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

Hippocamp

The hippocampi or hippocampus (plural: hippocampi) is a mythological creature shared by Phoenician, Greek, and Etruscan mythology. It is typically depicted with a horse forepart and a coiling, scaly, fishlike hindquarter.

Tyre, Phoenicia, c. 302 - 301 B.C.

|Phoenicia|, |Tyre,| |Phoenicia,| |c.| |302| |-| |301| |B.C.|, |didrachm|
This era by which this type was dated is presumably that of Alexander the Great, starting with his conquest of the city in 332 B.C.
SH26477. Silver didrachm, BMC Phoenicia p. 232, 36, VF, weight 8.378 g, maximum diameter 21.4 mm, die axis 0o, Tyre mint, c. 302 - 301 B.C.; obverse bearded Melqart riding hippocamp with curled wing to right, waves and dolphin below; reverse owl standing right, head facing, crook and flail behind, date (year 30) in right field; SOLD


Tyre, Phoenicia, c. 332 - 306 B.C.

|Phoenicia|, |Tyre,| |Phoenicia,| |c.| |332| |-| |306| |B.C.|, |didrachm|
SH16906. Silver didrachm, BMC Phoenicia p. 231, 29; SNG Cop 307 var. (year), gVF+, weight 8.500 g, maximum diameter 22.2 mm, die axis 0o, Tyre mint, c. 330 - 329 B.C.; obverse bearded Melqart riding hippocamp with curled wing to right, waves and dolphin below; reverse owl standing right, head facing; crook and flail behind; date II (year 2) and Phoenician letter tsade in right fields; superb detail, obverse slighty off-center, on reverse lower 1/5 unstruck; SOLD


Taras, Tarentum, Calabria, Italy, c. 332 - 302 B.C.

|Italy|, |Taras,| |Tarentum,| |Calabria,| |Italy,| |c.| |332| |-| |302| |B.C.|, |nomos|
Taras, the only Spartan colony, was founded in 706 B.C. by the Partheniae ("sons of virgins"), sons of unmarried Spartan women and Perioeci (free men, but not citizens of Sparta). When they were forced to leave Greece, their leader, Phalanthos, consulted the oracle at Delphi and was told to make Taranto their home. They named the city Taras after the son of Poseidon and a local nymph, Satyrion. According to one legend, Phalanthos was rescued by a dolphin after a shipwreck near Delphi. Some descriptions of this and similar coin types identify the dolphin rider as Phalanthos. But Aristotle wrote that it was Taras, not Phalanthos, who was saved by a dolphin. On this coin the rider holds a trident, supporting Aristotle and suggesting he is the son of Poseidon. This symbol of the ancient Greek city is still the symbol of modern Taranto today.
SH05333. Silver nomos, HN 935, Vlasto 803, McGill 52 (obverse same dies)/51 (reverse same dies), Cote 241, VF, weight 7.85 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 45o, Taras (Taranto, Italy) mint, c. 332 - 302 B.C.; obverse horseman right wearing crested helmet on prancing horse, in left hand two spears, circular shield on left arm, in right long spear pointed downward, ∆AI below; reverse TAPAΣ right, Taras (or Phalanthos) riding left on a dolphin, trident in right hand resting on right shoulder, small round shield ornamented with a Hippocamp in left hand, ΦI upper left, murex shell below; ex Hess-Divo AG, Zurich; SOLD


Syracuse, Sicily, Dionysos I, 405 - 367 B.C.

|Syracuse|, |Syracuse,| |Sicily,| |Dionysos| |I,| |405| |-| |367| |B.C.|, |hemilitron|
Dionysius I was tyrant of Syracuse. He conquered several cities in Sicily and southern Italy, opposed Carthage's influence in Sicily and made Syracuse the most powerful of the Western Greek colonies. He was regarded by the ancients as an example of the worst kind of despot - cruel, suspicious and vindictive.
GI76358. Bronze hemilitron, Calciati II p. 76, 34 (c. 409 B.C.); HGC 2 1456 (c. 375 - 344 B.C.); BMC Sicily p. 187, 292; SNG ANS 426 ff. (end 5th c. B.C.); SNG Cop -, gVF, attractive style, tight flan, some light corrosion, weight 5.429 g, maximum diameter 18.0 mm, die axis 90o, Syracuse mint, c. 405 - 390 B.C.; obverse ΣYPA, head of Athena left, wearing Corinthian helmet, no ornament on helmet, no control symbols; reverse hippocamp left, no bridle; SOLD


Akragas, Sicily, c. 425 - 406 B.C.

|Akragas|, |Akragas,| |Sicily,| |c.| |425| |-| |406| |B.C.|, |hemilitron|
Located on a plateau overlooking Sicily's southern coast, Akragas was founded c. 582 B.C. by colonists from Gela. It grew rapidly, becoming second only to Syracuse in importance on Sicily but was sacked by Carthage in 406 B.C. and never fully recovered. It was renamed Agrigentum after it fell to Rome in 210 B.C.
GI76960. Bronze hemilitron, Calciati I p. 173, 28; BMC Sicily p. 16, 94; McClean pl. 66, 6; SNG Cop -; SNG ANS -; SNG Munchen -; SNG Morcom -; HGC 2 -, aF, dark green patina, weight 16.268 g, maximum diameter 28.2 mm, die axis 180o, Akragas (Agrigento, Sicily, Italy) mint, c. 425 - 406 B.C.; obverse AKPA, eagle left, wings open, head lowered, clutching supine hare in talons; reverse crab seen from above, hippocamp left below, three pairs of pellets flanking claws (six total, mark of value), all within a shallow round incuse; very rare; SOLD


Syracuse, Sicily, c. 440 - 400 B.C.

|Syracuse|, |Syracuse,| |Sicily,| |c.| |440| |-| |400| |B.C.|, |tetras|
Calciati notes of this type, "The rarity of this issue is such, and its preservation often so scarce, that until recently its reading was uncertain..."
GB67312. Bronze tetras, Calciati II p. 60, 30; SNG ANS 1382; Favorito 5; SNG Morcom 681; SNG Cop -; BMC Sicily -, VF, rough as is typical for the type, weight 1.869 g, maximum diameter 14.3 mm, die axis 0o, Syracuse mint, c. 440 - 400 B.C.; obverse head of nymph Arethusa right in the style of Eummenes, wearing necklace, four X's around; reverse ΣV-P-A, hippocamp right, octopus below; three pellets around; very rare; SOLD


Syracuse, Sicily, Dionysos I, 405 - 367 B.C.

|Syracuse|, |Syracuse,| |Sicily,| |Dionysos| |I,| |405| |-| |367| |B.C.|, |litra|
Dionysius I was tyrant of Syracuse. He conquered several cities in Sicily and southern Italy, opposed Carthage's influence in Sicily and made Syracuse the most powerful of the Western Greek colonies. He was regarded by the ancients as an example of the worst kind of despot - cruel, suspicious and vindictive.
GB73158. Bronze litra, Calciati II p. 89, 45; SNG ANS 435; SNG Cop 721; BMC Sicily p. 187, 289; HGC 2 1456, VF, weight 7.096 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 315o, Syracuse mint, 405 - 367 B.C.; obverse ΣYPA, head of Athena left wearing olive wreathed Corinthian helmet; reverse hippocamp left with bridles; SOLD


Tyre, Phoenicia, c. 400 - 360 B.C.

|Phoenicia|, |Tyre,| |Phoenicia,| |c.| |400| |-| |360| |B.C.|, |quarter| |shekel|
GS26689. Silver quarter shekel, SNG Cop 302 - 304; cf. BMC Phoenicia p. 230, 19 (dishekel); Weber -, VF, toned, uncleaned, weight 3.031 g, maximum diameter 16.3 mm, die axis 270o, Tyre mint, c. 400 - 360 B.C.; obverse bearded Melqart riding hippocamp with curled wing to right, waves below; reverse owl standing right, head facing, crook and flail behind; rare; SOLD


Larissa Kremaste, Thessaly, Greece, c. 3rd Century B.C.

|Thessaly|, |Larissa| |Kremaste,| |Thessaly,| |Greece,| |c.| |3rd| |Century| |B.C.|, |trichalkon|
Achilles was born at Larissa Kremaste, in southern Thessaly. This coin honors Achilles and his mother, Thetis. Thetis was a sea nymph, leader of the 50 Nereids, but she also seems to have been one of the earliest of deities worshiped in archaic Greece, the goddess of the sea. Only one written fragment remains attesting to her worship. An early Alcman hymn identifies Thetis as the creator of the universe. Worship of Thetis as a sea goddess persisted in some regions, documented by Pausanias and others. Today, Thetis is best remembered for dipping her son Achilles in the River Styx in Hades to make him invulnerable. However, where she held his heel was not touched by the water and was not protected.
GB85918. Bronze trichalkon, BCD Thessaly II 403.1; Rogers 315; SNG Cop 151; HGC 4 13, VF, centered, dark patina, corrosion, weight 4.741 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 180o, Larissa Kremaste mint, c. 3rd Century B.C.; obverse bare head of Achilles left; reverse ΠEYMATIΩN, Thetis seated left on hippocamp, holding shield bearing Achilles' (AX) monogram; ex BCD Collection with his tag; SOLD


Persian Empire, Samaria, c. 375 - 333 B.C.

|Persian| |Rule|, |Persian| |Empire,| |Samaria,| |c.| |375| |-| |333| |B.C.|, |obol|
JD16386. Silver obol, Meshorer-Qedar 1, VF, weight 0.500 g, maximum diameter 9.23 mm, die axis 0o, c. 375 - 333 B.C.; obverse ΦAPNBAZC in blundered Greek behind, head of bearded satrap left, wearing kyrbasia (satrapal cap); reverse forepart of a hippocamp right with tail below, Aramaic script "SMRN" below; large flan, toned; SOLD




  




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