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

Lizards on Ancient Coins

Kamarina, Sicily, c. 420 - 405 B.C.

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A Gorgoneion was a horror-creating apotropaic Gorgon head pendant. The name derives from the Greek word gorgós, which means "dreadful." The Gorgons were three sisters who had hair of living, venomous snakes, and a horrifying face that turned those who saw it to stone. Stheno and Euryale were immortal, but their sister Medusa was not, and was slain by Perseus. Zeus, Athena, Hellenistic kings and Roman emperors wore Gorgoneion for protection. Images of the Gorgons were also put upon objects and buildings for protection. A Gorgon image is at the center of the pediment of the temple at Corfu, the oldest stone pediment in Greece from about 600 B.C.
GB69171. Bronze onkia, Calciati III, p. 47, 7 (same dies); Westermark-Jenkins, type A, 180; HGC 2 552 (R1); BMC Sicily -; SNG Cop -; SNG ANS -; SNG München -, EF, light cleaning scratches, weight 1.295 g, maximum diameter 12.3 mm, die axis 270o, Kamarina (near Scoglitti, Sicily, Italy) mint, c. 420 - 405 B.C.; obverse facing head of Medusa (gorgoneion), smooth neat hair tied with ribbon, symmetrical locks on forehead, eyes looking left, tongue not protruding; reverse KAMA (upward on left), owl standing right on right leg, head facing, lizard with head down in left talon, pellet (mark of value) in exergue, barley kernel (control symbol) right; rare; SOLD


Thasos, Thracian Islands, Greece, c. 404 - 355 B.C.

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In 411 B.C., Thasos revolted from Athens and received a Lacedaemonian governor. In 407 B.C. Spartans were expelled and the Athenians readmitted. After the Battle of Aegospotami in 405 B.C., Thasos again fell under the Lacedaemonians led by Lysander who formed a decarchy there. Athens must have recovered it, for later it was one of the subjects of dispute with Philip II of Macedonia.
GS87871. Silver drachm, West p. 35, 7 ;BMC Thrace p. 220, 41; Boston MFA 861; HGC 6 343 (R1); SNG Cop 1023 - 1026 var. (control); McClean 4212 var. (control), VF, high relief obverse, reverse flatly struck, etched surfaces, tight flan, weight 3.409 g, maximum diameter 14.6 mm, die axis 90o, Thasos mint, c. 404 - 355 B.C.; obverse bearded head of Dionysos left, wreathed with ivy; reverse ΘAΣ-I-ON, bearded Herakles kneeling to right, in archer's stance, drawing bow, Nemean lion scalp on head with paws on chest, salamander or lizard (control) above knee, all within linear square enclosed in incuse square; ex Beast Coins; rare; SOLD


Kamarina, Sicily, 413 - 405 B.C.

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Kamarina was suffering a plague. A marsh north of the city was the suspected source. The town oracle advised them not to drain the marsh, but in 405 B.C., the leaders ignored the advice. Once the marsh was dry, there was nothing to stop the Carthaginian army. They marched across the newly drained marsh, razed the city, and killed every last inhabitant.
GI76938. Bronze tetras, Westermark-Jenkins 200; Calciati III pp. 63 - 65, 33; BMC Sicily p. 40; 40; SNG München 415; SNG ANS 1228; SNG Cop 169; HGC 2 548, gVF, nice green patina, tight flan, weight 3.242 g, maximum diameter 14.5 mm, die axis 90o, Kamarina (near Scoglitti, Sicily, Italy) mint, 413 - 405 B.C.; obverse head of Athena left, wearing crested Attic helmet decorated with wing, dot border; reverse KAMA (downward on right), owl standing left on left leg, head facing, lizard in right talon, three pellets (mark of value) in exergue; SOLD


Kamarina, Sicily, 420 - 405 B.C.

Click for a larger photo
Kamarina was suffering a plague. A marsh north of the city was the suspected source. The town oracle advised them not to drain the marsh, but in 405 B.C., the leaders ignored the advice. Once the marsh was dry, there was nothing to stop the Carthaginian army. They marched across the newly drained marsh, razed the city, and killed every last inhabitant.
GI76951. Bronze tetras, Westermark-Jenkins, type F, 195.12; BMC Sicily p. 40, 38; Calciati III p. 57, 24; SNG Cop 168; SNG München V 410; HGC 2 547 (S), gVF, well centered, attractive dark brown surfaces, some light corrosion, weight 3.552 g, maximum diameter 14.8 mm, die axis 225o, Kamarina (near Scoglitti, Sicily, Italy) mint, 420 - 405 B.C.; obverse facing head of Medusa (gorgoneion) with neatly waved hair, pearled headband, smiling expression, dimpled cheeks; reverse KAMA (downward on right), owl standing left on left leg, head facing, lizard with head down in right talon, three pellets (mark of value) in exergue; scarce; SOLD


Kamarina, Sicily, 420 - 405 B.C.

Click for a larger photo
A Gorgoneion was a horror-creating apotropaic Gorgon head pendant. The name derives from the Greek word gorgós, which means "dreadful." The Gorgons were three sisters who had hair of living, venomous snakes, and a horrifying face that turned those who saw it to stone. Stheno and Euryale were immortal, but their sister Medusa was not, and was slain by Perseus. Zeus, Athena, Hellenistic kings and Roman emperors wore Gorgoneion for protection. Images of the Gorgons were also put upon objects and buildings for protection. A Gorgon image is at the center of the pediment of the temple at Corfu, the oldest stone pediment in Greece from about 600 B.C.
GI86192. Bronze tetras, Westermark-Jenkins, type E, 194; Calciati III p. 55, 20; SNG ANS 1226; HGC 2 547 (S); BMC Sicily -; SNG Cop -; SNG München -, EF, dark patina, some roughness, tight flan, weight 3.573 g, maximum diameter 15.3 mm, die axis 150o, Kamarina (near Scoglitti, Sicily, Italy) mint, 420 - 405 B.C.; obverse facing head of Medusa (gorgoneion) with radiating locks, fierce expression, knitted eyebrows, no hairband, chubby cheeks; reverse KAMA (downward on right), owl standing left on left leg, head facing, grasping lizard with head down in right talon, three pellets (mark of value) in exergue; scarce; SOLD


Kamarina, Sicily, 413 - 405 B.C.

Click for a larger photo
Kamarina was suffering a plague. A marsh north of the city was the suspected source. The town oracle advised them not to drain the marsh, but in 405 B.C., the leaders ignored the advice. Once the marsh was dry, there was nothing to stop the Carthaginian army. They marched across the newly drained marsh, razed the city, and killed every last inhabitant.
GB86304. Bronze tetras, Westermark-Jenkins 200.23 (I/k); SNG München 416 (same dies); SNG ANS 1229 (same obv. die); Calciati III p. 63, 33; SNG Cop 169; BMC Sicily p. 40, 40, EF, well centered and struck on a tight flan, dark brown patina, some light corrosion, weight 3.970 g, maximum diameter 15.6 mm, die axis 270o, Kamarina (near Scoglitti, Sicily, Italy) mint, 413 - 405 B.C.; obverse head of Athena left, wearing crested Attic helmet decorated with wing, dot border; reverse KAMA (downward on right), owl standing left on left leg, head facing, lizard in right talon, three pellets (mark of value) in exergue; SOLD


Kamarina, Sicily, 413 - 405 B.C.

Click for a larger photo
Kamarina was suffering a plague. A marsh north of the city was the suspected source. The town oracle advised them not to drain the marsh, but in 405 B.C., the leaders ignored the advice. Once the marsh was dry, there was nothing to stop the Carthaginian army. They marched across the newly drained marsh, razed the city, and killed every last inhabitant.
GB91201. Bronze tetras, Westermark-Jenkins 198; Calciati III p. 68, 38; SNG ANS 1230; HGC 2 548, VF, well centered, nice style, blue-green and red-brown patina, light cleaning scrapes and scratches, earthen deposits on edges, weight 3.305 g, maximum diameter 14.7 mm, die axis 345o, Kamarina (near Scoglitti, Sicily, Italy) mint, 413 - 405 B.C.; obverse head of Athena left, wearing crested helmet decorated with wing, some locks of hair showing, olive spray before her, dot border; reverse KAMA (retrograde upwards), owl standing left on left leg, head facing, grasping lizard in right talon, three pellets (mark of value) in exergue; SOLD


Eion, Macedonia, c. 500 - 480 B.C.

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Certificate of Authenticity issued by David R. Sear.

Eion was only about three miles from Amphipolis and from the late 5th century onwards served merely as a seaport of its much larger neighbor. The denomination is variously described as a diobol or trihemiobol. The significance of the obverse type is not clear, but presumably makes reference to the characteristic fauna of the region at that time.
SH10950. Silver diobol, BMC Macedonia p 74, 14; SNG ANS 288 var. (no H below); Babelon Traité 1732 and pl. LV, 10 var., attractive VF, good detail, weight .83 g, maximum diameter 12.49 mm, Eion mint, obverse goose standing right, looking back, lizard above, H below bird's breast; reverse quadripartite incuse square; SOLD


Chersonesos, Thrace, c. 400 - 338 B.C.

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Chersonesos is Greek for 'peninsula' and several cities used the name. The city in Thracian Chersonesos (the Gallipoli peninsula) that struck these coins is uncertain. The coins may have been struck at Cardia by the peninsula as a league, or perhaps they were struck by lost city on the peninsula named Chersonesos. Chersonesos was controlled by Athens from 560 B.C. to 338 B.C., aside from a brief period during this time when it was controlled by Persia. It was taken by Philip II of Macedonia in 338 B.C., Pergamon in 189 B.C., and Rome in 133 B.C. It was later ruled by the Byzantine Empire and then by the Ottoman Turks.
SH58544. Silver hemidrachm, McClean 4117-4118, Weber 2415, SNG Cop 830, HGC 3 1437, BMC Thrace -, VF, weight 2.318 g, maximum diameter 13.2 mm, Chersonesos (Sevastopol, Ukraine) mint, c. 400 - 338 B.C.; obverse lion forepart right, head turned back left, tongue protruding; reverse quadripartite incuse with alternating shallow and deeper sunken quarters, •VE ligature in one sunken quarter, salamander in the opposite sunken quarter; ex-Imperial Coins; SOLD


Kamarina, Sicily, c. 420 - 405 B.C.

Click for a larger photo
A Gorgoneion was a horror-creating apotropaic Gorgon head pendant. The name derives from the Greek word gorgós, which means "dreadful." The Gorgons were three sisters who had hair of living, venomous snakes, and a horrifying face that turned those who saw it to stone. Stheno and Euryale were immortal, but their sister Medusa was not, and was slain by Perseus. Zeus, Athena, Hellenistic kings and Roman emperors wore Gorgoneion for protection. Images of the Gorgons were also put upon objects and buildings for protection. A Gorgon image is at the center of the pediment of the temple at Corfu, the oldest stone pediment in Greece from about 600 B.C.
GB60437. Bronze onkia, Westermark-Jenkins, type A, 182; Calciati III, p. 54, 18; SNG München 411 - 414; HGC 2 552 (R1); SNG ANS -; SNG Cop -, gVF, well centered, some corrosion, small edge split, weight 1.516 g, maximum diameter 12.6 mm, die axis 180o, Kamarina (near Scoglitti, Sicily, Italy) mint, c. 420 - 405 B.C.; obverse facing head of Medusa (gorgoneion), neat hair tied with hair band, s-shaped brows, eyes looking right; reverse KAMA (upward on left), owl standing right on right leg, head facing, grasping lizard with head down in left talon, pellet (mark of value) in exergue, no control marks; SOLD




  




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Lizards