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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Animals| ▸ |Other Animal||View Options:  |  |  | 

Other Animals on Ancient Coins

Our animals theme also includes the many mythological creatures depicted by ancient people.

Ionia, c. 600 - 550 B.C.

|Archaic| |Electrum|, |Ionia,| |c.| |600| |-| |550| |B.C.||Hemihekte| |(1/12| |Stater)|
In Greek mythology, the Sirens were dangerous creatures, who lured nearby sailors with their enchanting music and voices to shipwreck on the rocky coast of their island. In early Greek art, Sirens were represented as birds with large women's heads, bird feathers, and scaly feet. Later, they were represented as female figures with the legs of birds, with or without wings, playing a variety of musical instruments, especially harps. Later Sirens were sometimes depicted as beautiful women, whose bodies, not only their voices, were seductive.
SH84464. Electrum Hemihekte (1/12 Stater), Unpublished in major references; Naville auction VII (1924), Bement Collection, lot 1435; CNG, Triton XI (8 Jan 2008), lot 253, aEF, tight flan, earthen deposits, weight 1.367 g, maximum diameter 8.8 mm, Ionia, uncertain mint, c. 600 - 550 B.C.; obverse siren standing left; reverse incuse square punch; ex Numismatica Ars Classica, auction 92, part 2 (24 May 2016), lot 1476; this type is not published in the major references but many examples are known from auctions; rare; SOLD


Urso (Osuna), Hispania Ulterior, 150 - 100 B.C.

|Hispania|, |Urso| |(Osuna),| |Hispania| |Ulterior,| |150| |-| |100| |B.C.||AE| |27|
Urso is today Osuna near Seville in southern Spain. The battle of Munda, the last battle won by Julius Caesar in person, was probably fought outside of Osuna.
GB53986. Bronze AE 27, SNG BM 1527 - 1528, aVF, weight 12.438 g, maximum diameter 26.8 mm, die axis 180o, Urso mint, 150 - 100 B.C.; obverse VRSO, helmeted male head right; reverse MARC Q, bear squatting right; excellent for the type; very rare; SOLD


Athens, Attica, Greece, c. 140 - 175 A.D.

|Athens|, |Athens,| |Attica,| |Greece,| |c.| |140| |-| |175| |A.D.||drachm|
King Minos demanded that, every ninth year, Athens send seven boys and seven girls to Crete to be devoured by the Minotaur, a half-man, half-bull monster that lived in the Labyrinth. Theseus, son of Aigeus, the king of Athens, volunteered to take the place of one of the youths and slay the monster to stop this horror. Upon his arrival to Crete, Ariadne, King Minos' daughter, fell in love with him and gave him a ball of thread to help him find his way out of the Labyrinth. Theseus promised Ariadne that if he escaped he would take her with him. Using the string to mark his path, he made his way to the heart of the Labyrinth, slew the Minotaur, followed the string out, and then rescued the Athenian boys and girls. Athena told Theseus to leave Ariadne and Phaedra behind on the beach. Distressed by his broken heart, Theseus forgot to put up the white sails that were to signal his success. Upon seeing black sails, his father committed suicide, throwing himself off a cliff into the sea, causing this body of water to be named the Aegean.
GB77873. Bronze drachm, BMC Attica p. 105, 764; SNG Cop 341; Svoronos Athens, pl. 96, 1; Kroll 276, aF, corrosion, weight 7.132 g, maximum diameter 23.7 mm, die axis 180o, Athens mint, pseudo-autonomous under Rome, c. 140 - 175 A.D.; obverse helmeted head of Athena right, wearing crested Corinthian helmet; reverse AΘHNAIΩN, Theseus right, preparing to slay the Minotaur, nude, planting knee on the back of Minotaur, raising club in his right hand, a horn of the Minotaur in his left hand, the Minotaur falling right on left knee; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren (Antioch Associates); very rare; SOLD







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