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Olbia, a Milesian colony in what is now Ukraine, was settled in the late 7th century B.C. and endured for a millennium. At the convergence of two rivers, about 15 miles inland from the Northwest coast of the Black Sea, it was well located for trade. Olbia was a prosperous trading city and major grain supplier when it was visited by Herodotus in the 5th century B.C. By the end of the 3rd century, the town had declined and accepted the hegemony of King Skilurus of Scythia. It flourished under Mithridates Eupator, but was sacked by the Getae under Burebista, abruptly ending its economic prominence. Olbia was restored by Rome, but on a small scale, and incorporated into the province of Lower Moesia. After being burned at least twice during the Gothic Wars, the town was abandoned in the 4th century A.D.
This example is one of the largest dolphin types.SH01466. Bronze cast dolphin, cf. SNG Pushkin 15, SGCV I 1684, SNG BM 360 ff., SNG Stancomb 334 ff., SNG Cop 67 ff., VF, weight 2.830 g, maximum diameter 47.9 mm, Olbia (Parutino, Ukraine) mint, c. 550 - 430 B.C.; obverse dolphin with raised spine, dorsal fin and tail; very rare; SOLD
Olbia, Sarmatia, c. 5th Century B.C., Lot of 2 Cast Dolphins
MA95795. Bronze cast dolphin, cf. SGCV I 1684, SNG BM 360 ff., SNG Stancomb 334 ff., SNG Pushkin 12 ff., SNG Cop 67 ff., 24.9mm & 31.9mm long, VF, Olbia (Parutino, Ukraine) mint, obverse dolphin with raised eye, dorsal fin and tail; SOLD
Olbia, Sarmatia, c. 5th Century B.C.
Small cast dolphins were cast in Olbia, beginning 550 - 525 B.C., first as sacrificial objects for worship of Apollo and later as a form of currency.GB94130. Bronze cast dolphin, cf. SNG BM 369 ff., SNG Stancomb 339, SNG Pushkin 21 ff., SNG Cop 69 (all with normal ΘY reverse), VF, green patina, light earthen deposits, weight 1.153 g, maximum diameter 25.3 mm, die axis 0o, Olbia (Parutino, Ukraine) mint, c. 5th Century B.C.; obverse dolphin with raised eye and dorsal fin, no tail; reverse YΘ (retrograde ΘY); very rare with retrograde reverse; SOLD
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Frolova, N.A. & M.G. Abramzon. Coins of Olbia in the Collection of the State Historical Museum. (Moscow, 2005).
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