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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Birds ▸ DoveView Options:  |  |  | 

Doves on Ancient Coins

Roman Empire, Anonymous, Domitian to Antoninus Pius, c. 81 - 161 A.D.

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Quadrantes, like quinarii, were issued only occasionally, perhaps exclusively for imperial distributions. Suetonius reported that, from the roof of the Basilica Julia "Caligula threw coins among the people." Perhaps this small coin was thrown to the crowd by the emperor himself at a similar event.
RB87147. Bronze quadrans, RIC II p. 218, 25; King Quadrantes p. 71, 7, VF, thin flan, some striking weakness, very light corrosion/deposits, weight 0.954 g, maximum diameter 15.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 81 - 161 A.D.; obverse diademed and draped bust of Venus right, no legend; reverse dove standing left, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking low across field; ex Roma Numismatics e-sale 40 (28 Oct 2017), 558; $90.00 (Ä76.50)


Sikyon, Peloponnesos, Greece, c. 100 - 60 B.C.

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The affectionate dove, the bird of love, was sacred to the goddess Venus (Aphrodite). Doves were said to draw her heavenly chariot, and the Syrian Aphrodite Ashtarte was said to have been hatched from an egg nursed by doves. The phrase attributed to Jesus, "Be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves" (Matthew 10.16), was no random metaphor but a traditional Syrian invocation.
SH57824. Silver triobol, BCD Peloponnesos 341; SNG Cop 101 var. (no T on obverse), VF, weight 2.284 g, maximum diameter 16.8 mm, die axis 180o, Sikyon mint, magistrate Polykra, c. 100 - 60 B.C.; obverse dove flying left, T above and behind wing; reverse large Σ, ΠO/Λ−Y/KPA around, all within incuse square; ex ACCG auction IV, lot 12; ex CNG auction 81, lot 2157; ex BCD Collection (not in LHS sale) with his tag dated Oct 1985; SOLD


Faustina Junior, Augusta 146 - Winter 175/176 A.D., Wife of Marcus Aurelius

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The affectionate dove, the bird of love, was sacred to the goddess Venus (Aphrodite). Doves were said to draw her heavenly chariot, and the Syrian Aphrodite Ashtarte was said to have been hatched from an egg nursed by doves. The phrase attributed to Jesus, "Be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves" (Matthew 10.16), was no random metaphor but a traditional Syrian invocation.
RS26421. Silver denarius, RIC III MA730, RSC II 255, gVF, weight 3.293 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, obverse FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, draped bust right; reverse VENVS, Venus standing left holding dove in right and scepter in left; scarce; SOLD







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Catalog current as of Sunday, July 15, 2018.
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Doves