A Bird in the Hand

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Sulla80, Nov 13, 2020.

  1. Sulla80

    Sulla80 one coin at a time Supporter

    "Better one sparrow in thy hand than a thousand on the wing"
    - Proverbs of Ahikar the Wise, 6th Century Assyria, #51
    Noodle snacks, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

    My latest coin appears to be a rare variety in weight, 1.11g, and with a ring to the left of the goose. I'm not usually a fan of tiny coins, but the goose on this one and the sturdy nugget of a flan drew me in for a bid. I find the fine, even crystallization pattern attractive.
    Eion AR Trihemiobol.jpg
    Macedon, Eion, c. 480-470 BC, AR Diobol or Triobol?, 1.11g, 9mm
    Obv: Goose standing right, head left; small ring to upper left
    Rev: Incuse square
    Ref: AMNG III/2, –; SNG ANS 271 corr. (ring not noted)

    Here's a closeup of the surface:
    Eion captured from the Persians by Cimon, Athenian general, for the Delian League not long before this coin was minted. Eion later would be strategically important in the Pellopenisian war between Sparta and Athens.

    Here the location of Eion in Macedonia, on a map of "The Athenian Empire at its height (about 450 BC)" from the collection of historical maps available online at the University of Texas at Austin.
    The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1923.

    To add to the bird theme - here's a Roman republican coin from more than three centuries later, 102 BC.
    C. Fabius Hadrianus.jpg
    C. Fabius C.f. Q.n. Hadrianus, 102 BC, AR denarius, Rome
    Obv: EX A PV, Turreted and veiled bust of Cybele right
    Rev: Victory driving galloping biga right, E below horses, bird before, C FABI C F in exergue
    Size: 19.6mm, 3.96 grams
    Ref: Crawford 322/1b; Fabia 14; Sydenham 590
    Notes on this coin and the ill-fated C. Fabius Hadrianus.

    As usual, additional information, references, comments, and corrections are always appreciated.

    Share coins with birds or anything else that you find interesting or entertaining.
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2020
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  3. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

    Oh, that's a super nice example! Love those reticulated surfaces too. Mine is the two geese in love variety, one of my favorite ex x6 coins.

    Macedon Eion - x6 Obol 2594.jpg
    MACEDON, Eion
    AR Hemiobol (?). 0.37g, 10.9mm. MACEDON, Eion, circa 460-400 BC. HGC 3.1, 525; SNG Cop 181. O: Two geese standing right; ivy leaf and H to left. R: Quadripartite incuse square.
    Ex @stevex6 Collection, CNG E-sale 336 (8 Oct 2014) lot 40
  4. Sulla80

    Sulla80 one coin at a time Supporter

    Great "Love birds"! upload_2020-11-13_22-8-52.png
  5. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

    Hah! Thanks for that... I'm all set for Valentine's Day now. :)
  6. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Eagles and owls are overrepresented on ancient coins, IMHO, so here's a dove on an anonymous quadrans from the time of Domitian to Antoninus Pius.

    Anonymous--Domitian to Antoninus Pius.
    Roman Æ quadrans, 12.9 mm, 2.37 g, 4 h
    Rome, A.D. 81-161.
    Obv: Bust of Venus, diademed, draped, right.
    Rev: S-C, dove standing right.
    Ref: RIC II, p. 218, 24; BMCRE --; Cohen VIII, p. 268, 10.
  7. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    Eagles are too easy and common, so here's one with a stork:

    Roman Republic, Q. Caecilius Metullus, AR Denarius, 81 BCE. Obv. Head of Pietas right, wearing diadem; below chin, stork standing right / Rev. Elephant standing left, wearing bell around neck; in exergue, Q•C•M•P•I [Q. Caecilius Metellus Imperator]. Crawford 374/1, RSC I Caecilia 43, Sear RCV I 301 (ill.), Sydenham 750, BMCRR Spain 43. 18 mm., 3.9 g.

    Q. Cec. Metullus denarius (Pietas-elephant) jpg version.jpg
    And one with an ibis:

    Hadrian AR Denarius, 136 AD, Travel Series, Rome Mint. Obv: HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P, bare head right / Rev: AEGYPTOS, Egypt reclining left, holding sistrum in right hand and resting left arm on basket; to left, ibis standing right. RIC II-3 1482 (2019 ed.), old RIC II 297d (1926 ed.), RSC II 99, Sear RCV II 3456, BMCRE 801-3. 18 mm., 3.11 g., 7 h.

    [Edited to substitute new photos with more accurate color]

    Hadrian Aegyptos new Obv..jpg

    Hadrian Aegyptos new Rev..jpg

    And one with some unidentified birds:

    Roman Republic, Anonymous AR Denarius, 115-114 BCE. Obv. Head of Roma right wearing winged Corinthian helmet; below, ROMA; behind, X [despite earlier change from 10 to 16 asses in value] / Rev. Roma, wearing Corinthian helmet, seated right on pile of shields, holding spear in left hand; helmet on ground between pile of shields and her right foot; before her, she-wolf right, suckling twins Romulus and Remus; on either side, birds flying. Crawford 287/1, RSC I 176 (ill.), Sear RCV I 164 (ill.). 20 mm., 3.07 g. Ex. Silbury Coins, UK, Jan. 3, 2019.

    Obv. only Anonymous Republican den. 114-113 BCE.jpg
    Rev. only Anonymous Republican den. 114-113 BCE..jpg

    And one eagle for good measure:

    Roman Republic, Q. Cassius Longinus, AR Denarius, 55 BCE [Crawford] or 53 BCE [Harlan], Rome Mint. Obv. Young male head of Genius Populi Romani [Crawford & RCV] or Bonus Eventus [RSC & RRM II] right, with flowing hair, scepter behind, border of dots / Rev. Eagle, with wings spread, standing right on thunderbolt, lituus [curved augural staff used in reading auspices] to left and capis [jug used in same rituals] to right, border of dots; Q • CASSIVS in exergue. Crawford 428/3, RSC I Cassia 7 (ill.), Sydenham 916, Sear RCV I 391 (ill.), Harlan, RRM II Ch. 23 at pp. 180-187, BMCRR Rome 3868. 19 mm., 3.77 g., 6 h.

    Cassius Longinus - Eagle denarius jpg version.jpg
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2020
  8. Ryro

    Ryro The last of the Diadochi Supporter

    Just thoroughly enjoy the coin, it's artistry and that crystallization! Thank you so much for sharing.
    Though, mine may lack the detail of yours and the love of @zumbly 's, it's a proud honor to have an ex- @Bing and one from macedon no less:
    AR Trihemiobol
    OBVERSE: Goose standing right, head reverted, lizard downward to left above
    REVERSE: Quadripartite incuse square
    Struck at Eion, 460-400 BC
    .66g, 11mm
    SNG ANS 273-284ʺ
    Former CT coin from Bing
  9. Sulla80

    Sulla80 one coin at a time Supporter

    I like your quadrans, not a type I recall seeing before, @Roman Collector. @DonnaML, great flock of birds. @Ryro, an ex- @Bing, macedon and you have the lizard, a type I also like:
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2020
  10. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    I edited my post to substitute new Hadrian Aegyptos photos with much more accurate color. The coin is silver, not brown! (And is no longer blue, for those who remember.)
  11. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter

    Really nice, @Sulla80 ! Another fun coin!!!


    Makedon Alexander III 336-323 BC AE 16 Eagle Tbolt Crescent


    Roman Republic
    Head Juno Sospita R goat skin headdress
    She-wolf R placing stick on fire eagle standing fanning flames
    45 BCE
    19.0mm 4.07g
    Crawford 472-1
    Sulla80, Edessa, Carl Wilmont and 9 others like this.
  12. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    I really want one of those Juno Sospitas to go with my other five (Crawford 316/1, 379/1, 379/2, 384/1, and 412/1)! The problem is that in most of the ones I see, the eagle is off the flan. Which sort of misses the point.
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2020
    +VGO.DVCKS, Sulla80 and Alegandron like this.
  13. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter

    Agreed... that is why I snared this one. Maybe not the best, but I got most of the Eagle. LOL, I would had given up Lupa’s butt to get the full Eagle!
    +VGO.DVCKS and DonnaML like this.
  14. Sulla80

    Sulla80 one coin at a time Supporter

    I had missed your "mysterious transformation" post.
    That coin looks pretty nice to me...Dionysius of Halicarnasus writing during the time of Augustus, seems to have mixed up the two towns (Lavinium, Lanuvium), he tells the story of the founding of Lanuvium. The scene of an eagle and wolf stoking a fire, while the envious fox wetting his tail and attempting to extinguish the fire. The eagle and wolf prevail.
    "Aeneas, on observing this, said that the colony would become illustrious and an object of wonder and would gain the greatest renown, but that as it increased it would be envied by its neighbors and prove grievous to them; nevertheless, it would overcome its adversaries, the good fortune that it had received from Heaven being more powerful than the envy of men that would oppose it."
    - Dionysus of Halicarnasus, The Roman Antiquities, 59
  15. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter

    Thank you. I was going to post that story, as it was why I was interested in getting the Denarius.
    +VGO.DVCKS, DonnaML and Sulla80 like this.
  16. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    @Sulla80 was kind enough to stitch my two new Hadrian-Aegyptos photos together side-by-side, and add a black background. I think it looks great!

    Hadrian-Aegyptos - new combined photo.png

    Just compare it to the way the coin looked when I bought it, with an artificial blue tone applied:

    Hadrian - Egypt - jpg version.jpg

    I assure you that it actually looked far worse and more artificial in hand than in this photo! I don't know who likes this look, but someone must, because this dealer's website is still full of coins with the identical blue tone, with varying levels of obtrusiveness. Never mind his artificial sand patinas. Or, something I've noticed more recently, his habit of taking Roman Provincial billon tetradrachms from Alexandria (many of them in admittedly very nice condition) and making them all look like they're bright silver in color, when we all know that's not how they look, except some of the earlier ones. I'm not sure how he does that, except perhaps by desaturating them so much that they look almost black-and-white.

    Someone once posted a link to a website that stitches photos together for free. I forgot to save the link. Does anyone remember what it was?

  17. Orielensis

    Orielensis Supporter! Supporter

    I very much like the geese from Eion. Mine is the type with the additional lizard:
    Magna Graecia – Makedonien, Eion, Trihemiobol, Gans und Eidechse:Incusum.png
    Macedonia, Eion, AR trihemiobol, ca. 460-400 BC. Obv: Goose standing r., head turned l.; lizard curving l. above; H to lower r. Rev: quadripartite incuse square. 12 mm, 0,71g. Ref: SNG Cop 179.

    A Greek dove:
    Magna Graecia – Sykionia, Sykion, Hemidrachme, Chimäre:Taube.png
    Sikyonia, Sikyon, AR hemidrachm, ca. 330-280 BC. Obv: chimaera advancing l., right paw raised; ΣΙ below. Rev: dove flying left. 16mm, 2.6g. Ref: SNG Copenhagen 64f.

    Donna has already shown the first Metellus stork. Here is the second one, unfortunaley missing most of its beak:
    Römische Republik – RRC 374:2, Denar, Metellus, Pietas und Krug:Lituus.png
    Roman Republic, imperatorial issue of Q. Caecilius Metellus Pius, AR denarius, 81 BC, Northern Italian mint. Obv: diademed head of Pietas r.; to r., stork standing r. Rev: IMPER; jug and lituus; in laurel wreath. Ref: RRC 374/2. 19mm, 3.90g.

    This coin has a hawk and is quite unusual for its use of both Arabic and Uyghur legends:
    Orient, MA – Ilkhanat, Arghun, AR dirham, Falke:Sonne, Astarabad, A-2149.2..png
    Ilkhanate, under Arghun with Ghazan as viceroy, AR dirham, 1291–1292 AD (690–691 AH), Astarabad mint. Obv: Uyghur protocol in three lines, two above hawk and one below: "[qaghanu]/ nereber/ deletkeguluksen(?)" ('of the Khaqan / in the name of / struck'); Arabic name of the ruler Arghun in central l. field; citing his heir Ghazan in r. field; hawk r., sunface rising behind. Rev: Shiite kalima in three lines in square: "la ilah illa allah / muhammad rasul allah / ali waliun allah", partial mint and date formula for Astarabad in margins. Ref: Album 2149.2. 17.5mm, 2.93g.
  18. Broucheion

    Broucheion Well-Known Member

    Hi All,

    Three from Alexandria. Is it an Ibis, Heron or Phoenix? I choose Ibis for Augustus and Hadrian and a Heron for the possible Caligula.


    Emmett-18.ud; Geissen-24; Dattari-7, pl xxxii; RPC I-5022 : Milne-8b; BMC-6; AMC 785; BNF-0802.


    Emmett-4257.02; Geissen-3444; Dattari-0112, plxxxii; RPC-5112 : Milne-5246 to M-5248; SNG Copenhagen-54; BMC-2632 to BMC-2636.


    Emmett-1192.03 (R5); Geissen-Unlisted; Dattari-2035

    - Broucheion

    Attached Files:

  19. Sulla80

    Sulla80 one coin at a time Supporter

  20. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    I have always been fond of the Eion geese and was trying to talk myself into ordering the x6 lovebirds when Z bought it. That leaves me with two. One is the standard, later version with lizard as shown by several above. Mine has an A under the goose.

    Closer to the Sulla80 original post coin is my 0.8g which I am calling a trihemiobol for lack of a better answer. That fits if his is a diobol. These earlier ones are considerably more chunky that the later flatter ones.
  21. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

    The two geese I had in my collection before I bought Steve's coin came with two lizards... and a hole. :D

    Macedon Eion - Trihemiobol.jpg
    MACEDON, Eion
    AR Trihemiobol. 0.83g, 12.4mm. MACEDONIA, Eion, circa 460-400 BC. SNG ANS 287-290. O: Goose standing right, head reverted; lizard above, H below. R: Incuse square.
    Ex E.E. Clain-Stefanelli Collection

    MACEDON Eion - Holed AR Trihemiobol 2541.JPG
    MACEDON, Eion
    AR Trihemiobol (Holed). 0.81g, 11.8mm. MACEDON, Eion, circa 460-400 BC. HGC 3.1, 521; SNG Cop 174. O: Goose standing right, head reverted; lizard above, retrograde N below bottom of goose. R: Incuse square.

    Incidentally, in an e-mail that I read this morning from Nomos highlighting some coins in their upcoming auction, they had this comment about one of these Eion trihemiobols being offered: "known findspots for the "Eions" are nowhere near the site of the ancient city!!!"
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