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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ GeographyView Options:  |  |  |   

Geography

Every ancient coin is associated with a place, at the least where it was minted. Rarely, but occasionally, we learn where a coin was found. Many ancient coins depict the personification of a nation, province, city, or river. Every coin has some tie to geography. Of course collecting every coin is not a theme, so geography must be narrowed down in some way. Collecting the coins of one mint, city or region is popular. Hadrian's famous "travel series" would make an excellent geography theme collection. Another is the travels of Paul. Or you could collect coins from all places you simply find captivating.


Otho, 15 January 69 - 17 April 69 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

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Otho ruled for just a few months. The mint of Alexandria struck coins with his name, though the portrait bears little resemblance to those of the other mints. It is possible that Alexandria produced coins without having an image of the new emperor.
RP84745. Bronze hemidrachm, RPC I 5364 (3 spec.); Geissen 257; Dattari 336; BMC Alexandria 217; Milne 376; SNG BnF 710; Kampmann-Ganschow 18.13; Emmett 189 (R4); SNG Milan -, F, attractive brown tone, flan crack, light scratches, smoothing, weight 16.768 g, maximum diameter 30.2 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 69 A.D.; obverse AYTOK MAPK OΘΩNOΣ KAIΣ ΣEB, laureate head right, beveled edge; reverse bust of Nilus right, wearing papyrus diadem, cornucopia behind right shoulder, date LA (year 1) before; from the Jyrki Muona Collection; extremely rare; $1170.00 (€994.50)


France, Henry III, 1574 - 1589

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Three months after Henri was made the elected king of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, his brother, Charles IX of France, died and Henri returned to France to assume the French throne. Henri brought several Polish inventions back to France, including septic facilities which deposited excrement outside the castle walls, a bath with regulated hot and cold water, and the fork. Henri gave protestant Huguenots the right of public worship, except in Paris and at Court. In response, Henry I, Duke of Guise, formed the Catholic League. Henri III was eventually forced to flee Paris. After he had the duke assassinated, Henri III prepared to return to Paris but was murdered before he could return. During the French Revolution, Henri III was disinterred from his tomb, his body was desecrated and thrown into a common grave.

On May 31, 1575, Henry III created a new 14.188 grams, .833 fine silver coin with the value of 20 sols tournois. The gold écu was set at 60 sols. The gold franc equaled 1/3 écu or 20 sols. This coin, corresponding to the value of the medieval gold franc, naturally took the name franc d'argent (silver franc). Our coin is a franc avec fraise, distinguished from the contemporary franc au col plat by the addition of a lace ruff to the king's collar. It was unique to the Toulouse mint. Due to constant clipping, the coinage of francs was suspended for good on October 13, 1586. After the death of the king, however, mints held by the Catholic League struck francs in his name.
SH84614. Silver franc, Duplessy 1130A, Ciani 1434, Roberts 3612, Lafaurie 970, aVF, iridescent toning, weight 13.995 g, maximum diameter 35.2 mm, die axis 180o, Toulouse (M) mint, 1586; obverse •HENRICVS•III D•G FRANC ET•POL•REX• (Henry III, by the grace of god, King of France and Poland), laureate and cuirassed bust of Henry III, ruffled collar, M (Toulouse workshop letter) below bust, 1586 at bottom between end and beginning of legend; reverse * SIT•NOMEN•DOMINI•BENEDICTVM S (Blessed be the name of the Lord), foliate cross fleurée, H surrounded by dots in the center; $600.00 (€510.00)


Otho, 15 January 69 - 17 April 69 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

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This variety with a simpulum on the reverse is much rarer than the same type without this control symbol. RPC reports only 5 specimens with the simpulum and 17 specimens without it. This variety is missing from the important collections in Cologne, Paris, and Milan, and we know of only one example offered at auction in the past two decades (CNG 76, 12 Sep 2007, lot 3152, VF, $430 plus fees).
RP84748. Billon tetradrachm, Milne 359; RPC I 5354 (5 spec.); Dattari 327; BMC Alexandria p. 25, 208; Curtis 238; Kampmann 18.6; Emmett 184; Geissen -; SNG BnF -; SNG Milan -, F, toned, light encrustations, tight flan cutting off parts of legends, weight 12.583 g, maximum diameter 24.4 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 15 Jan 69 - 17 Apr 69 A.D.; obverse AYTOK MAPK OΘΩNOΣ KAIΣ ΣEB, laureate head right, LA (year 1) lower right; reverse EΛEY-ΘEPIA, Eleutheria (Liberty) standing left, wreath in extended right hand, scepter in left hand, leaning with left elbow on column, simpulum (ladle used for tasting and pouring sacrificial libations) left in lower left field; from the Jyrki Muona Collection; extremely rare; $450.00 (€382.50)


France, Charles IX, 1560 - 1574

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Charles IX ascended the throne of France upon the death of his brother Francis II. After decades of tension, war broke out between Protestants and Catholics after the massacre of Vassy in 1562. In 1572, after several unsuccessful peace attempts, Charles ordered the marriage of his sister Margaret of Valois to Henry of Navarre, a major Protestant nobleman and the future King Henry IV of France, in a last desperate bid to reconcile his people. Facing popular hostility against this policy of appeasement, Charles allowed the massacre of all Huguenot leaders who gathered in Paris for the royal wedding at the instigation of his mother Catherine de' Medici. This event, known as the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre, was a significant blow to the Huguenot movement. Religious civil warfare soon began anew. Charles ordered the Siege of La Rochelle, but was unable to take the Protestant stronghold. Charles died of tuberculosis without legitimate male issue in 1574 and was succeeded by his brother Henry III.
WO86329. Silver teston, cf. Roberts 3551, Duplessy 1063, Ciani 1356, Lafaurie 895, VF, toned, scratches and marks, areas of weak strike, weight 8.927 g, maximum diameter 28.7 mm, die axis 255o, Saint-Lô mint, 1561; obverse CAROLVS•VIIII•D•G•FRANCO•REX• (Charles IX, by the Grace of God, King of France), laureate and cuirassed boy's bust left, C (mint-mark) below; reverse SIT•NOMEN•DNI•BENEDICIM•M•D•LXI (Blessed be the name of the Lord, 1561), crowned coat of arms (three fleur de lis), crowned C's flanking; very rare; $450.00 (€382.50)


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D.

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Issued to commemorate victory in Britain. Between 208 and 210 A.D., Septimius Severus and his son Caracalla campaigned into Scotland (then Caledonia) and also restored Hadrian's Wall. The victories in the north pacified the island for the remainder of the century, but the aged Septimius died at Eburacum (York) in 211 A.D.
SH83529. Silver denarius, RIC IV 332 (S); RSC III 727; BMCRE V p. 366, 51; Hunter III 108; SRCV II 6382, Choice gVF, some luster, perfect centering, nice portrait, light toning, small edge cracks, weight 3.369 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 210 - 211 A.D.; obverse SEVERVS PIVS AVG BRIT, laureate head right; reverse VICTORIAE BRIT (victories over the British), Victory advancing right, raising wreath in extended right hand, palm frond in left hand over left shoulder; scarce; $400.00 (€340.00)


Severus II, 25 July 306 - Summer 307 A.D.

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"This reverse is modeled after the famous statue of the Spirit of the Roman People in the Roman Forum. It is unclear when this statue was last seen as it is now lost. Although the coins celebrate a wide range of spirits (e.g., Rome, Augustus, the Army, etc.), the basic design comes from the same statue...The act of pouring the libation to the emperor illustrates what the Christians were required to do in order not to be persecuted." -- Roman Bronze Coins From Paganism to Christianity 294-364 A.D. by Victor Failmezger
RT85634. Billon follis, RIC VI Lugdunum 199a, Bastien XI 377, SRCV IV 14632, Cohen VII 43, Choice gVF, well centered and struck, some silvering, encrustations, flan crack, weight 10.066 g, maximum diameter 27.9 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, as caesar, 1 May 305 - 25 Jul 306 A.D.; obverse SEVERVS NOB C, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse GENIO POPVLI ROMANI (to the guardian spirit of the Roman People), Genius standing left, kalathos on head, naked but for chlamys over shoulders and left arm, pouring libations from patera in right hand over altar at feet on left, cornucopia in left hand, star right, PLC in exergue; scarce; $400.00 (€340.00)


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

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This is an Alexandrine type drachm, meaning it has the types of Alexander's drachms, Herakles and Zeus Aëtophoros. Thompson notes, "Teos, like Colophon, was a royal mint [for Lysimachos] for only a short time. Its scanty output of drachms falls in the period before Lysimachus began to issue money with his own types."
GS86508. Silver drachm, Price L38 corr. (control positions), Thompson 130 corr. (control positions), Müller 34 ff. var. (monogram), Müller Alexander -, SNG Cop -, gVF, toned, centered on a tight flan, light marks, weight 4.258 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 0o, Ionia, Teos (near Sigacik, Turkey) mint, lifetime issue, c. 301/299 - 297 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, clad in Nemean lion scalp headdress; reverse Zeus Aëtophoros seated left, right leg drawn back, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, griffin seated left above monogram (controls) in lower left field, ΛYΣIMAXOY (Lysimachos) downward on right, BAΣIΛEΩΣ (king) in exergue; from the David Cannon Collection, ex Beast Coins; very rare; $385.00 (€327.25)


Roman Egypt, Antinoopolites Nome(?), Portrait of Antinous, c. 130 - 153 A.D.

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Antinous probably joined the entourage of Hadrian when it passed through Bithynia in about 124. He became Hadrian's constant companion and lover but in October 130 Antinous drowned in the Nile. Hadrian's grief knew no bounds; he enrolled him among the gods, erected a temple, and on 30 October 130 A.D., Hadrian founded the city of Antinoopolis on the very bank of the Nile river where Antinous drowned. It was the capital of a new nome, Antinoopolites. Artists vied with each other in immortalizing his beauty. Temples and statues to his memory were erected all over the Empire, and there began a Cult of Antinous. On this coin he is depicted in the guise of Hermanubis.
RX90575. Lead tessera, Dattari 6536, Geissen 3559 var. (11.23g), Emmett 4397 (R4), F, weight 4.666 g, maximum diameter 20.6 mm, die axis 0o, Antinoopolis (or Alexandria?) mint, c. 130 - 153 A.D.; obverse draped bust of Antinous right, wearing hem-hem crown of Harpocrates, crescent before; reverse Serapis standing left, wearing chiton, himation, and kalathos on head, right hand raised, long scepter vertical behind in left; rare; $200.00 (€170.00)


Salonina, Augusta 254 - c. September 268 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

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Tyche (Greek for luck; the Roman equivalent was Fortuna) was the presiding tutelary deity that governed the fortune and prosperity of a city, its destiny. Increasingly during the Hellenistic period, cities had their own specific iconic version of Tyche, wearing a mural crown (a crown like the walls of the city).
SH66838. Billon tetradrachm, Dattari 5342; Geissen 2982; Kampmann-Ganschow 91.47; SRCV III 10716; BMC Alexandria p. 2266; Milne 4140, Choice aEF, weight 11.345 g, maximum diameter 23.7 mm, die axis 315o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 266 - 28 Aug 267 A.D.; obverse KOPNHΛIA CAΛWNEINA CEB, draped bust right, wearing stephane, hair in horizontal ridges and in plait looped below ear; reverse Tyche reclining left on couch, kalathos on head, rudder in right hand, LI∆ (year 14) above; $180.00 (€153.00)


France, Strasbourg, Louis XIV, 1684

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The Free City of Strasbourg remained neutral during the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648) and retained its status as a Free Imperial City. However, the city was later annexed by Louis XIV of France to extend the borders of his kingdom. Louis' advisors believed that, as long as Strasbourg remained independent, it would endanger the King's newly annexed territories in Alsace, and, that to defend these large rural lands effectively, a garrison had to be placed in towns such as Strasbourg. Indeed, the bridge over the Rhine at Strasbourg had been used repeatedly by Imperial (Holy Roman Empire) forces, and three times during the Franco-Dutch War Strasbourg had served as a gateway for Imperial invasions into Alsace. In September 1681 Louis' forces, though lacking a clear casus belli, surrounded the city with overwhelming force. After some negotiation, Louis marched into the city unopposed on 30 September 1681 and proclaimed its annexation.
SH84610. Silver Sol, Ciani 2054, Gadoury 87, Duplessy 1599, Krause KM 245, VF, toned, light deposits, weight 0.936 g, maximum diameter 17.2 mm, die axis 180o, Strasbourg mint, 1684; obverse MON• NOV• ARGENTINENSIS (new currency of Strasbourg), fleur-de-lis; reverse *GLORIA• IN• EXCELSIS• DEO• (glory to God in heaven), •I• / •SOL• / 1684 in three lines; ex Gordon Andreas Singer; $180.00 (€153.00)




  



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Catalog current as of Wednesday, January 17, 2018.
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Geography