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Coin (tetradrachm) - Tridrachm of Samos

Tridrachm of Samos

  • Object:

    Coin (tetradrachm)

  • Place of origin:

    Greece (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 394-365 BC (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:


  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This ancient Greek coin is a tridrachm of Samos. A drachm is the basic monetary unit in ancient Greece (and still today), originating from the word 'dragma', which means 'handful'. A drachm is a medium sized coin, weighing around 4 grams and with a diameter of about 1.6 to 1.9 cm. Greek coins were made by a crude form of striking, the rough blank of metal being placed between two dies engraved with the required image and the whole assemblage being hit with a hammer, thus obverse and reverse were impressed simultaneously, sometimes with uneven results.
The coins bequeathed to the V&A by George Salting include examples of silver coins from Syracuse of the 4th century BC, a set of gold imperial coins of Rome, and some fine specimens of bronze denarii of the Roman Empire.

Physical description

Obverse: Greek inscription. Infant Heracles, strangling two serpents, around his body crepundia.
Reverse: Greek inscription. Lion's scalp.

Place of Origin

Greece (made)


ca. 394-365 BC (made)



Materials and Techniques



Diameter: 2.28 cm, Weight: 11.47 g

Object history note

From the Salting bequest.

Descriptive line

Coin, tridrachm of Samos, silver, infant Hercules, Greek, 394-365 BC

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

'Salting Bequest (A. 70 to A. 1029-1910) / Murray Bequest (A. 1030 to A. 1096-1910)'. In: List of Works of Art Acquired by the Victoria and Albert Museum (Department of Architecture and Sculpture). London: Printed under the Authority of his Majesty's Stationery Office, by Eyre and Spottiswoode, Limited, East Harding Street, EC, p. 107
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Vol 1, Part 1, 'the Collection of Capt. E. G. Spencer-Churchill, M.C., of Northwick Park' and 'The Salting Collection in the Victoria and Albert Museum', London, published for the British Academy by Humphrey Milford, Oxford University Press, London and Spink and Son, London, S.N.G. 37



Subjects depicted



Coins & Medals; Myths & Legends; Sculpture


Sculpture Collection

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