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

Dogs on Ancient Coins

Kyzikos, Mysia, c. 550 - 450 B.C.

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Kyzikos, purportedly the first Milesian colony, was located on the southwest shore of the Propontis in ancient Mysia next to the river Aisepos. Its prosperity was due principally to its two fine harbors, which made the city a convenient stopping point for merchant ships trading between the Aegean and Black Seas. Its principal export was the tunny, of which its waters had abundant stock. The prevalence of winged beings in Kyzikene coinage is a reflection of archaic mythological convention that assigned wings to most divine or sacred entities as an immediately visible and understandable symbol of their nature, and in the case of gods, of their power to move at will across great distances. In the case of the winged animals, we should probably understand these to be attributes of or animals sacred to a particular Olympian god.
SH86217. Electrum stater, Von Fritze I (Nomisma VII) 104 & pl. 3, 23; Boston MFA 1433; SNG BnF 245; SNG Cop -; SNGvA -; BMC Mysia -, VF, tight flan, edge cracks, weight 16.091 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 0o, Kyzikos mint, c. 550 - 450 B.C.; obverse winged dog seated left, head turned back right, curved archaic wing, wearing collar, tunny fish below to left; reverse quadripartite incuse square; extremely rare; $7400.00 (Ä6290.00)


Pheneos, Arkadia, Peloponnesos, Greece, c. 300 - 240 B.C.

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Feneos lies at the foot of Mount Cyllene, mythical birthplace of the god Hermes. It therefore was an important cult center for the god, notably during the annual festival of the Hermaea. Catullus (Poem 68) mentions the seasonal flooding of the plain and says it was drained by an underground channel dug by Hercules during his Twelve Labors. According to Herodotus the river Styx originates near Feneos. In the Aeneid, Evander's fond memories of a visit by Aeneas' father Anchises to Feneos are one factor in his decision to ally his Arcadian colonists to the Trojans.
GB85884. Bronze chalkous, BCD Peloponnesos 1629; Imhoof-Blumer MG 257; Traitť III 905 & pl. CCXXV, 13; HGC 5 995 (R2); SNG Cop -; BMC Peloponnesus -, F, dark olive green patina, reverse slightly off center, weight 2.693 g, maximum diameter 15.1 mm, die axis 0o, Pheneos (Feneos, Greece) mint, c. 300 - 240 B.C.; obverse head of Artemis Heurippa right, quiver behind; reverse hound running right, ΦE above, syrinx (Pan pipes) below; ex J. Cohen Collection; very rare; $115.00 (Ä97.75)


Eryx, Sicily, c. 400 - 390 B.C.

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Calciati 13 and SNG 1328 are similar to this coin but with a female head on the obverse and the pellet above the dog on the reverse. Calciati 13A has a male head, but the dog faces left. The only reference that records this specific type is the Handbook of Greek Coins. The photographed HGC coin shares the same reverse die with our coin, but is incorrectly described as a hexantes or dionkia with an additional (second) pellet above. Despite the lack of examples in the primary references (and we checked more than listed here), there are several examples online.
SH90697. Bronze onkia, HGC 2 315 (R1) corr. (same rev. die); Calciati I p. 283, 13A var. (hound left, etc.); SNG III additions pl. 42, 1328 var. (pellet above, etc.), Choice VF, superb style, weak reverse legend, weight 3.094 g, maximum diameter 14.4 mm, die axis 90o, Eryx (Erice, Sicily) mint, c. 400 - 390 B.C.; obverse beardless, young male head right; reverse EP-YKIN-O-N, dog standing right, head turned back, right foreleg on hare on its back below, pellet right; very rare; SOLD







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Catalog current as of Wednesday, June 20, 2018.
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