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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Gods, Non-Olympian| ▸ |Nymphs||View Options:  |  |  | 

Nymphs on Ancient Coins
Syracuse, Sicily, Hieron I, c. 478 - 467 B.C.

|Syracuse|, |Syracuse,| |Sicily,| |Hieron| |I,| |c.| |478| |-| |467| || |B.C.||tetradrachm|
Hieron I, the brother of Gelon, was tyrant of Syracuse, Sicily, 478 - 467 B.C. He greatly increased the power of Syracuse. He removed the inhabitants of Naxos and Catania to Leontini, peopled Catania (which he renamed Aetna) with Dorians. He defeated the Etruscans and Carthaginians at the Battle of Cumae (474 B.C.), by which he saved the Greeks of Campania from Etruscan domination. He was a liberal patron of literature and culture. He established the first secret police in Greek history. He was an active participant in panhellenic athletic contests, winning several horse and chariot races. He died at Catania in 467 and was buried there. His grave was destroyed when the former inhabitants of Catania returned.
SH98005. Silver tetradrachm, Boehringer series XI, 244 (V110/R165); HGC 2 1307, aVF, centered on a tight flan, toned, light deposits, scratches and marks, uneven strike, die wear, pre-strike casting sprues, weight 17.379 g, maximum diameter 24.5 mm, die axis 315o, Syracuse mint, c. 475 - 470 B.C.; obverse slow quadriga driven right by bearded male charioteer, kentron in right hand and reins in left hand, Nike above flying right crowning horses; reverse ΣVRAKOΣION (clockwise on right), head of Arethousa right, hair turned up in a krobylos, wearing a pearl diadem earring and necklace, four dolphins around; from the CEB Collection, ex Frank L. Kovacs; SOLD


Thasos, Thrace, c. 412 - 404 B.C.

|Thasos|, |Thasos,| |Thrace,| |c.| |412| |-| |404| |B.C.||drachm|
During the period when this coin was minted there was much chaos on the island. Thasos had revolted against their Athenian aggressors and was subsequently occupied by the Spartans (Lacedaemonians). In the following years Thasos was occupied by one or the other of the two opposing powers and did not regain freedom until the Battle of Cynoscephalae in 197 B.C. Only drachms were struck in this late and final issue of the satyr and nymph type. Despite the chaos of the time and the archaized punch reverse, the obverse dies were engraved in elegant fine classical style.
SH87191. Silver drachm, Le Rider Thasiennes 8; HGC 6 336 (R1); Svoronos HPM -; SNG Cop -, aEF, superb classical style, dark old cabinet toning, some die wear/rust, scattered porosity, light bumps and marks, weight 3.438 g, maximum diameter 16.7 mm, Thasos mint, 5th type, c. 412 - 404 B.C.; obverse nude ithyphallic satyr kneeling-running right, carrying in his arms a struggling nymph, he is balding and is crowned with an ivy wreath, her hair is rolled and she wears a long chiton, her right arm is behind his back; reverse pebbled quadripartite square punch; ex Shanna Schmidt Numismatics; ex Nomos AG, obolos 8 (2 Dec 2017), lot 157; ex W. F. Stoecklin Collection, Amriswil, Switzerland; ex Bank Leu, Zurich (prior to 1975); rare, last satyr and nymph type, final issue struck only as a drachm!; SOLD


Thasos, Thrace, c. 480 - 463 B.C.

|Thasos|, |Thasos,| |Thrace,| |c.| |480| |-| |463| |B.C.||stater|
Nymphs are nature spirits who appear as beautiful, young nubile maidens. They dwell in mountains, valleys and groves, by springs and rivers, and also in trees and cool grottoes. Nymphs love to dance and sing and are the frequent target of satyrs. Satyrs are male companions of Pan and Dionysus with goat-like features, including a goat-tail, goat-like ears, and sometimes a goat-like phallus. As Dionysiac creatures, Satyrs are lovers of wine and women and ready for every physical pleasure. They are obsessed with nymphs.
GA87298. Silver stater, SNG Cop 1013; Svoronos HPM p. 97, 12, pl. X, 21; McClean 4198; Franke-Hirmer 436; BMC Thrace p. 218, 28; HGC 6 331, gVF, well centered and struck, light tone, die wear, weight 8.833 g, maximum diameter 23.1 mm, Thasos mint, c. 480 - 463 B.C.; obverse nude ithyphallic satyr kneeling-running right, carrying in his arms a struggling nymph, raising her right hand in protest, both with long strait hair indicated with lines, she wears a long chiton, her palm is facing, Θ (Thasos) below; reverse quadripartite incuse square; ex Steven Battelle, ex Harlan J. Berk, buy or bid sale 198 (7 Jul 2016), lot 74; rare with Θ; 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


Larissa, Thessaly, Greece, c. 405 - 370 B.C.

|Thessaly|, |Larissa,| |Thessaly,| |Greece,| |c.| |405| |-| |370| |B.C.||drachm|
"With typical prescience, Colin Kraay conjectured that Larissa's staters and mass drachm issues belonged to the early Macedonian period and in fact resulted from the intervention of Philip II, who probably placed Macedonian silver at the disposal of Larissa. Several of the hoards cited above support the general thrust of Kraay's hypothesis though they illustrate a flow of Larissaean coinage to Macedon, probably before 348, rather than provision of Macedonian silver to Larissa." -- C. Lorber, "A Hoard of Facing Head Larissa Drachms" in SNR 79 (2000).
GS68671. Silver drachm, Lorber-Shahar, Early Group 6, head type 25 (O118/R1); SNG Cop -, VF, fine style, well centered, a few marks, lightly etched surfaces, weight 5.483 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 180o, Larissa mint, c. 405 - 370 B.C.; obverse head of nymph Larissa facing slightly left, hair floating freely. Small eyes. Round earring and wire choker well above the neck truncation; reverse ΛAPI above, horse grazing right; SOLD







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REFERENCES

Imhoof-Blumer, F. Nymphen und Chariten auf griechischen Mnzen in JIAN 11 (1908).

Catalog current as of Wednesday, May 25, 2022.
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