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

Nymphs on Ancient Coins
Neapolis, Campania, Italy, c. 300 - 275 B.C.

|Italy|, |Neapolis,| |Campania,| |Italy,| |c.| |300| |-| |275| |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.
SH95912. Silver didrachm, SNG BnF 749 - 753 (same dies), Sambon 477, SNG ANS 370, SNG Ashmolean 116, SNG Delepierre 153, de Luynes 166, HN Italy 579, HGC Italy 453 (S), aVF, centered on a tight flan, attractive old collection toning, marks, scratches, trace of inscribed circle from pre-strike flan on rev., test cut on edge, weight 6.697 g, maximum diameter 19.1 mm, die axis 45o, Neapolis (Naples, Italy) mint, c. 300 - 275 B.C.; obverse diademed head of nymph right, wearing triple-pendant earring, X (control letter) behind neck (unstruck); reverse man-faced bull walking right, head turned facing, Nike flying right above crowning bull with wreath, EYΞ (magistrate initials?) below, NEOΠOΛITΩN in exergue (off flan); from the Errett Bishop Collection; $550.00 (€506.00)
 


Histiaia, Euboia, Greece, 168 - 146 B.C.

|Euboia|, |Histiaia,| |Euboia,| |Greece,| |168| |-| |146| |B.C.||AE| |15|NEW
From the Errett Bishop Collection.

Histiaia, named after its patron nymph, commanded a strategic position overlooking the narrows leading to the North Euboian Gulf. In the Iliad, Homer describes the surrounding plain as "rich in vines." In the early 4th century B.C., Histiaia seems to have been largely under the control of Sparta until they joined the Second Athenian Confederacy in 376 - 375. The city appears to have become a member (for the first time) of the reconstituted league of Euboian cities in 340, but its allegiance during most of the 4th century seems to have vacillated between Athens and Macedonia.
GB93815. Bronze AE 15, BCD Euboia 540; SNG Cop 547; BMC Central p. 135, 137; HGC 4 1532 (S), aVF, centered on a tight flan, mildly grainy surfaces, light earthen deposits, weight 4.181 g, maximum diameter 15.4 mm, die axis 90o, Histiaia (near Oreoi, Greece) mint, 168 - 146 B.C.; obverse head of nymph Histiaia right, rolled hair, wearing wreath of vine leaves and grapes, pendant earring and necklace; reverse IΣTIA−EΩN (counterclockwise), bunch of grapes on the vine, three monograms around; from the Errett Bishop Collection; very scarce; $150.00 (€138.00)
 


Neapolis, Campania, Italy, 275 - 250 B.C., Possibly an Ancient Counterfeit

|Italy|, |Neapolis,| |Campania,| |Italy,| |275| |-| |250| |B.C.,| |Possibly| |an| |Ancient| |Counterfeit||drachm|
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.
GI95913. Silver drachm, cf. Sambon 546 (controls); SNG BnF 865 (same); SNG ANS 420 (same); HN Italy 588; HGC Italy 456 (R2) (all solid silver, official, none with BΦ), F, a few bumps, encrustations, corrosion, no clear core exposure but the weight is light and signs of possible plating exist, perhaps a silver plated fouree, weight 3.092 g, maximum diameter 17.4 mm, die axis 0o, Neapolis or unofficial(?) mint, 275 - 250 B.C.; obverse diademed head of nymph (Parthenope?) left, BΦ behind neck; reverse man-faced bull (river-god Achelous) walking right, head turned facing, Nike above flying right and placing wreath on bull's head, IΣ below, NEOΠOΛITHΣ exergue; apparently unpublished with BΦ behind the Nymph's neck, we were unable to find another specimen with this control mark; from the Errett Bishop Collection; very rare; $150.00 (€138.00)
 







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REFERENCES

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

Catalog current as of Friday, April 16, 2021.
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