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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Personifications ▸ HopeView Options:  |  |  | 

Hope and Fate (Elpis or Spes)

Elpis to the Greeks, or Spes to the Romans, was the personification of Hope. According the Hesiod's famous story, Elpis was the last to escape the Pandora's box. It can be debated whether she was really about "hope" as we understand it, or rather mere "expectation." In art, Hope is normally depicted carrying flowers or a cornucopia, but on coins she is almost invariably depicted holding a flower in her extended right, while the left is raising a fold of her dress. She was also named "ultima dea" - the last resort of men.


Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 A.D.

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Spes was the Roman personification of Hope. In art Spes is normally depicted carrying flowers or a cornucopia, but on coins she is almost invariably depicted holding a flower in her extended right, while the left is raising a fold of her dress. She was also named "ultima dea" - for Hope is the last resort of men.
RS77391. Silver denarius, RIC II 181d, RSC II 390, BMCRE III 417, Hunter II 143, Strack II 177, SRCV II 3479, VF, well centered on broad flan, light toning, struck with a cracked obverse die, edge splits, weight 2.961 g, maximum diameter 20.3 mm, Rome mint, 125 - 128 A.D.; obverse HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS, laureate bust right, slight drapery on left shoulder; reverse COS III, Spes standing left, raising flower in right hand, lifting fold of drapery with left; $175.00 (154.00)


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D.

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Spes was the Roman personification of Hope. In art Spes is normally depicted carrying flowers or a cornucopia, but on coins she is almost invariably depicted holding a flower in her extended right hand, while the left is raising a fold of her dress. She was also named "ultima dea" - for Hope is the last resort of men.
RS75200. Silver denarius, RIC IV 254d, RSC III 546, BMCRE VI 897, Hunter III 75, SRCV II 7927, Choice VF, perfect centering, nice portrait, toned, some reverse die wear, weight 3.165 g, maximum diameter 20.3 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 231 - 235 A.D.; obverse IMP ALEXANDER PIVS AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, from front; reverse SPES PVBLICA, Spes advancing left, flower in right, with left raising skirt; $150.00 (132.00)


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D.

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Spes was the Roman personification of Hope. In art Spes is normally depicted carrying flowers or a cornucopia, but on coins she is almost invariably depicted holding a flower in her extended right hand, while the left is raising a fold of her dress. She was also named "ultima dea" - for Hope is the last resort of men.
RS76110. Silver denarius, RIC IV 254d, RSC III 546, BMCRE VI 897, Hunter III 75, SRCV II 7927, gVF, interesting sharp portrait, toned, well centered and struck, weight 2.891 g, maximum diameter 20.1 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 231 - 235 A.D.; obverse IMP ALEXANDER PIVS AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse SPES PVBLICA, Spes advancing left, flower in right hand, raising skirt with left hand; $150.00 (132.00)


Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D.

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In 110 A.D., the Forum of Trajan was constructed in Rome by the Syrian architect Apollodorus of Damascus.
RB73736. Orichalcum sestertius, Woytek 338a, RIC II 519, Cohen II 459, Strack I 403, BnF IV 543 var. (slight drapery), BMCRE III 810 var. (same), SRCV II 3200 var. (same), F, nice portrait, green patina, corrosion, encrustation, weight 27.445 g, maximum diameter 33.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 109 - 110 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES NERVAE TRAIANO AVG GER DAC P M TR P COS V P P, laureate head right; reverse S P Q R OPTIMO PRINCIPI, Spes advancing left, raising flower in right hand, raising drapery with left hand, S - C flanking across field; $145.00 (127.60)


Vespasian, 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D.

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Spes was the Roman personification of Hope. In art Spes is normally depicted carrying flowers or a cornucopia, but on coins she is almost invariably depicted holding a flower in her extended right, while the left is raising a fold of her dress. She was also named "ultima dea" - for Hope is the last resort of men.
RB73623. Copper as, RIC II, part 1, 894; BMCRE II 725, BnF III 757, Cohen I 457, Hunter I C3852, SRCV I -, F, centered, dark green patina, cleaning scratches, light corrosion and encrustations, weight 9.599 g, maximum diameter 27.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 76 A.D.; obverse IMP CAESAR VESP AVG COS VII, laureate head right; reverse Spes standing left, flower in right, raising skirt with left, S - C flanking at sides; $90.00 (79.20)


Claudius II Gothicus, September 268 - August or September 270 A.D.

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Spes was the Roman personification of Hope. On coins she is almost invariably depicted holding a flower in her extended right, while the left is raising a fold of her dress. She was also named "ultima dea" - the last resort of men.
RA72586. Billon antoninianus, MER-RIC 26, RIC V 168, Venra Hoard 9073, Normanby 1004, Hunter IV 62, Cohen VI 284, SRCV III 11374, VF, grainy, weight 2.714 g, maximum diameter 18.0 mm, die axis 315o, 1st officina, Mediolanum (Milan, Italy) mint, issue 1, c. September 268 - mid 269; obverse IMP CLAVDIVS P F AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse SPES PVBLICA, Spes standing left, flower in right, raising fold of drapery with left, P in exergue; $36.00 (31.68) ON RESERVE


Maximianus, 286 - 305, 306 - 308, and 310 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

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Elpis was the Greek equivalent of the Roman Spes, the goddess of hope. She was traditionally defined as "the last goddess" (Spes, ultima dea), meaning that hope is the last resource available to men. Elpis personified hope for good harvests, and for children, and was invoked at births, marriages, and other important times.
RX71235. Billon tetradrachm, Geissen 3286; Dattari 5875; Milne 4828; Curtis 2071; BMC Alexandria p. 329, 2556; SNG Cop 1024; Kampmann 120.17; Emmett 4114/2, VF, excellent centering, weak legend, weight 7.235 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 286 - 28 Aug 287; obverse A K M OYA MAΞIMIANOC CEB, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse Elpis standing left, flower in right, raising drapery with left, star above right, L - B (year 2) flanking across field; $32.00 (28.16)


Tetricus II, Spring 274 A.D.

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Spes was the Roman personification of Hope. In art Spes is normally depicted carrying flowers or a cornucopia, but on coins she is almost invariably depicted holding a flower in her extended right, while the left is raising a fold of her dress. She was also named "ultima dea" - for Hope is the last resort of men.
RA77490. Bronze antoninianus, RIC V 270, Cohen VI 88, SRCV III 11292, VF, green patina, tight ragged flan, weight 2.122 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 0o, Mainz or Treveri (Trier) mint, as caesar, 273 - spring 274 A.D.; obverse C PIV ESV TETRICVS CAES, radiate and draped bust right, from behind; reverse SPES AVGG, Spes advancing left, extending flower in right hand, raising skirt drapery with left hand; $28.00 (24.64)







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Catalog current as of Sunday, May 01, 2016.
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Hope and Fate