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Animals on coins


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Hi friends

To parallel the "guess the animal" thread, I thought it might be fun to have a menagerie related pile on thread. Maybe it will give @Steve the desire to starting again !!

I'll throw in a greyhound to start with, since we've had one for 15 years


C. Postumius, Denarius - Rome mint, 74 BC
Bust of Diana right, bow and quiver above shoulder
Hound running right, C POSTVMI and TA (ligate) at exergue
4.0 gr
Ref : RCV # 330, RSC, Postumia # 9
The only coin here belonging to my wife, because of the greyhound she's had for 15 years

Please add any animal (it has to be on a coin for sole rule) that fancies you

Thanks in advance



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Hey Q-dawg, thanks for the easy invite!

Animals, eh? ... yah, I used to have a few examples

How 'bout a few cool horse-coins, from Thessaly?



THESSALY, Pharsalos. AR Hemidrachm (below)

Mid-late 5th century BC

Diameter: 14 mm

Weight: 2.88 grams

Obverse: Helmeted head of Athena right

Reverse: Head and neck of horse right within incuse square

Reference: Lavva 31 (V21/R19); BCD Thessaly II –; Moustaka 51; SNG Copenhagen 217-8

Other: 12h … lightly toned

 Ex-stevex6 … from the Demetrios Armounta Collection


Thessaly Pharsalos.jpg


THESSALY, Larissa, Æ Tetrachalkon (below)

Circa 356-337 BC

Diameter: 19 mm

Weight: 8.60 grams

Obverse: Head of the nymph Larissa facing slightly left

Reverse: ΛAPI Σ/AIΩN around from upper left (N retrograde), bridled horse trotting right; E above; below, grain ear upward to left

Reference: Rogers 273; BCD Thessaly II 387.8; HGC 4, 517

Other: 5h … dark green patina

Ex-stevex6 ... from the BCD Collection

Thessaly Larissa AE Tetrachalkon.jpg


THESSALY, Trikka, AR Hemidrachm (below)

Circa 440-400 BC

Diameter: 16 mm

Weight: 2.87 grams

Obverse: Thessalos, petasos and cloak tied at neck, holding band around head of forepart of bull right; E below bull’s head, V between the legs of Thessalos

Reverse: Forepart of bridled horse right; TP I /KKA I OИ around from upper left (KK retrograde); all within incuse square

Reference: BCD Thessaly II 775.5 (same dies)

Other: 1h … pit on the reverse

Ex-stevex6 … from the BCD Collection

Thessaly Trikka.jpg


THESSALY, Larissa. AR Obol (below)

Circa 460-400 BC

Diameter: 12 mm

Weight: 0.81 grams

Obverse: Horse prancing left

Reverse: Λ-Α-P-Ι (partially retrograde), Larissa advancing left, bouncing ball; all within incuse square

Reference: BCD Thessaly I –; BCD Thessaly II 358.5; HGC 4, 502 var. (symbols on obv.)

Other: 6h … lightly toned

Ex-stevex6 … from the BCD Collection

Thessaly Larissa Basketball.jpg


THESSALY, Larissa, AR Obol (below)

Circa 460-440 BC

Diameter: 12 mm

Weight: 0.90 grams

Obverse: Horse advancing right; above, head of lion right

Reverse: Λ [Α] RI around from upper left, Larissa standing right, balancing hydria on raised knee; to left, lion’s head fountain right, from which water pours forth; all within incuse square

Reference: BCD Thessaly II 358.1 (same dies)

Other: 9h

Ex-stevex6 … from the BCD Collection

Thessaly larissa Horse & Larissa with Hydria.jpg


THESSALY, Skotoussa, AR Hemidrachm (below)

Early-mid 4th century BC

Diameter: 15 mm

Weight: 2.83 grams

Obverse:  Head of Herakles right, wearing lion skin headdress

Reverse:  Forepart of horse right; Σ KO below

Reference:  BCD Thessaly II 740 (same rev. die)

Other: 12 h ... granular surfaces

Ex-stevex6 … from the BCD Collection

Thessaly Skotoussa.jpg

Edited by Steve
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AR Obol
OBVERSE: Goat kneeling left, head reverted, solid rosette above, pellet to left
REVERSE: Quadripartite incuse square
Struck at Thrace, 480-470 BC
.79g, 11mm
Lorber, Goats, Issue 6; AMNG III 14
(Aigai); HPM pl. III, 16; Traité pl. XLIX, 8; SNG ANS
Ex-NN Auction 46
Ex: @Bing

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Two for the price of one..


Shahis of Ohind AE Jital of Vakka Deva around 870 AD

Diameter 18mm and 1.9 grams.

Obv. Elephant facing left with the name "Sri Vakka Deva" above in Nagari.

Rev. Lion to the right with gaping mouth, tongue out and one front paw raised. Diamond symbol in the rump.

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A surprised eagle!





AR Denarius, 3.53g
Rome mint, 82-83 AD
Obv: IMP CAES DOMITIANVS AVG P M; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: IVPPITER CONSERVATOR; Eagle stg. front on thunderbolt, wings outspread flat, head l.
RIC 144c (R). BMC 52 var. RSC 320 var. BNC 53 var.
Acquired from Kölner, June 2021. Ex Obolos 19, 8 May 2021, lot 835, Ex Brett Telford Collection. Ex CNG E302, 8 May 2013, lot 359.

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Are insects allowed?



Ionia. Ephesos circa 500-420 BC.
Diobol AR 11 mm., 0,92 g
Bee with slightly curved wings, on it spiral decoration. R / Quadripartite incuse square
Karwiese Series VI, 2A; SNG Kayhan 124


If not, a ram should be.



Caria, Kasolaba(?), c. 420-400 BC. AR Hemiobol. Ram’s head right / Youthful male head right within incuse. Konuk, Kasolaba 5; Klein 496-8 (Uncertain)


A raven, a cow and a calf


LLYRIA, Dyrrhachion. Circa 250-200 BC. AR Drachm Meniskos and Dionysios, magistrates. Cow standing right, looking back at suckling calf standing left below; above, raven standing right above MENIΣΚΟΣ / Double stellate pattern; ΔYP-ΔΙ[Ο-ΝΥ-ΣΟΥ] around; all within linear circle border. Ceka –; Maier 201; SNG Copenhagen 467.

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Some animals (especially owls) from Pergamon:



Mysia, Pergamon
AE 17
Obv.: laureate head of bearded Asklepios
Rev.: AΣKΛHΠIOY ΣΩTHPOΣ, Asklepian snake coiled around omphalos, owl standing on the snake's back
AE, 8.66g, 17.3mm
Ref.: BMC Mysia p. 129, 160; SNGvA 1371; SNG BnF 1813; SNG Cop -




Mysia, Pergamon
AE, 200-133 BC
Obv.: Head of Athena right, wearing Attic helmet with star
Rev.: little Owl with spread wings standing on palm, ΑΘΗΝΑΣ ΝΙΚΗΦΟΡΟΥ above and below, without monogram
AE, 3.70g, 18.6mm
Ref.: SNG France 1920-4



Mysia, Pergamon
AE18, 3rd century BC
Obv: Helmeted head of Athena left.
Rev: ΠΕΡΓA, Head and neck of bull left, owl right, without monogram
AE, 4.23g, 17mm
SNG von Aulock 1352; SNG Paris 1574


Edited by shanxi
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Everyone likes animal coins! I have the more typical animals (eagles, horses, bovines, crocs). Here are some examples I haven’t posted on here yet.


Greek Cities in Illyria
Dyrrachion AR Stater, struck ca. 450-350 BC
Dia.: 21.5 mm
Wt.: 9.78 g
Obv.: Cow suckling calf
Rev.: ΔΥΡ around star pattern within linear square; club in field
Ref.: BMC 22, SNG Copenhagen 421
Ex Numismatica Ars Classica 64, lot 2214 (May 2012)


Roman Empire
Philip the Arab
AR Tetradrachm, Seleucia and Pieria, Antioch mint, struck ca. AD 247
Dia.: 28.1 mm
Wt.: 11.47 g
Obv.: AYTOK K M IOYΛI ΦΙΛΙΠΠΟC CЄB, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind.
Rev.: ΔΗΜΑΡX ЄΞOYCIAC ΥΠΑ ΤO Γ / ANTIOXIA / S C, Eagle standing left, head right, with wings spread, holding wreath in beak.
Ref.: Prieur 370; McAlee 902


Roman Empire
Hadrian (AD 117 – 138)
AR Denarius, Rome mint, struck ca. AD 134 – 138 
Dia.: 17 mm
Wt.: 2.98 g
Obv.: HADRIANVS AVG COS III PP; Laureate head right
Rev.: AFRICA; Africa with elephant headdress reclining left, holding scorpion and cornucopia, basket of grain at feet
Ex L. Rose Collection


KINGS OF MACEDON: Alexander III 'the Great' (336-323 BCE), lifetime issue.
AE15 “half unit.” Macedonian mint. 
Dia.: 15 mm
Wt.: 4.13 g
Obv: Diademed head right.
Rev: AΛEΞANΔPOY, Horse prancing right; below, torch.
Ref.: Price 338.
Ex AMCC 2, lot 23 (Nov. 9, 2019)

Edited by Curtisimo
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Great coins everyone! I looooooove animals on ancient coins - and plan on collecting as many of them on RR denarii as possible sometime in the future. For now here are most of my different animals on ancient coins (as a close-up so you can't see the whole coin - just the animal). My favourites are probably horses and lions so I've got quite a lot of those, but some like a gazelle or boar I only have 1 of. 

Screen Shot 2022-06-04 at 18.46.36.png

Screen Shot 2022-06-04 at 18.46.47.png

Screen Shot 2022-06-04 at 18.47.11.png

Screen Shot 2022-06-04 at 18.47.00.png

Edited by AncientNumis
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Troas Assos 500-450 BCE AR Tetartemorion 6.4mm 0.21g Griffin springing right - Astragalos within incuse square Klein 475 VF Rare



Thrace Pantikapaion 4th C BC, AE 20 Pan head - Griffin forepart BMC 869



Sicily Kainon AE Tetras 367-357 BCE 20mm 6.7g Griffin springing - Horse Prancing SNG COP 133



IONIA Teos AR tetartemorion 0.2g  6mm Hd griffin R mouth open - Quadripartite incuse SNG Turkey 602

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How 'bout some random bull-coins?? 

... I'm fairly sure that Zumbly and/or TIF snagged a couple of these? (I forget everything nowadays ... sigh)


CAMPANIA, Cales,  Æ20 (below)

Circa 265-240 BC

Diameter: 19.5 mm

Weight: 7.29 grams

Obverse: Laureate head of Apollo left; [uncertain symbol to right]

Reverse: Man-headed bull standing right, head facing; star above, [uncertain symbol or letter below]

Reference: HN Italy 436

Other: 5h … green-brown patina

Ex-stevex6 … from the Camerata Romeu Collection


Campania Cales Manbull.jpg


Caracalla AR Antoninianus (below)

Rome mint

198-217 A.D.

Struck AD 215

Diameter: 24 mm

Weight: 5.19 grams

Obverse: Radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right

Reverse: Radiate / Luna driving biga of oxen left

Reference: RIC IV 256c; RSC 294a

Other: 6h ... RIC … darkly toned, light porosity and deposits. Scarce


Caracalla bulls.jpg


Mysia, Kyzikos, AE24 (below)

 200-100 BC

Diameter: 24 mm

Weight: 5.44 grams
Obverse: KYZI-KHWN to left and right of lit torch

Reverse: Bull butting right

BMC Mysia p.39, 164; SNG Cop 79

Nice tone. Better in hand!!



Copy of bull butting.jpg


ILLYRIA, Dyrrhachion (Exephron, magistrate) (below)

AR Drachm Brockage Error

Circa 200-37 BC

Diameter: 18 mm

Weight: 2.95 grams

Obverse: Cow standing right, looking back at suckling calf standing left below; EXEΦΡΩΝ above

Reverse: Incuse of obverse

Reference: Cf. Ceka 192–8; cf. Maier 204; SNG Copenhagen

Other: 12h … toned.

Ex-stevex6 … from the Daniel Koppersmith Collection

Illyria Dyrrhachion Brockage Error.jpg


ISLANDS off IBERIA, Ebusus. Æ Quarter Unit (below)

2nd century BC

Diameter: 17 mm

Weight: 3.28 grams

Obverse: Squatting Kabeiros, holding hammer and serpent

Reverse: Bull butting left

Reference: ACIP 719; SNG BM Spain 318-21

Other: 3h … brown patina


Islands off Iberia Ebusus.jpg


LUCANIA, Thourioi. AR Nomos (below)

Circa 400-350 BC

Diameter: 21 mm

Weight: 7.35 grams

Obverse: Head of Athena right, wearing helmet decorated with Skylla holding rudder over shoulder

Reverse: Bull butting right; below, dolphin right in waves

Reference: HN Italy 1794b; SNG ANS 1048

Other: 8h … toned, rough


Lucania Thourioi Skylla and Bull AR Nomos.jpg


MACEDON, Akanthos AR Tetrobol (below)

 Circa 470-390 BC

Diameter: 16mm

Weight: 2.31 grams

Obverse: Forepart of bull left, head right; two laurel branches above 

Reverse: Quadripartite incuse square with granulated recesses

Reference: SNG ANS 35



Edited by Steve
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I have so very many animal coins that for now I'll just post one of my favorites. I hope Otacilia Severa wasn't so sensitive that she reacted badly to her husband choosing a hippopotamus for her coin in the SAECVLARES AVGG series.

Otacilia Severa (wife of Philip I) AR antoninianus AD 248, Rome mint, 4th Officina. Obv. Draped bust right, wearing stephane, crescent behind shoulders, OTACIL SEVERA AVG/ Rev. Hippopotamus standing right, jaws open, SAECVLARES AVGG; IIII in exergue. RIC IV-3 116(b), RSC IV-3 63, Sear RCV III 9160 (ill.). 23 mm., 4.52 g. (Games commemorating 1,000th anniversary of founding of Rome.)


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Here are a few:

Julius Caesar, denarius, circa 49 BC.

4.01 grams



Otacilla Severa, sesteritus, 248 AD, RIC 200.

13.6 grams



Athens, archaic tetradrachm, circe 485-480 BC (I just had to add this one because of the reverse).



Apulia, Luceria, Æ Uncia. C. 225-217 BC. Frog, Corn-ear; • in field, 30 mm

45.7 grams



Carthage, BI serrate dishekel, 160-149 BC, Roma E-Sale 69.

12.80 grams




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