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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Greek Coins ▸ Classical Fine ArtView Options:  |  |  |   

Classical Numismatic Fine Art

A collector of these pieces can have in the drawers of his cabinet, within reach of his hand as he sits by the fire, original pictures of Greek life, created by Greek artists, struck by Greek hands over two thousand years ago. There they lie before him, the same as they were then, after all these centuries of intervening history. They are as modern, many of them, as thought they had been struck today. They lie, genuine, unaltered examples of the most splendid art the world has known. -- Godfrey Locker Lampson, 1923


Syracuse, Sicily, Second Democracy, 466 - 405 B.C.

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SH86312. Silver tetradrachm, Boehringer Series XIVb, 489 (V258/R351); SNG ANS 156 (same dies); Weber 1583 (same obv. die); BMC Sicily, p. 156, 80; Jameson 762; HGC 2 1312, EF, mint luster in recesses, light tone, obverse die wear, uneven strike, reverse off center, weight 17.391 g, maximum diameter 27.5 mm, die axis 180o, Syracuse mint, 466 - 460 B.C.; obverse charioteer driving slow quadriga right, holding reins in both hands, goad in right hand, Nike above flying left crowning driver with wreath, Ketos (sea serpent) right in exergue; reverse ΣYPAKOΣON, head of Arethusa right, wearing pearl or bead necklace and earring with loop and finial pendant, thin band wound once around her head and tying back hair in queue, four dolphins around swimming clockwise; ex CNG auction 102 (18 May 2016), lot 135; ex Colin E. Pitchfork Collection; ex Dr. Neil Geddes (20 Nov 2002); ex Noble auction 54 (22 July 1997), lot 1640; ex Stack’s sale, 6 Dec 1995, lot 65; $2270.00 (€1929.50)
 


Aspendos, Pamphylia, c. 465 - 430 B.C.

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In 467 B.C. the Athenian statesman and military commander Cimon, and his fleet of 200 ships, destroyed the Persian navy based at the mouth of the river Eurymedon in a surprise attack. In order to crush to Persian land forces, he tricked the Persians by sending his best fighters ashore wearing the garments of the hostages he had seized earlier. When they saw these men, the Persians thought that they were compatriots freed by the enemy and arranged festivities in celebration. Taking advantage of this, Cimon landed and annihilated the Persians. Aspendos then became a member of the Attic-Delos Maritime league.
GS87795. Silver stater, Apparently unpublished variant; cf. SNG BnF 1; SNGvA 4477; SNG Cop 153; SNG Delepierre 2811; BMC Lycia p. 93, 1, VF, exceptional style, centered, tight flan (typical for the type), light marks, weight 10.609 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, Aspendos mint, c. 465 - 430 B.C.; obverse nude warrior advancing right, wearing crested helmet, shield on left arm, spear in right hand; reverse triskeles of human legs left, within an incuse square, no ethnic, no control symbol; CNG recently sold an example from the same dies, e-auction 429 (26 Sep 2018), lot 167, for $2500 plus fees. They described their specimen as "Unpublished in the standard references. VF. Exceptionally powerful and artistic warrior for series. Extremely rare."; extremely rare; $1000.00 (€850.00)
 


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

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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.
GS88879. Silver tetradrachm, SNG Cop 31, SNG München 49, Kroll 8, Dewing 1611, Gulbenkian 519, HGC 4 1597, SGCV I 2526, Choice EF, well centered, some luster, light marks, small edge splits, weight 17.186 g, maximum diameter 24.9 mm, die axis 15o, 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 owl standing right, head facing, erect in posture, olive sprig and crescent left, AΘE downward on right, all within incuse square; $1000.00 (€850.00)
 


Kelenderis, Cilicia, c. 430 - 420 B.C.

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Kelenderis was a port town, one of the oldest in Cilicia, described in Hellenistic and Roman sources as a small, but strong castle. The rider on the obverse may be Castor, who was not only a horse trainer but also the protector of sailors, an appropriate type for a port town.
GS87797. Silver stater, Celenderis Hoard, series II, 9 (O5/R5); SNG BnF 52 (same dies); SNGvA 5621 (same dies); BMC Cilicia -; SNG Levante ; SNG Delepierre -; Hunterian -, gVF, well centered, fine style, attractive dark toning, flow lines, highest points flat, weight 10.807 g, maximum diameter 22.7 mm, die axis 135o, Kelenderis (Aydincik, Turkey) mint, c. 430 - 420 B.C.; obverse nude young male dismounting from horse rearing left, whip in left hand, bridle in right hand, Π below horse's belly; reverse goat crouching left on dotted exergue line, head turned looking back right, KEΛE above, all within a shallow round incuse ; $750.00 (€637.50)
 


Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus I Soter, 281 - 261 B.C.

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Antiochus faced a formidable task holding the empire together. Revolt broke out in Syria almost immediately after his father's death. He earned the title Soter (savior) for victory over hordes of Gauls that attacked Anatolia. Elsewhere, he had little success. He was forced to abandon Macedonia, Thrace, Bithynia, and Cappadocia and to execute his eldest son for rebellion.
GS82667. Silver tetradrachm, Houghton-Lorber I 379.6c, Newell ESM 177, Meydancikkale 2929, HGC 9 128g, Choice gVF, attractive style, well centered and struck, dark toning, marks, edge bumps, weight 17.101 g, maximum diameter 29.6 mm, die axis 0o, Seleucia on the Tigris (south of Baghdad, Iraq) mint, c. 263 - 261 B.C.; obverse diademed head right, eyes to heaven; reverse Apollo seated left on omphalos, nude but for drapery over right thigh, examining arrow in right hand, resting left hand on grounded bow, BAΣIΛEΩΣ downward on left, ANT−IOXOY complex monograms outer left and outer right; $720.00 (€612.00)
 


Persian Achaemenid Empire, Carian Satrapy, Synnesis, c. 425 - 401 B.C.

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Syennesis was a Persian satrap of Cilicia in the late 5th century B.C. In 401 B.C., Cyrus the Younger, marching against Artaxerxes, arrived at the borders of Cilicia. Syennesis was guarding the passes but when he received intelligence that Cyrus' advanced forces under Meno had already entered Cilicia, he withdrew and allowed Cyrus to pass. When Cyrus reached Tarsus, the Cilician capital, he found that Meno's soldiers had already sacked the city. Cyrus commanded Synnesis to appear before him. Syennesis had fled for refuge to a stronghold among the mountains, but he was induced by his wife, Epyaxa, to obey the summons. Synnesis received gifts of honor from the Cyrus, whom he supplied in his turn with a large sum of money and a considerable body of troops under the command of one of his sons. At the same time, however, Syennesis sent his other son to Artaxerxes, to represent his meeting with Cyrus as having been something he'd been forced to do, while his heart all the time was with the king, Artaxerxes. From Xenophon's telling it appears that Syennesis, although a vassal of Persia, affected the tone of an independent sovereign.
GA87789. Silver stater, Hunterian III p. 546, 4 & pl. LX, 7; cf. Casabonne D2, pl. 2, 10; SNG BnF 213; Traité II 523; BMC -; SNGvA -; SNG Cop -; SNG Levante -, aVF, dark toning, well centered, struck with a worn obverse die, light scratches, weight 10.561 g, maximum diameter 20.4 mm, die axis 0o, Cilicia, Tarsos (Tarsus, Mersin, Turkey) mint, 420 - 410 B.C.; obverse Horseman (Syennesis?) walking horse left, wearing kyrbasia, lotus flower in right hand, reins in left hand, bow in bowcase on saddle, Aramaic TRZ (Tarsos) in exergue (off flan); reverse Archer kneeling right, drawing bow, quiver over shoulder, ankh behind, all within dotted square border within incuse square; very rare; $650.00 (€552.50)
 


Aspendos, Pamphylia, c. 465 - 420 B.C.

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In 467 B.C. the Athenian statesman and military commander Cimon, and his fleet of 200 ships, destroyed the Persian navy based at the mouth of the river Eurymedon in a surprise attack. In order to crush to Persian land forces, he tricked the Persians by sending his best fighters ashore wearing the garments of the hostages he had seized earlier. When they saw these men, the Persians thought that they were compatriots freed by the enemy and arranged festivities in celebration. Taking advantage of this, Cimon landed and annihilated the Persians. Aspendos then became a member of the Attic-Delos Maritime league.
SH89461. Silver stater, cf. SNGvA 4482; SNG BnF 1; BMC Lycia -; SNG Cop -, SNG PfPs -, VF, struck with worn dies, weight 10.899 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, Aspendos mint, c. 465 - 420 B.C.; obverse warrior advancing right, wearing crested helmet, couched spear in right hand, round shield on left arm; reverse triskeles of human legs left, E-Σ divided low across field, all within an incuse square; ex Leu Numismatik web auction 7 (23 Feb 2019), lot 410; scarce variant; $400.00 (€340.00)
 


Sicily Syracuse, 4th Democracy, 289 - 287 B.C.

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Numismatic evidence suggests that republican government existed for a few years between the death of Agathokles and Hicetas' assumption of power; this is sometimes referred to as the Fourth Democracy (289 - 287 B.C.).
GB88303. Bronze AE 22, Calciati II p. , 148 Ds 59/1, cf. SNG Cop 782 (uncertain control), HGC 2 148 (R2) var. (∆ vice thunderbolt), SNG ANS -, gVF, superb style, well centered on a tight flan cutting off the obverse legend, brown patina, some hard green encrustation, weight 8.524 g, maximum diameter 21.7 mm, die axis 270o, Syracuse, Sicily mint, 289 - 288 B.C.; obverse DIOΣ EΛEYΘEPOY, laureate head of Zeus Eleutherios left, thunderbolt behind; reverse thunderbolt with four wings, ΣYPAK/OΣIΩN in two lines, above and below; ex CNG e-auction 233 (26 May 2010), lot 110; ex Harlan J. Berk; very rare; $380.00 (€323.00)
 


Syracuse, Sicily, Second Democracy, 466 - 405 B.C.

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Following Heron's death, democracy was restored in 466 B.C. Similar to at Athens, the polis was governed by a council and popular assembly with an executive consisting of elected generals or strategoi. Syracuse fought against Athens 427 - 424 B.C. and again 415 - 413 B.C.; ultimately Syracuse was victorious. With further reforms by Diocles, the democratic nature of Syracuse's political structure was further strengthened.

The star on the reverse could represent Halley's comet which was visible for 75 days in 466 B.C.
GB88328. Bronze hemilitron, ex Ancient Imports Calciati II p. 39, 16; Favorito Signed type 74 (c. 425-420 BC); SNG ANS 398; SNG München 1100; HGC 2 1481 (S); BMC Sicily -, VF, the finest classical style, attractive glossy dark green and black patina, patina flaking (stable), weight 4.484 g, maximum diameter 16.8 mm, Syracuse mint, c. 410 - 405 B.C.; obverse ΣVPA, head of nymph Arethusa left, wearing diadem and pearl necklace, E (signature of the master engraver Euaninetos) behind; reverse star of eight rays within incuse circle in center of quadripartite incuse square; $360.00 (€306.00)
 


Sicily, Abakainon, 339 - 317 B.C.

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Abakainon was a native Sicel city that adopted Greek culture, but allied with Carthage. In the 5th century B.C., it was powerful and important. In 396, Dionysios I of Syracuse seized part of its territory and founded the city Tyndaris. The Carthaginian general Mago came to their aid but was defeated outside the city walls. Abakainon fell under the hegemony of Syracuse and as Tyndaris grew and prospered, Abakainon diminished to insignificance. It suffered a major earthquake in the 1st century A.D. but survived at least until the 2nd century. Tommaso Fazello (1498 - 1570) described the ruins as indicating a large city which had been destroyed to its foundations. The village of Tripi was founded on the ruins in 1061.
GB86300. Bronze tetras, Calciati I 5; SNG ANS 901; HGC 2 34 (S); SNG Cop -, SNG München -; SNG Tübingen -; SNG Morcom -; SNG Lloyd -, gVF, well centered, dark green patina, bumps and scratches, tiny spots of slight corrosion, obverse center struck a little flat, weight 2.404 g, maximum diameter 13.7 mm, die axis 225o, Abakainon (Tripi, Sicily) mint, 339 - 317 B.C.; obverse head of a nymph left, hair in ampyx and sphendone, wearing drop earring; reverse ABAKAINI-NΩN, forepart of bull charging left, head turned facing; very rare; $350.00 (€297.50)
 




  



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While most of the coins on this page will be from the Classical Period, 480 - 323 B.C., some later Hellenistic coins with superb portraits may also be included


Catalog current as of Thursday, March 21, 2019.
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Classical Numismatic Fine Art