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

Animals on Ancient Coins

Browse all our coins and antiquities depicting animals below or use the menu on the left to select specific types of animals.

Persian Empire, Samaria, c. 375 - 332 B.C.

|Persian| |Rule|, |Persian| |Empire,| |Samaria,| |c.| |375| |-| |332| |B.C.||drachm|
Samaria was the capital of the northern Kingdom of Israel in the 9th - 8th centuries B.C. The Assyrians took the city and the northern kingdom in 722/721 B.C. The city did not recover until the Persian period, the mid 5th century. The tensions between the ruling Sanballat family and Jerusalem under the governorship of Nehemiah are documented in the Bible (Ezra 4:10, Neh 4:78). Samaria became Hellenistic in 332 B.C. Thousands of Macedonian soldiers were settled there following a revolt. The Judaean king John Hyrcanus destroyed Samaria in 108 B.C., but it was resettled under Alexander Jannaeus. In 63 B.C., Samaria was annexed to the Roman province of Syria. Herod the Great fortified the city and renamed it Sebaste. The ruins are located in the Samaria mountains almost 10 km to the northwest of Nablus.
JD99500. Silver drachm, Meshorer-Qedar 30; Samuels 6; Mildenberg Bes pl. 1, 5; Sofaer -; SNG ANS -; Hendin -; HGC 10 -, VF, centered, toned, edge split, a little rough, weight 2.565 g, maximum diameter 17.7 mm, die axis 0o, Samaria (Sebastia, West Bank) mint, c. 375 - 332 B.C.; obverse horned head of creature facing (griffin?) within square guilloche-pattern border; reverse winged and horned griffin recumbent right, Aramaic dalat (for Delayah?) above left, square guilloche-pattern border, all within an incuse square; extremely rare; $4750.00 SALE PRICE $4275.00


Canaanite, Palestine or Syria, Terracotta Figure of Baal on Horse, 1900 - 1600 B.C.

|Terracotta| |Antiquities|, |Canaanite,| |Palestine| |or| |Syria,| |Terracotta| |Figure| |of| |Baal| |on| |Horse,| |1900| |-| |1600| |B.C.|NEW
Muscarella notes of the very similar male figure in Ladders to Heaven, "The sylizations of the facial features and the headdress come closest to those seen on heads of figures found in the Hama Level H. Apparently similar fragmentary seated figures also appear at Hamma Level H, ALalakh Level, V, Elbla and at other sites in Palestine and Syria, sometimes with one or two similar implements held in the hands. Whether these implements have divine or royal significance is unclear, but they are surely indicative of status. The fact that several such figurines exist in clay, suggests to this writer that they emulate a well-known cult image holding the same symbols."

Curiously, in "Iron Age Figurines from Philistia," David Ben-Shlomo writes, terracotta horses and horses with riders are "especially abundant in Judaean sites." These figures are, however, of a very different style, and much later, from Iron Age II and the Persian period 1000 - 330 B.C.
AT23904. cf. Muscarella Ladders to Heaven 201 (very similar male figure on 4-legged stool) and 202 (very similar horse with saddle, no rider), near Choice, complete, right rear leg of horse reattached, museum quality, very rare, extremely rare complete, terracotta male figure (probably Baal - a god) seated facing on horse right, bearded, eyes and ears of pierced pellets, wearing ankle length garment and headdress with vertical incisions ornamenting brim, holding implement (axe?) in right hand, horse with saddle and pierced pellet eyes, from an Israeli dealer; $850.00 SALE PRICE $765.00


Poseidonia, Lucania, Italy, 420 - 410 B.C.

|Italy|, |Poseidonia,| |Lucania,| |Italy,| |420| |-| |410| |B.C.||nomos|
Poseidonia was founded around the end of the 7th century B.C. by Greek colonists from Sybaris. In the fifth century B.C., Poseidonia was conquered by the Lucani. Archaeological evidence indicates Greek and Oscan cultures thrived together. In 273 B.C., after the Poseidonians had sided with Pyrrhus against Rome, Poseidonia was refounded as the Roman city of Paestum.
GS98741. Silver nomos, Noe Poseidoni 11 (O10/R11); SNG Lloyd 473 (same dies); SNG ANS 669; BMC Italy p. 269, 34; SNG Cop 1287 var. (Γ obv. lower left), VF, toning, flow lines, light marks, die wear, small die cracks, weight 7.723 g, maximum diameter 22.1 mm, die axis 180o, Poseidonia (Paestum, Italy) mint, 420 - 410 B.C.; obverse ΠOMEΣ (downward on right), Poseidon striding right, beardless, nude but for chlamys falling over his shoulders, extending his left arm before him, brandishing a trident overhead in right hand, no series letter, three row dot border; reverse bull standing left, ΠOΣEI∆A (retrograde) above, cockle shell below bull and above exergue line, exergue line comprised of a line a dots between two solid lines, all within a round incuse; ex Numismatic Fine Arts (Beverly Hills, CA); $600.00 SALE PRICE $540.00


Julius Caesar, Imperator and Dictator, October 49 - 15 March 44 B.C., Ancient Counterfeit

|Julius| |Caesar|, |Julius| |Caesar,| |Imperator| |and| |Dictator,| |October| |49| |-| |15| |March| |44| |B.C.,| |Ancient| |Counterfeit||denarius|
 
RS99186. Fouree silver plated denarius, cf. Crawford 443/1, Sydenham 1006, RSC I 49, Sear CRI 9, BMCRR Gaul 27, Russo RBW 1557, SRCV I 1399 (silver, official, military mint, 49 B.C.), VF, toned, areas of core exposure, scratches, weight 2.752 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 225o, unofficial, counterfeiter's mint, c. 49 B.C.; obverse elephant walking right trampling on a carnyx (a Celtic war trumpet) ornamented to look like a dragon, CAESAR below; reverse implements of the pontificate: culullus (cup) or simpulum (ladle), aspergillum (sprinkler), securis (sacrificial ax), and apex (priest's hat); ex CNG e-auction 500 (22 Sep 2021), 735 (part of); ex Mercury Group Collection; ex Herakles Numismatics (16 July 2007); $600.00 SALE PRICE $540.00


Sybaris, Lucania, Italy, c. 550 - 510 B.C.

|Italy|, |Sybaris,| |Lucania,| |Italy,| |c.| |550| |-| |510| |B.C.||nomos|
The origin of this unusual design is difficult to pinpoint (Rutter 1997). It served no practical purpose in facilitating the stacking of coins, since even with matching images in relief and negative, irregularities would have hindered this method of storage. It has been suggested that Pythagoras, who lived in all three of the cities that pioneered incuse coins and died in Metapontum itself, introduced the technique in an attempt to realize in concrete form a confrontation of opposites that was characteristic of the Pythagorean system of thought. Despite the poetic appeal of this suggestion, it seems highly unlikely, considering that the incuse technique appears to have been adopted about twenty years before Pythagoras made it to southern Italy.
SH98006. Silver nomos, Dewing 405, SNG ANS 817, HN Italy 1729, HGC I 1231 (S), F, porous, scratches, weight 6.930 g, maximum diameter 27.9 mm, die axis 0o, Sybaris mint, c. 550 - 510 B.C.; obverse bull standing left, head turned back right, YM above, dotted border between two circles; reverse incuse of obverse; from the CEB Collection, ex Frank L. Kovacs; scarce; $510.00 SALE PRICE $459.00


Eastern Danubian Celts, 306 - 281 B.C.

|Celtic| |&| |Tribal|, |Eastern| |Danubian| |Celts,| |306| |-| |281| |B.C.||tetradrachm|
The earliest Celtic imitations of Philip II tetradrachms are very similar to the Macedonian originals. It isn't always completely clear if a coin is a Celtic imitative or an oddly engraved Macedonian original. Fairly quickly the imitative inscriptions were shortened and then blundered. Over time the head of Zeus was increasingly "Celticized" and eventually both the head of Zeus and the horseman devolved into barely recognizable abstract forms. This coin with a rather exotic head of Zeus and odd (female?) rider on the reverse, could never be confused with the Macedonian prototype.
CE98735. Silver tetradrachm, Lanz 590 (same dies); CCCBM I 28 and pl. XVIII S26; Pink 296 ff.; Gbl OTA 296, De la Tour 9870, VF, centered, radiating flow lines, toned, die wear, small cut above eye, weight 11.808 g, maximum diameter 24.1 mm, die axis 0o, tribal mint, 306 - 281 B.C.; obverse Celticized head of Zeus right; reverse naked youth (female?) on horse pacing left, vertical branch in left hand; derived from the Macedonian Kingdom tetradrachms of Philip II; from the CEB Collection; ex Numismatic Fine Arts (NFA) Winter Bid Sale (18 Dec 1987), lot 147; $450.00 SALE PRICE $405.00


Augustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D.

|Augustus|, |Augustus,| |16| |January| |27| |B.C.| |-| |19| |August| |14| |A.D.||denarius|NEW
Augustus' sun sign was Libra. We don't know why he selected the Capricorn as his emblem. Perhaps Capricorn was either his rising sign or his Moon sign. Popular astrology, of the newspaper kind, is sun sign astrology. The ancients tended to attach more importance to the Moon sign and rising signs. Perhaps Augustus selected the Capricorn because it is associated with stern moral authority.
RS99593. Silver denarius, RIC I 174, RSC I 147, BnF I 1403, BMCRE I 465, Giard Lyon 29, SRCV I -, VF, excellent portrait, iridescence around devices, scratches, weight 3.453 g, maximum diameter 17.5 mm, die axis 105o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 12 B.C.; obverse AVGVSTVS DIVI F, bare head right; reverse capricorn right, holding globe, IMP XI below; ex Roma Numismatics e-sale 95 (13 Apr 2022), lot 879; ex Z.P. Collection (Austria); scarce; $380.00 SALE PRICE $342.00


Vitellius, 2 January - 20 December 69 A.D., Ancient Counterfeit

|Vitellius|, |Vitellius,| |2| |January| |-| |20| |December| |69| |A.D.,| |Ancient| |Counterfeit||denarius|
"This refers to Vitellius' membership in the priestly college of the quindecimviri Sacris Faciundis, 'fifteen men for the conduct of sacred matters.' This body had care of the Sibylline prophecies and were famous for the opulence of their banquets, a feature of the priesthood which particularly appealed to the gluttonous emperor." -- David R. Sear, Roman Coins and Their Values
RS99193. Fouree silver plated denarius, cf. RIC I 109, RSC II 111, BMCRE I 39, BnF III 77, Hunter I 18, SRCV I 2201 (official, solid silver, Rome mint, legend variations), VF, toned, small plating breaks, tiny edge splits, weight 2.984 g, maximum diameter 18.1 mm, die axis 255o, unofficial, counterfeiter's mint, c. 69 A.D.; obverse A VITELLIVG GERM IMP AVO TR P (sic), laureate head right; reverse XV VIR CICR FAC (sic) (fifteen men for the conduct of sacred matters), tripod-lebes of Apollo, dolphin right on top, raven standing right on strut below lebes; ex CNG e-auction 500 (22 Sep 2021), 735 (part of); ex Mercury Group Collection, ex Mike Vosper (25 Jan 2005); $350.00 SALE PRICE $315.00


Commodus, March or April 177 - 31 December 192 A.D., Cius, Bithynia

|Bithynia|, |Commodus,| |March| |or| |April| |177| |-| |31| |December| |192| |A.D.,| |Cius,| |Bithynia||AE| |26|NEW
Cius was an ancient Greek city bordering the Propontis, now known as the Sea of Marmara, in Bithynia and in Mysia in modern northwestern Turkey, and had a long history, being mentioned by Herodotus, Xenophon, Aristotle, Strabo and Apollonius Rhodius.
RP99435. Bronze AE 26, RPC Online IV.1 11689 (1 specimen, this coin), otherwise unpublished, F, well centered, brown patina, porous/light corrosion, weight 4.386 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 225o, Cius, Bithynia (near Gemlik, Turkey) mint, 180 - 182 A.D.; obverse A K M AV KO ANTΩNI, laureate (and cuirassed?) bust of Commodus right, with short beard; reverse KIANΩN, Hygieia standing half right, head right, feeding snake in right hand, from patera in left hand; from the M. Arslan Collection, extremely rare - this is the only known specimen of the type; $300.00 SALE PRICE $270.00


Celts, Carpathian Region, The Dacian Costoboci(?), c. 2nd Century B.C., Imitative of Philip II of Macedonia

|Celtic| |&| |Tribal|, |Celts,| |Carpathian| |Region,| |The| |Dacian| |Costoboci(?),| |c.| |2nd| |Century| |B.C.,| |Imitative| |of| |Philip| |II| |of| |Macedonia||tetradrachm|
The Dacian Costoboci were an ancient people located, during the Roman imperial era, north of Dacia (probably north-east of Dacia), between the Carpathian Mountains and the river Dniester. During the Marcomannic Wars the Costoboci invaded the Roman empire in 170 or 171 A.D., pillaging its Balkan provinces as far as central Greece, until they were driven out by the Romans. Shortly afterwards, the Costoboci's territory was invaded and occupied by Vandal Hasdingi and the Costoboci disappeared from surviving historical sources, except for a mention by the late Roman Ammianus Marcellinus, writing around 400 A.D.
CE99269. Silver tetradrachm, Schnabelpferd type, imitative of Philip II of Macedon; CCCBM I 78 - 79; Gbl OTA pl. 28, 326/1; Lanz 666, VF, toned, marks, small spots of corrosion/encrustation, tight flan, domed obverse, weight 8.248 g, maximum diameter 20.6 mm, die axis 45o, northern Carpathian region mint, c. 2nd century B.C.; obverse Celticized laureate head of Zeus right; reverse Celticized naked youth on horse advancing left, "beak" horse head, rider reduced to dotted outline around curved line; $250.00 SALE PRICE $225.00




  



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