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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

Ionia, c. 600 - 550 B.C.

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SH84753. Electrum 1/24 stater, Phokaic standard, SNG Kayhan 719, Weidauer -, Rosen -, Traitť I -, VF, well centered, die wear, scratches, weight 0.638 g, maximum diameter 6.1 mm, Ionia, uncertain mint, c. 600 - 550 B.C.; obverse boar head left, linear form; reverse incuse irregular roughly square punch; extremely rare; SOLD

Mytilene, Lesbos, c. 454 - 427 B.C.

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Mytilene revolted against Athens in 428 BC but was overcome by an Athenian expeditionary force. The Athenian public assembly voted to massacre all the men of the city and to sell the women and children into slavery but changed its mind the next day. A fast trireme sailed the 186 nautical miles (344 km) in less than a day and brought the decision to cancel the massacre.
SH33290. Electrum hekte, Bodenstedt 41, SNGvA 1694, SNG Cop -, VF, weight 2.5111 g, maximum diameter 11.0 mm, die axis 60o, Mytilene mint, obverse boar forepart right; reverse lion head right in linear square within incuse square; SOLD

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 unlikely the 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 with three piglets at feet (one before, one below and one behind), all walking left 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; SOLD

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; SOLD

Persian Empire, Lycia, Uncertain Dynasts, c. 500 - 475 B.C.

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The referenced variations all have a square border within the incuse square on the reverse. BMC identifies the lead trial impression as a class intermediate between the first and second series of the Lycian Dynasts.

BMC notes the boar may have been used as a type due to its association with Apollo. It was probably a common animal in the mountains of Lycia and Lycian hams were famous.
SH56735. Silver stater, Vismara 39, Asyut Hoard 753 var.; SNG Cop sup. 372 var.; Rosen 697 var.; cf. BMC Lydia p. xxvii & pl xliii, 1 (lead trial); SNG Kayhan -; SNGvA -, gF, weight 9.433 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 0o, Lycian mint, c. 500 - 475 B.C.; obverse forepart of wild boar left; reverse roaring lion head with open jaws left, within incuse square; extremely rare; SOLD

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.
GA87791. Silver stater, Apparently unpublished variant; cf. Zapiti-Michaelidou pl. VIII, 2; Asyut pl. XXXII, N; Troxell-Waggoner p. 35, 8-9; Tziambazis -; Traitť -; BMC -, aVF/VF, struck with the worn obverse die (as are all coins from this issue), off center, light bumps and marks, weight 10.816 g, maximum diameter 22.3 mm, die axis 270o, uncertain 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; SOLD

Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 A.D., Aelia Capitolina (Jerusalem), Syria Palestina

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In 135, Simon bar Kokhba was killed in Betar, a fortress where he had taken refuge. Resistance continued in Galilee. The Jewish diaspora began as Emperor Hadrian barred Jews from Jerusalem and had survivors of the massacre dispersed across the Roman Empire. Many were sold into slavery. Jerusalem, largely destroyed, was renamed Colonia Aelia Capitolina. Legio VI Ferrata rebuilt the legionary fortress in the city and constructed a Roman temple at Golgotha. An altar to Jupiter was erected on the site of the Temple in Jerusalem.
SH75359. Bronze AE 13, Sofaer Collection 6, Kadman Aelia Capitolina 6 corr. (3 spec.), Rosenberger I 4, aVF, well centered, dark black and brown patina, slightly rough, weight 2.233 g, maximum diameter 12.7 mm, die axis 180o, Aelia Capitolina (Jerusalem) mint, c. 135 - 10 Jul 138 A.D.; obverse IMP - HAD, laureate head right; reverse COL / AEL, boar walking right; from the J. Berlin Caesarea Collection; extremely rare; SOLD

Persian Empire, Dynasts of Lycia, Uncertain Dynast, c. 520 - 480 B.C.

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Minted in Lycia, Anatolia while under Persian control, prior to Alexander the Great's conquest. Click here to see a map of the Persian Empire about 500 B.C.
SH63914. Silver stater, SNG Cop Supp. 370, SNGvA 4049 - 4050, VF, soft strike, weight 8.701 g, maximum diameter 23.3 mm, die axis 90o, Lycian mint, c. 520 - 480 B.C.; obverse forepart of a boar left; reverse Incuse with square projections entering from three sides, transected by crossed narrow lines; SOLD

Mytilene, Lesbos, c. 454 - 427 B.C.

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The city of Mytilene was home to 9th century Byzantine Saints who were brothers, Saint George the Archbishop of Mytilene, Saint Symeon Stylites of Lesbos, and Saint David the Monk. The Church of Saint Symeon, Mytilene venerates one of the three brothers.
SH81071. Electrum hekte, Bodenstedt 41, SNG Cop 309, BMC Troas 31, VF, weight 2.492 g, maximum diameter 10.6 mm, die axis 270o, Mytilene mint, c. 454 - 427 B.C.; obverse forepart of boar right; reverse head of roaring lion right in linear frame within incuse square; SOLD

Aspendos, Pamphylia, 420 - 400 B.C.

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Aspendos was member of the Attic-Delos Maritime league but the Persians captured the city again in 411 B.C. In 389 B.C. the commander of Athens anchored off the coast of Aspendos to secure its surrender. Hoping to avoid a new war, the people of Aspendos collected money and gave it to the commander, entreating him to retreat without causing any damage. He took the money but still had his men trample all the crops in the fields. Enraged, the Aspendians stabbed and killed the Athenian commander in his tent.
SH21677. Silver drachm, SNGvA 4487, SNG Cop -, VF, weight 5.402 g, maximum diameter 17.9 mm, die axis 0o, Aspendos mint, 420 - 400 B.C.; obverse horseman (Mopsos) galloping right, brandishing spear; reverse boar running right, EΣT exergue; slightly grainy, toned, some flatness of strike; SOLD


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