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In my youth (well, this term sounds a little strange, but accurate) my career goal was to be a musician. I initially played guitar and then bass guitar in a few bands and I was quite dedicated but there was not enough talent, not enough will and perhaps I didn't meet the right people. 

So after a few projects that did not have results I abandoned this idea for good. But since I lately get bored quite easily, I think I will start a "bedroom project" again, as I have all the equipment I need. This time just for me and without any clear goal except relax and fun,. 





I also have a third vintage guitar than needs dramatic repair (repainting, new frets, full restoration of the electrical part) but this will require a specialist. 

But before starting to rock&roll, let's remember the ancients who liked to rock and roll. Perhaps music was discovered by humans before articulate speech. And they sure liked to play instruments!

Probably the most popular instrument in antiquity was the lyre (ancestor of the guitar) , having Orpheus, Apollo (and perhaps Nero) as masters. Even the invention of the lyre is a myth. Hermes (Roman Mercury) being only a few days old, he scooped out the innards of a mountain tortoise, strung it with cow gut and delighted in the sweet airs it produced. Unfortunately, the herd from which the gut had come had been stolen from Apollo, and the furious god went in search of the thief, swearing bloody vengeance upon him. The music produced by Hermes' lyre, however, eventually soothed Apollo's wrath and he left the infant god unpunished in return for the glorious-sounding new instrument.

Here are my lyres on coins 


16 mm, 3,84 g.
Thrace, Sestos. Domitian 81-96. Ӕ.
ΔΟΜΙΤΙΑ-ΝΟϹ ΚΑΙϹΑΡ, laureate head of Domitian, right / ϹΗϹΤΙWΝ, lyre.
RPC II, 359; SNG Cop 948; Moushmov 5542; Mionnet 93; BMC 16.


19 mm, 3,84 g.
Hadrian 117-138 AD. Æ semis. Rome. 124-125.
HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS, bust of Hadrian, laureate, draped and cuirassed, right, viewed from rear or side / COS III / S C, lyre.
RIC II, Part 3 (second edition) Hadrian 758; old RIC 688.


19 mm, 3,81 g.
P. Clodius M.f. Turrinus.AR denarius. Rome. 42 BC.
Laureate head of Apollo right; behind, lyre / P.CLODIVS – ·M·F, Diana standing facing, with bow and quiver over shoulder, holding lit torch in each hand. Crawford 494/23; BMCRR Rome 4290.


18 mm, 4,2 g.
Kings of Thrace. Lysimachos 305-281 BC. AR drachm. Ephesos.
Diademed head of the deified Alexander right, wearing horn of Ammon / BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΛYΣIMAXOY, Athena seated left on the throne, holding Nike, crowning the king's name, in her right hand and leaning with her left arm on shield decorated with lion's head, transverse spear with point below, lyre to the inner left field, A under the throne.
Thompson 174; Müller 355.

And now the lyre in action, played by the first virtuoso


18 mm, 3,27 g.
Septimius Severus 193-211. AR denarius. Rome. 194-195.
L SEPT SEV PERT AVG IMP IIII, laureate head right / APOLLINI AVGVSTO, Apollo standing l., holding patera in r. hand, lyre in l.
RIC IV 40; RSC 42.

The only other instrument in my collection on this Apameia pseudo-autonomous shows Marsyas paying his double flute (aulos), another popular instrument in ancient times. 



Do you have coins with musical instruments? Let's see lyres, kitharas, drums, bagpipes, saxophones, DJ turntables, whatever you have.  


Edited by ambr0zie
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Your first two pictures dont show, with me at least. Maybe something went wrong ,or maybe its just me. 

Anyway, great coins! I never had a thing for playing a music instrument, or bands or things like that. I somehow thought it was too difficult for me, or that I didnt fit the profile as a kid. Interestingly, its also not something I specifically look for, in coins. 

Nevertheless, I do have a few issues with instruments. Most noticeable is this issue of Octavian, bought because the reference to a significant historical event....!  I need to update the description by the way. 


Edited by Limes
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Super coins, and a nice thread idea.

Good luck with rediscovering the music bug. I too had a stint with a local band as a drummer. Lots of local and surrounding interest at the time and it was fun while it lasted. Anyway, I have one coin with Apollo and lyre reverse;


Gallienus, AE antoninianus, Mediolanum mint.jpg

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I bid on the handsome French medal pictured below from CNG E-Sale 543, but not high enough ☹️.



FRANCE, Paris Mint. "The Spirit of Music", 1899. Cast Presentation Medal for the 1900 Exhibition Universelle in Paris. AE 67 mm, 138.90 gm, 12 h. Artist: Marie-Alexandre Lucien Coudray. Orpheus with cithara, being crowned by laurel tree from behind. 


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Hell's bells, I should've known you are a fellow guitarist. I still like to tickle the guitar and bass strings myself from time to time!

Here's Melpomene, the Muse of music, song and dance. 


Q. POMPONIUS MUSA. Fourrée denarius (56 BC). Rome. Obv: Laureate head of Apollo right; sceptre to left. Rev: Q POMPONI MVSA. Melpomene standing left, wearing sword and holding club and mask.Cf. Crawford 410/4 (for prototype).Fine.2.95 g, 17 mm. Numismatik Naumann Feb 2021 


ACHAIA, Pellene Circa 300-250 BCE Æ 13mm Kithara / Tripod. BCD Peloponnesos 601; SNG Copenhagen -223. VF 



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I was always musically inclined but not musically talented. So I became a sound engineer in the Bay Area for about 10 years. Worked with a few known bands, but then I got married and lost interest in long nights with crappy pay.

Here's a rather plain but quite rare bronze from Taras...

Taras, Calabria

281-209 BC
AE 14 (13.5mm, 1.85g)
O: Scallop shell with 11 teeth.
R: Kithara with six strings; olive branch to left.
Vlasto 1850; HN Italy 1092; SNG France- ---; McGill ---; Cote ---
Very Rare

~ Peter Hope 



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