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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |History| ▸ |Historic Women||View Options:  |  |  |   

Women on Ancient Coins
The Triumvirs, Mark Antony and Cleopatra, c. Autumn 34 B.C.

|Cleopatra| |VII|, |The| |Triumvirs,| |Mark| |Antony| |and| |Cleopatra,| |c.| |Autumn| |34| |B.C.||tessera|
This lead seal clearly copies the portrait of Cleopatra VII as represented on the denarius type RRC 543/1 - everything from the countenance of the face, the hairstyle, and the drapery matches closely. The seal is made to a much higher standard than is usual with lead tesserae - it may have been struck from an unknown coin die - and the presence of the caduceus may relate to the cult of Isis. -- Andrew McCabe
SH95312. Lead tessera, apparently unpublished, but cf. Crawford 543/1 for a similar portrait, VF, brown patina with touches of red, weight 6.491 g, maximum diameter 21.7 mm, c. autumn 34 B.C.; obverse diademed and draped female bust right (Cleopatra?), winged caduceus before; reverse blank; ex CNG e-sale 458 (18 Dec 2019), lot 305; ex Andrew McCabe Collection, ex Marc de Cock (Belgium); $900.00 (€828.00)
 


Julia Domna, Augusta 194 - 8 April 217 A.D.

|Julia| |Domna|, |Julia| |Domna,| |Augusta| |194| |-| |8| |April| |217| |A.D.||denarius|
Julia Domna was born in Emesa (now Homs), Syria in 170 A.D. She was the youngest daughter of high-priest Julius Bassianus, a descendant of the Royal House of Emesa. Emesa was famous for its Temple of the Sun, the center of worship for the ancient pagan cult El-Gebal (or Elagabal). El-Gebal, worshiped in the form of a conical black stone, was the Aramaic name for the Syrian Sun God and means God of the Mountain. Emesa was also the birthplace of three other Roman empresses, Julia Maesa, Julia Mamaea and Julia Soaemias, and one emperor, Julia Domna's nephew, Elagabalus.
RS92345. Silver denarius, RIC IV S627 (S); RSC III 103; BMCRE V p. 104, 418; SRCV II 6591, F, off center, minor encrustations, edge cracks, weight 3.225 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 180o, Emesa (Homs, Syria) mint, 194 - 195 A.D.; obverse IVLIA DOMNA AVG, draped bust right; reverse LIBERAL • AVG, Liberalitas standing slightly left, polos or kalathos on head, counting board in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; only one sale in the last two decades recorded on Coin Archives (an ex Forum coin!); rare; $240.00 (€220.80)
 


Kingdom of Mauretania, Juba II and Cleopatra Selene, 25 B.C. - 24 A.D.

|Mauretania|, |Kingdom| |of| |Mauretania,| |Juba| |II| |and| |Cleopatra| |Selene,| |25| |B.C.| |-| |24| |A.D.||AE| |27|
After his father's defeat and suicide, Juba II was take to Rome and paraded in Caesar's triumph. He was then raised in Caesar's household where he and Octavian became lifelong friends. He accompanied Octavian on campaigns after Caesar's death even fighting at the battle of Actium against his future wife's parents. Cleopatra Selene was the daughter of Cleopatra VII by Marc Antony. After the battle of Actium, she was raised by Octavia, Octavian's sister. Augustus restored Juba II as the king of Numidia c. 28 B.C. and later arranged for him to marry Cleopatra Selene II giving her a large dowry and appointing her queen.
SL95881. Bronze AE 27, Alexandropoulos 209, Mazard 351 (RRR), SNG Cop 605, De Luynes 4013, NGC F, strike 4/5, surface 2/5, lt. smoothing (5872605-040), weight 18.59 g, maximum diameter 27 mm, die axis 90o, Caesarea (Cherchell, Algeria) mint, 25 B.C. - 24 A.D.; obverse REX IVBA, diademed and draped bust right, club over shoulder; reverse BACI−ΛICCA / KΛEOΠATPA, headdress of Isis, with stalks of grain, crescent above; NGC| Lookup; very rare; $225.00 (€207.00)
 


Julia Domna, Augusta, 194 - 8 April 217 A.D.

|Julia| |Domna|, |Julia| |Domna,| |Augusta,| |194| |-| |8| |April| |217| |A.D.||denarius|
Although many coin references classify Fecunditas as a personification of fertility rather than as an actual deity, Fecunditas was recognized as a Roman divinity by Nero, who erected a statue to her. Tacitus notes that upon the birth of Claudia Neronis, the senate decreed the construction of a temple of Fertility to be built at Antium. Fecunditas is always portrayed as a female figure holding a child, or children and often a scepter, cornucopia, palm branch or caduceus. Sometimes the children are depicted standing at her feet. Coins portraying her usually advertise the fertility of the imperial family.
RS89455. Silver denarius, RIC IV S534 (S); RSC III 42; BMCRE V p. 27, W46; SRCV II 6580; Hunter III -, VF/F, excellent portrait, toned, flaw on reverse, small edge cracks, weight 2.934 g, maximum diameter 17.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 195 - 196 A.D.; obverse IVLIA DOMNA AVG, draped bust right, hair in horizontal ridges, large chignon at back of head; reverse FECVNDITAS (fertility), Fecunditas seated right on throne, holding child in her arms, another child at her feet on right, standing left; very rare; $216.00 (€198.72)
 


Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Ptolemy II Philadelphos, 285 - 246 B.C.

|Ptolemaic| |Egypt|, |Ptolemaic| |Kingdom| |of| |Egypt,| |Ptolemy| |II| |Philadelphos,| |285| |-| |246| |B.C.||AE| |17|
Most finds of this type are from Bulgaria, suggesting a mint in Thrace. This type is found both with and without central depressions, indicating it was struck both before and after the coinage reform of 265 B.C., after which central depressions (dimples) became a feature of Ptolemaic coinage. This example is pre-reform.
GP86417. Bronze AE 17, Svoronos 351, SNG Cop 100, Lorber CPE B310 var. (post reform), SNG Milan -, Weiser -, Noeske -, BMC Ptolemies -, Malter -, aVF, obv. die break from nose to edge, rev. well centered on a tight flan, bumps, marks, corrosion, without central cavities, weight 5.472 g, maximum diameter 17.4 mm, die axis 270o, uncertain (Thracian?) mint, pre-reform, 285 - 265 B.C.; obverse veiled and diademed bust of Arsinoe II right; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ (King Ptolemy), eagle standing left on fulmen (thunderbolt), head left, wings open, ∆I over (AX monogram) left; see CNG e-auction 92 (23 Jun 2004), lot 64, for another specimen with the same obverse die break; rare; $160.00 (€147.20)
 


Julia Domna, Augusta 194 - 8 April 217 A.D.

|Julia| |Domna|, |Julia| |Domna,| |Augusta| |194| |-| |8| |April| |217| |A.D.||sestertius|
Vesta was originally a household spirit. Later she was personified as the goddess of the hearth and given the stature of her Greek equivalent, Hestia. In the temple of Vesta, her sacred flame was kept alive by Vestal Virgins. In 394, by order of the Christian emperor Theodosius I in his campaign to eliminate pagan practices in Rome, the fire of Vesta was extinguished.
RB91372. Orichalcum sestertius, BMCRE IV p. 123, 492; RIC IV p. 207, 843 (R); Hunter III 42; Cohen IV 222; SRCV II 6632, VF, well centered, porous, corrosion, rough areas, weight 23.018 g, maximum diameter 30.6 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 193 - 196 A.D.; obverse IVLIA DOMNA AVG, draped bare-headed bust right, hair in waved horizontal ridges; reverse VESTA, Vest seated left on throne, palladium in right hand, long scepter transverse in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) divided low across field; from a New England dealer; rare; $160.00 (€147.20)
 


Julia Domna, Augusta, 194 - 8 April 217 A.D.

|Julia| |Domna|, |Julia| |Domna,| |Augusta,| |194| |-| |8| |April| |217| |A.D.||denarius|
Julia Domna and her children as Terra and the Four Seasons! "The flatterers of Julia Domna pretended that all things were owing to her. The star-besprinkled globe represents the Roman world, which with her husband Septimius Severus she governed; and to the empire of which she destines her two sons, Caracalla and Geta, who, together with as many daughters, are the proof of her fecundity." -- Rasche, T. ii pl l p 932.
RS85789. Silver denarius, RIC IV S549 (R), RSC III 35, BMCRE V S21, Hunter III S22, SRCV II 6579, F, well centered, slightly rough with light even corrosion, edge cracks, weight 2.369 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 207 A.D.; obverse IVLIA AVGVSTA, draped bust right, hair in horizontal ridges, bun at back of head; reverse FECVNDITAS (fertility), Terra reclining left under a vine, nude to the waist, right hand set on globe spangled with stars, leaning on left arm on basket of fruits, in background four children representing the four seasons; rare; $145.00 (€133.40)
 


Great Britain, Victoria, 20 June 1837 - 22 January 1901

|United| |Kingdom|, |Great| |Britain,| |Victoria,| |20| |June| |1837| |-| |22| |January| |1901
||penny|
Queen Victoria inherited the throne at 18, after her father's three elder brothers had all died, leaving no legitimate surviving children. The UK was already a constitutional monarchy, in which the Sovereign held relatively little direct political power. Privately, Victoria attempted to influence government policy and ministerial appointments. Publicly, she became a national icon and was identified with strict standards of personal morality. Her reign of 63 years and seven months is known as the Victorian era.
UK94022. Copper penny, SCBC 3948, AU, light marks and rim bumps, weight 19.042 g, maximum diameter 34.1 mm, die axis 0o, London mint, 1854; obverse VICTORIA DEI GRATIA (Victoria, by the Grace of God), first uncrowned portrait ('Young Head') of Queen Victoria left, 1854 below; reverse BRITANNIAR: REG: FID: DEF: (Queen of the Britons, Defender of the Faith), Britannia seated right, wearing crested Corinthian helmet, resting right hand on shield at side ornamented with the Union Jack, trident in left hand, rose, shamrock, and thistle in exergue; ex CNG e-sale 453 (2 Oct 2019), lot 893 (part of); ex Brondesbury Park Collection; $130.00 (€119.60)
 


Crusaders, Frankish Greece, Principality of Achaea, Isabella of Villehardouin, 1297 - 1301

|Crusaders|, |Crusaders,| |Frankish| |Greece,| |Principality| |of| |Achaea,| |Isabella| |of| |Villehardouin,| |1297| |-| |1301||denier| |tournois|
This was one of very few medieval coin types minted under female authority. Isabella of Villehardouin was the elder daughter of William II of Villehardouin, Prince of Achaea. On 28 May 1271 Isabella married Philip of Sicily, son of Charles I of Sicily. This had been pre-determined by the Treaty. In accordance with the marriage treaty, after Isabella's father, husband, and father-in-law died, Isabella's brother-in-law Charles II was the heir to Achaea. In 1289, however, on Isabella's marriage to Florent of Hainaut and on Charles II's accession as King of Sicily, he conferred on the couple the titles of Prince and Princess of Achaea, on condition that, if she survived her husband, she would not remarry without Charles II's consent. Florent and Isabella had one daughter, Matilda. Frankokratia_Map
CR88471. Billon denier tournois, Metcalf Crusades type Y1, pl. 39, 692; Malloy Crusaders 15a; Schlumberger XII 19, VF, toned, clashed dies, weight 0.738 g, maximum diameter 19.1 mm, die axis 315o, Clarentza mint, 1299 - 1301; obverse +⚜YSABELL•P•AChB (E, cross pattée; reverse DE CLARENCIAI, castle tournois; from the Louis G Estate; $115.00 (€105.80)
 


Crusaders, Frankish Greece, Principality of Achaea, Mahaut (Maud) of Hainaut, 1316 - 1318

|Crusaders|, |Crusaders,| |Frankish| |Greece,| |Principality| |of| |Achaea,| |Mahaut| |(Maud)| |of| |Hainaut,| |1316| |-| |1318||denier| |tournois|
This was one of very few medieval coin types minted under female authority. In 1313, Philip I of Taranto, in compensation for breaking their engagement, granted Achaea to Maud and gave her hand to Louis of Burgundy. The principality was, however, possessed by another claimant, Ferdinand of Majorca. At the Battle of Manolada on 5 July 1316, Ferdinand was killed and Louis took control. He was poisoned soon after, leaving 23-year-old Maud in charge. Rule was soon disputed by varying claimants and Maud was dispossessed of her fief by 1318, in which year John, Duke of Durazzo, abducted the princess and forced her to marry him. She did not give him children, however, and he repudiated her in 1321. Maud married again to Hugh de La Palice and retired to Aversa, where she died in 1331.Arms_of_Achaea
CR88473. Billon denier tournois, Metcalf Crusades MA1c; Malloy Crusaders 36, VF, toned, tight flan, edge cracks, light deposits, weight 0.876 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 180o, Clarentza(?) mint, 1316 - 1318; obverse + MAhAVTA•P•Ach, cross pattée; reverse DE CLARENCIA (R with a small thin foot = Clarentza?), castle tournois, surmounted by cross, annulet left, three branched plant between two small pellets below; from the Louis G Estate; $115.00 (€105.80)
 




  



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