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

Medusa, Gorgoneion & Perseus on Ancient Coins
Uncertain, c. 5th Century B.C.

|Archaic| |Origins|, |Uncertain,| |c.| |5th| |Century| |B.C.||obol|
 
GA98579. Silver obol, VF, toned, light deposits, etched surfaces, weight 0.691 g, maximum diameter 9.2 mm, die axis 0o, c. 5th century B.C.; obverse facing head of Medusa (gorgoneion); reverse irregular incuse punch; ex CNG e-auction 494 (23 Jun 2021), lot 258; very rare; $100.00 SALE PRICE $90.00 ON RESERVE


Seleukid Kingdom, Seleukos I Nikator, 312 - 281 B.C., Sardes, Lydia

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Seleukos| |I| |Nikator,| |312| |-| |281| |B.C.,| |Sardes,| |Lydia||AE| |14|
The Indian humped bull type, along with his well-known anchor symbol, was used only by Nikator. The Indian humped bull on the reverse recalls when Nikator, with only his bare-hands, stopped a similar bull that had broken free while Alexander the Great was sacrificing it at the altar. Seleucus captured Sardes from Lysimachus in 282 B.C. This type has been attributed to Sardes based on find locations.
GY97882. Bronze AE 14, Houghton-Lorber I 6(2)b, Newell WSM 1628, HGC 9 107a (S), SNG Spaer 69 var. (monogram behind bull), SNG Cop 45 var. (same), aVF, green patina, slight porosity, tight flan, weight 2.293 g, maximum diameter 14.3 mm, die axis 270o, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, 282 - 281 B.C.; obverse winged head of Medusa right; reverse humped bull butting right, BAΣIΛEΩΣ (king) above, ΣEΛEYKOY in exergue, monogram between hind legs; from a Norwegian collection; scarce; $80.00 (€65.60)
 


Kamarina, Sicily, c. 420 - 405 B.C.

|Kamarina|, |Kamarina,| |Sicily,| |c.| |420| |-| |405| |B.C.||onkia|
A Gorgoneion was a horror-creating apotropaic Gorgon head pendant. The name derives from the Greek word gorgós, which means "dreadful." The Gorgons were three sisters who had hair of living, venomous snakes, and a horrifying face that turned those who saw it to stone. Stheno and Euryale were immortal, but their sister Medusa was not, and was slain by Perseus. Zeus, Athena, Hellenistic kings and Roman emperors wore Gorgoneion for protection. Images of the Gorgons were also put upon objects and buildings for protection. A Gorgon image is at the center of the pediment of the temple at Corfu, the oldest stone pediment in Greece from about 600 B.C.
GB69171. Bronze onkia, Calciati III, p. 47, 7 (same dies); Westermark-Jenkins, type A, 180; HGC 2 552 (R1); BMC Sicily -; SNG Cop -; SNG ANS -; SNG Munchen -, EF, light cleaning scratches, weight 1.295 g, maximum diameter 12.3 mm, die axis 270o, Kamarina (near Scoglitti, Sicily, Italy) mint, c. 420 - 405 B.C.; obverse facing head of Medusa (gorgoneion), smooth neat hair tied with ribbon, symmetrical locks on forehead, eyes looking left, tongue not protruding; reverse KAMA (upward on left), owl standing right on right leg, head facing, lizard with head down in left talon, pellet (mark of value) in exergue, barley kernel (control symbol) right; rare; SOLD


Lycia(?), 5th Century B.C.

|Lycia|, |Lycia(?),| |5th| |Century| |B.C.||hemidrachm|
Although unlisted in the major references, this hemidrachm type was first published by 1890. Five examples are listed on Coin Archives, which were offered at auction in the last two decades.

The chimera (also chimaera) was, according to Greek mythology, a monstrous fire-breathing creature of Lycia in Anatolia, composed of the parts of three animals - a lion, a snake, and a goat. Usually depicted as a lion, with the head of a goat arising from its back, and a tail that ended in a snake's head, the Chimera was one of the offspring of Typhon and Echidna and a sibling of such monsters as Cerberus and the Lernaean Hydra. The term chimera has come to describe any mythical or fictional animal with parts taken from various animals, or to describe anything perceived as wildly imaginative or implausible.
GA84765. Silver hemidrachm, Boston MFA 2325; Greenwell 1897, p. 281, 2; Six Monnaies 1890, p. 235, 16bis; BMC -; SNG Cop -; SNGvA -; Rosen -; Klein -, VF, light marks, obverse off center, reverse struck with damaged die (left side of incuse), weight 1.946 g, maximum diameter 11.6 mm, Anatolia, uncertain mint, 5th century B.C.; obverse Chimera standing right, right foreleg raised, jaws open; reverse gorgoneion (facing head of Medusa), snaky locks, tongue protruding, within incuse square; extremely rare; SOLD


Apollonia Pontika, Thrace, c. 480 - 450 B.C.

|Apollonia| |Pontica|, |Apollonia| |Pontika,| |Thrace,| |c.| |480| |-| |450| |B.C.||drachm|
A gorgoneion was a horror-creating apotropaic Gorgon head pendant. The name derives from the Greek word gorgós, which means "dreadful." The Gorgons were three sisters who had hair of living, venomous snakes, and a horrifying face that turned those who saw it to stone. Stheno and Euryale were immortal, but their sister Medusa was not, and was slain by Perseus. Zeus, Athena, Hellenistic kings and Roman emperors wore Gorgoneion for protection. Images of the Gorgons were also put upon objects and buildings for protection. A Gorgon image is at the center of the pediment of the temple at Corfu, the oldest stone pediment in Greece from about 600 B.C.
GS91395. Silver drachm, Topalov Apollonia p. 586, 41; SNG BM 153; SNG Cop 454; SGCV I 1655; HGC 3.2 1323, VF, desirable early archaic type, toned, light marks, reverse die wear, typical ragged flan, weight 3.201 g, maximum diameter 14.2 mm, die axis 135o, Apollonia Pontica (Sozopol, Bulgaria) mint, c. 480/478 - 450 B.C.; obverse anchor flukes up, curved stock, crayfish left, A right; reverse archaic Ionian style gorgoneion (facing head of Medusa), snakes for hair, large open mouth, visible teeth, long protruding tongue; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; SOLD







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