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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Animals| ▸ |Man-Faced Bull||View Options:  |  |  |   

Ancient Coins Depicting a Man-Faced Bull

Herbessos, Sicily, c. 344 - 335 B.C.

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The site of the native Sikel Herbessos is uncertain but it was probably located near Leontinoi. Like other Sikel towns, it supported Carthage against Syracuse, however, in 396 B.C. Herbessos formed an alliance with Dionysos I. In 310 B.C., Agathokles installed a garrison to hold it against Carthage. In 309 B.C., with the aid of Akragas, the city expelled the garrison and claimed its freedom. In the Punic Wars, Herbessos was repeatedly held by Carthage until taken by Rome. About 213 B.C., Herbesso became a civitas decumana, paying 1/10th of its annual harvest to Rome. Although it probably continued to exist for centuries, it then disappears from history.
GI72187. Bronze drachm, Castrizio series II, 1 (354- 344 B.C); Calciati III, p. 252, 4; SNG Morcom 593; SNG Lloyd 1002; Rizzo pl. LIX, 17; HGC 2 411 (R2), VF, overstruck on Syracuse drachm, weight 32.639 g, maximum diameter 33.1 mm, die axis 270o, Herbessos mint, c. 344 - 335 B.C.; obverse EPBEΣΣINΩN, head of Sikelia right, hair adorned with myrtle olive wreath; reverse forepart of man-faced bull right; big bronze!; rare; SOLD


Neapolis, Campania, Italy, 320 - 300 B.C.

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Naples is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Bronze Age Greek settlements were established in the second millennium B.C. The city was refounded as Neapolis in the sixth century B.C. and became an important hub of Magna Graecia, playing a key role in the merging of Greek culture into Roman society. Naples remained influential under Rome and more so after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, serving as the capital city of the Kingdom of Naples between 1282 and 1816. Thereafter, it became the capital of the Two Sicilies until the unification of Italy in 1861.
SH79832. Silver didrachm, Historia Numorum pl. 10, 571 (same dies); Sambon 438; SNG ANS 318; BMC Italy p. 98, 47; SNG Cop -, VF, beautiful style, well centered on a tight flan, uneven toning, weight 7.362 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 0o, Neapolis (Naples, Italy) mint, 320 - 300 B.C.; obverse diademed head of siren Parthenope right, wearing large pendant earring and pearl necklace, bunch of grapes (control symbol) behind neck, ∆IOΦANOYΣ (master engraver or magistrate name) below neck truncation (off flan); reverse man-faced bull standing right, head turned facing, Nike above flying right and placing wreath on bull's head, Π∆ monogram below, NEOΠOΛITΩN in exergue (off flan); SOLD


Neapolis, Campania, Italy, 320 - 300 B.C.

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Naples is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Bronze Age Greek settlements were established in the second millennium B.C. The city was refounded as Neapolis in the sixth century B.C. and became an important hub of Magna Graecia, playing a key role in the merging of Greek culture into Roman society. Naples remained influential under Rome and more so after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, serving as the capital city of the Kingdom of Naples between 1282 and 1816. Thereafter, it became the capital of the Two Sicilies until the unification of Italy in 1861.
SH79834. Silver nomos, SNG ANS 325; Sambon 450; BMC Italy p. 99, 53; Head HN 571; SNG Cop -; SNG München -, VF, finest style, well centered and struck on a tight flan, toned, scratches and bumps, small edge splits, weight 7.252 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 180o, Neapolis (Naples, Italy) mint, magistrate Olympios, 320 - 300 B.C.; obverse diademed head of nymph right, wearing pendant earring and pearl necklace, no legends or symbols; reverse man-faced bull standing right, head turned facing, Nike above flying right and placing wreath on bull's head, OΛ−YM−ΠI below, NEOΠOΛITHΣ exergue; ex Fritz Rudolf Künker GmbH & Co. KG, auction 216 (8 Oct 2012), lot 48; rare; SOLD


Neapolis, Campania, Italy, 326 - 290 B.C.

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Artemios has traditionally been identified as a master die engraver but Historia Numorum notes he was more likely a moneyer.
SH79678. Silver didrachm, SNG ANS 340; Sambon 460b; BMC Italy p. 99, 57 var. (N normal); HN Italy 579, gVF, fine style, beautifully toned, reverse slightly off-center, weight 7.354 g, maximum diameter 22.0 mm, die axis 45o, Neapolis (Naples, Italy) mint, 326/317 - 290 B.C.; obverse diademed head of siren Parthenope right, wearing pendant earring and pearl necklace; Artemis standing facing holding two torches (control symbol) behind neck; APTEMI below truncation; reverse man-faced bull standing right, head turned facing, Nike above flying right and placing wreath on bull's head, retrograde N below, NEOΠOΛITΩN in exergue; ex Obolos (Nomos) auction 3 (15 Nov 2015), lot 35; ex Swiss collection formed prior to 2005; SOLD


Neapolis, Campania, Italy, c. 275 - 250 B.C.

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Naples is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Bronze Age Greek settlements were established in the second millennium B.C. The city was refounded as Neapolis in the sixth century B.C. and became an important hub of Magna Graecia, playing a key role in the merging of Greek culture into Roman society. Naples remained influential under Rome and more so after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, serving as the capital city of the Kingdom of Naples between 1282 and 1816. Thereafter, it became the capital of the Two Sicilies until the unification of Italy in 1861.
SH79833. Silver didrachm, Sambon 527, SNG ANS 412, HN Italy 586, SNG München -, SNG Cop -, BMC Italy -, gVF, attractive style, well centered and struck on a tight flan, nice toning, scratches and marks, weight 7.148 g, maximum diameter 20.1 mm, die axis 0o, Neapolis (Naples, Italy) mint, 275 - 250 B.C.; obverse diademed head of nymph left, wearing triple-pendant earring and pearl necklace, quiver with strap (control symbol) behind; reverse man-faced bull walking right, head turned facing, being crowned with wreath by Nike flying right above, E below, NEOΠOΛITΩN in exergue; SOLD


Neapolis, Campania, Italy, c. 275 - 250 B.C.

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In angst at not seducing Ulysses with her voice, the siren Parthenope, threw herself into the sea and died. Her body washed up on the shore near Neapolis. There she was not envisioned as one of the insidious monsters of Homer, but rather like a dead hero, she was enshrined and deified and her name was given to an early settlement on the site. Neapolis held funerary torch-races to commemorate Parthenope and her nearby tomb and sanctuary were among the local places of interest. The river god Achelous was her father.
GS84679. Silver nomos, SNG Cop 440; SNG ANS 381; BMC Italy 100, 63; Sambon 483; HN Italy 586; SNG Cop -, Choice VF, fine style, toned, well centered on a tight flan, porous, weight 7.114 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, die axis 45o, Neapolis (Naples, Italy) mint, c. 275 - 250 B.C.; obverse head of siren Parthenope left, wearing taenia, triple-pendant earring, and necklace, EY behind neck; reverse the river-god Achelous in the form of a man-faced bull, walking left, head turned facing, Nike flying left above, placing wreath on river-god's head, ΛOY below, NEOΠOΛITHΣ in exergue; SOLD


Dynasts of Lycia, Uvug, c. 470 - 440 B.C.

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SH66266. Silver tetrobol, Winsemann 92, SNGvA 4119, SNG Cop Supp. 430, SGCV II 5194, gVF, weight 3.005 g, maximum diameter 15.0 mm, die axis 180o, c. 470 - 440 B.C.; obverse forepart of winged man-headed bull right; reverse OFOV, young female (Sphinx?) head right in dotted square within incuse square; SOLD


Neapolis, Campania, Italy, c. 275 - 250 B.C.

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Naples is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Bronze Age Greek settlements were established in the second millennium B.C. The city was refounded as Neapolis in the sixth century B.C. and became an important hub of Magna Graecia, playing a key role in the merging of Greek culture into Roman society. Naples remained influential under Rome and more so after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, serving as the capital city of the Kingdom of Naples between 1282 and 1816. Thereafter, it became the capital of the Two Sicilies until the unification of Italy in 1861.
GS91519. Silver didrachm, SNG ANS 386, SNG BnF 814, SNG Cop 444, SNG Milan 136, Sambon 488, BMC Italy 71, HN Italy 586, HGC 1 454 (S), SNG München -, aVF, well centered, old collection toning, flow lines, scratches, weight 6.630 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 180o, Neapolis (Naples, Italy) mint, 275 - 250 B.C.; obverse diademed head of the siren Parthenope left, wearing triple-pendant earring and pearl necklace, B behind neck, M below neck truncation; reverse river-god Acheloios as a man-faced bull walking right, head turned facing, crowned with wreath by Nike flying right above, E below, NEOΠOΛITΩN in exergue; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; scarce; SOLD


Neapolis, Campania, Italy, c. 275 - 250 B.C.

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Naples is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Bronze Age Greek settlements were established in the second millennium B.C. The city was refounded as Neapolis in the sixth century B.C. and became an important hub of Magna Graecia, playing a key role in the merging of Greek culture into Roman society. Naples remained influential under Rome and more so after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, serving as the capital city of the Kingdom of Naples between 1282 and 1816. Thereafter, it became the capital of the Two Sicilies until the unification of Italy in 1861.
SH86580. Silver didrachm, Sambon 523, HN Italy 586, SNG ANS 395 ff. var., SNG BnF 836 ff. var.; SNG München 250 ff. var., SNG Cop 451 ff. var. (all var., no dolphin control), VF, attractive classical style, well centered and struck, toned, bumps and marks, edge crack, weight 7.118 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 0o, Neapolis (Naples, Italy) mint, 275 - 250 B.C.; obverse diademed head of nymph left, wearing triple-pendant earring, dolphin head down (control symbol) behind; reverse man-faced bull walking right, head turned facing, being crowned by Nike flying right above, IΣ (control or magistrate initials) below, NEOΠOΛITΩN in exergue; SOLD


Neapolis, Campania, Italy, c. 300 B.C.

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The design of the obverse is derived from the tetradrachms of Agathocles of Syracuse. -- A.D. Burnett, SNR 56 (1977), pp. 109 - 11
SH29357. Silver didrachm, HN Italy 576, VF, corrosion, weight 7.077 g, maximum diameter 21.3 mm, die axis 225o, Neapolis (Naples, Italy) mint, c. 320 - 300 B.C.; obverse head of nymph right, dolphins around; reverse man-faced bull to right, crowned by Nike; ∆I below, NEOΠOΛITHΣ exergue; SOLD




  




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REFERENCES|

Calciati, R. Corpus Nummorum Siculorum. The Bronze Coinage. (Milan, 1983 - 1987).
Classical Numismatic Group. The BCD Collection of the Coinage of Thessaly. Triton XV Auction. (3 January 2012, New York).
Babelon, J. Catalogue de la collection de Luynes: monnaies greques. (Paris, 1924-1936).
Babelon, E. Traité des Monnaies Grecques et Romaines. (Paris, 1901-1932).
Gardner, P. A Catalogue of Greek Coins in the British Museum, Thessaly to Aetolia. (London, 1883).
Hoover, O. Handbook of Coins of Sicily (including Lipara), Civic, Royal, Siculo-Punic, and Romano-Sicilian Issues, Sixth to First Centuries BC. HGC 2. (Lancaster, PA, 2011).
Hoover, O. Handbook of Coins of Northern and Central Greece...Sixth to First Centuries BC, The Handbook of Greek Coinage Series, Vol. 4. (Lancaster, PA, 2014).
Imhoof-Blumer, F. "Zur Münzen Akarnaniens" in NZ X (1878).
Jenkins, G. Coins of Punic Sicily. (Zürich, 1997).
Jenkins, G. The Coinage of Gela. AMUGS II. (Berlin, 1970).
Martini, R. & N. Vismara. Monetazione Provinciale Romana. Collezione Winsemann Falghera I-VI. (Milan, 1992).
Molinari, N. & N. Sisci. Potamikon: Sinews of Acheloios. A Comprehensive Catalog of the Bronze Coinage of the Man-Faced Bull, With Essays on Origin and Identity. (Oxford, 2016).
Münzen & Medaillen (Deutschland). Sammlung BCD : Akarnanien und Aetolien. Auction 23 (18 October 2007, Stuttgart).
Naville Co. Monnaies grecques antiques; provenant de la collection de feu le prof. S. Pozzi. Auction 1. (4 April 1921, Geneva).
Poole, R. ed. A Catalogue of Greek Coins in the British Museum: Italy. (London, 1873).
Poole, R. ed. A Catalog of the Greek Coins in the British Museum, Sicily. (London, 1876).
Rogers, E. The Copper Coinage of Thessaly. (London, 1932).
Rutter, N. Campanian Coinages 475-380 BC. (Edinburgh, 1979).
Rutter, N. ed. Historia Numorum. Italy. (London, 2001).
Sambon, A. Les monnaies antiques de l'Italie. (Paris, 1903).
Sear, D. Greek Coins and Their Values, Vol. 1: Europe. (London, 1978).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Denmark, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum. (Copenhagen, 1942-1979).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Deutschland, München Staatlische Münzsammlung. (Berlin, 1968-present).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, France, Cabinet des Médailles, Bibliothéque Nationale. (Paris, 1993 - 2001).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain III, R.C. Lockett Collection. (London, 1938 - 1949).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, USA, The Collection of the American Numismatic Society. (New York, 1969 - present).
Taliercio, M. "Simboli, lettere, sigle sul bronzo di Neapolis" in Studi Breglia.

Catalog current as of Friday, November 15, 2019.
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Man-Faced Bull