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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Gods, Non-Olympian| ▸ |Satyrs||View Options:  |  |  | 

Satyrs on Ancient Coins
Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 A.D., Apameia, Phrygia

|Apameia|, |Hadrian,| |11| |August| |117| |-| |10| |July| |138| |A.D.,| |Apameia,| |Phrygia||hemiassarion|NEW
While playing the flute Athena saw her reflection in the water and disturbed by how her cheeks looked, puffed up while playing, threw away the instrument in disgust. The satyr Marsyas picked up the flute and since it had once been inspired by the breath of a goddess, it played beautifully on its own accord. Elated by his success, Marsyas challenged Apollo to a musical contest. For the prize, the victor could do what he pleased with the vanquished. The Muses were the umpires. Apollo played the cithara and Marsyas the flute. Only after Apollo added his voice to the music of his lyre was the contest decided in his favor. As a just punishment for the presumption of Marsyas, Apollo bound him to an evergreen tree and flayed him alive. His blood was the source of the river Marsyas, and Apollo hung up his skin, like a wine bag, in the cave out of which that river flows.
RP97259. Brass hemiassarion, RPC Online III 2585 (14 spec); BMC Phrygia p. 95, 152; SNG Mun XXIV 154; SNG Tub VI 3983; SNG Hunt I 2028, Weber III 7035, VF, attractive style, well centered and struck on a tight flan, nice green patina, light marks, weight 4.410 g, maximum diameter 17.7 mm, die axis 180o, Phrygia, Apameia (Dinar, Turkey) mint, 11 Aug 117 - 10 Jul 138 A.D.; obverse AY KAI TP A∆PIANOC, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, seen from the front; reverse MAPCY/AC (upward on left last two letters in left field), AΠAME/ΩN (downward on right, last two letters in right field), satyr Marsyas walking right, nude but for nebris (skin of a fawn) tied on his neck and flying behind, playing Athena's double flute; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 92 (2 Aug 2020), lot 520; $220.00 (180.40)


Thasos, Thrace, c. 412 - 404 B.C.

|Thasos|, |Thasos,| |Thrace,| |c.| |412| |-| |404| |B.C.||drachm|
During the period when this coin was minted there was much chaos on the island. Thasos had revolted against their Athenian aggressors and was subsequently occupied by the Spartans (Lacedaemonians). In the following years Thasos was occupied by one or the other of the two opposing powers and did not regain freedom until the Battle of Cynoscephalae in 197 B.C. Only drachms were struck in this late and final issue of the satyr and nymph type. Despite the chaos of the time and the archaized punch reverse, the obverse dies were engraved in elegant fine classical style.
SH87191. Silver drachm, Le Rider Thasiennes 8; HGC 6 336 (R1); Svoronos HPM -; SNG Cop -, aEF, superb classical style, dark old cabinet toning, some die wear/rust, scattered porosity, light bumps and marks, weight 3.438 g, maximum diameter 16.7 mm, Thasos mint, 5th type, c. 412 - 404 B.C.; obverse nude ithyphallic satyr kneeling-running right, carrying in his arms a struggling nymph, he is balding and is crowned with an ivy wreath, her hair is rolled and she wears a long chiton, her right arm is behind his back; reverse pebbled quadripartite square punch; ex Shanna Schmidt Numismatics; ex Nomos AG, obolos 8 (2 Dec 2017), lot 157; ex W. F. Stoecklin Collection, Amriswil, Switzerland; ex Bank Leu, Zurich (prior to 1975); rare, last satyr and nymph type, final issue struck only as a drachm!; SOLD


Thasos, Thrace, c. 480 - 463 B.C.

|Thasos|, |Thasos,| |Thrace,| |c.| |480| |-| |463| |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.
GA87298. Silver stater, SNG Cop 1013; Svoronos HPM p. 97, 12, pl. X, 21; McClean 4198; Franke-Hirmer 436; BMC Thrace p. 218, 28; HGC 6 331, gVF, well centered and struck, light tone, die wear, weight 8.833 g, maximum diameter 23.1 mm, Thasos mint, c. 480 - 463 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 lines, she wears a long chiton, her palm is facing, Θ (Thasos) below; reverse quadripartite incuse square; ex Steven Battelle, ex Harlan J. Berk, buy or bid sale 198 (7 Jul 2016), lot 74; rare with Θ; SOLD







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Catalog current as of Tuesday, September 21, 2021.
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