GREEK BRONZE DOLPHIN “COIN” NECKLACE 5TH-4TH CENTURY BC
From the Greek Black Sea colony of Olbia which provided slaves, cereal, and fish. Before dying struck coinage, these dolphin figures served as a means of exchange, vital for commerce to thrive. They are modeled as the bottlenose dolphins of the Black Sea which were both friendly and considered auspicious and sacred to Apollo. The dolphins are bronze, evidently, hand-modeled as they vary considerably though always in leaping or breaching posture. This example is just under 1” long with a dorsal fin, bulging eyes, and a prominent nose. Surface textured from burial, it has been professionally refurbished, silver plated on modern sterling silver neck chain.