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Animals on Ancient Coins

Browse all our coins and antiquities depicting animals below or use the menu on the left to select specific types of animals.

Persian Empire, Samaria, c. 375 - 332 B.C.

|Persian| |Rule|, |Persian| |Empire,| |Samaria,| |c.| |375| |-| |332| |B.C.||drachm|
Samaria was the capital of the northern Kingdom of Israel in the 9th - 8th centuries B.C. The Assyrians took the city and the northern kingdom in 722/721 B.C. The city did not recover until the Persian period, the mid 5th century. The tensions between the ruling Sanballat family and Jerusalem under the governorship of Nehemiah are documented in the Bible (Ezra 4:10, Neh 4:78). Samaria became Hellenistic in 332 B.C. Thousands of Macedonian soldiers were settled there following a revolt. The Judaean king John Hyrcanus destroyed Samaria in 108 B.C., but it was resettled under Alexander Jannaeus. In 63 B.C., Samaria was annexed to the Roman province of Syria. Herod the Great fortified the city and renamed it Sebaste. The ruins are located in the Samaria mountains almost 10 km to the northwest of Nablus.
JD99500. Silver drachm, Meshorer-Qedar 30; Samuels 6; Mildenberg Bes pl. 1, 5; Sofaer -; SNG ANS -; Hendin -; HGC 10 -, VF, centered, toned, edge split, a little rough, weight 2.565 g, maximum diameter 17.7 mm, die axis 0o, Samaria (Sebastia, West Bank) mint, c. 375 - 332 B.C.; obverse horned head of creature facing (griffin?) within square guilloche-pattern border; reverse winged and horned griffin recumbent right, Aramaic dalat (for Delayah?) above left, square guilloche-pattern border, all within an incuse square; extremely rare; $3850.00 SALE PRICE $3465.00


Roman Republic, Anonymous, c. 280 B.C.

|before| |211| |B.C.|, |Roman| |Republic,| |Anonymous,| |c.| |280| |B.C.||triens|
The triens (plural trientes) was an Ancient Roman bronze coin produced during the Roman Republic valued at one-third of an as. HUGE 50.5 mm and 83.3 gram bronze!
SH110921. Aes grave (cast) triens, Crawford 14/3 var. (pellets below dolphin); Thurlow-Vecchi 3a var. (same); Haeberlin pl. 39, 15 var. (same); HN Italy 270 var. (same); Sydenham 10, VF, dark green patina, earthen deposits, a few flan flaws, weight 83.342 g, maximum diameter 50.5 mm, die axis 270o, Rome mint, heavy series, c. 280 B.C.; obverse fulmen (thunderbolt), four pellets (mark of value) divided across field; reverse dolphin swimming right, four pellets (mark of value) above; ex CNG auction 90 (23 May 2012), lot 1278; ex L.C. Aes Grave Collection; this coin is the only specimen on Coin Archives and the only specimen known to FORVM with the pellets above the dolphin, HUGE 50.5 mm and 83.3 gram bronze!; extremely rare variant; $2250.00 SALE PRICE $2025.00


Roman, Bronze Krater Handle Ornamented with Lions, c. 1st - 3rd Century A.D.

|Metal| |Antiquities|, |Roman,| |Bronze| |Krater| |Handle| |Ornamented| |with| |Lions,| |c.| |1st| |-| |3rd| |Century| |A.D.|
Click here to see the line drawing of Catalogue des bronzes antiques de la Bibliothque National no. 1446, a nearly identical handle in the Bibliothque nationale de France published in 1895.
AM23903. Roman bronze krater handle; cf. BnF Bronzes 1446, Superb, about as made with the addition of an an attractive green patina, c. 1st - 3rd Century A.D.; 12 cm (4 7/8") tall, on the upper part, which would have been attached atop the rim of the vessel: a lion's head faces inward, its back arching above, between two lions lying in opposite directions, on the lower part: acanthus and scrolls between two snakes with heads upward, ex Griffin Gallery of Ancient Art (Boca Raton FL); $1800.00 SALE PRICE $1620.00


Nero, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D.

|Nero|, |Nero,| |13| |October| |54| |-| |9| |June| |68| |A.D.||sestertius|
A decursio was a military exercise, by which Roman soldiers were taught to make long marches in a given time, under arms and without quitting their ranks. They sometimes consisted of a mock fight between two divisions. Augustus and subsequently Hadrian ordered that the infantry and cavalry were to march out three times a month ten miles from the camp and ten miles back, fully armed and equipped. Decursio on this coin probably refers Nero's participation in mock military maneuvers in the circus.
SL111603. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC I 168 (S); BMCRE I p. 226, 142; BnF II -; Hunter I -; SRCV I -, ANACS VF30 (7432075, says Lugdunum mint in error), dark spots are where the plastic holder is in contact with the coin, weight 27.15 g, maximum diameter 35.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 66 A.D.; obverse NERO CLAVD CAESAR AVG GER P M TR P IMP P P, laureate head left; reverse DECVRSIO, Nero and a soldier on horseback prancing right, Nero bear headed, wearing cuirass and short tunic, and holds spear in right hand, soldier, on far side and slightly behind, holds vexillum in right over shoulder, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking high across field; ex Classical Coins, ANACS| Verify; $970.00 SALE PRICE $873.00


Ephesos, Ionia, Phanes, c. 625 - 600 B.C., Ancient Counterfeit Electrum Plate Over Silver

|Ephesos|, |Ephesos,| |Ionia,| |Phanes,| |c.| |625| |-| |600| |B.C.,| |Ancient| |Counterfeit| |Electrum| |Plate| |Over| |Silver||1/24| |stater|
The official coin, of which this is an ancient counterfeit, is known to be among the oldest coins because a hemihekte from the issue was in the famous "Artemision Find" excavated from the foundation of the temple of Artemis at Ephesos. Seven different denominations are linked by the stag type, a common weight standard, and reverse die links. The stag is a symbol of Artemis and thus of Ephesus. The two larger denominations bear the name Phanes, who was likely a prominent citizen of Ephesus, perhaps a despot, a magistrate, or a wealthy money-lender. This coin is undoubtedly one of the very first counterfeit coins. Criminal counterfeiters were evidently a problem from the very beginnings of coinage.
SL112770. Fouree electrum plated 1/24 stater, Weidauer - , BMC - ; cf. SNG VA 7773 (not plated), NGC VF (6827718-002), weight 0.435 g, maximum diameter 6.2 mm, unofficial counterfeiter's mint, after c. 625 B.C.; obverse forepart of stag right, head turned left, three pellets before; reverse incuse square with raised lines; photo taken before certification, NGC| Lookup; $800.00 SALE PRICE $720.00


Persian Empire, Samaria, c. 375 - 332 B.C.

|Persian| |Rule|, |Persian| |Empire,| |Samaria,| |c.| |375| |-| |332| |B.C.||ma'ah-obol|
"Perhaps this person is the Sanballat II referred to by Josephus as the one who "had been sent to Samaria as satrap by Darius the last king." -- Gide to Biblical Coins, p. 85, by David Hendin
JD110670. Silver ma'ah-obol, cf. Meshorer-Qedar 52, Sofaer 70 - 71, Hendin 6039 (RR), HGC 10 410 (R2), SNG ANS - (all with different style), gVF, toned, centered on a tight flan, mildly etched surfaces, weight 0.706 g, maximum diameter 8.9 mm, die axis 180o, Samaria (Sebastia, West Bank) mint, c. 375 - 332 B.C.; obverse head of the Persian great king right, wearing crenelated crown; reverse lion left, square border of dots, Aramaic SN (Sanballat II?) above (off flan), within an incuse square; ex Gorny & Mosch auction 289 (10 Oct 2022), lot 428; ex Gert Cleff Collection (Wuppertal); ex Gorny & Mosch auction 142 (10 Oct 2005), lot 1667; rare; $540.00 SALE PRICE $486.00


Aegina, Saronic Islands, Greece, c. 525 - 475 B.C.

|Aegina|, |Aegina,| |Saronic| |Islands,| |Greece,| |c.| |525| |-| |475| |B.C.||stater|
"Greek Turtles" minted on the island of Aegina were most likely the first coins struck in Europe. They were popular in their own time and accepted for payment far from the island. Because they were the first European coin type and because they are attractive and interesting, the "Greek Turtle" is considered a "must have" by many ancient coin collectors.
GS112504. Silver stater, HGC 6 433 (S); Meadows Aegina Group IIc; Asyut Group VI; SNG Cop 503; SNG Munchen 536; Milbank -, BMC Attica -, F, tight flan, bumps and marks, punch on rev., weight 11.808 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, Aigina (Aegina) mint, c. 525 - 475 B.C.; obverse sea-tortoise (Chelone Caouana) or common loggerhead turtle of the Mediterranean, collar at the top and row of six dots down the middle the ridge of the shell; reverse incuse square with skew device; from the P.S. Collection, ex Calgary Coin, ex Alberta Coins, ex Harlan J. Berk, ex Lewis Egnew Collection; scarce; $500.00 SALE PRICE $450.00


Cornelia Supera, Wife of Aemilian, 253 A.D., Imitative of Parion, Mysia

|Cornelia| |Supera|, |Cornelia| |Supera,| |Wife| |of| |Aemilian,| |253| |A.D.,| |Imitative| |of| |Parion,| |Mysia||AE| |23|
Cornelia Supera is unknown to history, except through her coins. Her coins indicate she was probably the wife of Aemilian.
SL112773. Bronze AE 23, For prototype, cf. RPC Online IX 382 (11 spec.), SNGvA 7448, BMC Mysia -, SNG Cop -, SNG BnF -, NGC Ch F (6827718-003), weight 3.943 g, maximum diameter 23.1 mm, die axis 45o, unofficial mint, 253 A.D.; obverse G CORN SUPERA AVG (or similar), diademed and draped bust right; reverse Capricorn right, cornucopia on back, globe between legs, C G I H P (blundered, Colonia Gemella Iulia Hadriana Pariana) below; NGC| Lookup; very rare; $500.00 SALE PRICE $450.00


Titus, 24 June 79 - 13 September 81 A.D.

|Titus|, |Titus,| |24| |June| |79| |-| |13| |September| |81| |A.D.||denarius|NEW
The fantastic elephant on the reverse boasts of the spectacular grand opening of the Roman Colosseum, which had the capacity to seat 50,000 spectators. Construction, begun by Vespasian c. 72 A.D., was completed by Titus in 80. The spectacular games held for the dedication lasted 100 days and nights, consisting primarily of gladiatorial combats and wild animal fights. Some 5,000 animals, including elephants, were slaughtered. Martial tells of an elephant, who after dispatching a bull in the arena, knelt before the emperor!
RS113406. Silver denarius, RIC II-1 115; RSC II 303; BMCRE II 43; BnF III 37; SRCV I 2512, Choice aVF, well centered on a broad flan, toned, high points flatly struck, scratches, weight 2.844 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 80 A.D.; obverse IMP TITVS CAES VESPASIAN AVG P M, laureate head right; reverse TR P IX IMP XV COS VIII P P, elephant standing left; $500.00 SALE PRICE $450.00


Larissa, Thessaly, Greece, c. 356 - 320 B.C.

|Thessaly|, |Larissa,| |Thessaly,| |Greece,| |c.| |356| |-| |320| |B.C.||drachm|
When Larissa ceased minting the federal coins it shared with other Thessalian towns and adopted its own coinage in the late fifth century B.C., it chose local types for its coins. The obverse depicted the local fountain nymph Larissa, for whom the town was named, probably inspired by the famous coins of Kimon depicting the Syracusan nymph Arethusa. The reverse depicted a horse in various poses.
GS111232. Silver drachm, cf. BCD Thessaly 1432, BCD Thessaly II 316 ff., SNG Cop 121; HGC 4 454, VF, toned, scratches, encrustations, rev. off center, weight 4.820 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 315o, Larissa mint, c. 356 - 320 B.C.; obverse head of nymph Larissa facing slightly left, wearing pendant earring and necklace, hair is combed back behind ampyx; reverse horse crouching right, left foreleg raised, preparing to lie down, ΛAPIΣ/AIΩN in two lines above and in exergue; $325.00 SALE PRICE $293.00




  



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