With Bells On

RRC 262/1. L. Caecilius Metellus Diadematus. Denarius circa 128, AR 3.89 g. Helmeted head of Roma r.; behind, mark of value *. Rev. Goddess in biga r., holding sceptre and reins in l. hand and branch in r.; below horses, elephant’s head with bell attached / ROMA.

I had a little itch in my brain that elephants wearing bells were some how familiar to me when I included the coin below in my previous post.

ETRURIA. Val di Chiana. Ca. 208–207 BC. Æ 18 mm (4.68 gm). Head of black African right / Elephant right with bell hanging from neck, Etruscan letter below. SNG ANS 36. SNG Morcom 44. HN Italy 69.

I realize it must have been because of the bell on the elephant head on RRC 262/1.  The bell must have been a prominent feature on war elephants to make it onto the coin iconography…

addendum.  HN Italy 2666 is an AE coin of ~18mm diameter with a bust of Nike on the obverse and an elephant with a bell on the reverse.  Trunk curves outwards, not inward.  The mint and date is unknown.  Two more specimens are in Copenhagen.

Update 6/6/2014:  Elephants with Bells also seems to be a Bacrian motif:


8/22/16:  and Indo-Greek



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