantion|, |Byzantion,| |Thrace,| |c.| |340| |-| |320| |B.C.||hemidrachm|NEW
In 340 B.C., the Byzantines, with the aid of the Athenians, successfully withstood a siege by Philip of Macedon. They were, however, forced to recognize Macedonian suzerainty after surrendering without a fight to Alexander the Great in 334 B.C.
GS95925. Silver hemidrachm, Schönert-Geiss 236 ff.; SNG Cop 479; SNG Stancomb 2; SNG BM 36; Dewing 1282; HGC 3.2 1390; BMC Thrace p. 93, 1 ff., F, toned, well obverse well centered, reverse off center, weight 2.003 g, maximum diameter 13.8 mm, Byzantion (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, c. 340 - 320 B.C.; obverse cow walking left, BY (archaic form of B similar to Π or Γ) dolphin left below; reverse quadripartite mill-sail stippled incuse punch; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $110.00 (€101.20)
 


Olbia, Sarmatia, c. 5th Century B.C.

|Olbia|, |Olbia,| |Sarmatia,| |c.| |5th| |Century| |B.C.||cast| |dolphin|NEW
Small cast dolphins were cast in Olbia, beginning c. 550 - 525 B.C., first as sacrificial objects for worship of Apollo and later as a form of currency. The Hellenic city of Olbia was founded in the 7th century BC by colonists from Miletus. Its harbor was one of the main ports on the Black Sea for the export of cereals, fish, and slaves to Greece, and for the import of Attic goods to Scythia.
GA96584. Bronze cast dolphin, SNG BM 373, SNG Pushkin 27, SNG Cop 69, SNG Stancomb 339; 1.662g, 28.4mm long, gVF, earthen encrustation, Olbia (Parutino, Ukraine) mint, c. 5th Century B.C.; obverse dolphin with raised eye and dorsal fin; reverse ΘY; scarce with inscription; $110.00 (€101.20)
 


Olbia, Sarmatia, c. 5th Century B.C.

|Olbia|, |Olbia,| |Sarmatia,| |c.| |5th| |Century| |B.C.||cast| |dolphin|NEW
Small cast dolphins were cast in Olbia, beginning 550 - 525 B.C., first as sacrificial objects for worship of Apollo and later as a form of currency. This specimen is far nicer than the typical carelessly made Olbia dolphin.
GA96581. Bronze cast dolphin, SNG BM 360 ff., SNG Stancomb 334 ff., SNG Pushkin 12 ff., SNG Cop 67 ff., SGCV I 1684; 2.263g, 31.7mm long, Choice gVF, green patina, earthen deposits, Olbia (Parutino, Ukraine) mint, c. 5th Century B.C.; obverse dolphin with pointed nose, raised eye and dorsal fin; $100.00 (€92.00)
 







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