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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Animals| ▸ |Man-Faced Bull||View Options:  |  |  | 

Ancient Coins Depicting a Man-Faced Bull
Neapolis, Campania, Italy, c. 300 - 275 B.C.

|Italy|, |Neapolis,| |Campania,| |Italy,| |c.| |300| |-| |275| |B.C.||didrachm|NEW
The design of the obverse is derived from the tetradrachms of Agathocles of Syracuse. -- A.D. Burnett, SNR 56 (1977), pp. 109 - 11
GS110599. Silver didrachm, SNG Cop 412 (same dies), SNG ANS 336, Sambon 457, HN Italy 576, SNG Mnchen -, SNG Fitz -, BMC Italy -, VF, struck with fine style dies, die wear, edge split, man-face not fully struck, weight 7.505 g, maximum diameter 21.5 mm, die axis 45o, Neapolis (Naples, Italy) mint, c. 300 - 275 B.C.; obverse diademed female head (Nymph or siren Parthenope?) right, wearing triple pendant earring, string of pearls from ear to ear behind neck, and pearl necklace, four dolphins around; reverse man-faced bull (river-god Achelous) walking right, head turned facing, crowned with wreath by Nike flying right above, ΘE below, NEOΠOΛITΩN in exergue; from the CEB Collection, ex Numismatic Fine Arts (Los Angeles), Fall 1989 Sale, lot 18; $500.00 SALE PRICE $450.00


Neapolis, Campania, Italy, c. 270 - 250 B.C.

|Italy|, |Neapolis,| |Campania,| |Italy,| |c.| |270| |-| |250| |B.C.||AE| |21|NEW
Before it was refounded as Neapolis (meaning "new city"), Naples was called Parthenope, named for the siren Parthenope, the daughter of the river-god Achelous and the Muse Terpsichore. Parthenope cast herself into the sea and drowned when her songs failed to entice Odysseus. Her body washed ashore at Naples. When people from the city of Cumae settled there, they named their city Parthenope in her honor. Roman myth tells a different tale, in which a centaur called Vesuvius was enamored with Parthenope. In jealousy, Zeus turned the centaur into a volcano and Parthenope into the city of Naples. Thwarted in his desire, Vesuvius's anger is manifested in the mountain's frequent eruptions.
GI110559. Bronze AE 21, Potamikon 333, Taliercio IIIa.10, HN Italy 589; BMC Italy p. 115, 219, SNG Cop 505, Sambon 658, VF, irregular flan shape typical for the type with remnants of casting sprues, nice jade green patina, light corrosion, weight 5.763 g, maximum diameter 21.0 mm, die axis 135o, Campania mint, c. 270 - 250 B.C.; obverse NEOΠOΛITΩN, laureate head of Apollo left, long wavy hair, E behind; reverse river-god Acheloios Sebethos, as a man-faced bull, standing right, head turned facing, being crowned by Nike who flies right above, MB monogram below, possibly IΣ in exergue (off flan); $100.00 SALE PRICE $90.00


Herbessos, Sicily, c. 344 - 335 B.C.

|Other| |Sicily|, |Herbessos,| |Sicily,| |c.| |344| |-| |335| |B.C.||drachm|
The site of the native Sikel Herbessos is uncertain but it was probably located near Leontinoi. Like other Sikel towns, it supported Carthage against Syracuse, however, in 396 B.C. Herbessos formed an alliance with Dionysos I. In 310 B.C., Agathokles installed a garrison to hold it against Carthage. In 309 B.C., with the aid of Akragas, the city expelled the garrison and claimed its freedom. In the Punic Wars, Herbessos was repeatedly held by Carthage until taken by Rome. About 213 B.C., Herbesso became a civitas decumana, paying 1/10th of its annual harvest to Rome. Although it probably continued to exist for centuries, it then disappears from history.
GI72187. Bronze drachm, Castrizio series II, 1 (354- 344 B.C); Calciati III, p. 252, 4; SNG Morcom 593; SNG Lloyd 1002; Rizzo pl. LIX, 17; HGC 2 411 (R2), VF, overstruck on Syracuse drachm, weight 32.639 g, maximum diameter 33.1 mm, die axis 270o, Herbessos mint, c. 344 - 335 B.C.; obverse EPBEΣΣINΩN, head of Sikelia right, hair adorned with myrtle olive wreath; reverse forepart of man-faced bull right; big bronze!; rare; SOLD


Neapolis, Campania, Italy, 320 - 300 B.C.

|Italy|, |Neapolis,| |Campania,| |Italy,| |320| |-| |300| |B.C.||didrachm|
Naples is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Bronze Age Greek settlements were established in the second millennium B.C. The city was refounded as Neapolis in the sixth century B.C. and became an important hub of Magna Graecia, playing a key role in the merging of Greek culture into Roman society. Naples remained influential under Rome and more so after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, serving as the capital city of the Kingdom of Naples between 1282 and 1816. Thereafter, it became the capital of the Two Sicilies until the unification of Italy in 1861.
SH79832. Silver didrachm, Historia Numorum pl. 10, 571 (same dies); Sambon 438; SNG ANS 318; BMC Italy p. 98, 47; SNG Cop -, VF, beautiful style, well centered on a tight flan, uneven toning, weight 7.362 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 0o, Neapolis (Naples, Italy) mint, 320 - 300 B.C.; obverse diademed head of siren Parthenope right, wearing large pendant earring and pearl necklace, bunch of grapes (control symbol) behind neck, ∆IOΦANOYΣ (master engraver or magistrate name) below neck truncation (off flan); reverse man-faced bull standing right, head turned facing, Nike above flying right and placing wreath on bull's head, Π∆ monogram below, NEOΠOΛITΩN in exergue (off flan); SOLD


Neapolis, Campania, Italy, 320 - 300 B.C.

|Italy|, |Neapolis,| |Campania,| |Italy,| |320| |-| |300| |B.C.||didrachm|
Naples is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Bronze Age Greek settlements were established in the second millennium B.C. The city was refounded as Neapolis in the sixth century B.C. and became an important hub of Magna Graecia, playing a key role in the merging of Greek culture into Roman society. Naples remained influential under Rome and more so after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, serving as the capital city of the Kingdom of Naples between 1282 and 1816. Thereafter, it became the capital of the Two Sicilies until the unification of Italy in 1861.
SH79834. Silver didrachm, SNG ANS 325; Sambon 450; BMC Italy p. 99, 53; Head HN 571; HGC 1 451 (R1); SNG Cop -; SNG Munchen -, VF, finest style, well centered and struck on a tight flan, toned, scratches and bumps, small edge splits, weight 7.252 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 180o, Neapolis (Naples, Italy) mint, magistrate Olympios, 320 - 300 B.C.; obverse diademed head of siren Parthenope right, wearing pendant earring and pearl necklace, no legends or symbols; reverse river-god Achelous in the form of a man-faced bull walking right, head turned facing, Nike above flying right and placing wreath on bull's head, OΛ−YM−ΠI below, NEOΠOΛITHΣ exergue; ex Fritz Rudolf Knker GmbH & Co. KG, auction 216 (8 Oct 2012), lot 48; rare; SOLD







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REFERENCES|

Calciati, R. Corpus Nummorum Siculorum. The Bronze Coinage. (Milan, 1983 - 1987).
Classical Numismatic Group. The BCD Collection of the Coinage of Thessaly. Triton XV Auction. (3 January 2012, New York).
Babelon, J. Catalogue de la collection de Luynes: monnaies greques. (Paris, 1924-1936).
Babelon, E. Trait des Monnaies Grecques et Romaines. (Paris, 1901-1932).
Gardner, P. A Catalogue of Greek Coins in the British Museum, Thessaly to Aetolia. (London, 1883).
Hoover, O. Handbook of Coins of Sicily (including Lipara), Civic, Royal, Siculo-Punic, and Romano-Sicilian Issues, Sixth to First Centuries BC. HGC 2. (Lancaster, PA, 2011).
Hoover, O. Handbook of Coins of Northern and Central Greece...Sixth to First Centuries BC, The Handbook of Greek Coinage Series, Vol. 4. (Lancaster, PA, 2014).
Imhoof-Blumer, F. "Zur Mnzen Akarnaniens" in NZ X (1878).
Jenkins, G. Coins of Punic Sicily. (Zrich, 1997).
Jenkins, G. The Coinage of Gela. AMUGS II. (Berlin, 1970).
Martini, R. & N. Vismara. Monetazione Provinciale Romana. Collezione Winsemann Falghera I-VI. (Milan, 1992).
Molinari, N. & 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).
Mnzen & Medaillen (Deutschland). Sammlung BCD : Akarnanien und Aetolien. Auction 23 (18 October 2007, Stuttgart).
Naville Co. Monnaies grecques antiques; provenant de la collection de feu le prof. S. Pozzi. Auction 1. (4 April 1921, Geneva).
Poole, R. ed. A Catalogue of Greek Coins in the British Museum: Italy. (London, 1873).
Poole, R. ed. A Catalog of the Greek Coins in the British Museum, Sicily. (London, 1876).
Rogers, E. The Copper Coinage of Thessaly. (London, 1932).
Rutter, N. Campanian Coinages 475-380 BC. (Edinburgh, 1979).
Rutter, N. ed. Historia Numorum. Italy. (London, 2001).
Sambon, A. Les monnaies antiques de l'Italie. (Paris, 1903).
Sear, D. Greek Coins and Their Values, Vol. 1: Europe. (London, 1978).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Denmark, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum. (Copenhagen, 1942-1979).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Deutschland, Mnchen Staatlische Mnzsammlung. (Berlin, 1968-present).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, France, Cabinet des Mdailles, Bibliothque Nationale. (Paris, 1993 - 2001).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain III, R.C. Lockett Collection. (London, 1938 - 1949).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, USA, The Collection of the American Numismatic Society. (New York, 1969 - present).
Taliercio, M. "Simboli, lettere, sigle sul bronzo di Neapolis" in Studi Breglia.

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