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

Lions on Ancient Coins

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

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Signed! The KE monogram is the signature of Kleudoros, the artist or mint master of Velia. Interesting helmet decoration. 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.
GI13690. Silver didrachm, Williams Velia 349 (O180/R253), SNG ANS 1339 (same dies), SNG MŁnchen 868 (same), McClean 1449 (same), HN Italy 1296, HGC 1 1314, aVF, nicely toned, old scratch on obverse, small test cut on edge, weight 7.606 g, maximum diameter 21.2 mm, die axis 0o, Velia mint, c. 340 - 310 B.C.; obverse head of Athena left, wearing crested Phrygian helmet decorated with sphinx, KE (Kleudoros monogram) behind neck; reverse lion left devouring prey, Φ below, YEΛHTΩN in exergue; SOLD


Rhegion, Bruttium, Italy, c. 450 - 445 B.C.

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Iokastos was the founder of Rhegion. He died of a snakebite. Iokastos was one of six sons of Aiolos, ruler of the Aeolian islands, all of whom secured their own realms in Italy and Sicily.
SH46848. Silver tetradrachm, SNG ANS 636, SNG Cop 1928, HN Italy 2477, VF/F, damaged reverse die, weight 16.915 g, maximum diameter 25.0 mm, Rhegion mint, obverse facing lion's scalp, sprig with two olives right; reverse PHΓI−NOΣ (retrograde), Iokastos seated left, staff in right, left resting on seat, snake beneath seat, all within laurel wreath; high relief sculptural obverse; SOLD


Kingdom of Thrace, Lysimachos, 305 - 281 B.C., Portrait of Alexander the Great

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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.
SH68237. Gold stater, Thompson -, MŁller -, SNG -; unpublished in major references but a few know to Forum from auctions, gVF, attractively centered, weight 8.509 g, maximum diameter 20.6 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain (probably Byzantion) mint, posthumous, 250 - 220 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Alexander the Great right wearing the horn of Ammon; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΛYΣIMAXOY, Athena seated left, Victory in extended right, resting left elbow on shield, lion head left, plain trident below; rare; SOLD


Lydian Kingdom, Kroisos, c. 561 - 546 B.C.

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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 in 546 B.C. Lydia became a Persian satrapy. The Persian conquerors of Lydia continued to strike the same Croesus' silver half siglos and gold stater types. This coin is an early example issued under Croesus. We can tell it is an early example because the lion and the bull were struck separately, with one punch at a time. Later examples appear to have been struck with single punch only made to look like two separate punches.
GA33281. Silver siglos (half-stater), BMC Lydia p. 7, 45, pl. 1, 18; SNG Cop 456; SNG Kayhan 1024; SNG Ashmolean 762; SNGvA 2877; Rosen 663; SGCV II 3420, gVF, weight 5.375 g, maximum diameter 16.3 mm, probably Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, c. 561 - 546 B.C.; obverse on the left, forepart of a roaring lion right, confronting, on the right, the forepart of a bull left; reverse two incuse square punches, of unequal size, side by side; SOLD


Macedonian Kingdom, Mazaios, Governor, 331 - 328 B.C., Babylon, Babylonia

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After the Persian satrap Mazaios surrendered Babylon to Alexander without a fight, Alexander retained him as governor.
SH43400. Silver double shekel, SNG Cop 260, SNG Berry 1456, BMC Arabia etc. p. 180, 1 var. (I on exergual line); Babelon Traitť 751 var. (wreath in ex); SGCV II 6140, Choice gVF, weight 17.130 g, maximum diameter 26.7 mm, die axis 45o, obverse BLTRZ (Baaltarz) in Aramaic behind, Baaltarz seated left on seat without back, himation over left shoulder and waist downward, lotus tipped scepter in right, left rests on his hip; reverse MZDI (Mazaios) in Aramaic above, lion walking left; scarce type; SOLD


Cyprus, c. 480 B.C.

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SH47893. Silver stater, cf. Bank of Cyprus p. 101, 1; BMC Cyprus p. 69, 2; SNG Cop 65; Weber 7740; Rosen 749; Boston MFA 2145 (all bull left); Tziambazis -, Pozzi -, et. al., aVF, weight 10.932 g, maximum diameter 23.0 mm, die axis 210o, uncertain mint, obverse lion crouching right on exergue line, Λ (Cypriot letter ko) in ex; reverse bull walking right, Λ (Cypriot letter ko) below, all within frame of pellets and incuse square; apparently unpublished; SOLD


Lydian Kingdom, Uncertain King Before Kroisos, c. 625 - 546 B.C.

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The knob on the lion's snout is also described as a "wart," and as the radiant Sun.
SH85432. Electrum trite, Weidauer Series XVI 86, SNGvA 2869, SNG Kayhan 1013, Rosen 655, Boston MFA 1763, VF, bumps and marks, earthen deposits, weight 4.709 g, maximum diameter 12.8 mm, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, c. 625 - 546 B.C; obverse Head of roaring lion right, with knob rays atop snout; reverse two incuse squares; SOLD


Macedonian Kingdom, Alexander IV, c. 316 - 311 B.C.

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Susa, the Biblical Shushan, is one of man's oldest cities. People were living at the acropolis by 5000 B.C. and urban structures date from about 4000 B.C. Susa was the capital of Elam and a favorite residence of the Persian king Darius I the Great. Seleucus I annexed Susa to his province c. 311 B.C. A Parthian winter capital, Trajan captured it, making it the easternmost point of the Roman Empire at its apex. He was, however, soon forced to withdraw. In 1218, the city was completely destroyed by invading Mongols. The modern town of Shush, Iran is located at the site of ancient Susa.

Struck under Aspeisas, satrap of Susiana, c. 316 - 311 B.C.
SH31090. Silver tetradrachm, Price 3857, MŁller Alexander -, SNG Cop -, EF, nice-style, well centered, sharp, and fantastic sculptural high-relief, weight 17.182 g, maximum diameter 26.2 mm, die axis 225o, Susa (Shush, Iran) mint, Aspeisas, satrap of Susiana, c. 316 - 311 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean Lion skin, scalp over head, forepaws tied at neck; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ AΛEΞAN∆POY, Zeus AŽtophoros enthroned left, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand wreath left, AI (above strut) over PΠ monogram under throne; scarce; SOLD


Athens, Attica, Greece, c. 132 - 131 B.C., New Style Silver Tetradrachm

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In 1961, Margaret Thompson completed her brilliant study, "The New Style Coinage of Athens." At that time, she estimated there were fewer than 8000 new style tetradrachms "above ground."

The letter on the amphora may indicate the month of production.
SH28914. Silver tetradrachm, Thompson Athens 388d var. (same obverse die; different control letters), superb EF, weight 16.912 g, maximum diameter 29.9 mm, die axis 0o, Athens mint, 132 - 131 B.C.; obverse head of Athena Parthenos right, wearing crested ornamented helmet; reverse A−ΘE ∆ΩP/OΘE NIKO/∆O ∆IOΦ, owl stands right on amphora, lion forepart right, H on amphora, ΣΦ below, all within olive wreath; far nicer than any new-style tetradrachm FORVM has handled to date; SOLD


Persian Empire, Mazaios, Satrap of Cilicia, 361 - 334 B.C., Tarsos, Cilicia

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Mazaios was the Persian satrap of Cilicia beginning about 361 BC and in about 345 B.C. he was also made satrap of Transeuphratesia (which included Syria and Judaea). In 331 BC, Mazaios was defeated by Alexander the Great at the Battle of Gaugamela, after which he fled to Babylon. Later that year Mazaios surrendered Babylon, the capital of the Persian Empire, to Alexander. For surrendering without a fight, Alexander appointed Mazaios governor of Babylon. He died in 328 B.C.
GS38433. Silver stater, SNG Levante 103, SNG BnF 332, Casabonne 2D, Choice EF, excellent fully centered strike, weight 10.903 g, maximum diameter 24.3 mm, die axis 0o, Tarsos (Tarsus, Mersin, Turkey) mint, 361/360 - 334 B.C.; obverse BLTRZ (Baaltarz) in Aramaic (read upward) behind, Baal of Tarsos enthroned half-left, nude to waist, himation around hips and legs, holding bunch of grapes, grain ear, and eagle in right hand, lotus tipped scepter vertical behind in left hand, Aramaic R lower left, Aramaic M below throne; reverse lion bringing down bull, attacking with teeth and claws, MZDI (Mazaios) in Aramaic (read right to left) above; SOLD




  




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