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My First Animal On A Coin.

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 Posted 07/22/2021  5:54 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add erafjel to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Lovely coins since my last addition! Very interesting about pigs and the Eleusinian mysteries, @Novicius.

This recent Gallic acquisition shows a wolf and an ox skull (bucranium). Wolves were important in Celtic/Gallic mythology, representing vigor, death, and channels to divinities and other worlds. What it represents here is unclear - what does it mean that it has its tail between its legs, a sign of fear or submission? And what is the relation to the ox skull, which is a sacrificial symbol for both Celts and Romans?

Pictones, after 40 BC. Bronze, 1.70 g, 14 mm. Obverse inscription: CONTOVTOS. La Tour 4316, Delestrée 3721.



The Pictones were a Gallic tribe south of the Loire river. The dating is very uncertain, but the male portrait is clearly Roman (Gaul was conquered by Caesar and became a Roman province 51 BC). Perhaps a chief of the Pictones, named Contoutos, who liked to style himself like the conquerors?

I also posted another Gallic coin in the Mythology on Coins thread, showing a sort of griffon. Look here if you want to see that one.
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 Posted 07/23/2021  11:22 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Palouche to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Fascinating Jim!....
You do pick up some interesting types...Thanks for sharing!
https://complexlazur.com/en/koprinka-dam/

@erafjel...I Like those coins...Maybe even a portrait of caesar himself, that would be a thing!
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635 Posts
 Posted 07/27/2021  11:45 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Novicius to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
That's an interesting proposed project. It would certainly represent a lot of work and investment.

It would be amazing if it did come to fruition, but the costs would indeed be astronomical, Bob.

Quote:
This recent Gallic acquisition shows a wolf and an ox skull (bucranium).

A very interesting coin raising quite a few questions, @erafjel. I wonder if there will ever be any answers?

Quote:
You do pick up some interesting types...Thanks for sharing!

Thanks Paul. I have been looking for a decent octopus to add to the menagerie, and I think this will be the best I can do with the budget I have. Sicilian sea creatures appear to demand high prices.

My only other octopus coin is also from Syracuse in Sicily but not in very good shape, so I was pleased when this one came my way. Arethusa is facing right this time, and has nice detail even though it appears to be a light strike.

Sicily Syracuse. Under Hieron I. 478-466 B.C.
AR Litra c. 470-466 B.C.
Obverse: Head of Arethusa right, wearing diadem of pearls; border of dots. ΣVRA (R retrograde). Reverse: Octopus. Silver. Diameter: 12-13mm. Weight: 0.58gm.
Boehringer 460.
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 Posted 07/28/2021  6:13 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Palouche to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
A very nice coin Jim!

Quote:
Sicilian sea creatures appear to demand high prices.

Yes completely agree! An octopus was on my want list last year until I saw the price!.......Your coin is well centered with a really cool looking octopus, but I also think the portrait of Arethusa is well detailed for the type too...Interesting with the retrograde 'R'..Is this common?
All in all a nice looking coin congrats and thanks for sharing....Paul
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 Posted 08/01/2021  11:40 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Novicius to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks Paul. I think I was pretty lucky in winning the octopus coin.

Quote:
Interesting with the retrograde 'R'..Is this common?

I've seen a few coins with retrograde characters, so it doesn't seem to be uncommon. Oddly enough, they were mostly seen on very early silver coins. I don't remember seeing many on bronzes. I haven't seen any explanation for these retrogrades, so I guess that the engravers temporarily forgot that they were working with a mirror image, or were distracted for some reason.

I had a couple of Elaia (Elaea) coins, but not one with an owl. Owls appear to be popular too, so I was lucky with this one as well. The vendor did say that he thought it was unpublished,and was the same type as Roma E-Sale 39 Lot 190 (26 Aug 2017). Apart from that I didn't find another. The coin was not on Wildwinds, but a few days after the sale this very coin appeared on Wildwinds with the attribution of Winterthur 2810.

Aeolis Eleia. 450-300 BC.
Obverse: Head of Athena left, wearing crested Attic helmet. Reverse: Owl standing facing on palm branch; Ε-ΛΑΙ/ΤΩΝ. Bronze. Diameter: 13 mm. Weight: 2.09 gr.
Winterthur 2810.
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 Posted 08/06/2021  12:53 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Novicius to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
When I saw this coin from Gyrnion in Aeolis with a mussel reverse, I thought it would make a rather interesting addition to the menagerie. Researching the city proved illuminating as it is variously shown as Grynion, Gryneion, Grynium, Gryneium, Grynia, Gryneia and Grynoi. Searches for Gyrnion or Gyrneion did not turn up much, even though the coin has ΓYΡ above the mussel shell. Another coin has the name in full as ΓYPNHΩN which unless I am reading it incorrectly is Gyrneion. However virtually all listings have the name as Gryneion.

Gryneion was a city of ancient Aeolis, located 40 stadia from Myrina and 70 stadia from Elaea. In the early days the city was independent and one of the twelve important cities of Aeolis. Later it was to become subject to Myrina. It contained a sanctuary of Apollo with an ancient oracle and a temple of white marble. Pausanias wrote that at Gryneium there was an amazing grove of Apollo, with cultivated trees, and all those which, although they bear no fruit, are pleasing to smell or look upon. Xenophon mentions Gryneium as belonging to Gongylus of Eretria.

In 334 BC, Parmenion, who was one of the commanders of Alexander the Great, came to the region before Alexander's invasion, took the town by assault, burned it, and sold its inhabitants as slaves, to prevent any resistance.

The mussel shell on my coin is inverted in comparison to others of a similar type, such as the BMC 3-4 coin below.

One coin in Wildwinds has the mussel shell in the same configuration, but it has a club below instead of the NH. SNG Von Aulock 1619. has a similar reverse configuration, but the portrait of Apollo is different.

Aeolis Grynion. c. 300 BC.
Obverse: Laureate head of Apollo facing slightly left. Reverse: Mussel shell; ΓYΡ-NH. Bronze. Diameter: 12 mm. Weight: 1.66 gr.
Reference: BMC 3-4
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 Posted 08/06/2021  1:06 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Bob L to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Enjoyed the update, Jim. The coin seems to be in really good shape for these.


Quote:
The mussel shell on my coin is inverted in comparison to others of a similar type


Here are a couple that I believe are similarly oriented:

https://agoraauctions.com/listing/v...05/0/archive
https://www.acsearch.info/search.html?id=3657538

Edited by Bob L
08/06/2021 1:08 pm
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 Posted 08/06/2021  8:06 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Novicius to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The first (Agora) coin is spot on thanks, Bob. The obverse and reverse are virtually the same. I'll use the SNG Cop 205; SNG Munchen 439 reference rather than BMC 3-4.

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 Posted 08/15/2021  10:21 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Novicius to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Another addition to the menagerie from Larissa Phrikonis that I was lucky to win in a recent auction. The head on the obverse of the coin is variously described as; horned female head, head of horned nymph, horned head of river-god etc. The necklace is clearly seen on this coin. The letters ΛΑ are above the bull's head on the reverse, but it is off-centre and only the lower part of the Λ can be seen.

Map from the Barrington Atlas ref: p56, D4. (as mentioned on page 22 of this thread - Aiolis, Larissa Phrikonis, Apollo/bull) After the conquest of Asia Minor by Alexander the Great the decline of the city began, and Larissa Phrikonis became merely a village.

Aeolis, Larissa Phrikonis. 4th C. BC.
Obverse: Horned head of river-god facing three-quarters to right. Reverse: Bull's head right, ΛΑ above. Bronze. Diameter: 10 mm. Weight: 0.99 gr.
Reference: SNG Munich 563-564; Klein 339.
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 Posted 08/15/2021  12:02 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Bob L to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The fact that the die engraver managed to capture the facial structure, perspective, and illusionistic depth of a 3/4 view for that portrait, while working on a tiny 10 mm "canvas", with the tools of the day, is really remarkable. You've lit it well, Jim, with the planar change at the cheek so easy to see - making it appear as if there is genuine, appreciable depth despite it being, essentially, an illusion. With the possible exception of the nose, which reads somewhat frontally, it's so impressive.

Oh, yeah...this is an animal-focused thread: Another nice bull.
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 Posted 08/15/2021  10:35 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Novicius to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks, Bob.

Quote:
Oh, yeah...this is an animal-focused thread: Another nice bull.

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 Posted 08/23/2021  9:41 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Novicius to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
A small bronze from Argos that is not in particularly good condition, but I found it to be rather interesting due to the depiction of Hera and a wolf's head. Hera being the Olympian queen of the gods, and the goddess of women, marriage and the sky. The Heraion, a sanctuary of the goddess Hera, the patron goddess of the city-state of Argos, was its official religious centre, even though it was 8 kilometers distant near Mykenai. The wolf was chosen as the emblem on the coinage of Argos, instantly being recognisable as the symbol of the great city. One of the most famous and magnificent buildings in ancient Argos was the sanctuary of the wolf god, Apollo Lykios.

The name Argos apparently signified an agricultural plain and was applied to several districts in ancient Greece. Historically, the Argolis was the easternmost portion of the Peloponnesian peninsula, and the city of Argos was its capital.

In mythology, the founder of what was to become Argos, the "City of Phoroneus," is Phoroneus himself, son of the river god Inachus, and said to be the first man. Phoroneus was king of what was later named the Peloponnesus. Phoroneus' daughter Niobe, the first mortal woman whom Zeus loved, gave birth to Phoroneus' successor, Argus, who called the Peloponnesus "Argos" after himself.

Argos - Argolis. 400-375 BC
Obverse: Head of Hera left, wearing stephane. Reverse: Head of wolf left. Bronze. Diameter: 10 mm. Weight: 0.96 gr.
Reference: BCD Peloponnesos 1120
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 Posted 09/11/2021  6:52 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Palouche to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Catching up here Jim....
Some lovely additions to your collection and particularly like the wolf reverse as you don't see this animal head on that many coins?.......Keep em coming Jim.
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 Posted 09/28/2021  8:30 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Novicius to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks Paul. I don't know why the wolf head is so uncommon on these coins, and this was the first one that I found affordable.

The coin below, from Boione in Aeolis, is similar to the not so common one I posted on page 20 of this thread. This one shows a bit more detail though, and as it wasn't very expensive I bought it to replace the original. Three examples are shown on Wildwinds, but only one has the female head facing right. The reverse inscription - (B)OIΩNI is legible, though the Ω has an unusual appearance. (Die fault?)

Boione - Aeolis. 320-280 BC
Obverse: Head of female right, wearing earring and necklace. Reverse: Bull standing right. Reverse Inscription: BOIΩNI. Bronze. Diameter: 10 mm. Weight: 1.1 gr.
Reference: SNG Cop 29; SNG von Aulock 7678.
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 Posted 10/02/2021  12:35 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Palouche to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Nice upgrade Jim
I'm really intrigued as to who the female portrait depicts?
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