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WAR Elephants! My "replacement" Septimius Severus elephant


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Ever get rid of a coin, kick yourself for doing so and then go back to the well for a replacement because the type was just too cool for your collection to be lacking?


Me neither. 


I kid, boy do I kid. 

Though, the replacement is the lesser of the two, fortunately so was the price I paid for it.

Here's the first:


And my latest certainly has more of a Dumbo feel than warrior elephant (though, we saw his mom is a KILLER so we know what he's capable of):


Septimius Severus; 193-211 AD, Rome, (Silver, 2.59g 17mm) 197 AD, Denarius, BM-224, C-349 (3 Fr.), RIC-100. Obv: L SEPT SEV PERT - AVG IMP VIIII Head laureate r. Rx: MVNIFICENTIA AVG Elephant walking r.

Commemorates the games also mentioned in the Historia Augusta that were given by Severus in mid 197 prior to his departure on his second Parthian expedition.Sharp elephant on reverse. Purchased from Demos Jan 2023

It certainly looks like some kind of netting on the elephant to help support people, weaponry etc. But I've read other interesting ideas as to what the tic-tac-toe board on these elephants are. Scaring, elephant body armor, a MASSIVE ancient gaming board???


Of course NOBODY has a corner on the ancient market with elephants like the Seleucids!

A pretty recent rarity. Anyone else ever seen a horse on an elephant?


And some others:


Not to leave out Baktria:





So please share your elephants, replacements, any ideas about the criss cross pattern on Shepty's Olyphants or anything fun!

Edited by Ryro
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21 minutes ago, AETHER said:

Man those are cool! What's the one that looks like Zeus? I don't have any elephants , but I'm looking around for a Caesar coin with one. Kinda pricey tho.

Thanks so much! I need to upgrade that cool coin:

Seleukos I - Elephant Biga Drachm
312-281 BCE
Seleukeia ad Tigrim mint. Obv: laureate head of Zeus right. Rev: BASILEWS SELEYKOY to left and beneath Athena, holding spear and shield, driving quadriga of elephants right, anchor and DI above. 3.40 grams. Near very fine. [No Reserve]
Property of a North London gentleman.
Houghton SC 130.1b; Hoover HGC 18a.
Purchased from Timeline auctions May 2021

That's right! RRs have a few kinda cool eles as welles:




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32 minutes ago, Roman Collector said:

Cool Severus coin, @Ryro!!! I'm glad you were able to get a replacement at a decent price!



I like the little castles on the elephants' backs in those engravings! It reminds me of this!

Great Britain (Conder) Warwickshire, Coventry Halfpenny 1792.

Thanks my man! Beautiful modern. Ouch, the birth of elephant scoliosis. Poor beasts of burden

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Congrats on the latest Severan elephant, @Ryro - here are a few more for the thread starting with Severus:

and then Antoninus Pius


and an RR denarius from that family that is defined by Carthaginian elephants...the Metelli


and Seleucus I with Elephant quadriga:


and another one from 1815 Ceylon with the American favorite: George III looking a little sullen...."you'll be back"...



Edited by Sulla80
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Congratulations on your replacement 😄 I have always thought the hash marks on the Septimius elephants was just to show the elephant skin texture.

I would love to add a Caesar elephant coin (someday)- and now maybe a few others from this thread that I have not seen before!

Here are my elephants:

Septimius- (don't want to mess with this one, he is angry)

Septimius Severus, Elephant Septimius Severus, 193-211 3.1g; Ar Denarius  [b]L SEPT SEV PERT-AVG IMP VIII[/b] Laureate head right  [b]MVNIFICENTIA AVG[/b] Cuirassed elephant advancing right  Year 197; RIC 100 Rome Keywords: Septimius Severus Elephant

Antiochus VI

Antiochus VI, Dionysos Antiochus VI, Dionysos 145-142 BC  [b]O: Radiate bust of Antiochus to right R: Elephant to left BASILEWS ANTIOCOU                  STA                     * EPIFANOU DIONUSOU[/b]  SNG Spaer 1774, Houghton Coll. 249 Ae serrated bronze; 22-23mm; 6. Keywords: Antiochus Dionysos Elephant

India, Mysore

India, Mysore India, Independent Kingdoms- Mysore 1750 AD Anonymous; Gold Fanam; .32g; 7mm  Ornate elephant with howdah  crossed lines (anonymous)  I love this tiny elephant. Keywords: India Mysore elephant howdah

Edited by arizonarobin
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I have the same type. I bought it for 2 main reasons - first, it's difficult for me to refuse a coin with an animal and second, it has a historical importance. 


Septimius Severus, AD 193-211. Silver Denarius, Rome mint, 197. Obv.: L SEPT SEV PERT AVG IMP VIIII, laureate head right / Rev.: MVNIFICENTIA AVG, elephant, cuirassed, advancing right. RIC 100; BMCRE 168; RSC 349. After Septimius defeated Clodius Albinus in the battle of Lugdunum (AD 197) he organized public games in Rome. The reverse of this coin commemorates this event.

The pattern on the elephant suggests the cuirass.

The only other elephant in my collection is a Seleukid coin. Not the best condition but it was my first elephant. 


Seleukid Kingdom. Sardeis. Antiochos III Megas 223-187 BC.  Bronze Æ 12 mm., 1,96 g.
Seleucid Coins (part 1) 981
Obv - Laureate head of Apollo right, with spiral curls
Rev - Legend: BAΣΙΛΕΩΣ ANTIOXOY (vertical left and right), monogram  image.png.a3fe9783805daf50a554c1f5dbc2d767.png above elephant
Type: Elephant standing left

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My Septimius Severus elephant, looking quite juvenile and friendly in my opinion!

Septimius Severus, AR Denarius 197 AD, Rome Mint. Obv. Laureate head right, L SEPT SEV PERT AVG IMP VIII / Rev. Elephant advancing right, MVNIFICENTIA AVG. RIC IV-1 82, RSC III 348, Sear RCV II 6317. 18 mm., 3.32 g.


Some other ancient elephants, without the writeups:









Bonus elephant, on an old Pidcock farthing token from the period 1795-1801 (Dalton & Hamer/Withers 1067), depicting a cockatoo on the reverse:


Another bonus elephant, a Coventry Halfpenny token with the date 1792, depicting Lady Godiva on the obverse and an Elephant and Castle on the reverse. See Withers/Dalton & Hamer 231; ill. Withers p. 345. There are apparently a number of different edge inscriptions; mine says "PAYABLE AT THE WAREHOUSE OF ROBERT REYNOLDS & CO."

NEW COMBINED Lady Godiva - Elephant & Castle Coventry halfpenny token 1792.jpg


Edited by DonnaML
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