Hawk/Falcon Obol

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by David Atherton, May 6, 2021.

  1. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic

    My latest arrival is a rare Alexandrian obol struck early in Domitian's reign. The local ethnic reverse is quite appealing! It also comes with a neat pedigree.

    Æ Obol, 4.27g
    Alexandria mint, 82-83 AD
    Obv: ΑΥΤΟΚ ΚΑΙΣΑΡ ΔΟΜΙΤΙΑΝΟΣ ΣΕΒ; Head of Domitian, laureate, r.
    Rev: LΒ; Hawk standing, r., with head-dress
    RPC 2486 (5 spec.). Emmett 317.2. Dattari-Savio 618.
    Acquired from Copper Penny Galleries, April 2021. Ex CNG E113, 11 May 2005, lot 103. From the Garth R. Drewry Collection. Ex Antioch Associates 38, 4 March 2002, lot 118. Ex Hank Lindgren Collection.

    Various different references and catalogues identify the reverse as depicting either a hawk or hooded-falcon. The bird in question is wearing a pschent crown and is almost certainly a reference to the Egyptian god Horus.

    The Lanner falcon, native to Egypt and north Africa, was likely the bird upon which the ancient Egyptians based their depictions of Horus and is the one shown on the obol's reverse.

    lanner falcon.jpg

    Feel free to share your numismatic hawks, falcons, etc.
    FitzNigel, Spaniard, Ryro and 17 others like this.
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  3. Orielensis

    Orielensis Supporter! Supporter

    That is a very neat coin. I like unusual animals on coins, and as an occasional birdwatcher, I tend to have a soft spot for hawks and falcons.

    Here is one of my favorite medieval eastern coins. The hawk as a symbol of authority features prominently in Mongol iconography and also reflects the contemporary role of falconry as a high status sport as well as the position of this animal in Tengrism:
    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.
  4. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    That's very cool, @David Atherton! I don't have any hawks or falcons in my collection. The only raptors I have are eagles.
    David Atherton likes this.
  5. Alegandron

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

    David Atherton likes this.
  6. Jay GT4

    Jay GT4 Well-Known Member

    Your putting a nice Alexandrian collection together David
    David Atherton likes this.
  7. Orfew

    Orfew Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus Supporter

    Great coin David. The reverse is amazing.
    I don't have a hawk but I do have an eagle. This is the Dattari plate coin.

    Egypt, Alexandria. Dattari. Domitian, 81-96
    Diobol circa 89-90 (year 9),
    Æ 24.7mm., 15.53g.
    Laureate head r.
    Rev. ETOYΣ ENATOTOY Eagle standing r. on thunderbolt.
    RPC 2566 (this coin cited as example #3 on RPC online). Dattari-Savio Pl. 22, 6809 (this coin).
    Rare, only two other specimens listed in RPC
    Brown tone, Good Fine.
    From the Dattari collection.
    Ex; Naville Numismatics Live auction 51 Lot 305

  8. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    Here's a coin with two little falcons if one looks carefully:

    Hadrian, AE Diobol, Year 16 (131/132 AD), Alexandria, Egypt Mint. Obv. Laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from rear, ΑΥΤ ΚΑΙ - ΤΡΑΙ ΑΔΡΙΑ ϹƐΒ / Rev. Isis as mother, crowned with disk and horns, seated right on throne, offering left breast to infant Harpocrates (Horus-as-child) sitting on her knee crowned with skhent; on corners of back of throne, two hawks/falcons (representing Horus), facing each other, each wearing skhent, L - IϚ [= Year 16] across fields. Emmett 1138.16 [Emmett, Keith, Alexandrian Coins (Lodi, WI, 2001)]; RPC [Roman Provincial Coinage] Vol. III 5813 (2015); RPC III Online at https://rpc.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/coins/3/5813; BMC 16 Alexandria 762 at p. 90 & PL. XVI [Pool, Reginald Stuart, A Catalog of the Greek Coins in the British Museum, Vol. 16, Alexandria (London, 1892)]; Dattari (Savio) 1749 [Savio, A. ed., Catalogo completo della collezione Dattari Numi Augg. Alexandrini (Trieste, 2007)]; K&G 32.530 [Kampmann, Ursula & Granschow, Thomas, Die Münzen der römischen Münzstätte Alexandria (2008)]. Purchased from Shick Coins, Ashdod, Israel, Dec. 2020; Israel Antiquities Authority Export License No. 42927, 02/02/2021.

    Hadrian Roman Alexandria Diobol, Isis & Harpokrates reverse.jpg

    This coin has one:

    Antoninus Pius Billon Tetradrachm, Year 23 (159-160 AD), Alexandria, Egypt Mint. Obv. Laureate and draped bust right, ΑΝΤѠΝΙΝΟϹ - ϹƐΒ ƐVϹƐΒ (counterclockwise from upper right) /Isis crowned with disk, horns, and plumes, seated right offering her right breast to crowned Harpocrates [“Horus-as-Child”] seated on her lap; Harpocrates extends his right hand towards her and holds lotus flower in left hand; crowned falcon [Horus] perched right on left end of back of throne, L - Γ [G] /K [= Year 23] across field. Emmett 1402.23; Milne 2403; Dattari (Savio) 2257; RPC IV.4 Online, 13938 (temporary) (see https://rpc.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/coins/4/13938); Köln (Geissen) 1842 [same dies, see RPC Online 13938 at the link provided, Example 3]; Sear RCV II 4377; K&G 35.810. 21x28 mm., 11.67 g. Ex. Harlan J. Berk, Ltd., 168th Buy or Bid Sale, March 16, 2010, Lot 475.

    Antoninus Pius - Alexandria (Isis & Harpokrates on reverse).jpg

    And, although not numismatic, here are a few photos of my bronze ancient Egyptian Horus falcon, ca. 26th Dynasty.

    Egypt, Bronze Horus falcon - standing falcon on integral base, with wings folded, wearing crowns of Upper and Lower Egypt, 26th Dynasty, ca. 663-525 BCE
    2 1/8” H x 2 1/8” L x 3/4” Deep (measurements include integral base). Purchased
    1/27/1986, Harmer Rooke Numismatists, Ltd., NYC:

    Egyptian Bronze Horus.JPG

    Bronze Horus Falcon Right 3.jpg

    Bronze Horus Falcon Facing 1.jpg
  9. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic

    Thank you for posting your bronze Horus falcon! I was looking for a suitable image for my post and yours does the trick very nicely.
    DonnaML likes this.
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