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

The Sphinx on Ancient Coins
Chios, Islands Off Ionia, c. 435 - 425 B.C.

|Other| |Ionia|, |Chios,| |Islands| |Off| |Ionia,| |c.| |435| |-| |425| |B.C.||1/3| |stater|
Chios was one of the first cities to strike coins, taking the sphinx as its symbol, a tradition maintained for almost 900 years. In 546 B.C. Chios became subject to the Persia. It was liberated by the Persia defeat at the Battle of Mycale in 479 B.C. When the Athenians formed the Delian League, Chios joined as one of the few members who did not have to pay tribute but instead supplied ships.
GA99683. Silver 1/3 stater, cf. SNG Cop 1545; Mavrogordato p. 61, 28; HGC 6 1126 (S), VF, surfaces lightly etched, weight 2.544 g, maximum diameter 11.4 mm, die axis 0o, Chios mint, c. 435 - 425 B.C.; obverse sphinx seated left on ground line, curved wing, only one foreleg visible, bunch of grapes over Chian amphora before on left; reverse rough quadripartite incuse square, narrow bars, deep compartments; scarce; $180.00 SALE PRICE $162.00


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


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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