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

Griffins on Ancient Coins

The griffin, griffon, or gryphon is a legendary creature with the body of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle. As the lion was traditionally considered the king of the beasts and the eagle was the king of the birds, the griffin was thought to be an especially powerful and majestic creature. Griffins are normally known for guarding treasure and well valued priceless possession.


Pergamene Kingdom, Eumenes I, 263 - 241 B.C.

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Philetaerus, an officer of Lysimachus, deserted in 282 B.C., taking control of Pergamon and a large treasure deposited there. At first nominally a Seleukid suzerainty, Pergamon grew into a strong, prosperous and independent kingdom. Loyal allies of Rome in the Macedonian Wars and against the Seleucids, they were rewarded with all the former Seleucid domains in Asia Minor. When Attalus III died without an heir in 133 B.C., to prevent a civil war, he bequeathed the kingdom to the Roman Republic.
SH82711. Silver tetradrachm, Westermark group III; SNG BnF 1606; SNG Cop 334; SNGvA 7452; SNG Ashmolean 752; Meydancikkale 3002; BMC Mysia p. 115, 31; Jameson 1449, Choice aEF, magnificent high relief portrait, excellent reverse style Athena, bold well centered strike, beautiful dark toning, light bumps and marks, a superb coin!, weight 16.917 g, maximum diameter 28.2 mm, die axis 30o, Pergamon (Bergama, Turkey) mint, struck in the name of Philetairos; obverse laureate head of Philetairos I right; reverse ΦIΛETAIPOY downward on right, Athena enthroned left, wearing crested helmet, chiton and peplos, right hand supporting grounded round shield before her, shield ornamented with a gorgoneion, resting left elbow on left arm of throne which is ornamented with a sphinx, transverse spear leaning on left arm, ivy leaf above knee, A on throne, bow outer right; $1800.00 SALE PRICE $1620.00


Kingdom of Thrace, Lysimachos, 305 - 281 B.C.

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This is an Alexandrine type drachm, meaning it has the types of Alexander's drachms, Herakles and Zeus AŽtophoros. Thompson notes, "Teos, like Colophon, was a royal mint [for Lysimachos] for only a short time. Its scanty output of drachms falls in the period before Lysimachus began to issue money with his own types."
GS86508. Silver drachm, Price L38 corr. (control positions), Thompson 130 corr. (control positions), MŁller 34 ff. var. (monogram), MŁller Alexander -, SNG Cop -, gVF, toned, centered on a tight flan, light marks, weight 4.258 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 0o, Ionia, Teos (near Sigacik, Turkey) mint, lifetime issue, c. 301/299 - 297 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, clad in Nemean lion scalp headdress; reverse Zeus AŽtophoros seated left, right leg drawn back, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, griffin seated left above monogram (controls) in lower left field, ΛYΣIMAXOY (Lysimachos) downward on right, BAΣIΛEΩΣ (king) in exergue; from the David Cannon Collection, ex Beast Coins; very rare; $385.00 SALE PRICE $347.00


Macedonian Kingdom, Antigonus I Monophthalmus, 323 - 301 B.C., In the Name of Alexander the Great

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Antigonos I Monophthalmos ("the One-eyed") (382 B.C. - 301 B.C.) was a nobleman, general, and governor under Alexander the Great. Upon Alexander's death in 323 B.C., he established himself as one of the successors and declared himself King in 306 B.C. The most powerful satraps of the empire, Cassander, Seleucus, Ptolemy, and Lysimachus, answered by also proclaiming themselves kings. Antigonus found himself at war with all four, largely because his territory shared borders with all of them. He died in battle at Ipsus in 301 B.C. Antigonus' kingdom was divided up, with Seleucus I Nicator gaining the most. His son, Demetrius I Poliorcetes, took Macedon, which the family held, off and on, until it was conquered by Rome in 168 B.C. -- Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
GS77605. Silver drachm, Price 1387, MŁller Alexander 614, SNG Cop 888, SNG Alpha Bank 582, SNG Munchen 451, aVF, scratches and marks, porosity, weight 4.051 g, maximum diameter 17.0 mm, die axis 270o, Mysia, Lampsakos (Lapseki, Turkey) mint, 310 - 301 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, clad in Nemean Lion scalp headdress tied at neck; reverse AΛEΞAN∆POY, Zeus seated left on throne without back, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, eagle extended in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, right leg drawn back, Pegasos forepart left in left field, Artemis standing left holding torch under throne; $90.00 SALE PRICE $81.00







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Catalog current as of Friday, June 22, 2018.
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Griffin