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

The Sphinx on Ancient Coins
Augustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D.

|Augustus|, |Augustus,| |16| |January| |27| |B.C.| |-| |19| |August| |14| |A.D.||aureus|
The Sphinx was one of Augustus' symbols and was used on his personal seal (Suetonius).
SH30615. Gold aureus, RIC I 512 corr. (head left), BMCRE 682, Calico 156, Cohen 333, gVF, weight 7.998 g, maximum diameter 21.5 mm, die axis 0o, Pergamon (Bergama, Turkey) mint, c. 19 - 18 B.C.; obverse AVGVSTVS, bare head right; reverse sphinx seated right; attractive reddish toning; rare; SOLD


Gebal (Byblos), Phoenicia, c. 450 - 410 B.C.

|Phoenicia|, |Gebal| |(Byblos),| |Phoenicia,| |c.| |450| |-| |410| |B.C.||shekel|
The extremely rare first coinage of Byblos, struck with Egyptian types at an Egyptian weight standard (one kite). A beautiful representation of an Egyptian sphinx in the pose of the famous Giza monumental statue graces the obverse.

Head notes, "Herodotus relates (iv. 166) that Aryandes, who had been appointed satrap of Egypt by Cambyses, mortally offended Darius, son of Hystaspes, by issuing silver money which rivalled in purity the gold darics of the great king himself. If the story be true, it probably refers to ordinary Persian sigloi. No coins have come down to us which can be identified as those of Aryandes." Could this coin be the one of those issued by Aryandes?
SH38939. Silver shekel, Betlyon 1, Kraay 1051, SNG Cop -, gVF, toned, weight 8.907 g, maximum diameter 20.2 mm, die axis 0o, Gebal mint, obverse Sphinx seated left, wearing crown of Upper and Lower Egypt; reverse lightning bolt (or double lotus) in dotted circle within incuse square; almost equal in quality to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and American Numismatic Society examples; extremely rare; SOLD


Chios, Islands off Ionia, c. 210 - 190 B.C., Civic Coinage in the Name and Types of Alexander the Great

|Macedonian| |Kingdom|, |Chios,| |Islands| |off| |Ionia,| |c.| |210| |-| |190| |B.C.,| |Civic| |Coinage| |in| |the| |Name| |and| |Types| |of| |Alexander| |the| |Great||tetradrachm|
Chios, in the Aegean Sea, 7 kilometers (4.3 miles) off the Anatolian coast, is the fifth largest of the Greek islands. At the end of the 7th century B.C., Chios became one of the first cities to strike coins, establishing the sphinx as its symbol. It maintained this tradition for almost 900 years. Based on the huge necropolis at the main city of Chios, by the 5th to 4th centuries B.C., the island had grown to an estimated population of over 120,000 (2 - 3 times the current population). During the Hellenistic period, the Chios became famous for the high quality of its wine and was the largest exporter of Greek wine. Chian amphoras, with a characteristic sphinx emblem and bunches of grape have been found as far away as Gaul, Upper Egypt and Southern Russia. After the Roman conquest Chios became part of the province of Asia. The Empire ceded Chios to the Republic of Genoa in 1261.
SH90706. Silver tetradrachm, Price 2375 corr. (form of monogram); Bauslaugh Posthumous Series 41A corr. (same); Mller Alexander 1096; Mektepini Hoard 340 - 341; HGC 6 1133 (S), gVF, light corrosion and marks, weight 16.860 g, maximum diameter 29.6 mm, die axis 0o, Islands of Ionia, Chios mint, c. 210 - 190 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean Lion skin, scalp over head, forepaws tied at neck; reverse AΛEΞAN∆POY, Zeus enthroned left, right leg drawn back, throne with high back, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, monogram over sphinx seated left in lower left field, monogram under throne; scarce; SOLD


Castulo, Hispania Ulterior, c. 165 - 80 B.C.

|Iberia|, |Castulo,| |Hispania| |Ulterior,| |c.| |165| |-| |80| |B.C.||AE| |28|
After a local princess named Himilce married Hannibal, Castulo allied with Carthage. In 213 B.C., Castulo was the site of Hasdrubal Barca's crushing victory over the Roman army with a force of roughly 40,000 Carthaginian troops plus local Iberian mercenaries. Soon after the Romans made a pact with the residents and the city became a foederati (ally) of Rome.
GB55458. Bronze AE 28, Villaronga p. 335, 38; SNG BM Spain 1323 ff.; SNG Spain II 243 ff.; SNG Cop 205; Burgos 543, VF, weight 12.229 g, maximum diameter 25.8 mm, die axis 270o, Castulo (near Linares, Spain) mint, c. 165 - 80 B.C.; obverse diademed head right, hand before; reverse helmeted sphinx walking right, star before, KASTILO in Iberic script below exergual line; SOLD







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