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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Types| ▸ |Nude or Erotic||View Options:  |  |  |   

Nude Figures and Erotic Images on Ancient Coins

The ancients had a grand appreciation for the beauty of the human body and a rather bawdy view of sexuality.


Thasos, Thrace, c. 500 - 480 B.C.

|Thasos|, |Thasos,| |Thrace,| |c.| |500| |-| |480| |B.C.|, |stater|
Nymphs are nature spirits who appear as beautiful, young nubile maidens. They dwell in mountains, valleys and groves, by springs and rivers, and also in trees and cool grottoes. Nymphs love to dance and sing and are the frequent target of satyrs. Satyrs are male companions of Pan and Dionysus with goat-like features, including a goat-tail, goat-like ears, and sometimes a goat-like phallus. As Dionysiac creatures, Satyrs are lovers of wine and women and ready for every physical pleasure. They are obsessed with nymphs.
SH91802. Silver stater, Le Rider Thasiennes 2; SNG Cop 1008; BMC Thrace p. 216, 2; McClean 4195; Svoronos HPM pl. X, 7; Dewing 1312; HGC 6 331, Choice F, very well centered, toned, typical flat strike, scratches, weight 9.155 g, maximum diameter 22.6 mm, Thasos mint, c. 500 - 480 B.C.; obverse nude ithyphallic satyr kneeling-running right, carrying in his arms a struggling nymph, raising her right hand in protest, both with long strait hair indicated with dots, she wears a long chiton, her arm fingers and thumb forming a Y shape; reverse quadripartite incuse square; $430.00 SALE |PRICE| $387.00


Aspendos, Pamphylia, c. 465 - 430 B.C.

|Aspendos|, |Aspendos,| |Pamphylia,| |c.| |465| |-| |430| |B.C.|, |stater|
In 467 B.C. the Athenian statesman and military commander Cimon, and his fleet of 200 ships, destroyed the Persian navy based at the mouth of the river Eurymedon in a surprise attack. In order to crush to Persian land forces, he tricked the Persians by sending his best fighters ashore wearing the garments of the hostages he had seized earlier. When they saw these men, the Persians thought that they were compatriots freed by the enemy and arranged festivities in celebration. Taking advantage of this, Cimon landed and annihilated the Persians. Aspendos then became a member of the Attic-Delos Maritime league.
GS94445. Silver stater, Apparently unpublished variant; cf. SNG BnF 1; SNGvA 4477; SNG Cop 153; SNG Delepierre 2811; BMC Lycia p. 93, 1, VF, obverse off center with some weakness flatly struck high-points, bumps and marks, reverse test cut, weight 10.912 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, Aspendos mint, c. 465 - 430 B.C.; obverse nude warrior advancing right, wearing crested helmet, shield on left arm, spear in right hand; reverse triskeles of human legs counterclockwise, within an incuse square, no ethnic, no control symbol; CNG recently sold an example from the same dies, e-auction 429 (26 Sep 2018), lot 167, for $2500 plus fees. They described their specimen as "Unpublished in the standard references. VF. Exceptionally powerful and artistic warrior for series. Extremely rare."; $350.00 SALE |PRICE| $315.00


Greek, Terracotta Eros Figure, 4th Century B.C.

|Malloy| |Terracotta|, |Greek,| |Terracotta| |Eros| |Figure,| |4th| |Century| |B.C.|,
From the collection of Alex G. Malloy, former dealer in antiquities for 40 years.
AT31187. Average, beige terracotta; full figure of nude Eros, winged, legs spread, holding fruit; 6.5 cm (2 1/2") high; unmounted; $280.00 (Ä252.00)


Roman Macedonia, "Thasian" Type, c. 148 - 80 B.C.

|Roman| |Military| |Mint|, |Roman| |Macedonia,| |"Thasian"| |Type,| |c.| |148| |-| |80| |B.C.|, |tetradrachm|
This Dionysos / Herakles type was first struck by Thasos itself on the island and in its continental territories in the South of the Balkans, c. 168 - 148 B.C. After Rome took control of the area, "Thasian" types were struck by Roman authorities, c. 148 - 80 B.C., mainly in Macedonia but also, perhaps, by mobile military mints on campaigns. Imitatives were also struck by at least several tribal groups (mainly Celtic or mixed enclaves) from as early as 120 - 100 B.C. to about 20 - 10 B.C.
GS82792. Silver tetradrachm, Prokopov Thasos, monogram 28/1, group XVI, 1525 (O DE1/ R 1207); SNG Cop 1044 ff., VF, attractive style, light toning, , tight flan, obverse slightly off center, light bumps and marks, die wear, reverse slight double strike, weight 16.358 g, maximum diameter 31.9 mm, die axis 0o, Roman provincial or military mint, c. 148 - 80 B.C.; obverse head of Dionysos right, wearing taenia and wreathed in flowering ivy; reverse HPAKΛEOYΣ ΣΩTHPOΣ ΘAΣIΩN, Herakles standing half left, nude but for Nemean lion's skin on left arm, resting right hand on grounded club before him, left hand on hip, monogram inner left; $215.00 SALE |PRICE| $194.00


Roman Macedonia, "Thasian" Type, c. 148 - 80 B.C.

|Roman| |Military| |Mint|, |Roman| |Macedonia,| |"Thasian"| |Type,| |c.| |148| |-| |80| |B.C.|, |tetradrachm|
This Dionysos / Herakles type was first struck by Thasos itself on the island and in its continental territories in the South of the Balkans, c. 168 - 148 B.C. After Rome took control of the area, "Thasian" types were struck by Roman authorities, c. 148 - 80 B.C., mainly in Macedonia but also, perhaps, by mobile military mints on campaigns. Imitatives were also struck by at least several tribal groups (mainly Celtic or mixed enclaves) from as early as 120 - 100 B.C. to about 20 - 10 B.C.
GS82789. Silver tetradrachm, Prokopov Thasos, group XII, monogram 18, 639 (V AC1 / R 524); SNG Cop 1042 (Thasos); Lukanc 770, VF, toned, tight flan, bumps and marks, wavy flan, die break on cheek and hair, weight 16.838 g, maximum diameter 31.1 mm, die axis 0o, Roman provincial or military mint, c. 148 - 80 B.C.; obverse head of Dionysos right, wearing taenia and wreathed in flowering ivy; reverse HPAKΛEOYΣ ΣΩTHPOΣ ΘAΣIΩN, Herakles standing half left, nude but for Nemean lion's skin on left arm, resting right hand on grounded club before him, left hand on hip, (MH monogram) inner left; $200.00 SALE |PRICE| $180.00


Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D.

|Caracalla|, |Caracalla,| |28| |January| |198| |-| |8| |April| |217| |A.D.|, |antoninianus|
In 215, Caracalla introduced the double denarius, or antoninianus. This coin was one of the earliest of the, then new, denomination. The weight of the new denomination was less than that of two denarii. The orichalcum and copper coinage disappeared gradually, and by the middle of the third century, with Rome's economy in crisis, the antoninianus was the only official currency.
RS91597. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 258(a) (S), RSC III 279, BMCRE V p. 453, 110, cf. Hunter III 33 (Jupiter head left), SRCV II 6775 (same), Choice gVF, nice portrait, full borders strike, toned, flow lines, light marks, slight porosity, reverse die wear, tiny edge cracks, weight 3.653 g, maximum diameter 24.9 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 215 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS PIVS AVG GERM, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bearded bust right, seen from the front; reverse P M TR P XVIII COS IIII P P (high priest, holder of Tribunitian power for 18 years, consul for the 4th time, father of the country), Jupiter standing half right, head right, left foot forward, nude but for chlamys over left shoulder and arm, thunderbolt at side in right hand, long vertical scepter in left hand; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; scarce; $200.00 SALE |PRICE| $180.00


Roman Macedonia, "Thasian" Type, c. 148 - 80 B.C.

|Roman| |Macedonia|, |Roman| |Macedonia,| |"Thasian"| |Type,| |c.| |148| |-| |80| |B.C.|, |tetradrachm|
This Dionysos / Herakles type was first struck by Thasos itself on the island and in its continental territories in the South of the Balkans, c. 168 - 148 B.C. After Rome took control of the area, "Thasian" types were struck by Roman authorities, c. 148 - 80 B.C., mainly in Macedonia but also, perhaps, by mobile military mints on campaigns. Imitatives were also struck by at least several tribal groups (mainly Celtic or mixed enclaves) from as early as 120 - 100 B.C. to about 20 - 10 B.C.
GS82779. Silver tetradrachm, Prokopov Thasos, group XIX, monogram 2, 1831 (V GB4 / R 1437); Lukanc 735 (same dies); SNG Cop 1045 (Thasos), weight 16.694 g, maximum diameter 32.3 mm, die axis 0o, Roman provincial or military mint, c. 148 - 80 B.C.; obverse head of Dionysos right, wearing taenia and wreathed in flowering ivy; reverse HPAKΛEOYΣ ΣΩTHPOΣ ΘAΣIΩN, Herakles standing half left, nude but for Nemean lion's skin on left arm, resting right hand on grounded club before him, left hand on hip, (MH monogram) inner left; $190.00 SALE |PRICE| $171.00


Tacitus, 25 September 275 - June 276 A.D.

|Tacitus|, |Tacitus,| |25| |September| |275| |-| |June| |276| |A.D.|, |antoninianus|
Jupiter or Jove, Zeus to the Greeks, was the king of the gods and god of the sky and thunder, and of laws and social order. As the patron deity of ancient Rome, he was the chief god of the Capitoline Triad, with his sister and wife Juno. The father of Mars, he is, therefore, the grandfather of Romulus and Remus, the legendary founders of Rome. Emperors frequently made vows to Jupiter for protection. The Roman's believed as the king of the gods, Jupiter favored emperors and kings, those in positions of authority similar to his own.
RA91193. Silvered antoninianus, MER-RIC 4105 (17 spec.), RIC V-1 210, BnF XII 1827, Hunter IV 71, VenŤra -, Choice EF, full silvering, full border centering, nice portrait, weight 4.455 g, maximum diameter 24.3 mm, die axis 180o, 8th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, issue 3, Jan - Jun 276 A.D.; obverse IMP C M CL TACITVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse CLEMENTIA TEMP (time of peace and calm), Emperor (on left) standing right, holding eagle tipped scepter, receiving globe from Jupiter, Jupiter standing left, nude but for cloak over shoulder, long scepter vertical in left hand, H in center, XXI in exergue; $190.00 SALE |PRICE| $171.00


Maximinus II Daia, Late 309 - 30 April 313 A.D.

|Maximinus| |II|, |Maximinus| |II| |Daia,| |Late| |309| |-| |30| |April| |313| |A.D.|, |follis|
"This reverse is modeled after the famous statue of the Spirit of the Roman People in the Roman Forum. It is unclear when this statue was last seen as it is now lost. Although the coins celebrate a wide range of spirits (e.g., Rome, Augustus, the Army, etc.), the basic design comes from the same statue." -- Roman Bronze Coins From Paganism to Christianity 294-364 A.D. by Victor Failmezger
RT92316. Billon follis, RIC IV Alexandria 144b, cf. Cohen VII 3 (IMP C GAL VALER...), Hunter V 122 (K-P vice K-X), SRCV IV -, Choice EF, perfect full-border centering, bold strike with sharp dies, some silvering, flow lines, minor flan flaw obv. right side, weight 7.910 g, maximum diameter 25.1 mm, die axis 180o, 3rd officina, Alexandria mint, c. 311 - 312 A.D.; obverse IMP C GALER VAL MAXIMINVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse BONO GENIO PII IMPERATORIS (to the good guardian spirit of the pious Emperor), Genius standing slightly left, head left, kalathos on head, nude but for chlamys over shoulders and left arm, patera in right hand, cornucopia in left, crescent horns up upper left, K lower left, Γ over X right, ALE in exergue; $180.00 SALE |PRICE| $162.00


Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 A.D.

|Hadrian|, |Hadrian,| |11| |August| |117| |-| |10| |July| |138| |A.D.|, |denarius|
Mars was the god of war and also an agricultural guardian. He was the father of Romulus and Remus, the legendary founders of Rome. In early Rome, he was second in importance only to Jupiter, and the most prominent of the military gods in the religion of the Roman army. Most of his festivals were held in March, the month named for him (Latin Martius), and in October, which began and ended the season for military campaigning and farming.
RS94107. Silver denarius, RIC II-3 320, RSC II 1072, BMCRE III 111, Hunter II 59, Strack II 95, SRCV II 3516 var. (slight drapery), VF, nice portrait, tight flan, flan cracks, weight 2.890 g, maximum diameter 17.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 121 A.D.; obverse IMP CAESAR TRAIAN HADRIANVS AVG, laureate bust right, drapery on far shoulder; reverse P M TR P COS III, Mars advancing right, helmeted, nude but for cloak tied around waist, transverse spear in right hand, trophy in left across shoulder; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 82 (6 Oct 2019), part of lot 1070; $175.00 SALE |PRICE| $158.00




  



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