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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Numismatics ▸ Archaic OriginsView Options:  |  |  |   

Archaic Origins

On this page we offer some of the first coins of mankind. The simplest and earliest coin type was a natural electrum lump without design and with only a punch to indicate it was more than just a nugget.

BEHOLD portrayed in miniature, yet clear,
The changing seasons of Hellenic art;
Fair spring-time, when dim haunting visions start
Forth into life, and forms divine appear . . .


Ionia, c. 600 - 550 B.C.

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Some numismatists have attributed this type to the Carian Island of Cos, due to the striking similarities to the archaic silver coinage of that island. Although this attribution is possible, most of the numismatic community accepts this type as Ionian in origin.
SH77551. Electrum hekte, Unpublished in standard refs but about a dozen known from sales, cf. Rosen 346 - 347 (Anatolia, uncertain city, 1/96 Phocaic stater), VF, dark spots, weight 2.612 g, maximum diameter 10.0 mm, uncertain Ionian mint, Phocaic standard; obverse crab seen from above; reverse quadripartite incuse square; very rare; $2600.00 (€2288.00)
 


Athens, Greece, Old Style Tetradrachm, c. 454 - 404 B.C.

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The old-style tetradrachm of Athens is famous for its almond shaped eye, archaic smile and charming owl reverse. Around 480 B.C. a wreath of olive leaves and a decorative scroll were added to Athena's helmet. On the reverse a crescent moon was added.

During the period 449 - 413 B.C. huge quantities of tetradrachms were minted to finance grandiose building projects such as the Parthenon and to cover the costs of the Peloponnesian War.
SH77464. Silver tetradrachm, SNG Cop 31, SNG München 49, Kroll 8, Dewing 1611, Gulbenkian 519, HGC 4 1597, Dewing 1611, SGCV I 2526, EF, well centered on a tight flan, light marks, weight 17.164 g, maximum diameter 26.8 mm, die axis 135o, Athens mint, c. 454 - 404 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right, almond shaped eye, crested helmet with olive leaves and floral scroll, wire necklace, round earring, hair in parallel curves; reverse AΘE right, owl standing right, head facing, erect in posture, olive sprig and crescent left, all within incuse square; ex Gorny & Mosch auction 233 (6 Oct 2015), lot 1431; $1950.00 (€1716.00) ON RESERVE


Ionia, c. 600 - 550 B.C.

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Unpublished in the standard references but several known from auction listings.
SH77380. Electrum hemihekte, Lydo-Milesian standard; cf. CNG auction (9 Mar 2016), lot 156 (same dies); Elektron I 9 corr.; Weidauer -; Traité I -; SNG Kayhan -, VF, light marks, weight 1.189 g, maximum diameter 7.2 mm, uncertain Ionian mint, c. 600 - 550 BC; obverse crude scarab beetle(?); reverse irregular six-lobed incuse pattern; very rare; $1200.00 (€1056.00)
 


Ionia, c. 650 - 600 B.C., Plain Flattened Type

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This is an example of the very earliest form of coinage; a type-less (blank) electrum globule, weighed to a specific standard, with a simple square punch mark on one side (two or three punch marks on larger denominations). Nine similar electrum pieces were within the famous "Artemision Find" at Ephesus in 1904.
SH77552. Electrum 1/12 stater, SNG Kayhan 676, SNGvA 7763; Rosen 324; Traité II -; Weidauer -; Zhuyuetang -, VF, weight 1.101 g, maximum diameter 6.9 mm, uncertain Ionian mint, c. 650 - 600 B.C.; obverse plain flattened surface; reverse roughly square pyramid shaped punch with striated sides; rare; $1150.00 (€1012.00) ON RESERVE


Athens, Greece, Old Style Tetradrachm, c. 454 - 404 B.C.

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The old-style tetradrachm of Athens is famous for its almond shaped eye, archaic smile and charming owl reverse. Around 480 B.C. a wreath of olive leaves and a decorative scroll were added to Athena's helmet. On the reverse a crescent moon was added.

During the period 449 - 413 B.C. huge quantities of tetradrachms were minted to finance grandiose building projects such as the Parthenon and to cover the costs of the Peloponnesian War.
SH77471. Silver tetradrachm, SNG Cop 31, SNG München 49, Kroll 8, Dewing 1611, Gulbenkian 519, HGC 4 1597, Dewing 1611, SGCV I 2526, gVF, well centered on tight flan, light toning, some die wear, light marks, weight 17.170 g, maximum diameter 24.2 mm, die axis 270o, Athens mint, c. 454 - 404 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right, almond shaped eye, crested helmet with olive leaves and floral scroll, wire necklace, round earring, hair in parallel curves; reverse AΘE right, owl standing right, head facing, erect in posture, olive sprig and crescent left, all within incuse square; $1100.00 (€968.00)
 


Athens, Greece, Old Style Tetradrachm, c. 454 - 404 B.C.

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The old-style tetradrachm of Athens is famous for its almond shaped eye, archaic smile and charming owl reverse. Around 480 B.C. a wreath of olive leaves and a decorative scroll were added to Athena's helmet. On the reverse a crescent moon was added.

During the period 449 - 413 B.C. huge quantities of tetradrachms were minted to finance grandiose building projects such as the Parthenon and to cover the costs of the Peloponnesian War.
RS71597. Silver tetradrachm, SNG Cop 31, SNG München 49, Kroll 8, Dewing 1611, Gulbenkian 519, HGC 4 1597, Dewing 1611, SGCV I 2526, VF, no test cuts, nice Athena and owl, toned, well centered on a tight flan, as usual crest off flan, light marks and scratches, weight 17.042 g, maximum diameter 25.7 mm, die axis 135o, Athens mint, c. 454 - 404 B.C. (probably close to 404 B.C.); obverse head of Athena right, almond shaped eye, crested helmet with olive leaves and floral scroll, wire necklace, round earring, hair in parallel curves; reverse AΘE right, owl standing right, head facing, erect in posture, olive sprig and crescent left, all within incuse square; $1000.00 (€880.00)
 


Athens, Greece, Old Style Tetradrachm, c. 454 - 404 B.C.

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The old-style tetradrachm of Athens is famous for its almond shaped eye, archaic smile and charming owl reverse. Around 480 B.C. a wreath of olive leaves and a decorative scroll were added to Athena's helmet. On the reverse a crescent moon was added.

During the period 449 - 413 B.C. huge quantities of tetradrachms were minted to finance grandiose building projects such as the Parthenon and to cover the costs of the Peloponnesian War.
SH72559. Silver tetradrachm, SNG Cop 31, SNG München 49, Kroll 8, Dewing 1611, Gulbenkian 519, HGC 4 1597, Dewing 1611, SGCV I 2526, VF, well centered, high relief, reverse test cuts, weight 17.117 g, maximum diameter 25.5 mm, die axis 270o, Athens mint, c. 454 - 404 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right, almond shaped eye, crested helmet with olive leaves and floral scroll, wire necklace, round earring, hair in parallel curves; reverse AΘE right, owl standing right, head facing, erect in posture, olive sprig and crescent left, all within incuse square; ex Forum (2007); $800.00 (€704.00)
 


Ionia, c. 600 - 550 B.C.

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The referenced coins are not very similar. It might be more appropriate to describe this coin as unpublished but perhaps the pattern is purely random and it is from the same mint and issue as the Kayhan or Von Aulock coin.
SH76827. Electrum 1/24 stater, cf. SNG Kayhan 688, SNGvA 7768, (neither very similar), Weidauer -, Rosen -, Traité I -, Mitchiner ATEC -, Zhuyuetang -, VF, weight 0.710 g, maximum diameter 6.8 mm, uncertain Ionian mint, c. 600 - 550 B.C.; obverse random(?) pattern of shapes and pellets; reverse a roughly square incuse punch with a central pellet surrounded by a random(?) pattern of curved lines; $720.00 (€633.60)
 


Roman Republic, Anonymous, c. 230 B.C.

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In 230 B.C., Rome sent envoys to the Illyrian Queen Teuta to obtain her aid in ending attacks and murders of Roman merchants by Illyrian pirates. After the Roman ambassador Lucius Coruncanius and the Issaean ambassador Cleemporus offended Queen Teuta, the were murdered at sea by her soldiers. In response, Roman forces occupied the island of Corcyra with the aim of humbling Teuta.
SH77477. Aes grave (cast) triens, Libral standard; Vecchi ICC 68; HN Italy 328; Crawford 24/5; Thurlow-Vecchi 33; Haeberlin pp. 60-61, 1-76 pl. 25, 8-11, gF, nice green patina, pitting, marks, weight 58.717 g, maximum diameter 40.2 mm, Rome mint, c. 230 B.C.; obverse horse prancing left, two pellets above and two pellets bellow (mark of value); reverse wheel of six spokes, four pellets (mark of value) between spokes; From the Andrew McCabe Collection; very rare; $680.00 (€598.40)
 


Lyttus, Crete, c. 450 - 320 B.C.

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References do not describe the obverse legend, but it is also present on the Svoronos plate.
SH65976. Silver drachm, Svoronos Crete p. 231, 19 and pl.XXI, 13; BMC Crete p. 55, 7; SNG Cop 494, aVF, slightly grainy, well centered, weight 5.352 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 0o, Lyttus mint, c. 380 - 320 B.C.; obverse ΛY−TΣ (clockwise starting above, ΛY ligate), eagle flying left; reverse ΛYTTION, boar’s head right in beaded square border, all within incuse square; rare; $610.00 (€536.80)
 


Ionia, c. 625 - 600 B.C.

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SH77549. Electrum 1/24 stater, Elektron I 51, cf. Rosen 269 (hemihekte) and 309 (1/96th stater), Weidauer-, Traité -, SNG Kayhan -, VF, well centered, bumps and marks, earthen deposits, weight 0.537 g, maximum diameter 5.5 mm, uncertain Ionian mint, c. 625 - 600 B.C.; obverse raised square; reverse incuse square punch; $600.00 (€528.00)
 


Athens, Greece, Old Style Tetradrachm, c. 454 - 404 B.C.

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The old-style tetradrachm of Athens is famous for its almond shaped eye, archaic smile and charming owl reverse. Around 480 B.C. a wreath of olive leaves and a decorative scroll were added to Athena's helmet. On the reverse a crescent moon was added.

During the period 449 - 413 B.C. huge quantities of tetradrachms were minted to finance grandiose building projects such as the Parthenon and to cover the costs of the Peloponnesian War.
GS73681. Silver tetradrachm, SNG Cop 31, SNG München 49, Kroll 8, Dewing 1611, Gulbenkian 519, HGC 4 1597, Dewing 1611, SGCV I 2526, F, centered, obverse rough, test cuts, weight 16.302 g, maximum diameter 26.1 mm, die axis 45o, Athens mint, c. 454 - 404 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right, almond shaped eye, crested helmet with olive leaves and floral scroll, wire necklace, round earring, hair in parallel curves; reverse AΘE right, owl standing right, head facing, erect in posture, olive sprig and crescent left, all within incuse square; $500.00 (€440.00)
 


Roman Republic, Cast Aes Grave Uncia, c. 280 - 276 B.C.

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In 280, King Pyrrhus of Epirus responded to an appeal from Tarentum and used his army of over 20,000 men and his war elephants to defeat the Romans at the Battle of Heraclea. Several tribes including the Lucani, Bruttii and the Messapians as well as the Greek cities of Crotone and Locri joined Pyrrhus. The Roman commander and statesman, Gaius Fabricius Luscinus, was sent to negotiate the ransom and exchange of prisoners. Pyrrhus was so impressed by Fabricius refusing to accept a bribe, that Pyrrhus released the prisoners without the requirement for a ransom. Following his victory, Pyrrhus advanced as far north as Latium. In 279, Pyrrhus, leading the combined Tarantine, Oscan, Samnite, and Greek forces, won a 'Pyrrhic victory' against the Romans at the Battle of Asculum, called such because his victory came at a great cost to his own forces. Pyrrhus is reported to have said afterwards, "One more victory against the Romans and we shall be utterly ruined!" Disheartened, Pyrrhus soon abandoned Italy for Sicily.
RR77392. Aes grave cast uncia, Crawford 14/6; Haeberlin pl. 40, 19; HN Italy 273; Thurlow-Vecchi 6a; Vecchi ICC 31, gVF, green patina, weight 27.152 g, maximum diameter 29.5 mm, Rome mint, c. 280 - 276 B.C.; obverse astragalos (knuckle-bone used like dice for divination and games) and pellet (mark of value); reverse pellet (mark of value); scarce; $450.00 (€396.00)
 


Akragas, Sicily, 450 - 440 B.C.

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Located on a plateau overlooking Sicily's southern coast, Akragas was founded c. 582 B.C. by colonists from Gela. It grew rapidly, becoming second only to Syracuse in importance on Sicily, but was sacked by Carthage in 406 B.C. and never fully recovered. It was renamed Agrigentum after it fell to Rome in 210 B.C.
GI76829. Cast bronze trias, Calciati I, p. 143, 1; Westermark Fifth pl. I, 1; SNG Cop 61; SNG ANS 1015; SNG Lloyd 832; HGC 2 126 (R1);, VF, green patina, earthen deposits, some light corrosion, weight 16.186 g, Akragas mint, 450 - 440 B.C.; cast near tooth-shaped flattened cone form, four pellets on flat top, sea-eagle standing left on one side, crab opposite; rare; $400.00 (€352.00)
 


Rhodes, Caria, c. 394 - 304 B.C.

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Rhodes was an important slave-trading center, best known for The Colossus of Rhodes. The Colossus of Rhodes, the sixth of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, was a huge statue of Helios measuring 32 meters (100 feet) high, built at Rhodes in 280 B.C. but destroyed by an earthquake later in that century. It has inspired many later sculptures including the Statue of Liberty.
GS76570. Silver didrachm, Ashton Rhodes 98; SNG Keckman 436; SNG Cop 728; SNGvA 2790; BMC Caria p. 233, 27; SGCV II 5037, aEF, attractive style, high relief, well centered on a slightly irregular flan, corrosion, weight 6.588 g, maximum diameter 20.1 mm, die axis 0o, Rhodes mint, c. 340 B.C.; obverse head of Helios facing slightly right; reverse rose with bud to right, grape cluster and E lower left left, PO∆ION above, all within an incuse square; $330.00 (€290.40)
 


Lesbos, 500 - 440 B.C.

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Apotropaic magic is a ritual observance that is intended to turn away evil. Curiously, eyes were often used to ward off the "evil eye".
GA71546. Billon 1/48th stater, BMC Troas, p. 152, 28; SNG Cop 292; SNGvA 7716; SNG München 650; Rosen 548; HGC 6 1074 (1/36th stater, R1), VF, weight 0.207 g, maximum diameter 5.8 mm, Lesbos mint, 500 - 440 B.C.; obverse two apotropaic eyes (or two barley kernels); reverse incuse square; rare; $225.00 (€198.00)
 


Phokaia, Ionia, c. 510 - 494 B.C.

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Although this obol with the head right is unpublished in references we know of six examples sold at auction in the past decade. Examples with the head right are approximately 0.8 grams, not the approximately 1.3 grams normal for the type with the head left.
GA71653. Silver obol, Unpublished in references; cf. Klein 454 (head left), VF, some encrustation, corrosion, weight 0.796 g, maximum diameter 10.2 mm, Phokaia (Foca, Turkey) mint, c. 510 - 494 B.C.; obverse head of nymph right, wearing sakkos and earring; reverse quadripartite incuse square; very rare; $200.00 (€176.00)
 


Iberian Celts, Hacksilver, c. 300 - 150 B.C.

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CE73560. Silver hacksilver fragment, cut, perhaps from a disk ingot; cf. Kim and Kroll 59; Van Alfen Hacksilber 53 ff., 26.964g, 32.7mm, weight 23.758 g, maximum diameter 30.2 mm, $200.00 (€176.00)
 


Kebren, Troas, 5th Century B.C.

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Kebren (or Cebren, or Cebrene) was in the middle Skamander valley in the Troad region of Anatolia. Its remains have been located in the forested foothills of Mount Ida (modern Kaz Dagi), approximately 7 km to the south of the Skamander. Archaeological remains suggest that in the mid-7th and early 6th century B.C. Kebren as a mixed Greco-Anatolian community. Writing in the early 4th century B.C., Xenophon implies that the population of Kebren was still both Greek and Anatolian. In the 5th century B.C., Kebren was a member of the Delian League and is listed in the Hellespontine district paying tribute to Athens. Following the defeat of Athens at the end of the Peloponnesian War in 404 B.C., Kebren came under the control of Zenis, the tyrant of Dardanus, and his wife Mania who together controlled the Troad on behalf of the Persian satrap Pharnabazos. Kebren was captured by the Spartan commander Dercylidas in 399 B.C., but soon after returned to Persian control. In 360 to 359, the Greek mercenary commander Charidemus briefly captured the city before being repelled by the Persian satrap Artabazos. At some point in the 4th century B.C. Kebren produced coinage depicting a satrap's head as the obverse type, indicating the city's close relationship with its Persian overlords. Kebren ceased to exist as an independent city about 310 B.C., when Antigonus I Monophthalmus founded Antigonia Troas (after 301 B.C. renamed Alexandria Troas) and included Kebren in the synoecism.
GA76288. Silver obol, Klein 312, SNG Kayhan 1051 - 1052 (Lykia?), SNG Cop -, SNGvA -, BMC Troas -, aEF, toned, grainy etched surfaces, weight 0.570 g, maximum diameter 7.3 mm, Kebren mint, 5th Century B.C.; obverse head of ram left; reverse irregularly divided incuse square; rare; $200.00 (€176.00)
 


Osco-Latin, Central Italy, Late 4th - Early 3rd Century B.C.

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GA77417. Cast bronze Aes Formatum, cf. G. Fallai, IAPN 8, pl. 6, 2-2e; Alvarez-Burgos P28; Thurlow-Vecchi -; molded from bipod shell, weight 13.925 g, maximum diameter 23.5 mm, uncertain Osco-Latin mint, late 4th - early 3rd century B.C.; $200.00 (€176.00)
 


Himera, Sicily, c. 472-413 B.C.

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In 409 B.C., Carthage attacked Himera. The city was unprepared; its fortifications weak. At first they were supported about 4000 auxiliaries from Syracuse, but their general, Diocles, seized with panic for the safety of Syracuse itself, abandoned Himera. The city was utterly destroyed, its buildings, even its temples, were razed to the ground. More than 3000 prisoners were put to death by General Hannibal Mago as a human sacrifice to the memory of his grandfather General Hamilcar who had been defeated at the Battle of Himera in 480 B.C.
GA76588. Silver obol, cf. SNG Cop 312; SNG München 355; SNG Lloyd 1027; BMC Sicily p. 81, 47; SNG ANS -; Klein -, VF, obverse off center, reverse legend weak, uneven toning, a little rough, weight 0.586 g, maximum diameter 10.6 mm, Himera mint, c. 472-413 B.C.; obverse bearded male (Kronos?) head right, wearing fillet (hair band); reverse HIMEPA (or similar), Corinthian helmet right, no crest, within shallow incuse; rare; $175.00 (€154.00)
 


Eion, Macedonia, c. 500 - 437 B.C.

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Eion was only about three miles from Amphipolis and from the late 5th century onwards served merely as a seaport of its much larger neighbor. The denomination is variously described as a diobol or trihemiobol. The significance of the obverse type is not clear, but presumably makes reference to the characteristic fauna of the region at that time.
GA77599. Silver trihemiobol, SNG ANS 280 - 283, SNG Cop 180 corr., SNG Berry 29, Klein 151, BMC Macedonia p. 75, 21, aVF, well centered, light toning, edge split, porous, weight 0.661 g, maximum diameter 11.5 mm, Eion mint, c. 500 - 437 B.C.; obverse goose standing right, looking back, lizard above; reverse quadripartite incuse square; $175.00 (€154.00)
 


Persian Empire, Judaea (Yehudah), 375 - 333 B.C.

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Minted in Judaea while under Persian control, prior to Alexander the Great's conquest. Click here to see a map of the Persian Empire about 500 B.C.
JD59398. Silver obol, Meshorer TJC 5, Hendin 1051, aF, weight 0.487 g, maximum diameter 8.4 mm, c. 375 - 333 B.C.; obverse oriental style head of Athena; reverse Aramaic inscription:, owl standing left, head facing, olive spray right; rare; $160.00 (€140.80)
 


Osco-Latin, Central Italy, Late 4th - Early 3rd Century B.C.

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GA77419. Cast bronze Aes Formatum, cf. G. Fallai, IAPN 8, pl. 6, 2-2e; Alvarez-Burgos P28; Thurlow-Vecchi -; molded from bipod shell, VF, edge chip, crack, weight 22.873 g, maximum diameter 30.5 mm, uncertain Osco-Latin mint, late 4th - early 3rd century B.C.; $160.00 (€140.80)
 


Persian Empire, Lydia, Anatolia, Darius I the Great, Sep 522 - Oct 486 B.C.

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Darius I the Great was the third king of the Persian Achaemenid Empire. He ruled at its peak, when it included much of West Asia, the Caucasus, part of the Balkans (Thrace-Macedonia and Paeonia), most of the Black Sea coast, parts of the North Caucasus, Central Asia as far as the Indus Valley, Egypt, eastern Libya and coastal Sudan. Darius organized the empire by dividing it into provinces and placing satraps to govern them. He made Aramaic the official language of the empire, established standard weights and measures, and built roads and construction projects throughout the empire. His invasion of Greece ended when he was defeated at Marathon by a smaller Greek army. He was a supporter of the Jews, mentioned in the Biblical books of Ezra, Nehemiah, Daniel, Haggai, and Zechariah.Persian Empire
GA77387. Silver 1/6 siglos, Carradice type II; Winzer 1.8, this denomination is otherwise unpublished in refs; cf. Klein 756 (1/4 siglos); SNG Kayhan 1027 (1/3 siglos), F, grainy and porous, weight 0.804 g, maximum diameter 8.26 mm, probably Sardis (Sart, Turkey) mint, c. 510 - Oct 486 B.C.; obverse kneeling-running figure of the Great King right, drawing bow, bearded, crowned, quiver at shoulder; reverse rectangular incuse; extremely rare; $160.00 (€140.80)
 


Iberian Celts, Hacksilver, c. 300 - 150 B.C.

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CE73111. Silver hacksilver fragment, cut from a disk ingot; cf. Kim and Kroll 59; Van Alfen Hacksilber 53 ff., 10.472g, 28.4mm, $155.00 (€136.40)
 


Osco-Latin, Central Italy, Late 4th - Early 3rd Century B.C.

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These small cast bronze scallop shells were used as money in central Italy.
RR77298. Cast bronze Aes Formatum, cf. G. Fallai, IAPN 8, pl. 6, 2-2e; Alvarez-Burgos P28; Thurlow-Vecchi -; molded from bipod shell, VF, weight 9.782 g, maximum diameter 29.9 mm, $150.00 (€132.00)
 


Salamis, Cyprus, Evagoras I, 411 - 374 B.C.

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Evagoras claimed descent from Teucer, the son of Telamon and half-brother of Ajax. His family had long ruled Salamis. During his childhood Phoenicians took Salamis and he was exiled to Cilicia. He returned secretly in 410 with 50 followers and retook his throne. Expecting an eventual Persian attack, he cultivated the friendship of the Athenians. For a time, he also maintained friendly relations with Persia and secured the aid of Artaxerxes II for Athens against Sparta. He took part in the battle of Cnidus of 394 B.C. which he provided most of the resources for and in which the Spartan fleet was defeated thanks to his efforts, and for this service his statue was placed by the Athenians side by side with that of Conon in the Ceramicus. Relations with Persia deteriorated and from 391 they were at war. Aided by the Athens and Egypt, Evagoras extended his rule over the greater part of Cyprus, crossed over to Asia Minor, took several cities in Phoenicia (including Tyre), and persuaded the Cilicians to revolt. Under the peace of Antalcidas in 387, Athens abandoned him and recognized Persian lordship over Cyprus. The Persian generals Tiribazus and Orontes at invaded Cyprus in 385 B.C. Evagoras managed to cut off Persian resupplies and the starving troops rebelled. The war then turned in the Persian favor when Evagoras' fleet was destroyed at the Battle of Citium, and he was compelled to flee to Salamis. Here, although closely blockaded, Evagoras managed to hold his ground, and took advantage of a quarrel between the two Persian generals to conclude peace in 376. Evagoras was allowed to remain nominally king of Salamis, but in reality a vassal of Persia, to which he was to pay a yearly tribute. The chronology of the last part of his reign is uncertain. In 374 he was assassinated by a eunuch from motives of private revenge. He was succeeded by his son, Nicocles.
GS68007. Silver 1/12 siglos, Bank of Cyprus 9; BMC Cyprus p. 55, 44; cf. SNG Cop 42 (0.80, obol); Tziambazis 119 (0.27g, 1/48 siglos), VF, weight 0.355 g, maximum diameter 9.2 mm, die axis 0o, Salamis mint, 411 - 374 B.C.; obverse young male head right, curly short hair, dot circle border; reverse smooth blank (as struck); rare; $140.00 (€123.20)
 


Italy, c. 5th - 4th Century B.C.

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Bronze axe heads were used for exchange across Europe even before 1000 B.C. This broken fragment of a bronze axe head dates much later, c. 5 - 4th Century B.C. It was never used to cut wood but was cast to served as currency, and was broken for change.
RR77294. Bronze Aes Formatum, Aes formatum bronze axe head fragment; maximum length 44.8mm, weight 56.137g, $140.00 (€123.20)
 


Roman Republic, c. 5th - 4th Century B.C.

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Aes Rude is the earliest type of money used by the population of central Italy. They are actually irregular pieces of bronze with no marks or designs. More advanced types of currency were used later: Aes Signatum and Aes Grave, and in the end, normal struck coins.
AR70827. Bronze Aes Rude, SRCV I 505; Thurlow-Vecchi pl. 2, maximum length 72.9 mm, 218.3 g, $135.00 (€118.80)
 




  



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Archaic Origins