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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Military| ▸ |Nike or Victory||View Options:  |  |  |   

Nike or Victory on Ancient Coins

Victoria or Nike, the Winged Goddess of Victory, personifies victory. She was described variously in different myths as the daughter of the Titan Pallas and the goddess Styx, and the sister of Kratos (Strength), Bia (Force), and Zelus (Zeal). Nike and her siblings were close companions of Zeus. According to classical (later) myth, Styx brought them to Zeus when the god was assembling allies for the Titan War. Nike assumed the role of the divine charioteer, a role in which she often is portrayed in Classical Greek art. Nike flew around battlefields rewarding the victors with glory and fame, symbolized by a wreath of laurel leaves. Victory or Nike is one of the most common figures on Greek and Roman coins.

Macedonian Kingdom, Alexander the Great, 336 - 323 B.C.

|Alexander| |the| |Great|, |Macedonian| |Kingdom,| |Alexander| |the| |Great,| |336| |-| |323| |B.C.|, |stater|
Born a leader, his genius and charisma led the Macedonian army to create an empire covering most of the then-known world, from Greece to India. His reign begins the Hellenistic Age, a time when civilization flourished. He was regarded as a god and his fame grew even greater after his premature death at thirty-two.
SL95868. Gold stater, Price 168a (same dies), Mller Alexander 193, Newell Tarsos 12, HGC 3.1 893a (S), ICG AU80 (1507680109, Tarsos, Pr#3004), Macedonia, Amphipolis mint, struck under Antipater, c. 328/5 - 323/319 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right wearing earring, necklace, and crested Corinthian helmet decorated with a coiled snake; reverse Nike standing slightly left, head left, wreath in extended right hand, stylus in left hand, kantharos left; nice style, high relief, good strike, and mint luster, ICG| Lookup; scarce; $5200.00 SALE |PRICE| $4680.00


Theodosius I, 19 January 379 - 17 January 395 A.D.

|Theodosius| |I|, |Theodosius| |I,| |19| |January| |379| |-| |17| |January| |395| |A.D.|, |solidus|
Theodosius I abolished the last remaining expressions of Roman religion by making its holidays into workdays, banning blood sacrifices, closing Roman temples, confiscating Temple endowments, and disbanding the Vestal Virgins. He ordered, authorized, or at least failed to punish, the closure or destruction of many temples, holy sites, images and objects of piety throughout the empire. In 393, he issued a comprehensive law that prohibited any public non-Christian religious customs. He discontinued the ancient Olympic Games, last recorded in 393, though archeological evidence indicates that some games were still held after this date.
SH94407. Gold solidus, RIC X Theodosius I 20b (S); Depeyrot p. 169, 9/2; SRCV V 20412; Cohen VIII 37; Hunter V -, gVF, well centered, nice portrait, slight double strike, die wear, part of flan edge ragged with splits, weight 4.375 g, maximum diameter 22.3 mm, die axis 180o, Mediolanum (Milan, Italy) mint, Jan 389 - Apr 391 A.D.; obverse D N THEODOSIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VICTORIA AVGG (victory of the two emperors), two emperors, crowned and nimbate, seated facing on double-throne, legs draped, holding a globe together, the emperor on right holding mappa in left hand, Victory behind above center facing with spread wings, palm frond low center, M-D divided across field, COM in exergue; ex Gorny & Mosch Auction 196 (7 March 2011), lot 3040; scarce; $1650.00 SALE |PRICE| $1485.00


Kingdom of Thrace, Lysimachos, 305 - 281 B.C., Portrait of Alexander the Great

|Kingdom| |of| |Thrace|, |Kingdom| |of| |Thrace,| |Lysimachos,| |305| |-| |281| |B.C.,| |Portrait| |of| |Alexander| |the| |Great|, |tetradrachm|
Thompson notes that Pyrrhus held Pella until 286 B.C. It was one of the last, if not the last, mint opened by Lysimachos. Twenty-six obverse dies are known for the tetradrachms.
SH93849. Silver tetradrachm, Thompson 248, HGC 3.2 1750p (S), Mller 353 var. (monogram in ex.), VF, superb high relief portrait, light toning with some darker spots, bumps and marks, weight 16.645 g, maximum diameter 29.5 mm, die axis 180o, Pella mint, 286 - 281 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Alexander the Great wearing the horn of Ammon; reverse Athena enthroned left, Nike crowning name in her right hand, resting left arm on grounded round shield behind, transverse spear against right side, HP monogram outer left, monogram inner left, BAΣIΛEΩΣ downward on right, ΛYΣIMAXOY downward on left; ex Divus Numismatik; scarce; $750.00 SALE |PRICE| $675.00


Kingdom of Thrace, Lysimachos, 305 - 281 B.C., Portrait of Alexander the Great

|Kingdom| |of| |Thrace|, |Kingdom| |of| |Thrace,| |Lysimachos,| |305| |-| |281| |B.C.,| |Portrait| |of| |Alexander| |the| |Great|, |tetradrachm|
Lysimachus, one of Alexander the Great's personal bodyguards, was appointed strategos (general) in Thrace and 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.
GS94259. Silver tetradrachm, HGC 3.2 1750, VF, well centered on a broad flan, nice portrait, toned, bumps and marks, weight 16.424 g, maximum diameter 32.4 mm, die axis 135o, obverse diademed head of Alexander the Great wearing the horn of Ammon; reverse Athena enthroned left, Nike crowning name in her right hand, resting left arm on grounded round shield behind, transverse spear against right side, BAΣIΛEΩΣ downward on right, ΛYΣIMAXOY downward on left, no control marks; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 83 (1 Sep 2019), lot 87; $550.00 SALE |PRICE| $495.00


Side, Pamphylia, c. 145 - 125 B.C.

|Side|, |Side,| |Pamphylia,| |c.| |145| |-| |125| |B.C.|, |tetradrachm|
In 190 B.C. a fleet from Rhodes, supported by Rome and Pergamum, defeated the Seleucid fleet under the command of the fugitive Carthaginian general Hannibal. The Seleucid defeat freed Side from the overlord-ship of the Seleucid Empire. The Treaty of Apamea (188 B.C.) left Side in a state of uncertain freedom. It was during this period of autonomy that Side struck these tetradrachms. It would last until 36 B.C. when the city came under the rule of the Roman client King of Galatia, Amyntas.
GS92896. Silver tetradrachm, SNGvA 4796 (also with anchor c/m); SNG BnF 694; BMC Pamphylia p. 148, 46 (KΛE-YX), Choice VF, well centered, reverse strike a little flat, obverse flattened opposite of countermark, weight 16.505 g, maximum diameter 28.8 mm, die axis 0o, Side (near Selimiye, Antalya Province, Turkey) mint, magistrate Kleuch-, c. 145 - 125 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right in a crested Corinthian helmet; reverse Nike advancing left, wreath extended in right hand, pomegranate in left field, KΛ-E (magistrate's name) divided across field below center; countermark: anchor within incuse rectangle; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 77 (5 May 2019), lot 287; $500.00 SALE |PRICE| $450.00


Julius Caesar, Imperator and Dictator, October 49 - 15 March 44 B.C., Minted by Praefectus C. Clovius

|Julius| |Caesar|, |Julius| |Caesar,| |Imperator| |and| |Dictator,| |October| |49| |-| |15| |March| |44| |B.C.,| |Minted| |by| |Praefectus| |C.| |Clovius|, |dupondius|
On 17 March 45 B.C., in his last victory, Julius Caesar defeated the Pompeian forces of Titus Labienus and Pompey the younger in the Battle of Munda. Labienus died in battle, Pompey the younger was executed, but Sextus Pompey escaped to take command of the remnants of the Pompeian fleet.
RR94484. Bronze dupondius, Sear CRI 62, BMCRR I 4125, Crawford 476/1a, RPC I 601, Sydenham 1025, RBW Collection 1667, SRCV I 1417, gF/VF, dark brown patina, porous, areas of corrosion, weight 11.619 g, maximum diameter 27.7 mm, die axis 0o, Italian (Rome or Mediolanum?) mint, late 46 - early 45 B.C.; obverse CAESAR DIC TER (Dictator for the third time), draped bust of winged Victory right; reverse C CLOVI PRAEF (C. Clovius, praefectus), Minerva standing left, trophy over right shoulder, shield decorated with Gorgoneion (facing head of Medusa) in left hand, snake at feet left; from an Israeli collection; $360.00 SALE |PRICE| $324.00


Brettian League, Bruttium, Italy, c. 214 - 211 B.C.

|Italy|, |Brettian| |League,| |Bruttium,| |Italy,| |c.| |214| |-| |211| |B.C.|, |sextans|
All coinage of the Brettii was issued during the Second Punic War when they allied with Hannibal. The Brettii joined Hannibal after his victory at Cannae. Hannibal's last base in Italy was Castra Hannibalis, in Bruttium. The ravages of war inflicted a severe blow to the prosperity of Bruttium. Roman punishment for their rebellion completed their humiliation. They lost most of their territory and the whole nation reduced to a state bordering on servitude. They were not admitted like the other nations of Italy to rank as allies but were pronounced incapable of military service, and were only employed by Rome for menial work.
GI95364. Bronze sextans, Scheu Bronze 11; SNG ANS 43; SNG Cop 1652; BMC Italy p. 326, 62 corr.; HN Italy 1975; HGC I 1361 (R1), gVF, smooth olive brown patina, well centered, light marks, minor flan flaws, weight 16.641 g, maximum diameter 26.1 mm, die axis 0o, c. 214 - 211 B.C.; obverse head of Ares left, wearing crested helmet decorated with griffin leaping left, harpa below; reverse Nike sanding left, crowning trophy of captured arms with right hand, palm frond in left hand, KB monogram left, anchor with flukes up in center, BPETTIΩN downward on right; ex Pegasi Numismatics; $330.00 SALE |PRICE| $297.00


Cappadocian Kingdom, Ariarathes VII Philometor, 116 - 101 B.C., In the Name and Types of Antiochos VII of Syria

|Cappadocian| |Kingdom|, |Cappadocian| |Kingdom,| |Ariarathes| |VII| |Philometor,| |116| |-| |101| |B.C.,| |In| |the| |Name| |and| |Types| |of| |Antiochos| |VII| |of| |Syria|, |tetradrachm|
When Ariarathes VII Philometor was a child under the regency of his mother Laodice, Cappadocia was seized by King Nicomedes III of Bithynia, who then married Laodice. Laodice's brother King Mithridates VI of Pontus soon expelled Nicomedes and the restored the Cappadocian throne to Ariarathes VII. When Ariarathes VII learned that his father's assassin was under Mithridates' protection (Mithridates had arranged the murder), he prepared for war. Before the battle, the King of Pontus had him killed and put his own son Ariarathes IX on the Cappadocian throne.
GY91996. Silver tetradrachm, Houghton-Lorber 2148; HGC 7 829; HGC 9 1069, gVF, areas a little rough, a few deposits, weight 16.604 g, maximum diameter 28.2 mm, die axis 0o, Eusebia-Mazaka mint, 107/6 - 104/3 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Antiochos VII right; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ APIAPAΘOY ΦIΛOMHTPOΣ, Athena Nikephoros standing left, Nike right in extended right offering wreath, spear and grounded shield in left hand, monogram above A outer left, O inner left, Λ inner right; all within laurel wreath; ex CNG e-auction 233 (26 May 2010), lot 227; $270.00 SALE |PRICE| $243.00


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

|Septimius| |Severus|, |Septimius| |Severus,| |9| |April| |193| |-| |4| |February| |211| |A.D.|, |as|
The as is a rare denomination for Septimius Severus.
RB95801. Copper as, RIC IV 805, BMCRE V 200, Cohen IV 545, Hunter III -, VF, nice green patina, nice style, tight flan, light encrustations, part of legends weak, small edge split, weight 11.403 g, maximum diameter 26.0 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 210 A.D.; obverse SEVERVS PIVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse P M TR P XVIII COS III P P, Victory standing right, holding vexillum transversely in both hand, flanked by seated at feet on each side, S - C across field below center; Roma Numismatics sale 68 (27 Feb 2020) lot 1091; ex European Collection; scarce; $240.00 SALE |PRICE| $216.00


Neapolis, Campania, Italy, c. 300 - 275 B.C.

|Italy|, |Neapolis,| |Campania,| |Italy,| |c.| |300| |-| |275| |B.C.|, |didrachm|
Naples is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Bronze Age Greek settlements were established in the second millennium B.C. The city was refounded as Neapolis in the sixth century B.C. and became an important hub of Magna Graecia, playing a key role in the merging of Greek culture into Roman society. Naples remained influential under Rome and more so after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, serving as the capital city of the Kingdom of Naples between 1282 and 1816. Thereafter, it became the capital of the Two Sicilies until the unification of Italy in 1861.
GS94271. Silver didrachm, BMC Italy p. 100, 67; Sambon 476; SNG ANS 367; HN Italy 579; SNG Lockett -, aVF, nice rose toning, weight 6.801 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 90o, Neapolis (Naples, Italy) mint, c. 300 - 275 B.C.; obverse diademed head of nymph right, wears earring and necklace, X behind; reverse man-faced bull right, head turned facing, crowned by Nike flying right above, Θ below, NEOΠOΛITHΣ exergue; $230.00 SALE |PRICE| $207.00




  



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REFERENCES|

Imhoof-Blumer, F. "Die Flgelgestalten der Athena und Nike auf Mnzen" in NZ III (1871)., pp. 1 - 50.
Marest-Caffey, L. "Seleukos I's Victory Coinage of Susa Revisited: A Die Study and Commentary" in AJN 28 (2016).

Catalog current as of Thursday, July 9, 2020.
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