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Roman Coins
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Augustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D., Emerita, Hispania Lusitania

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Mérida, Spain was founded by P. Carisius in 25 B.C., as Emerita Augusta, the name referring to the discharged soldiers who populated the city, by order of Augustus to protect a pass and a bridge over the Guadiana river. The city became an important city in the Roman Empire and the capital of Lusitania province. Mérida preserves more important ancient Roman monuments than any other city in Spain (including a triumphal arch of the age of Trajan).
SH84707. Silver denarius, RIC I 9b, RSC I 398, BMCRE I 291, BMCRR Spain 128, BnF I 1039, Hunter I 124, SRCV I 1627 var. (head right), gVF, full circle centering on a broad flan, mint luster, weak strike areas, die wear, small edge cracks, weight 3.775 g, maximum diameter 21.8 mm, die axis 90o, Emerita Augusta (Merida, Spain) mint, P. Carisius, c. 25 - 23 B.C.; obverse IMP CAESAR AVGVST, bare head left; reverse P CARISIVS LEG PRO PR (P. Carisius Legatus [Augusti] pro Praetore), bird's-eye view of town with walls around, EMERITA inscribed above gateway in front with three battlements over two arched entrances; from the Marcelo Leal Collection; $1350.00 (€1201.50)


Byzantine Empire, Leontius, 695 - 698 A.D.

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Leontius' success as a general forced the Arab Caliph Abd al-Malik to make concessions and pay tribute to Emperor Justinian II; but when war was renewed, Leontius was defeated. Furious over the loss, Justinian imprisoned him for two years. When he was freed, Leontius and his former prison comrades organized a revolt, and he took the throne. Justinian was deposed, his nose and tongue were slit and he was exiled to a monastery. After the Arabs took Carthage, the fleet Leontius sent to retake the city failed. Rather than report defeat to the emperor, the army overthrew their admiral and named Apsimar, a Germanic sailor, as their leader. Apsimar changed his name to Tiberius, returned to Constantinople, seized the thrown, cut off Leontius' nose and ears and exiled him to a monastery. In 705, Justinian II returned to Constantinople with an army of Bulgars and Slavs. Both Leontius and Tiberius were dragged through the streets in chains and beheaded.
SH83907. Gold tremissis, DOC II 4, SBCV 1333, Hahn MIB III 5, Sommer 15.3, Ratto 1731, Berk Gold 191, Morrisson BnF - (p. 417), VF, uneven strike, tight flan, graffiti obverse right field, weight 1.330 g, maximum diameter 14.4 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople mint, 695 - 698 A.D.; obverse D LEO-N PE AV, bearded facing bust, wearing loros and crown with cross, globus cruciger in right hand; reverse VICTORIA AVSY S, cross potent on base, CONOB in exergue; from the Robert Watcher Collection, ex Heritage auction 3002 (Long Beach, Sep 2008), lot 2013 (sold for $747.50 plus fees); rare; $810.00 (€720.90)


Byzantine Empire, Theophilus, 12 May 821 - 20 January 842 A.D.

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Most references date this type to the joint reign of Michael II and his son Theophilus II (12 May 821 - 2 Oct 829 A.D.) Anastasi identified it as Theophilus' first issue after Michael's death (2 Oct 829 - 830 A.D.).

Theophilus was an accomplished scholar and highly cultured. Although he admired Arab art and civilization, he was obliged to expend much effort defending his eastern frontier against Mutasim, the Caliph of Baghdad. He died of dysentery.
SH83908. Gold solidus, DOC III, part 1, 15a; Anastasi 515c; Wroth BMC 11; Tolstoi 13; SBCV 1646; Sommer 30.6; Morrisson BnF -; Ratto -, VF, slightly irregular tight flan, weight 3.794 g, maximum diameter 13.4 mm, die axis 180o, Syracuse mint, 829 - 830 A.D.; obverse MI-XAHL bA, bearded facing bust of Michael, wearing chlamys and crown with cross, globus cruciger in right hand; reverse ΘE-OFILO bA, beardless facing bust of Theophilus, wearing loros and crown with cross, cross potent in right hand; from the Robert Watcher Collection; very rare; $720.00 (€640.80)


Larissa, Thessaly, Greece, 380 - 337 B.C.

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The horse was an appropriate symbol of Thessaly, a land of plains, which was well-known for its horses.
GB83507. Bronze dichalkon, cf. BMC Thessaly p. 32, 89; BCD Thessaly II 390; BCD Thessaly 1167.2; HGC 4 521; SNG Cop 142; SNG Munchen -, VF/F, green patina, marks and scratches, weight 4.040 g, maximum diameter 17.1 mm, die axis 0o, Larissa mint, 380 - 337 B.C.; obverse head of nymph Larissa right, her hair rolled up around her head, wearing cruciform triple-drop pendant earring; reverse ΛAPIΣAIΩN, crouching horse right, about to roll, bent left foreleg; $130.00 (€115.70)


Gyrton, Thessaly, Greece, c. 350 - 330 B.C.

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Some sources say Gyrton was named for its founder, Gyrton, a brother of Phlegyas, who built the town on the Peneius river. Other sources say the town was named for the nymph Gyrtone, a daughter of Phlegyas. Both are depicted on this coin.
BB90753. Bronze dichalkon, Rogers 227; BCD Thessaly 1051; BCD Thessaly II 83.3; SNG Cop 56; BMC Thessaly p. 20, 1, F, weight 4.006 g, maximum diameter 15.7 mm, die axis 180o, Gyrton mint, c. 350 - 330 B.C.; obverse head of the hero Gyrton right; head and neck of bridled horse right before him; reverse ΓYPTΩNION, head of nymph Gyrtone right, her hair bound in a roll and wearing an earring and a necklace; $45.00 (€40.05)


Halos, Thessaly, Greece, 3rd Century B.C.

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Alos or Halos was 10 km south of present-day Almyros. The city is mentioned by Herodotus as one of the places where the Persian king Xerxes stayed in the summer of 480 B.C. during his attack on Greece. The classical city was destroyed in 346 during the Third Sacred War, but was refounded in 302 by Demetrius Poliorcetes. This Hellenistic city lies very close to the surface and is greatly disturbed, but several houses have been excavated, as well as a part of the city walls. This city was abandoned in the mid-third century, perhaps after an earthquake. A Byzantine fort was the last building phase from Antiquity.
GB75129. Bronze dichalkon, Reinder series 6; Rogers 241, fig. 114; BCD Thessaly II 85, gF, rough, corrosion, weight 2.868 g, maximum diameter 15.4 mm, die axis 195o, Halos mint, 3rd century B.C.; obverse laureate head of Zeus right; reverse Phrixos, nude but for cloak billowing behind him, clinging to neck and chest of ram flying right, AX monogram to upper left; ex Roma Numismatics e-sale 12 (1 Nov 2014), lot 268; ex Frank James Collection; $40.00 (€35.60)


Macedonia, Roman Rule, Quaestor Aesillas, 90 - 75 B.C.

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This type was apparently intended to encourage Macedonian pride by portraying the legendary national hero of the Macedonians, and at the same time clearly communicate Roman authority with name and symbols of the Roman quaestor.
RS77035. Silver tetradrachm, Bauslaugh Group VI, SNG Lockett 1543, SNG Cop 1330, SNG Ashmolean 3305, AMNG III 223, SGCV I 1439, VF, toned, porous, light deposits of copper salts, weight 11.862 g, maximum diameter 28.3 mm, die axis 0o, Thessalonika (Salonika, Greece) mint, 90 - 75 B.C.; obverse head of Alexander the Great right with horn of Ammon and flowing hair, Θ behind, MAKE∆ONΩN below; reverse AESILLAS above money-chest (cista), club, and Q over quaestor's chair (sella curulis), all within laurel wreath, pellet below sella, pellet at end of Q; $290.00 (€258.10)


Thessalian League, Greece, Mid - Late 1st Century B.C.

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The Thessalian League was a loose confederacy of city-states and tribes in the Thessalian valley in N. Greece. Philip II of Macedon took control of Thessaly in 344 B.C and it remained under Macedonia until the Roman victory in 197 B.C. The league was reestablished in 196 B.C. but had little autonomy after Thessaly became part of the province of Macedonia in 146 B.C.
GB71024. Bronze dichalkon (or obol), BCD Thessaly II 907.2, SNG Cop 331, Rogers 59, Burrer p. 62, BMC Thessaly -, VF, weight 7.412 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 0o, Larissa(?) mint, Philokrates, Italos, and Petraios, magistrates; obverse ΦIΛOKPA−TOYΣ (magistrate), head of Athena right, wearing crested helmet and aegis; reverse ΘEΣΣA−ΛΩN, Athena Itonia standing left, Nike standing left offering wreath in her extended right hand, resting left hand on grounded shield behind, spear standing behind, ITA−ΛOY (magistrate) across upper field, ΠETPAIOΣ exergue; $100.00 (€89.00)


Histiaia, North Euboea, Greece, c. 267 - 168 B.C.

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Histiaia, named after its patron nymph, commanded a strategic position overlooking the narrows leading to the North Euboian Gulf. In the Iliad, Homer describes the surrounding plain as "rich in vines." It was pro-Macedonian during the 3rd century, for which it was attacked in 208 and captured in 199 by a Roman-Pergamene force. The Roman garrison was removed in 194. It appears Histiaia continued to prosper but little is known of its later history. Finds at the site indicate it continued to be inhabited in Roman, Byzantine, and later times.
GS77221. Silver tetrobol, cf. BCD Euboia 417; SNG Cop 524; BMC Central p. 132, 98; SGCV I 2498, VF, centered on a tight flan, die wear, weight 1.809 g, maximum diameter 13.6 mm, die axis 315o, Histiaia (near Oreoi, Greece) mint, c. 267 - 168 B.C.; obverse head of nymph Histiaia right, wearing earring and necklace, hair rolled and wreathed in vine; reverse IΣTI−AIEΩN (starting below, ending downward upper left), nymph Histiaia seated right on stern of a galley holding naval standard, ornate apluster, wing ornament on hull; $110.00 (€97.90)


Thessalonika, Macedonia, c. 187 - 31 B.C.

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King Cassander of Macedonia founded Thessalonica in 315 B.C. He named it after his wife Thessalonike, a half-sister of Alexander the Great. The Romans made Thessalonica the capital of the Roman province of Macedonia 168 B.C.
GB67765. Bronze AE 19, SNG Cop 372, BMC Macedonia p. 111, 22; SNG ANS 798 var. (incorrectly identified as Zeus, E above trident on obv), VF, weight 6.077 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 315o, Thessalonika (Salonika, Greece) mint, c. 187 - 31 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Poseidon right, trident behind; reverse prow right, ΘEΣΣA/ΛONI above and below; $70.00 (€62.30)




  







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