[ancients] A couple of colts from Corinth

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by zumbly, Apr 15, 2014.

  1. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana

    I've been a fan of the iconic Corinth staters ever since I bought my first one last December, so my eyes were literally popping when the last Roma auction had several DOZEN examples from the John Hayes Collection, many of them stunning, some of them very rare.

    I went from telling myself to just whistle appreciatively from afar, to considering perhaps maybe buying one of the coins if my budget would allow, to actually bidding and winning one of them. And I still somehow ended up with two :banghead:

    This first one I bought specifically for that little Chimaera creeping about behind Athena's head. There are other equally cool symbols, but I couldn't think of another one more apt given the legend of the hero Bellerophon riding the Pegasos when he killed the Chimaera that had been terrorizing the countryside of Caria and Lycia.


    CORINTHIA, Corinth
    Circa 345 - 307 BC
    AR Stater, 8.56g, 21mm.
    Pegasi 428; Ravel 1010.
    O: Pegasos flying left, Q below.
    R: Helmeted head of Athena left, helmet decorated with laurel wreath, Chimaera stalking behind, A-P below.
    Ex John Hayes Collection
    dlhill132, Volodya, Andres2 and 12 others like this.
  2. Avatar

    Guest User Guest

    to hide this ad.
  3. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana

    This second one sports a rare symbol, a curious-looking 'pudenda virilia' (info below). I had the lot on my watch list, but missed it during the live auction. When I discovered it had gone unsold, I had another opportunity to pick it up. TIF jokingly (I think) threatened to buy it, and that helped me make my mind up pretty quickly.

    corinth pudvir400.jpg

    CORINTHIA, Corinth
    Circa 400 - 375 BC
    AR Stater, 8.37g, 22mm.
    Pegasi 155; Ravel 599.
    O: Pegasos flying left, Q below.
    R: Helmeted head of Athena right, EYT (retrograde) before, 'pudenda virilia' behind.
    Ex John Hayes Collection
    Ex Veilinghuis Eeckhout Auction 7 Lot 11 (12 November 2011)

    This is the same coin that John Hayes uses to picture Pegasi 155 on his excellent Corinth stater resource website corinthstaters.com.

    The 'pudenda virilia' is the delicate term used in references to describe the male sexual organs. As you can see it hardly looks realistic and hence I didn't feel a need to pixelate the image.

    Here's abit more info from the glossary of symbols on http://www.corinthstaters.com/ :

    In Ravel's "Les Poulains de Corinthe" he quotes "This symbol is undoubtedly apotropaic and, still nowadays, in certain regions of Greece, there is the superstition which these parts are strongly protective against the bad fate."

    Apotropaic magic is a ritual observance that is intended to turn away evil. In ancient Greece, phalli were believed to have apotropaic qualities. (source Wikipedia)

    And now we've had the word 'apotropaic' mentioned in two threads in as many days :meh:
  4. TIF

    TIF Always learning.

    Beautiful! And yes, it was a semi-serious threat :D

    Must've missed the word 'apotropaic' previously. I did not know that word and will strive to use it in a sentence a few times today. That should be challenging!
    Volodya and zumbly like this.
  5. Ardatirion

    Ardatirion Où est mon poisson

    I gave a small talk once on sexual imagery on classical coinage. I missed this in my review, partly because I tend to give precedence to the main coinage types and avoid the minor symbols.

    Well done.
    zumbly likes this.
  6. Eng

    Eng Senior Eng

    Wow Zumbly, awesome coins, details off the charts, this is one i want to get myself someday. i don't think i've seen a right facing Athena,very nice..
    zumbly likes this.
  7. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

    Always thought these were beautiful types, bust most are out of my price range. Nice ones!
    zumbly likes this.
  8. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana

    That must have been some talk!

    I've seen this symbol noted as 'pudenda virilia' with a question mark. Perhaps not everyone agrees with it being described as such because of how unrealistic it looks? My guess would be that a purposely atavistic style was used, and that this may be the case if the superstitions were old even at that time. Certainly the average fascinus and even the phallic columns of Delos look more realistic. I have however seen a symbol of similar style also described as 'pudenda virilia' on an aes signatum.
  9. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana

    Thanks, Eng. The left facing ones do seem to be more common, though I don't think the right facing ones are particularly rare. What I hadn't known was that the pegasi come in almost two dozen different poses, and that there are well over 100 unique symbols on the reverses!
  10. John Anthony

    John Anthony Ultracrepidarian

    Gawd. Not another apotropaic pudenda virilia thread. :rolleyes:
    Volodya, Theodosius, Jwt708 and 2 others like this.
  11. Collect89

    Collect89 Coin Collector

    Awesome nice coins Zumbly.

    My stater has a great reverse (IMHO). Unfortunately, the obverse looks like it was struck by a very worn die.
    Greece Corinth Stater c400 BC Collage 1.jpg
    CORINTHIA, Corinth
    AR Stater
    ca. 400 B.C.

    8.29 grams, 21 mm
    Obv: Pegasos w/ artfully pointed wing flying left
    Rev: Head of Athena left wearing Corinthian helmet, porpoise above and palmette behind.
    Grade: aVF with beautiful toning and unusual fine style on both obverse & reverse. Athena, porpois, and palmette are strong. Pegasos is softly struck possibly from worn dies.
    Other: Ex Christies Oct 1983 lot #25. From Dr Salslow coins Nov 2011.
  12. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana

    I agree, that's a really nice reverse. And you have two symbols for the price of one!
  13. Collect89

    Collect89 Coin Collector

    But you have a chimera you lucky puppy. You also have an Iota that might be added to the description:

    R: Helmeted head of Athena left, helmet decorated with laurel wreath, Chimaera stalking behind, Iota above, A-P below.
    zumbly likes this.
  14. John Anthony

    John Anthony Ultracrepidarian

    All joking aside, those are fantastic coins, Z. A real treasure!
    zumbly likes this.
  15. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    Very nice coins Z.
  16. randygeki

    randygeki Coin Collector

  17. stevex6

    stevex6 Random Mayhem

    Holy Moly, Z-Bro!!

    => those are a couple of super sweet ponies!! (you too, Collect89) ... congrats, fellas!!

    Hey, I have an example as well ... ummm, it may not be quite as as sweet as your offerings, but it is my baby, so enjoy ...

    ancients666e.jpg ancients666f.jpg
  18. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana

    Thanks for the comments, everyone. I'll hopefully be able to add to my little stable every now and then.
    Steve, I always like seeing that colt of yours... great portrait!
    stevex6 likes this.
  19. stevex6

    stevex6 Random Mayhem

    Wow, thanks for the coin-compliment, Z-bro ...

    => but it's all about "your" 2 awesome new coins!!

    Cha-ching and Mutha Cha-ching II

    => fantastic additions, my coin-friend!!


    zumbly likes this.
  20. chrsmat71

    chrsmat71 I LIKE TURTLES!

    several things..

    1. wonderful new coins Z!

    2. i had no clue what apotropaic meant or what a pudenda virilia was.

    3. i thought the pundenda virilia was a a milkshake rotated clockwise to 4 o'clock...


    am i right???!!!

    ...don't order a pundenda virilia at dairy queen! :bored:
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2014
    Johndakerftw, Jwt708, stevex6 and 3 others like this.
  21. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    Chrismat, I think you and little brother steve are related. Perhaps brothers from different mothers?
    stevex6 and chrsmat71 like this.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page