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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Types ▸ AstronomyView Options:  |  |  |   

Astronomy on Ancient Coins

Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D.

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The Temple of Antoninus and Faustina is an ancient Roman temple in Rome, adapted as a Roman Catholic church, Chiesa di San Lorenzo in Miranda. It is in the Forum Romanum, on the Via Sacra, opposite the Regia. The temple was begun by Antoninus Pius in 141 and was initially dedicated to his deceased and deified wife, Faustina the Elder. When Antoninus Pius was deified after his death in 161 AD, the temple was re-dedicated jointly to Antoninus and Faustina at the instigation of his successor, Marcus Aurelius. The ten monolithic Corinthian columns of its pronaos are 17 metres high. The rich bas-reliefs of the frieze under the cornice, of garlanded griffons and candelabri, were often copied from the sixteenth through the nineteenth centuries. San Lorenzo in Miranda
RB87194. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC III 746a, Cohen II 464, Hunter II 211, BMCRE IV 1641, SRCV II 4185, VF, well centered, excellent portrait, attractive reverse style, turning marks, light corrosion, porous, weight 25.180 g, maximum diameter 34.07 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 140 - 144 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P COS III, laureate head right; reverse Italia seated left on celestial globe, wearing turreted crown, holding cornucopia before her in right hand, short scepter in left hand and cradled in left arm, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field, ITALIA in exergue; $600.00 (510.00)


Kyrene, Kyrenaica, North Africa, Ptolemaic Rule, c. 300 - 275 B.C.

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Magas was the stepson of Ptolemy I, the son of Berenice I, and half-brother to Ptolemy II. In 276 B.C., he crowned himself King in Kyrene, married the daughter of Antiochos I and invaded Egypt with his Seleukid allies. The Seleukid army was defeated by Ptolemy II and Magas faced an internal revolt of Libyan nomads. Still, Kyrene remained independent as long as he lived.
GS75115. Silver hemiobol, BMC Cyrenaica pl. XXV, 8 (plates only, missing from text); Mller Afrique -; SNG Cop -; SNG Milan -, gVF, toned, scratches, weight 0.419 g, maximum diameter 9.3 mm, Kyrene (near Shahhat, Libya) mint, Magas, as Ptolemaic governor, c. 300 - 275 B.C.; obverse diademed male head right; reverse star of eight narrow rays around central pellet; ex Roma Numismatics E-sale 17 (April 2015), lot 375; extremely rare; $195.00 (165.75)


Pontos (Uncertain City), c. 130 - 50 B.C.

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This is apparently a recently discovered new type. All the known examples might be from a single find.
GB83691. Bronze AE 14, Unpublished in standard references, six examples known to Forum, VF, earthen deposits, spots of corrosion, weight 2.216 g, maximum diameter 14.3 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain Pontic mint, c. 130 - 50 B.C.; obverse star of six rays and center pellet superimposed on pileus; reverse star of eight rays and central pellet; extremely rare; $160.00 (136.00)


Perinthus, Thrace, Early - Mid 2nd Century A.D.

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Artemis' most distinctive attributes were her bow, arrows, and quiver. She was also sometimes equipped with hunting spears, a lyre, a water-jug, and frequently a torch or a pair of torches. Artemis was sometimes called the torch-bearing goddess; this alluding to her role as a moon goddess, wandering and shining at night. At Amphipolis she was honored with torch-races called Lampadephoria.
RP87445. Bronze AE 27, Schnert-Geiss Perinthos 126 (same dies); RPC III 722; Varbanov -; BMC Thrace -; SNG Cop -, gVF, attractive dark green patina, small edge chips, die break on veil, weight 7.850 g, maximum diameter 27.3 mm, die axis 0o, Heraclea Perinthos (Marmara Ereglisi, Turkey) mint, early - mid 2nd century A.D.; obverse veiled and draped bust of Demeter right, holding grain and poppy in raised left hand; reverse ΠEPINΘIΩN, Artemis Tauropolos advancing right, holding torch in each hand; Agora auction 74 (5 Jun 2018), 59; ex Tom Buggey Collection; ex CNG e-auction 251 (9 Mar 2011), lot 218; $150.00 (127.50)


Chersonesos, Thrace, c. 400 - 338 B.C.

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Chersonesos is Greek for 'peninsula' and several cities used the name. The city in Thracian Chersonesos (the Gallipoli peninsula) that struck these coins is uncertain. The coins may have been struck at Cardia by the peninsula as a league, or perhaps they were struck by lost city on the peninsula named Chersonesos. Chersonesos was controlled by Athens from 560 B.C. to 338 B.C., aside from a brief period during this time when it was controlled by Persia. It was taken by Philip II of Macedonia in 338 B.C., Pergamon in 189 B.C., and Rome in 133 B.C. It was later ruled by the Byzantine Empire and then by the Ottoman Turks.
GS87693. Silver hemidrachm, SNG Fitzwilliam 463, BMC Thrace -, McClean -, Weber -, Dewing -, SNG Cop -, SNG Fitzwilliam -, SNG Berry -, SNG Milan -, SNG Lockett -, SNG Dreer -, VF, toned, attractive lion, light corrosion/porosity, weight 2.370 g, maximum diameter 13.7 mm, die axis 0o, Chersonesos (Sevastopol, Ukraine) mint, c. 400 - 338 B.C.; obverse lion forepart right, head turned back left, tongue protruding; reverse quadripartite incuse with alternating shallow and deeper sunken quarters; pellet in one sunken quarter, star of eight rays around a central pellet in the opposite sunken quarter, A in one of the raised quarters; scarce; $150.00 (127.50) ON RESERVE


Pontos (Uncertain City), c. 130 - 50 B.C.

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This is apparently a recently discovered new type. All the known examples might be from a single find.
SH71047. Bronze AE 14, Unpublished in standard refs, six specimens known to Forum, F, cleaning scratches, weight 2.121 g, maximum diameter 13.9 mm, uncertain Pontic mint, c. 130 - 50 B.C.; obverse star of six rays and center pellet superimposed on pileus; reverse star of eight rays and central pellet; extremely rare; $140.00 (119.00)


Kingdom of Commagene, Epiphanes and Callinicus, 72 A.D.

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In 72 A.D., only two years after Antiochus IV, King of Commagene, sent troops, commanded by his son Epiphanes, to aid Titus in the siege of Jerusalem, he was accused by the governor of Syria of conspiring with Parthia against Rome. After a reign of thirty-four years from his first appointment by Caligula, Antiochus was deprived of his kingdom. He retired first to Sparta, and then to Rome, where he passed the remainder of his life and was treated with great respect. Antiochus' sons, Epiphanes and Callinicus briefly ruled the kingdom but after an encounter with Roman troops, fled to Parthia. They later joined their father in Rome.
SH90336. Bronze AE 21, RPC I 3861; BMC Galatia p. 110, 1 ff.; De Luynes 3440; SGICV 5515, F, dark patina, red earthen deposits, weight 7.954 g, maximum diameter 21.2 mm, die axis 45o, Samosata (Samsat, Turkey) mint, 72 A.D.; obverse Epiphanes and Callinicus riding left on horseback, each wearing chlamys, BACIΛEΩC / YIOI in exergue; reverse KOMMAΓHNΩN, Capricorn right, star above, anchor flukes left below, all within laurel wreath, border of dots; ex John Jencek; $125.00 (106.25)


Tiberius, 19 August 14 - 16 March 37 A.D., Tripolis ad Maeandrum, Lydia

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Tripolis on the Meander (Tripolis ad Maeandrum, also Neapolis, Apollonia, and Antoninopolis) was on the borders of Phrygia, Caria and Lydia, on the northern bank of the upper course of the Maeander, and on the road leading from Sardes by Philadelphia to Laodicea ad Lycum. It was 20 km to the northwest of Hierapolis. The earliest mention of Tripolis is by Pliny (v. 30), who treats it as Lydian. Ptolemy (v. 2. 18) and Stephanus of Byzantium describe it as Carian. Hierocles (p. 669) likewise calls it Lydian. Some modern academics have placed it in Phrygia. The ruins of Tripolis ad Maeandrum mostly date from the Roman and Byzantine periods and include a theater, baths, city walls, and a necropolis. An ancient church, dating back 1,500 years, was unearthed in 2013.
RP87200. Bronze AE 19, RPC I 3056, SNG Cop 743, SNGvA 3317, SNG Mnchen 809, Waddington 2681, Weber 3407, gF, green patina with red earthen highlighting, flatly struck, minor edge chipping, pits on reverse, weight 3.711 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 0o, Tripolis ad Maeandrum (near Yenicekent, Turkey) mint, magistrate Menandrou Metrodoros Philokaisar; obverse TIBEPION KAICAPA TPI/ΠOΛEITAI, laureate head right; reverse MENAN∆POC ΦIΛOKAICAP, radiate head of Helios right, O/T/∆ in right field; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 47 (9 Oct 2016), lot 327; scarce; $120.00 (102.00)


Pontos (Uncertain City), c. 130 - 50 B.C.

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This is apparently a recently discovered new type. All the known examples might be from a single find.
SH90651. Bronze AE 13, Unpublished in standard references, six examples known to Forum, VF, green patina, earthen encrustation, light scratches, reverse off-center, weight 2.431 g, maximum diameter 12.9 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain Pontic mint, c. 130 - 50 B.C.; obverse star of six rays and center pellet superimposed on pileus; reverse star of eight rays and central pellet; extremely rare; $100.00 (85.00)


Cales, Campania, Italy, c. 265 - 240 B.C.

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The Romans captured Cales in 335 B.C. and established a colony in 334 with Latin rights of 2,500 citizens. It was an important base in the war against Hannibal. Before 184 B.C. more settlers were sent there. After the Social War it became a municipium. Its fertile territory and manufacture of black glazed pottery, which was even exported to Etruria, made it prosperous. Inscriptions name six gates of the town: and there are considerable remains of antiquity, especially of an amphitheater and theater, of a supposed temple, a Roman necropolis, and other edifices.
GB73620. Bronze AE 20, SNG Cop 309; HN Italy 436, SNG ANS 183, cf. BMC Italy p. 79, 23 (star of eight rays vice O below), F, green patina, tight flan, weight 6.161 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 225o, Cales (Calvi Risorta, Italy) mint, c. 265 - 240 B.C.; obverse CALENO, laureate head of Apollo left, star behind; reverse man-faced bull right, star of sixteen rays above, Θ (or O?) below, CALENO in exergue; $95.00 (80.75)




  



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Catalog current as of Thursday, November 15, 2018.
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Astronomy