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

Boars, Sows and Piglets on Ancient Coins

For an interesting article about pigs on coins, see, "This Little Piggy Went to Market: Boars, Hogs, Sows and Piglets on Ancient Coins" by Mike Markowitz in CoinWeek


Vespasian, 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D.

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In 77 or 78 A.D., Gnaeus Julius Agricola was made governor of Roman Britain, a post he occupied until 84. In his first year, Agricola subdued the Ordovices in Wales and pursued the remnants of the tribe to Anglesey, the holy island of the Druids. According to Tacitus, he exterminated the whole tribe. The Ordovices do completely disappear from the historical record, but considering the mountainous terrain, it is unlikelythe entire population was killed . Another tribe, the Silures, was either also militarily defeated or simply agreed to terms. Tacitus wrote of the Silures: non atrocitate, non clementia mutabatur - the tribe "was changed neither by cruelty nor by clemency." A Roman squadron, sent by Agricola, explored the north of Scotland for the first time, discovering the Orkney and Shetland Islands.Pre-Roman Wales
RS86687. Silver denarius, RIC II-1 983, RSC II 214, BMCRE II 214, BnF III 189, Hunter I 71, SRCV I 2292 var. (head right), Choice EF, well centered and struck, excellent portrait, mint luster, radiating flow lines, clashed reverse die, small edge cracks, weight 3.437 g, maximum diameter 18.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, Jul 77 - Dec 78 A.D.; obverse CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG, laureate head left; reverse sow and three piglets at feet (one before, one below and one behind) walking left, all on ground line, IMP XIX in exergue; from the Jyrki Muona Collection; ex Helios, auction 4 (14 Oct 2009), lot 298; ex A. Lynn Collection; $900.00 (€765.00)
 


Phaselis, Lycia, c. 530 - 520 B.C.

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Phaselis was founded in 690 BC by settlers from the island of Rhodes. In the same year, the great Rhodian seafarers also founded Gela, on the island of Sicily, thus extending their influence across the Greek world. The colony of Phaselis was the one purely Greek city in Lycia and differed in language, culture, and alphabet from the adjacent cities of the region. It should be noted that the coinage of Phaselis is among the earliest, if not the earliest, of all silver coinage struck in Asia Minor. Struck circa 530 B.C., this coin is roughly contemporary with the silver issues of King Kroisos of Lydia and represents the dawn of this medium of exchange in Asia Minor.
GS87793. Silver stater, Heipp-Tamer Series 3, Em. 1a, 25-27 (V-/R25 [unlisted obv. die]); Asyut 734; SNGvA 4390; Weber III 7291; SNG Cop -; SNG Delepierre -; BMC Lycia -, VF, tight flan cutting off nose of boar, bumps and marks, test cut, weight 10.967 g, maximum diameter 20.2 mm, Phaselis (near Tekirova, Turkey) mint, c. 530 - 520 B.C.; obverse Prow of galley right in the form of an abstract boar's head, with foreleg and large apotropaic eye, three round shields on gunwale; reverse incuse square punch, random wear pattern within; $750.00 (€637.50)
 


Cyprus, Early 5th Century B.C.

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The obverse die was used to strike three different issues, with different reverses. This type is from the third issue, when the ankh was engraved over the ram, and the obverse die was heavily worn. The published type has no reverse symbol. This variant with an ankh left on the reverse is apparently unpublished; we know of two other examples, one received by Forum together with this coin, the other Leu Numismatik, web auction 6 (9 Dec 2018), lot 355 (the Ankh not described). Two additional unpublished varieties known from auctions both have an anchor on the reverse left and, one with only an ankh reverse right, and another with samekh over an ankh on the reverse right.
GS87794. Silver stater, Apparently unpublished variant; cf. Zapiti-Michaelidou pl. VIII, 2; Asyut pl. XXXII, N; Troxell-Waggoner p. 35, 8-9; Tziambazis -; Traité -; BMC -, aVF/VF, struck with the worn obverse die (as are all coins from this issue), slightly off center, light bumps and marks, weight 10.662 g, maximum diameter 18.6 mm, die axis 270o, uncertain Cypriot mint, early 5th century B.C.; obverse ram walking left, ankh symbol is superimposed on and above the ram's side and back; reverse laurel branch with two leaves and three fruits; ankh symbol on left; all in dotted square within incuse square; extremely rare; $600.00 (€510.00)
 


Macedonian Kingdom, Antigonos I Monophthalmos, Strategos of Asia, 320 - 306/5 B.C., or King, 306/5 - 301 B.C.

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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
GS87629. Silver tetradrachm, Price 3575, Müller Alexander 900, SNG München 755, SNG Saroglos 598, SNG Alpha Bank 678, SNG Oxford 3169, Meydancikkale 2204, VF, well centered, toned, light earthen deposits, bumps, marks, scratches, weight 16.992 g, maximum diameter 26.0 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain Phoenician or Syrian mint, c. 317 - c. 300 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, clad in Nemean Lion scalp headdress tied at neck; reverse Zeus Aëtophoros enthroned left, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, AΛEΞAN∆POY downward on right, right leg drawn back, boar's head left (control) in left field; $290.00 (€246.50)
 


Sicily, Abakainon, c. 410 - 396 B.C.

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Even today, Sicilian farmers allow their indigenous Sicilian Black Swine to forage for acorns in the oak forests of the Nebrodi Mountains near ancient Abakainon. Physically resembling and often mistaken for wild boar, they stand about 70 centimeters high and have a prominent ridge of spinal bristles running from its large head to about midway along its back. There are fewer than 2000 of these swine today. Their meat, especially Nebrodi ham, is highly prized as the pig's wild woodlands diet enhances the flavor.
GI86596. Silver litra, SNG München 4 (same rev. die); SNG Tübingen 552; SNG ANS 899; BMC Sicily p. 2, 8; Weber 1171; HGC 2 20 (R1); SNG Cop -; SNG Lloyd -, gVF, toned, some bumps and scratches, some corrosion, weight 0.675 g, maximum diameter 11.7 mm, die axis 45o, Abakainon (Tripi, Sicily) mint, c. 410 - 396 B.C.; obverse head of water nymph facing slightly left; reverse sow and piglet walking right, piglet before her, below her head, double exergue line, BA above, A in exergue, within round incuse; rare; $200.00 (€170.00)
 


Akragas, Sicily, Tyrant Phintias, 287 - 278 B.C.

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The head on the obverse is variously identified in Calciati as Apollo, in BMC Sicily and SNG Cop as Persephone, in Weber as Apollo or Persephone, and in SNG ANS, McClean, and HGC 2 as a river god. There is also a similar coin with a bust of Artemis wearing earring, necklace and quiver on the obverse. We are convinced the obverse bust on this type is the river god Akragas, wreathed in reeds, not Apollo, who should be laureate, or Persephone, who should be more feminine, wearing jewelry, and wreathed in barley.
GB86319. Bronze AE 22, BMC Sicily p. 20, 136; SNG Cop 103; McClean 2105, SNG ANS 1123 corr. (NΓ ligature in error); Calciati 117 var. (no monogram); HGC 2 170 (R2), gVF, green patina, minor encrustations, cleaning scratches, spots of slight corrosion, weight 7.379 g, maximum diameter 21.8 mm, die axis 180o, Akragas (Agrigento, Sicily, Italy) mint, 287 - 279/8 B.C.; obverse head of the river god Akragas left, wearing a wreath of reeds, NE ligature behind; reverse wild boar charging left, BAΣIΛEOΣ above, ΦINTIA in exergue, linear border; rare; $160.00 (€136.00)
 


Euromos, Caria, c. 5th century B.C.

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The ruins of Euromus are about 4 km southeast of Selimiye and 12 km northwest of Milas (the ancient Mylasa), Mugla Province, Turkey. Probably dating from the 6th century B.C., Euromus was a member of the Chrysaorian League during Seleucid times. The ruins contain numerous interesting buildings, including rock-cut tombs and an exceptional the temple of Zeus Lepsinos from the reign of Emperor Hadrian. Terra cotta shards indicate that the temple site had its origins back at least to the 6th century B.C. The temple is one of the best preserved classical temples in Turkey: sixteen columns remain standing and most of the columns are inscribed in honor of the citizen who commissioned their construction.Temple of Zeus Lepsinos
GA87965. Silver hemiobol, Ashton-Kinns II 20 (same crude style); SNG Kayhan 754; SNG Keckman 863 var. (laureate); Klein 513 var. (same); SNGvA 2521 var. (same), VF, dark patina, obverse off center, bold reverse, weight 0.480 g, maximum diameter 7.0 mm, die axis 0o, Euromos (Kizilcakuyu, Turkey) mint, c. 5th century B.C.; obverse boar forepart right; reverse bearded bare head of Zeus Lepsynos right, crude style, within a round incuse; rare; $140.00 (€119.00)
 


Kyzikos, Mysia, c. 450 - 400 B.C.

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These very small fractions always weigh less than the theoretical weight for the denomination. They were often struck significantly below the theoretical weight. Wear, corrosion and porosity have usually further reduced the weight over time. They may even weigh less than half their theoretical weight. Assigning the denomination during attribution is often speculative.
GA85721. Silver obol, SNG BnF 378; SNG Cop 48; SNG Kayhan 55; BMC Mysia p. 35, 118; Von Fritze II 11, gVF, sharp detail, lightly etched surfaces, earthen deposits, tight flan, weight 0.798 g, maximum diameter 11.7 mm, die axis 270o, Kyzikos (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, c. 450 - 400 B.C.; obverse forepart of boar running left, reversed E on side, tunny fish upwards behind (tunny off flan); reverse head of roaring lion left within incuse square; $120.00 (€102.00)
 


Uncertain (Ionia or Aegean Islands?), c. 550 - 450 B.C.

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We received this coin attributed to Kythnos, Cyclades Islands, Greece, but neither the boar's head nor the incuse punch share the same style with specimens from Kythnos known to Forum. The origin of this coin is uncertain. If it is a great rarity of high value, please let us know so we can raise the price before you buy it (just kidding, go ahead, buy it).
GA86886. Silver tetartemorion, VF, centered, toned, porous, weight 0.153 g, maximum diameter 5.2 mm, uncertain mint, c. 550 - 450 B.C.; obverse boar head right; reverse incuse square; very rare; $95.00 (€80.75)
 


Lesbos, c. 500 - 450 B.C.

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A most unusual use of illusion on a coin. The two confronting boars' heads can also be viewed as the facing head of a panther.
GA87115. Billon 1/12 stater, BMC Troas p. 151, 14; SNG Cop 287; Traité I, p. 350, 564; HGC 6 1067 (R2); SNGvA 7712 var. (no ethnic); SNG Mün 645 ff. var. (same), VF, porous, edge crack, weight 0.982 g, maximum diameter 9.5 mm, uncertain Koinon of Lesbos mint, c. 500 - 450 B.C.; obverse confronting boar heads, creating the illusion of a facing head of a panther, ΛEΣ above; reverse quadripartite incuse square punch; very rare; $90.00 (€76.50)
 




  



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