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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Types ▸ Grapes & WineView Options:  |  |  |   

Grapes and Wine on Ancient Coins

Coins related to grapes and wine are popular. Of course, we also include in this theme coins depicting the gods of wine - Dionysus, Bacchus, and Liber.


Roman Bronze Vessel Handle, Ornamented With Bacchus and a Panther, c. 1st Century A.D.

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The Panther was the companion of Bacchus. The grapevine and its wild barren alter-ego, the toxic ivy plant, were both sacred to him. This handle was once attached to vessel used for serving or drinking wine.
AI30971. height 8.0 cm (3"), excellent condition with a nice green patina, bronze vessel handle ornamented with a facing young head of Bacchus wearing an ivy wreath in his long flowing hair, panther skin tied at neck, the curving handle ends with a panther head; $600.00 (510.00)


Roman Macedonia, "Thasian" Type, c. 148 - 80 B.C.

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This Dionysos / Herakles type was first struck by Thasos itself on the island and in its continental territories in the South of the Balkans, c. 168 - 148 B.C. After Rome took control of the area, "Thasian" types were struck by Roman authorities, c. 148 - 80 B.C., mainly in Macedonia but also, perhaps, by mobile military mints on campaigns. Imitatives were also struck by at least several tribal groups (mainly Celtic or mixed enclaves) from as early as 120 - 100 B.C. to about 20 - 10 B.C.
GS79632. Silver tetradrachm, Prokopov Thasos, group XIV, monogram 24, cf. 1100 - 1104 (V CD3 / -); SNG Cop 1046, VF, centered, toned, struck with a worn obverse die, scrape on chin, scratches and marks, weight 16.690 g, maximum diameter 33.1 mm, die axis 0o, Roman provincial or military mint, c. 148 - 80 B.C.; obverse head of Dionysos right, wearing taenia and wreathed in flowering ivy; reverse HPAKΛEOYΣ ΣΩTHPOΣ ΘAΣIΩN, Herakles standing half left, nude but for Nemean lion's skin on left arm, resting right hand on grounded club before him, left hand on hip, monogram inner left; $240.00 (204.00)


Roman Macedonia, "Thasian" Type, c. 148 - 80 B.C.

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This Dionysos / Herakles type was first struck by Thasos itself on the island and in its continental territories in the South of the Balkans, c. 168 - 148 B.C. After Rome took control of the area, "Thasian" types were struck by Roman authorities, c. 148 - 80 B.C., mainly in Macedonia but also, perhaps, by mobile military mints on campaigns. Imitatives were also struck by at least several tribal groups (mainly Celtic or mixed enclaves) from as early as 120 - 100 B.C. to about 20 - 10 B.C.
GS79635. Silver tetradrachm, Prokopov Thasos, group XVI, 1226 (O DD4 / R 989); SNG Cop 1040 ff., VF, nice style, light toning, bumps and scratches, die wear, weight 16.787 g, maximum diameter 33.2 mm, die axis 0o, Roman provincial or military mint, c. 148 - 80 B.C.; obverse head of Dionysos right, wearing taenia and wreathed in flowering ivy; reverse HPAKΛEOYΣ ΣΩTHPOΣ ΘAΣIΩN, Herakles standing half left, nude but for Nemean lion's skin on left arm, resting right hand on grounded club before him, left hand on hip, MH monogram inner left; $240.00 (204.00)


Maroneia, Thrace, c. 398 - 385 B.C.

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Maroneia was on the Aegean coast about midway between the mouths of the Hebrus and the Nestus rivers. The city was named after Maron, sometimes identified as a son of Dionysos, who in the Odyssey gives Odysseus the wine with which he intoxicates Polyphemos. Maroneia was famous for its wine, which was esteemed everywhere and was said to possess the odor of nectar.
GB85193. Silver triobol, Schnert-Geiss Maroneia 236 ff.; SNG Cop 616; SNG Delepierre 797; BMC Thrace p. 234, 30a, gF/VF, tight flan, edge cracks, weight 2.624 g, maximum diameter 14.6 mm, die axis 90o, Maroneia (Maroneia-Sapes, Greece) mint, c. 398 - 385 B.C.; obverse forepart of prancing horse left, dotted body truncation, A-N flanking at neck, Θ below; reverse bunch of grapes on a vine, M - A flanking low across the field, all in a dotted linear square border within a square incuse; $180.00 (153.00)


The First Jewish Revolt, 66 - 70 A.D.

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In 67, Jewish leaders in Jerusalem were divided by a power struggle, a brutal civil war erupted, the Zealots and the Sicarii executed anyone who tried to leave the city.
JD86851. Bronze prutah, Hendin 1360, VF, weakly struck areas, scratches, weight 2.857 g, maximum diameter 18.5 mm, die axis 315o, Jerusalem mint, year 2, 67 - 68 A.D.; obverse amphora with broad rim and two handles, year 2 (in Hebrew) around; reverse vine leaf on small branch, the freedom of Zion (in Hebrew) around; $95.00 (80.75)


Apameia, Seleucis and Pieria, Syria, 21 - 20 B.C.

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Apameia Syria is believed to be the Biblical city Shepham (Num. xxxiv. 11). Previously known as Pharmake, it was fortified and enlarged by Seleucus I Nicator in 300 B.C., who renamed it after his Bactrian wife, Apama. Pompey razed the fortress and annexed the city to Rome in 64 B.C. In the revolt of Syria under Q. Caecilius Bassus, it held out against Julius Caesar for three years until the arrival of Cassius in 46 B.C.
GY86414. Bronze AE 23, RPC 4350; McClean 9429; Cohen DCA 416; HGC 9 1425 (S); cf. BMC Galatia p. 234, 12 (year 94); SNG Cop 301 (same), VF, centered on a tight flan, dark patina with highlighting red earthen deposits, bumps and marks, porosity, weight 9.644 g, maximum diameter 22.8 mm, die axis 0o, Syria, Apameia (Qalaat al-Madiq, Syria) mint, 21 - 20 B.C.; obverse head of young Dionysos right wreathed with ivy; reverse thyrsos (staff of Dionysos), date BꟼΣ (year 292 of the Seleucid Era) downward inner left, AΠAMEΩN / THΣ IEPAΣ / KAI AΣUΛOY in three downward lines starting outer right; scarce; $90.00 (76.50)


Apameia, Seleucis and Pieria, Syria, 83 - 82 B.C.

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Apamea is believed to be the Biblical city Shepham (Num. xxxiv. 11). Rome received Apamea with the Pergamene Kingdom in 133 B.C., but sold it to Mithridates V of Pontus, who held it till 120 BC. After the Mithridatic Wars it became a great center for trade, largely carried on by resident Italians and Jews. Pompey razed the fortress and annexed the city to Rome in 64 B.C. Apamea is mentioned in the Talmud (Ber. 62a, Niddah, 30b and Yeb. 115b). By order of Flaccus, nearly 45 kilograms of gold, intended by Jews for the Temple in Jerusalem was confiscated in Apamea in 62 B.C. In the revolt of Syria under Q. Caecilius Bassus, it held out against Julius Caesar for three years until the arrival of Cassius in 46 B.C.Great Colonnade at Apamea
GY86697. Bronze AE 14, Lindgren-Kovacs 2035 (this coin), Cohen DCA 415 (R2, same dies), HGC 9 1433 (R1) var. (year 237), SNG Cop -, BMC Galatia -, VF, obverse die wear, tight flan, weight 1.678 g, maximum diameter 14.2 mm, die axis 0o, Syria, Apameia (Qalaat al-Madiq, Syria) mint, 83 - 82 B.C.; obverse head of Dionysos right, wreathed in ivy; reverse bunch of grapes, AΠAMEΩN / THΣ IEPAΣ − KAI AΣYΛOY / ΣE (in four downward lines, the first two on right, the last two on the left), ΘΛΣ (year 239 of the Seleukid Era) downward low inner right; ex J.S. Wagner Collection, Lindgren-Kovacs plate coin; very rare; $90.00 (76.50)


Roman Republic, L. Marcius Censorinus, 82 B.C.

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The moneyer selected the design to play on his name, Marsyas sounds like Marcius.

Marsyas found Athena's flute. Inspired by the breath of a goddess, it played beautifully. Foolishly he challenged Apollo to a musical contest. Apollo won by singing to the music of his lyre. As a just punishment for his presumption, Apollo flayed Marsyas alive. His blood was the source of the river Marsyas, and his skin was hung like a wine bag in the cave out of which that river flows.
RR86171. Silver denarius, Crawford 363/1d, Sydenham 737, RSC I Marcia 24, SRCV I 281, F, toned, bumps, scratches, banker's marks, weight 3.739 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 45o, Rome mint, 82 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right, no control mark; reverse the satyr Marsyas standing left, bald, right arm raised, wine skin over shoulder shoulder in left hand, LCENSOR downward before, a column topped with Victory behind, no control mark; from the Lucas Harsh Collection, ex Warren Esty; scarce; $80.00 (68.00)


Kios, Bithynia, c. 325 - 203 B.C.

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According to myth, Kios (Cius) was founded on the Propontis (Sea of Marmara) by Herakles when he accompanied the Argonauts. According to historians, it was founded in 626 - 625 B.C. by colonists from Miletos. Kios was often subject to greater powers, predominantly the Persian Empire until Alexander the Great invaded and took the city in 334 B.C. After disputes with Alexander's successors, Kios joined the Aetolian League, in opposition to Macedonia. In 202 B.C., Philip V of Macedonia and Prusias I of Bythinia destroyed the city and massacred, banished, or enslaved its citizens. Prusias built a new city on the site and named it for himself (Prusias ad Mare). After this atrocity, the Rodians asked the Roman Senate for help. The Romans seized this opportunity to invade Greece and defeat Philip V. In 74 B.C., after the death of King Nikomides III, the Romans occupied Kios and the whole of Bythinia. Under Rome, the name Kios was revived. An important link in the ancient Silk Road, Kios became a wealthy town.
GB71987. Bronze AE 14, SNG Cop 381; SNGvA 7004; BMC Pontus, p. 131, 20; Rec Gen I.2 7, VF, dark green patina, porous, weight 2.880 g, maximum diameter 13.5 mm, die axis 315o, Kios (Bursa, Turkey) mint, c. 325 - 203 B.C.; obverse young beardless male head (Mithras?) right, wearing a Phrygian cap and laurel wreath; reverse Kantharos between two bunches of grapes hanging on vines which emerge from the cup, A above, K-I divided by stem, all within wreath of two stalks of grain; rare; $75.00 (63.75)


Heliopolis, Coele-Syria, c. 198 A.D.

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Septimius Severus conferred the Jus Italicum upon Heliopolis (Baalbek, Lebanon) in 193, for supporting him against Pescennius Niger. Prior to that Heliopolis had been part of the territory of Berytus (Beirut) on the Phoenician coast since 15 B.C. This obverse of this coin is copied from a coin of Berytus.

Marsyas found Athena's flute. Inspired by the breath of a goddess, it played beautifully. Foolishly he challenged Apollo to a musical contest. Apollo won by singing to the music of his lyre. As a just punishment for his presumption, Apollo flayed Marsyas alive. His blood was the source of the river Marsyas, and his skin was hung like a wine bag in the cave out of which that river flows.
RP73451. Bronze AE 13, Sawaya 261 (D48/R100), Lindgren-Kovacs 2156, SNG Cop -, SNG Munchen -, BMC Galatia -, VF, weight 1.988 g, maximum diameter 13.2 mm, die axis 90o, Heliopolis mint, c. 198 A.D.; obverse Marsyas right, wineskin over shoulder, C - HE (Colonia Heliopolis), border of dots; reverse COL / HEL in two lines at center within wreath, border of dots; scarce; $55.00 (46.75)




  



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Grapes & Wine