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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Animals| ▸ |Bull or Cow||View Options:  |  |  | 

Cattle on Ancient Coins
Thourioi, Lucania, Italy, c. 443 - 410 B.C.

|Italy|, |Thourioi,| |Lucania,| |Italy,| |c.| |443| |-| |410| |B.C.||didrachm|NEW
Nearly 70 years after Sybaris was destroyed by the Crotoniats, a new colony was founded on the site on the Gulf of Taranto. Soon after, on the advice of an oracle, the settlers moved a short distance away near a fountain named Thuria, after which the new city was named. The head of Athena is probably that of the sea-goddess Athena Skyletria. The bull may have been adopted from the archaic coins of Sybaris and symbolize the river Krathis or it may represent the rushing waters of the fountain Thuria from which the city took its name. This denomination is described as a stater, nomos or didrachm in various references and sales listings.
SH96811. Silver didrachm, cf. SNG ANS 876; SNG Cop 1412; HGC 1 1258 (R2); HN Italy 1775; Pozzi 221; Jörgensen p. 168, 3 & pl. VIII, 4, VF, high relief, attractive style, well centered on a tight flan, flow lines, die wear, graffito on reverse, weight 7.918 g, maximum diameter 20.1 mm, die axis 325o, Thourioi mint, c. 443 - 410 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right in crested Athenian helmet ornamented with an olive wreath, not control letter visible; reverse bull walking left with head lowered, ΘOYPIΩN above, tunny fish left in exergue, no control letter visible; very rare; $900.00 (€828.00)
 


Lydian Kingdom, Kroisos, c. 561 - 546 B.C.

|Lydian| |Kingdom|, |Lydian| |Kingdom,| |Kroisos,| |c.| |561| |-| |546| |B.C.||siglos| |(half-stater)|NEW
The Lydian King Croesus minted the first silver and gold coins. He was famous for his extraordinary wealth, but after his defeat by Cyrus in 546 B.C. Lydia became a Persian satrapy. The Persian conquerors of Lydia continued to strike the same Croesus' silver half siglos and gold stater types. This coin is an early example issued under Croesus. We can tell it is an early example because the lion and the bull were struck separately, with one punch at a time. Later examples appear to have been struck with single punch only made to look like two separate punches.
SH96818. Silver siglos (half-stater), BMC Lydia p. 7, 45, pl. 1, 18; SNG Cop 456; SNG Kayhan 1024; SNG Ashmolean 762; SNGvA 2877; Rosen 663; SGCV II 3420, gF, scratches, polished, weight 5.209 g, maximum diameter 15.2 mm, probably Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, c. 561 - 546 B.C.; obverse on the left, forepart of a roaring lion right, confronting, on the right, the forepart of a bull left, pellet above lion's head; reverse two incuse square punches, of unequal size, side by side; ex Numismatic Fine Arts mail bid sale (18 Dec 1987), lot 362; $900.00 (€828.00)
 


Korkyra (Corfu), Island off Epirus, Greece, c. 433 - 360 B.C.

|Epirus|, |Korkyra| |(Corfu),| |Island| |off| |Epirus,| |Greece,| |c.| |433| |-| |360| |B.C.||stater|
Corfu is a picturesque island near the coasts of Albania and Greece. The advantageous trade position allowed Corcyra to play an important role in Greek history. After the Byzantine Empire gradually collapsed it was ruled by Venice from 1401 to 1797, during which time the Turks laid several sieges against its impregnable Byzantine castle.
GS95931. Silver stater, Fried Group III; BMC Thessaly p. 118, 64; SNG Munchen 634; Dewing 1453; HGC 6 35 (R2); SNG Cop -; SNG Tubingen -, Choice VF, well centered and struck, attractive old collection toning, scratches, obverse die wear, weight 10.871 g, maximum diameter 21.2 mm, die axis 45o, Korkyra (Corfu) mint, c. 433 - 375/60 B.C.; obverse cow left, head turned back toward suckling calf standing right below; reverse vertical double stellate pattern, divided by double line, within square double linear frame, K right, all within a circular linear border; from the Errett Bishop Collection; rare; $800.00 (€736.00)
 


Claudius, 25 January 41 - 13 October 54 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

|Roman| |Egypt|, |Claudius,| |25| |January| |41| |-| |13| |October| |54| |A.D.,| |Roman| |Provincial| |Egypt||diobol|
In 41 A.D. Claudius made Agrippa king of Judea. He also restored religious freedom to Jews throughout the empire, but prohibited Jews in Rome from proselytizing.
RX92579. Bronze diobol, RPC I 5149 (2 spec.), SNG Cop 65, SNG Milan 645, Kampmann 12.40, Emmett 77/4 (R5), Dattari-Savio -, Milne -, SNG Cop -, BMC Alexandria -, F, brown tone, scratches, scattered spots of corrosion, weight 7.894 g, maximum diameter 24.5 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 43 - 28 Aug 44 A.D.; obverse TI KΛAY KAI CEBAC ΓEPMA, laureate head right, star below chin; reverse bull butting right, AYTOKPA above, L ∆ (year 4) in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; extremely rare; $130.00 (€119.60)
 


Caria (Uncertain City), c. 460 - 440 B.C.

|Other| |Caria|, |Caria| |(Uncertain| |City),| |c.| |460| |-| |440| |B.C.||hemiobol|
Troxell notes that hoard provinces indicate this type was struck in Caria, however, the issuing city remains unknown. SNG Kayhan identifies the denomination as a Milesian standard tetartemorion. SNG Keckman lists it as a Persic hemiobol.
GS92103. Silver hemiobol, Troxell Carians 11C, SNG Keckman 913 ff.; cf. SNG Kayhan 968 ff. (no star), SNG Tüb 3329 (same), BMC Caria -, F/VF, obverse off center, light marks, light encrustations, weight 0.265 g, maximum diameter 6.9 mm, die axis 0o, Carian mint, c. 460 - 440 B.C.; obverse foreparts of two bulls confronted; reverse forepart of bull left, star below; ex Civitas Galleries; scarce; $120.00 (€110.40)
 


Caria (Uncertain City), c. 460 - 440 B.C.

|Other| |Caria|, |Caria| |(Uncertain| |City),| |c.| |460| |-| |440| |B.C.||hemiobol|
Troxell notes that hoard provinces indicate this type was struck in Caria, however, the issuing city remains unknown. SNG Kayhan identifies the denomination as a Milesian standard tetartemorion. SNG Keckman lists it as a Persic hemiobol.
GS89049. Silver hemiobol, Troxell Carians 11C, SNG Keckman 913 ff.; cf. SNG Kayhan 968 ff. (no star), SNG Tüb 3329 (same), VF, toned, light marks, obverse slightly off center, light marks, small edge crack, weight 0.340 g, maximum diameter 7.9 mm, die axis 180o, Carian mint, c. 460 - 440 B.C.; obverse foreparts of two bulls confronted; reverse forepart of bull left, star below; ex Forum (2014); scarce; $85.00 (€78.20)
 


Magnesia ad Maeandrum, Ionia, c. 400 - 350 B.C.

|Magnesia| |ad| |Meandrum|, |Magnesia| |ad| |Maeandrum,| |Ionia,| |c.| |400| |-| |350| |B.C.||tetartemorion|NEW
Magnesia ad Maeandrum was an inland city of Ionia, located on a small tributary of the Maeander River about 12 miles southeast of Ephesus. "..the temple of Artemis Leukophryene, which in the size of its shrine and in the number of its votive offerings is inferior to the temple at Ephesos, but in the harmony and skill shown in the structure of the sacred enclosure is far superior to it. And in size it surpasses all the sacred enclosures in Asia except two, that at Ephesos (to Artemis) and that at Didymoi (to Apollo)" -- Strabo, Geography 14. 1. 40.
GB96769. Silver tetartemorion, SNG Kayhan 399 var. (no ethnic on rev.), BMC Ionia-, SNG Cop -, SNGvA -, SNG Tüb -, SNG Mün -, Winterthur -, Klein -, Weber -, VF, toned, a little rough, small edge split, weight 0.189 g, maximum diameter 6.2 mm, die axis 0o, Magnesia ad Maeandrum (near Tekin, Turkey) mint, c. 400 - 350 B.C.; obverse head of Apollo right, hair in curls, M-A (start of ethnic) flanking neck; reverse bull butting right, ΓNH (ending of ethnic) above, maeander pattern below exergue line; scarce; $80.00 (€73.60)
 


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

|Roman| |Egypt|, |Hadrian,| |11| |August| |117| |-| |10| |July| |138| |A.D.,| |Roman| |Provincial| |Egypt||diobol|
Ptolemy III built the largest and most magnificent temple in Alexandria, the Serapeum. Almost 400 years later, Hadrian rebuilt the temple. A life-size, black basalt statue of the Apis bull inscribed with a dedication of Hadrian was discovered in the underground vaults of the Serapeum. It is now in the Greco-Roman Museum in Alexandria. Perhaps it is that statue depicted on this coin.
RX92601. Bronze diobol, RPC Online III 5856 (9 spec.); Dattari 2007; BMC Alexandria p. , 809; Kampmann 32.560; Emmett 1114/17 (R1); Geissen 1067 var. (seen from behind), aF, porous, marks, scratches, edge splits, weight 7.747 g, maximum diameter 24.1 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 132 - 28 Aug 133 A.D.; obverse AVT KAIC TPAIAN - A∆PIANOC CEB, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, seen from the front; reverse Apis bull standing right on ground line, L IZ (year 17) above, altar(?) to right; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $50.00 (€46.00)
 


Pergamon, Mysia, c. 310 - 284 B.C.

|Pergamon|, |Pergamon,| |Mysia,| |c.| |310| |-| |284| |B.C.||AE| |16|
Pergamon, Mysia was located to the northwest of the modern city of Bergama, Turkey, 16 miles (26 km) from the Aegean Sea on a promontory on the north side of the Caicus (Bakircay) River. It was the capital of the Kingdom of Pergamon under the Attalid dynasty, 281-133 B.C. Pergamon is cited in the book of Revelation as one of the seven churches of Asia.
GB95289. Bronze AE 16, SNG BnF 1568 ff., SNG Cop 331 var. (ethnic below), SNGvA -, BMC Mysia -, F, green patina, scratches, porosity, pitting, encrustations, weight 3.864 g, maximum diameter 16.1 mm, die axis 90o, Pergamon (Bergama, Turkey) mint, c. 310 - 284 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right, wearing crested Corinthian helmet; reverse head and neck of bull right, monogram right, ΠEPΓA above, thunderbolt below; $50.00 (€46.00)
 







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REFERENCES|

Molinari, N.J. & N. Sisci. Potamikon: Sinews of Acheloios. A Comprehensive Catalog of the Bronze Coinage of the Man-Faced Bull, With Essays on Origin and Identity. (Oxford, 2016).

Catalog current as of Sunday, January 24, 2021.
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