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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; $3850.00 (3542.00)


Roman Republic, Anonymous, c. 280 B.C.

|before| |211| |B.C.|, |Roman| |Republic,| |Anonymous,| |c.| |280| |B.C.||triens|
The triens (plural trientes) was an Ancient Roman bronze coin produced during the Roman Republic valued at one-third of an as. HUGE 50.5 mm and 83.3 gram bronze!
SH110921. Aes grave (cast) triens, Crawford 14/3 var. (pellets below dolphin); Thurlow-Vecchi 3a var. (same); Haeberlin pl. 39, 15 var. (same); HN Italy 270 var. (same); Sydenham 10, VF, dark green patina, earthen deposits, a few flan flaws, weight 83.342 g, maximum diameter 50.5 mm, die axis 270o, Rome mint, heavy series, c. 280 B.C.; obverse fulmen (thunderbolt), four pellets (mark of value) divided across field; reverse dolphin swimming right, four pellets (mark of value) above; ex CNG auction 90 (23 May 2012), lot 1278; ex L.C. Aes Grave Collection; this coin is the only specimen on Coin Archives and the only specimen known to FORVM with the pellets above the dolphin, HUGE 50.5 mm and 83.3 gram bronze!; extremely rare variant; $2250.00 (2070.00)


Roman, Bronze Krater Handle Ornamented with Lions, c. 1st - 3rd Century A.D.

|Metal| |Antiquities|, |Roman,| |Bronze| |Krater| |Handle| |Ornamented| |with| |Lions,| |c.| |1st| |-| |3rd| |Century| |A.D.|
Click here to see the line drawing of Catalogue des bronzes antiques de la Bibliothque National no. 1446, a nearly identical handle in the Bibliothque nationale de France published in 1895.
AM23903. Roman bronze krater handle; cf. BnF Bronzes 1446, Superb, about as made with the addition of an an attractive green patina, c. 1st - 3rd Century A.D.; 12 cm (4 7/8") tall, on the upper part, which would have been attached atop the rim of the vessel: a lion's head faces inward, its back arching above, between two lions lying in opposite directions, on the lower part: acanthus and scrolls between two snakes with heads upward, ex Griffin Gallery of Ancient Art (Boca Raton FL); $2100.00 (1932.00)


Nero, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D.

|Nero|, |Nero,| |13| |October| |54| |-| |9| |June| |68| |A.D.||sestertius|
A decursio was a military exercise, by which Roman soldiers were taught to make long marches in a given time, under arms and without quitting their ranks. They sometimes consisted of a mock fight between two divisions. Augustus and subsequently Hadrian ordered that the infantry and cavalry were to march out three times a month ten miles from the camp and ten miles back, fully armed and equipped. Decursio on this coin probably refers Nero's participation in mock military maneuvers in the circus.
SL111603. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC I 168 (S); BMCRE I p. 226, 142; BnF II -; Hunter I -; SRCV I -, ANACS VF30 (7432075, says Lugdunum mint in error), dark spots are where the plastic holder is in contact with the coin, weight 27.15 g, maximum diameter 35.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 66 A.D.; obverse NERO CLAVD CAESAR AVG GER P M TR P IMP P P, laureate head left; reverse DECVRSIO, Nero and a soldier on horseback prancing right, Nero bear headed, wearing cuirass and short tunic, and holds spear in right hand, soldier, on far side and slightly behind, holds vexillum in right over shoulder, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking high across field; ex Classical Coins, ANACS| Verify; $1080.00 (993.60)


Agrippina Senior, b. 14 B.C., d. 33 A.D., Wife of Germanicus, Mother of Caligula and Agrippa Jr.

|Agrippina| |Sr.|, |Agrippina| |Senior,| |b.| |14| |B.C.,| |d.| |33| |A.D.,| |Wife| |of| |Germanicus,| |Mother| |of| |Caligula| |and| |Agrippa| |Jr.||sestertius|
The carpentum was a type of state carriage, with two wheels, and commonly drawn by a pair of mules. The privilege of riding in a carpentum in public festivals was sometimes granted to females of the imperial family. Agrippina's, carriage on the reverse of this coin, was very richly adorned with painting or carving on the panels, and the cover was supported by caryatides on the corners. When Caligula instituted games and other solemnities in honor of his deceased mother Agrippina, her carpentum went in the procession (Suet. Calig. 13).
RB112052. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC I Gaius 55, BMCRE I Caligula 81, Cohen I 1, BnF II Caligula 128, Hunter I Gaius 36, SRCV I 1827, VF, broad flan, green patina with some porosity and an area of encrustation, weight 25.607 g, maximum diameter 36.1 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, posthumous, 37 - 41 A.D.; obverse AGRIPPINA M F MAT C CAESARIS AVGVSTI, draped bust right, her hair tied in queue in back and one lock falling down side of neck; reverse S P Q R / MEMORIAE / AGRIPPINAE, carpentum drawn by two mules left; ex CGB Numismatique; $990.00 (910.80)


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

|Persian| |Rule|, |Persian| |Empire,| |Samaria,| |c.| |375| |-| |332| |B.C.||ma'ah-obol|
"Perhaps this person is the Sanballat II referred to by Josephus as the one who "had been sent to Samaria as satrap by Darius the last king." -- Gide to Biblical Coins, p. 85, by David Hendin
JD110670. Silver ma'ah-obol, cf. Meshorer-Qedar 52, Sofaer 70 - 71, Hendin 6039 (RR), HGC 10 410 (R2), SNG ANS - (all with different style), gVF, toned, centered on a tight flan, mildly etched surfaces, weight 0.706 g, maximum diameter 8.9 mm, die axis 180o, Samaria (Sebastia, West Bank) mint, c. 375 - 332 B.C.; obverse head of the Persian great king right, wearing crenelated crown; reverse lion left, square border of dots, Aramaic SN (Sanballat II?) above (off flan), within an incuse square; ex Gorny & Mosch auction 289 (10 Oct 2022), lot 428; ex Gert Cleff Collection (Wuppertal); ex Gorny & Mosch auction 142 (10 Oct 2005), lot 1667; rare; $600.00 (552.00)


Western Asiatic, Bronze Recumbent Lion, 6th - 5th Century B.C.

|Western| |Asiatic| |Antiquities|, |Western| |Asiatic,| |Bronze| |Recumbent| |Lion,| |6th| |-| |5th| |Century| |B.C.|NEW
 
AB23907. Bronze recumbent lion, cf. Mildenberg Collection 105; striated forelegs, notched ruff, grooved whiskers, and crosshatched tufted tail, Superb, cm 6.7 cm (2 1/2") long, cm 2.9 cm (1 1/8") high, comes with a custom Lucite stand as shown, ex Griffin Gallery of Ancient Art (Boca Raton FL); ex Sotheby's New York auction, 31 May 1997, lot 363 (Sotheby's auction catalog included); $520.00 (478.40)


Larissa, Thessaly, Greece, c. 356 - 320 B.C.

|Thessaly|, |Larissa,| |Thessaly,| |Greece,| |c.| |356| |-| |320| |B.C.||drachm|
When Larissa ceased minting the federal coins it shared with other Thessalian towns and adopted its own coinage in the late fifth century B.C., it chose local types for its coins. The obverse depicted the local fountain nymph Larissa, for whom the town was named, probably inspired by the famous coins of Kimon depicting the Syracusan nymph Arethusa. The reverse depicted a horse in various poses.
GS111232. Silver drachm, cf. BCD Thessaly 1432, BCD Thessaly II 316 ff., SNG Cop 121; HGC 4 454, VF, toned, scratches, encrustations, rev. off center, weight 4.820 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 315o, Larissa mint, c. 356 - 320 B.C.; obverse head of nymph Larissa facing slightly left, wearing pendant earring and necklace, hair is combed back behind ampyx; reverse horse crouching right, left foreleg raised, preparing to lie down, ΛAPIΣ/AIΩN in two lines above and in exergue; $325.00 (299.00)


Ephesos, Ionia (or perhaps Bargylia, Caria or Amyntas, King of Galatia), c. 2nd - 1st Century B.C.

|Ephesos|, |Ephesos,| |Ionia| |(or| |perhaps| |Bargylia,| |Caria| |or| |Amyntas,| |King| |of| |Galatia),| |c.| |2nd| |-| |1st| |Century| |B.C.||trihemiobol|
The type is most often attributed to Ephesos, but the style and denomination/weight do not strongly support any link to that city. NGC tags for the type note the origin may be Bargylia, Caria. The style certainly fits Bargylia better than Ephesos. The consignor of this coin, a professional numismatist, believes it was struck under Amyntas, King of Galatia, 37 - 25 B.C. Amyntas also issued Artemis and stag types.
GS98643. Silver trihemiobol, cf. SNG Davis 270, SNG Cop -, SNG Kayhan -, SNGvA -, BMC Galatia -, aVF, toned, light marks and scratches, weight 1.337 g, maximum diameter 12.3 mm, die axis 0o, Ephesos mint, c. 2nd - 1st Century B.C.; obverse draped bust of Artemis right, quiver at shoulder; reverse forepart of stag right, head turned back left; extremely rare; $310.00 (285.20)


Egyptian, Late Period, Steatite Scarab, 664 - 332 B.C.

|Scarabs|, |Egyptian,| |Late| |Period,| |Steatite| |Scarab,| |664| |-| |332| |B.C.|
 
AS96352. Egyptian scarab, buff carved steatite, lion running right with tail up, 8.7mm long, Collectible, attractive, from Alex G. Malloy with his certificate of authenticity; $250.00 (230.00)




  



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