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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Birds ▸ EagleView Options:  |  |  |     

Eagles on Ancient Coins

Kabyle, Thrace, c. 219 - 215 B.C., Civic Issue in the Types and Name of Alexander the Great

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The obverse dies for this type were also used with reverse dies naming the Gaulish King Kavaros. Die wear shows the Alexanderine types followed Kavaros' coinage, indicating this type was likely struck during the revolt of the Thracians, which brought about the chieftain's death and the end of Gaulish rule. Kavaros ruled until at least 219 B.C., when he participated in a treaty between Byzantium and Bithynia. The style compares closely with contemporary issues of Dionysopolis, Mesembria, and Odessus.
SH69935. Silver tetradrachm, Price 882a, Draganov Cabyle 845 ff., Müller Alexander 399, VF, weight 16.205 g, maximum diameter 26.9 mm, die axis 0o, Cabyle mint, time of the Thracian Revolt, c. 219 - 215 B; obverse head of Herakles right, clad in Nemean Lion scalp headdress tied at neck; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ AΛEΞAN∆POY, Zeus enthroned left, eagle in extended right, long scepter vertical behind in left, right leg drawn back, Demeter standing facing torch in each hand; $370.00 (€325.60)
 


Britannicus, Son of Claudius and Messalina, 12 February 41 - 11 February 55 A.D., Aeolis, Aegae

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Tiberius Claudius Britannicus was born in 41 A.D., son of Cladius I and Messalina. Although the natural heir to the empire, Britannicus was passed over in favor of Nero who then had him murdered a year after his fathers' death.
SH54008. Bronze AE 17, RPC I 2431 (4 specimens), SNG Cop -, Fair, weight 3.696 g, maximum diameter 16.9 mm, die axis 0o, Aegae mint, 50 - 54 A.D.; obverse BPETANNIKOC KAICAP, bare head of Britannicus right; reverse AIΓAEΩN EΠI XAΛEOY, Zeus standing left, head facing, eagle in right, long scepter behind in left; extremely rare; $350.00 (€308.00)
 


Mark Antony, Triumvir and Imperator, 44 - 30 B.C., LEG XIX

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This LEG XIX was probably raised by Antony and disbanded by Octavian. The old Caesarean legions XVII, XVIII and XIX were destroyed with Scribonius Curio in Africa in 49 B.C., restored by Octavian (Augustus), and then destroyed again in Germany under Quinctilius Varus in 9 A.D.
SH76755. Silver denarius, Crawford 544/35, Sydenham 1242, BMCRR II East 214, RSC I 55, VF, crowded flan, scuff on galley, some deposits in devices, weight 3.225 g, maximum diameter 18.6 mm, die axis 180o, Patrae(?) mint, 32 - 31 B.C.; obverse ANT•AVG / III•VIR•R•P•C, galley right with rowers, mast with banners at prow; reverse LEG - XIX, aquila (legionary eagle) between two legionary standards; ex CNG auction 146 (23 Aug 2006), lot 200; $350.00 (€308.00)
 


Mark Antony, Triumvir and Imperator, 44 - 30 B.C., LEG III

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This legion was probably Caesar's old III Gallica, which fought for Antony. Another possibility is III Cyrenaica, which was perhaps taken over from Lepidus. The III Augusta was probably an Octavian legion.
RS73643. Silver denarius, Crawford 544/15, Sydenham 1217, BMCRR II East 193, RSC I 28, Sear CRI 350, aVF, weight 3.378 g, maximum diameter 17.9 mm, die axis ,180o, Patrae(?) mint, fall 32 - spring 31 B.C.; obverse ANT•AVG / III VIR•R•P•C, galley right with rowers, mast with banners at prow; reverse LEG - III, aquila (legionary eagle) between two legionary standards; $300.00 (€264.00)
 


Ptolemaic Kingdom, Ptolemy II Philadelphos, 285 - 246 B.C.

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Huge bronze! The largest of all Ptolemaic bronze coins.
GP75643. Bronze octobol, Svoronos 446; Weiser 19; BMC Ptolemies p. 37, 158; SNG Cop 142; Noeske 64; Hosking 13; Malter 67, aF, weight 77.706 g, maximum diameter 46.9 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, obverse diademed head of Zeus-Ammon right; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ, eagle standing left on thunderbolt, wings open, head turned back right, E between legs; $300.00 (€264.00)
 


Macedonian Kingdom, Seleukos, Satrap in Babylon, 311 - 306 B.C., In the Name of Alexander the Great

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Struck in the name of Alexander, this coin also bears the personal badge of Seleukos, an anchor. Seleukos was first appointed satrap in Babylonia in 320 B.C. but was put to flight by Antigonus in 315. He returned in 311 only to be forced to evacuate later that year by a counterattack by Antigonus' son, Demetrius. Not long after, however, Seleukos again recovered the city.
SH60135. Silver tetradrachm, Houghton-Lorber I 293, Price 3449 (Marthus), Müller Alexander 1512, aVF/F, weight 16.601 g, maximum diameter 27.0 mm, die axis 225o, uncertain mint, c. 311 - 305 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean lion scalp headdress; reverse AΛEΞAN∆POY, Zeus seated left on throne, right leg drawn back, eagle in extended right, long scepter vertical behind in left, anchor flukes up flanked by ∆ - I in left field, monogram under throne; $290.00 (€255.20)
 


Macedonian Kingdom, Ptolemy I, as Satrap in Egypt, 323 - 305 B.C.

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Ptolemy Lagides was a Macedonian general who, after Alexander's death, became the Satrap of Egypt under the nominal kings Philip III Arrhidaeus and the infant Alexander IV. By custom, kings in Macedonia asserted their right to the throne by burying their predecessor. Probably because he wanted to preempt Perdiccas, the imperial regent, from staking his claim in this way, Ptolemy took stole the body of Alexander. Ptolemy then openly joined the coalition against Perdiccas. Thus began the long series of wars between the Diadochi, Alexander's successors. In 305, Ptolemy took the titles king and pharaoh, founding the Ptolemaic Kingdom and Ptolemaic Dynasty.
GP72061. Bronze hemiobol, Svoronos 172 (as king); BMC Ptolemies p. 8, 62 (295 - 284, Cyprus); SNG Cop 36; SNG Milan 5; Malter 21; Weiser -; Noeske -, VF, crowded flan, red and brown patina, weight 4.503 g, maximum diameter 18.5 mm, die axis 315o, Alexandria mint, 310 - 305 B.C.; obverse diademed and horned head of deified Alexander the Great right; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY (no title, upward on left), eagle standing left on thunderbolt, head left, wings open, apluster above helmet on left; ex Harlan Berk; scarce; $290.00 (€255.20)
 


Philip I the Arab, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D., Antioch, Seleucis and Pieria, Syria

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MON VRB stands for MONETA VRBIS. According to H. R. Baldus this initial issue of coins was minted in Rome. Indeed the portrait style is unmistakably that of the mint of Rome, and even if the coins were actually minted in Antioch, the dies were surely engraved by the Rome mint.
SH60149. Billon tetradrachm, McAlee 899, Prieur 304, BMC Galatia 507, EF, weight 13.825 g, maximum diameter 27.6 mm, die axis 0o, Rome or Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 244 or 246 A.D.; obverse AYTOK K M IOYΛ ΦIΛIΠΠOY CEB, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse ∆HMAPC EΞOYCIAC, eagle standing facing on ground line, wings open, head and tail left, wreath in beak, S - C below wings, MON VRB in exergue; double strike evident in obverse legend, minor flan crack, small encrustations, very sharp, handsome portrait and eagle; $285.00 (€250.80)
 


Philip I the Arab, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D., Antioch, Seleukis and Pieria, Syria

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In 248, overwhelmed by the number of invasions and usurpers, Philip offered to resign. The Senate decided to support the Emperor, with Gaius Messius Quintus Decius most vocal of all the senators. Philip was so impressed that he dispatched Decius with a special command of the Pannonian and Moesian provinces. His loyal supporter, Decius, was, however, proclaimed Emperor by the Danubian armies in the spring of 249 and defeated and killed Philip in September.
SH60141. Silver tetradrachm, McAlee 907a, Prieur 357, SNG Righetti 2027, SNG Cop -, EF, weight 10.949 g, maximum diameter 26.4 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 247 A.D.; obverse AYTOK K M IOYΛI ΦIΛIΠΠOC CEB, radiate and cuirassed bust left, Gorgon's head on cuirass; reverse ∆HMAPX EΞOYCIAC YΠA TO Γ, eagle standing right, head right, wings open, wreath in beak, ANTIOXIA / S C in exergue; $280.00 (€246.40)
 


Macedonian Kingdom, Antigonus II Gonatas, 277 - 239 B.C., In the Name of Alexander the Great

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Most people expect the crests on ancient helmets to strictly run from front to back. Officer's helmets, however, frequently had a crest running from ear to ear, as on the helmet used as a control symbol on the reverse of this coin. The two ear flaps dangle below the bowl and visor of the helmet.
SH75314. Silver tetradrachm, Meydancikkale 618 (same obv. die); Mathisen, Administrative VI.1, obv. die A1; Price 629; Müller Alexander 233; SNG Cop -, SNG Alpha Bank -, VF, centered, golden toning, test cut, light scratches and marks, lamination defect on reverse, weight 16.793 g, maximum diameter 28.4 mm, die axis 90o, Pella (or Amphipolis?) mint, c. 275 - 270 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, clad in Nemean Lion scalp headdress tied at neck; reverse AΛEΞAN∆POY, Zeus Aëtophoros enthroned left, right leg drawn back, feet on footstool, eagle in right, long scepter vertical behind in left, crested Macedonian officer's helmet facing on left, ΠAP monogram under seat strut, KE monogram in exergue; ex CNG auction 349, lot 35; $280.00 (€246.40)
 


Kingdom of Thrace, Lysimachos, 305 - 281 B.C.

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Lysimachus, one of Alexander the Great's personal bodyguards, was appointed strategos (general) in Thrace and the Chersonesos after Alexander's death. He became one of the diadochi (successors of Alexander) who were initially generals and governors, but who continuously allied and warred with each other and eventually divided the empire. In 309, he founded his capital Lysimachia in a commanding situation on the neck connecting the Chersonesos with the mainland. In 306, he followed the example of Antigonus in taking the title of king, ruling Thrace, Asia Minor and Macedonia. In 281, he was killed in battle against Seleucus, another successor of Alexander.
SH75319. Silver drachm, Price L25, Thompson 125, Müller -, aEF, weight 4.178 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 0o, Ionia, Kolophon mint, 299 - 296 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right clad in Nemean lion scalp headdress tied at his neck; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΛYΣIMAXOY, Zeus seated left on throne, eagle extended in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left, forepart of lion left over ∆I on left, K under throne; ex Forum 2008, ex Harlan Berk; $260.00 (€228.80)
 


Hierapolis-Kastabala, Cilicia, 2nd - 1st Century B.C.

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Hierapolis-Kastabala was an ancient city in Cilicia Pedias, three kilometers north ancient Pyramus. Alexander the Great stopped at Kastabala before the Battle of Issus in 333 B.C. Antiochus IV refounded the city with the name Hierapolis. In the first century B.C., Hierapolis was the capital of a small local kingdom under the rule of the former Cilician pirate Tarcondimotus I, an ally of Mark Antony. Cicero referred to the city as Rome's most loyal ally beyond the Taurus and the best friend of the Roman people. The city was known for its temple of Artemis Perasia. Strabo wrote of her priestesses who, in a trance, would walk barefoot over hot coals without damage.
GY73092. Bronze AE 15, cf. CNG e-auction 250, lot 112; otherwise apparently unpublished; SNG BnF -, SNG Levante-, SNGvA-, SNG Cop -, BMC Lycaonia -, F, well centered, highlighting "desert" patina, some corrosion, weight 2.776 g, maximum diameter 15.4 mm, die axis 90o, Hieropolis-Kastabola, Cilicia mint, 2nd - 1st centuries B.C.; obverse radiate, draped bust of Helios right, dotted border; reverse eagle standing left on torch, wings open, head left, IEPOΠOΛITΩN above, ΠPOΣ TΩI ΠYPA[NA?] below; extremely rare; $250.00 (€220.00)
 


Mesembria, Thrace, c. 125 - 65 B.C., Civic Issue in the Types and Name of Alexander the Great

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Mesembria, Nesebar Bulgaria today, was a Doric settlement on a Black Sea island just off mainland Thrace. Today it is a seaside resort and a man-made isthmus connects it to the coast. The city struck Alexandrine tetradrachms possibly as early as 275 B.C. It is likely Mesembria issued the very last Alexandrine tetradrachms, possibly even under Roman rule, as late as 65 B.C.
GS74508. Silver tetradrachm, Price 1128; Müller Alexander 487, gVF, double struck, obverse die damage, edge crack, weight 33.92 g, maximum diameter 16.348 mm, die axis 0o, Mesambria (Nesebar, Bulgaria) mint, c. 125 - 65 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean lion-scalp headdress; reverse Zeus seated left, right leg drawn back, eagle in extended right, long scepter vertical behind in left, ∆IO horizontal under arm in inner left field, AΛEΞAN∆POY downward on left, BAΣIΛEΩΣ downward on right, MEΣAM below; ex Pecunem Gitbud & Naumann auction 27 (4 Jan 2015), lot 110; $250.00 (€220.00)
 


Syracuse, Sicily, Timoleon, 344 - 336 B.C.

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Threatened by Carthage and dominated by Hiketas, the tyrant of Leontini, Syracusans sent an appeal for help to their mother city, Corinth. By a unanimous vote Corinth selected Timoleon to set sail for Sicily with a few leading citizens of Corinth and a small troop of Greek mercenaries. After defeating Hiketas, Timoleon put order to Syracuse' affairs and established a democratic government. He repelled Carthage in several wars, ending with a treaty which divided the island. Timoleon then retired without any title or office, though he remained practically supreme. He became blind before his death, but when important issues were under discussion he was carried to the assembly to give his opinion, which was usually accepted. When he died the citizens of Syracuse erected a monument to his memory, afterward surrounded with porticoes, and a gymnasium called Timoleonteum.
GI76973. Bronze hemidrachm, Calciati II p. 168, 72 st 3; SNG ANS 477 ff.; SNG Cop 727, VF, nice style, nice patina, reverse off center but not detracting, small spots of corrosion on edge, weight 15.716 g, maximum diameter 25.2 mm, die axis 45o, Syracuse mint, c. 342 - 338 B.C.; obverse ZEYΣEA EYΘEPTOΣ, laureate head of Zeus Eleutherios right; reverse ΣYPAKOΣIΩN, thunderbolt, eagle on right standing right with wings closed; $250.00 (€220.00)
 


Macedonian Kingdom, Philip III Arrhidaeus and Alexander IV, 323 - 317 B.C.

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Struck in the name of King Philip III Arrhidaeus, Alexander the Great's half-brother, under the regent Perdikkas. Philip III and Alexander's infant son, Alexander IV, were made joint kings after Alexander's death. Philip was the bastard son of Philip II and a dancer, Philinna of Larissa. Alexander the Great's mother, Olympias, allegedly poisoned her stepson Philip III as a child, leaving him mentally disabled, eliminating him as a rival to Alexander. Neither Philip III nor Alexander IV was capable of actual rule and both were selected only to serve as pawns. Perdikkas held power, while Philip III was actually imprisoned. In 317, Philip was murdered by Olympias to ensure the succession of her grandson.
SH75320. Silver drachm, Price P43, Müller Alexander P50, SNG München 938, aEF, some die wear, weight 4.238 g, maximum diameter 18.1 mm, die axis 0o, Ionia, Kolophon mint, c. 323 - c. 319 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean lion scalp headdress; reverse ΦIΛIΠΠOY, Zeus Aëtophoros seated left on throne without back, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, right foot drawn back, feet on footstool, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left, lyre left; ex Forum (2005); $225.00 (€198.00)
 


Macedonian Kingdom, Philip III Arrhidaeus and Alexander IV, 323 - 317 B.C.

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Struck by Menander, the satrap of Lydia, 331 - 321 B.C. or by Kleitos (Cleitus the White), the satrap of Lydia, 321 - 318 B.C., in the name of Philip III Arrhidaeus, Alexander's mentally disabled half-brother. Philip was the bastard son of Philip II and a dancer, Philinna of Larissa. Philip and Alexander's infant son Alexander IV were made joint kings by Alexander's generals, who really only intended to use them as pawns. Perdikkas held power, while Philip III was actually imprisoned. In 317, Philip was murdered by Olympias, Alexander's mother, to ensure the succession of her grandson.
RS77030. Silver drachm, Price P106, ADM I Series XV, VF, nice style, toned, reverse slightly double struck, light marks, weight 4.276 g, maximum diameter 16.0 mm, die axis 0o, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, Menander or Kleitos, c. 322 - 318 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean lion scalp headdress; reverse ΦIΛIΠΠOY, Zeus enthroned left, right leg drawn back, eagle in right, long scepter vertical behind in left, rose left, monogram under throne; $225.00 (€198.00)
 


Ptolemaic Kingdom, Ptolemy Nios under Ptolemy II, 268 - 259 B.C.

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Very rare and missing from most collections. Svoronos knew only the single BMC example, which he attributed to Ptolemy II and Ake-Ptolemais mint.

Ptolemy Nios was the son of Lysimachos and Arsinoe II, as well as the step-son and co-ruler of Ptolemy II from 268 - 259 B.C. He was removed from his co-regency after he rebelled in 259 B.C., but remained as ruler of Telmessos in Lycia until after 240 B.C.
GB64051. Bronze dichalkon, Svoronos 792, pl. XXV, 22 (Ake-Ptolemais); BMC Ptolemies p. 65, 29 (Ptolemy IV, Ptolemais); Ashton Fethiye -; Weiser -; Noeske -; Hosking -, SNG Cop -, VF, weight 5.044 g, maximum diameter 19.1 mm, die axis 0o, Lycia, Telmessos mint, c. 260 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Zeus Ammon right; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ, eagle standing left on thunderbolt, head left, wings closed, tripod left, ΠTO right; very rare; $215.00 (€189.20)
 


Sinope, Paphlagonia, c. 490 - 425 B.C.

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Long used as a Hittite port, Sinope was re-founded as a Greek colony by Miletus in the 7th century B.C. Sinope flourished as the Black Sea port of a caravan route that led from the upper Euphrates valley. The city escaped Persian domination until the early 4th century B.C. In 183 B.C. it was captured by Pharnaces I and became the capital of the kingdom of Pontus. Lucullus conquered Sinope for Rome in 70 B.C., and Julius Caesar established a Roman colony there, Colonia Julia Felix, in 47 B.C. It remained with the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantines). It was a part of the Empire of Trebizond from the sacking of Constantinople by the Fourth Crusade in 1204 until the capture of the city by the Seljuk Turks of Rûm in 1214.
GA70807. Silver drachm, SNG BM 1359, SNG Cop 272, SNG Stancomb 750, aVF, weight 6.069 g, maximum diameter 16.4 mm, die axis 90o, Sinope (Sinop, Turkey) mint, c. 490 - 425 B.C.; obverse head of sea eagle left, dolphin below; reverse quadripartite incuse square with two opposing quarters filled, the others stippled and with pellet in inner corner; ex Harlan J. Berk, buy-or-bid sale, July 2010 ; $200.00 (€176.00)
 


Ptolemaic Kingdom, Ptolemy III Euergetes, 246 - 222 B.C.

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Ptolemy III Euergetes was the third ruler of the Ptolemaic dynasty in Egypt. He promoted the translation of Jewish scriptures into Greek as the Septuagint. Due to a falling out at the Seleucid court, his eldest sister Berenice Phernophorus was murdered along with her infant son. In response he invaded Syria, occupied Antioch and even reached Babylon. This war, the Third Syrian War, is cryptically alluded to in Daniel XI 7-9.
GP75645. Bronze tetrobol, Svoronos 974, SNG Cop 224 - 226 (Ptolemy IV), Weiser 91 (Ptolemy IV), Noeske 155 (Ptolemy IV), Hosking 45 (Ptolemy IV), SNG Milan 246 (Ptolemy IV), VF, weight 42.461 g, maximum diameter 37.4 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, c. 246 - 230 B.C.; obverse head of Zeus Ammon right, wearing taenia; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ, eagle standing half left on fulmen, wings closed, head right, filleted cornucopia ascending behind from shoulder, E between legs; $200.00 (€176.00)
 


Judaea (Yehudah), Ptolemaic Rule, Ptolemy II Philadelphos, 285 - 246 B.C.

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Ptolemy II requested copies of Jewish texts for the Library at Alexandria. There they were translated and transcribed by seventy Jewish scholars hired for the purpose, creating the Septuagint, the oldest Greek version of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament). Many of the oldest Biblical verses among the Dead Sea Scrolls, particularly those in Aramaic, correspond more closely with the Septuagint than with the Hebrew text.
SH54977. Silver quarter ma'ah, Meshorer TJC 32; Mildenberg Yehud pl. 21, 24; Hendin 1087, gF, weight 0.192 g, maximum diameter 6.4 mm, die axis 180o, Jerusalem(?) mint, 285 - 246 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Ptolemy I right; reverse eagle standing half left on thunderbolt, wings open, head left, Aramaic YHDH (Yehudah) on left; $195.00 (€171.60)
 




    



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