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Birds, especially eagles, appear rather often on ancient coins. The eagle remained an important numismatic feature up to our days.
Licinius I, 11 November 308 - 18 September 324 A.D.
Colonia Augusta Treverorum was the capital of Roman Belgica and served as the capital of the Gallic Empire under the emperors Tetricus I and II from 271 to 274. Dates of operation: 294 - 395, 408 - 413 and c. 430. mint marks: SMTR, TR, TRE, TROB, TRPS.SH34997. Billon argenteus, RIC VI Treveri 825 (R3), Cohen 99 (3 Fr.), Choice gVF, weight 2.306 g, maximum diameter 18.5 mm, die axis 125o, 1st officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, c. 310 - 313 A.D.; obverse IMP LICI-NIVS AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust left, mappa in right, spear over shoulder in left; reverse IOVI CONSERVATORI AVG (to Jupiter the protector of the emperor), Licinius borne aloft by eagle right, wings spread, head left, emperor holds scepter in left and thunderbolt in right, PTR in exergue; near perfect centering, some softness as is typical on this series, good metal; very rare; SOLD
Kyme, Aiolis, 350 - 250 B.C.
Cyme, one of the oldest Aeolian cities, was probably a colony of Cyme in Euboea, though according to tradition it was founded by the Amazon Kyme. Its large capable port was a valuable maritime asset to the Persian Empire, contributing ships to Dareios in 512 B.C. and to Xerxes in 480 B.C. After the Battle of Salamis, the remnants of Xerxes' fleet wintered at Cyme. After Persia, Aeolis was held successively by the Macedonians, Seleucids, Pergamenes, Romans, Byzantine, and Ottomans.GB27535. Bronze AE 18, SNG Cop 46 - 68 var., SGCV II 4187 var., Weber 5485 ff. var., BMC Troas p. 107, 27 ff. var. (all var. magistrate), aVF, weight 4.017 g, maximum diameter 17.5 mm, die axis 0o, Kyme (near Nemrut Limani, Turkey) mint, 3rd century B.C.; obverse [...]EΣTΩP, eagle standing right; reverse one-handled vase, K-Y across field; rare variety; SOLD
Tyre, Phoenicia, 91 - 90 B.C., The Temple Tax Coin
SH15316. Silver half shekel, Phoenicia 242, 129 var. (beth between legs); Cohen DCA 919-37 (C); Baramki AUB -, gVF, weight 7.082 g, maximum diameter 24.1 mm, die axis 0o, Tyre mint, 90 - 89 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Melqart right, lion's skin knotted around neck; reverse TYPOY IEPAΣ KAI AΣYΛOY (of Tyre the holy and inviolable), eagle standing left, right foot on ship's ram, palm frond behind, date ZΛ (year 37) over club & palm left, ∆ (control) right, Phoenician letter samekh between legs; SOLD
Pergamon, Mysia, c. 200 - 133 B.C.
Ex William Turner Collection. William Turner (1792 - 1867), British diplomat of the early 19th century, authored his interesting and opinionated Journal of a Tour in Levante (1820) describing his adventures in the area. This specimen was obtained by Turner in the course of his travels (1812 - 1817).
III:282 "..this morning I bought a few medals of the city [Pergamum] for which I could not close my bargain last night, but I was right in supposing that if I remained firm, the seller would yield on seeing me go off."WT46627. Bronze AE 22, William Turner Collection 372 (this coin); SNG BnF 1866; SNG Cop 379; BMC Mysia p. 128, 149; Weber 5188; SGCV II 3976, F, weight 7.891 g, maximum diameter 22.2 mm, die axis 0o, Pergamon (Bergama, Turkey) mint, c. 200 - 133 B.C.; obverse laureate and bearded head of Asklepios right, ΣEΛEYKOY below; reverse Π−EP/Γ−A/MHNΩN, eagle standing half-left on thunderbolt, wings open, head right; SOLD
Metapontion, Lucania, Italy, 334 - 330 B.C.
Gold coins of Magna Graecia are scarce and were only minted for exceptional occasions, such as paying mercenaries. Most likely this rare issue was struck when Alexander Molossus, the Epirote King, helped Metapontion against the Lucanians and Bruttians. Molossus was Alexander the Great's uncle and Olympia's brother.SH86428. Gold 1/3 stater, SNG Lockett 406; SNG ANS 395; HN Italy 1578; Noe-Johnston 3, G1 and pl. 18; SNG Lloyd -; SNG Cop -; Jameson -; Gulbenkian -; Pozzi -; Weber -, aVF+, fine style, marks, reverse double struck, weight 2.574 g, maximum diameter 13.6 mm, die axis 180o, Metapontion (Metaponto, Italy) mint, c. 334 - 332 B.C.; obverse head of Demeter right, wearing stephane and pendant earring; reverse METAΠON, barley stalk, bird right on leaf to right; ex Forum (2007), ex Christie's Auction (1993) ; very rare; SOLD
Tyre, Phoenicia, 111 - 110 B.C., Judas' 30 Pieces of Silver
Judas' 30 Pieces of Silver "Then one of the 12, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, and said unto them, 'What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you?' And they covenanted with him for 30 pieces of silver." Matthew 26:14-15. Shekels of Tyre were the only currency accepted at the Jerusalem Temple and are the most likely coinage with which Judas was paid for the betrayal of Christ.
The Temple Tax Coin "..go to the sea and cast a hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou has opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them [the temple tax collectors] for me and thee." Since the tax was one half shekel per man the coin would have to be a shekel to pay the tax for both Jesus and Peter. Matthew 17:24-27SL86641. Silver shekel, BMC Phoenicia p. 237, 85; Cohen DCA 919-18 (C); Baramki AUB -, NGC Ch AU*, strike 5/5, surface 5/5 (4280576-003), weight 14.20 g, maximum diameter 28.0 mm, die axis 0o, Tyre mint, 109 - 108 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Melqart right, lion's skin knotted around neck; reverse TYPOY IEPAΣ KAI AΣYΛOY (of Tyre the holy and inviolable), eagle left, right foot on ship's ram, palm frond behind, date HI (year 18) over club and palm frond left, ZB right, Phoenician letter beth between legs; SOLD
Athens, Attica, Greece, c. 454 - 449 B.C., Very Early "Old Style" Tetradrachm
On this coin and all classic "old style" tetradrachms struck c. 454 - 404 B.C., the owl's tail feathers are represented by a single prong. On Athens' earlier issues, the owl's tail is composed of three separate feathers. Other than the single prong tail, this coin closely resembles the preceding issues of Starr Group V, in particular the palmette and olive leaves on Athena's helmet, and the narrow, deep incuse of the reverse. It is very likely this coin was among the earliest of the classical "old style" tetradrachms of the c. 545 - 404 B.C. issues.SH87206. Silver tetradrachm, some characteristics of Starr Group V, but a single prong tail; cf. Svoronos Athens pl. 10, 16 - 18; Starr pl. XXII, 1 - 3; SNG Munchen 46, Choice aEF, bold high relief, flow lines, light toning, bumps and marks, tight flan, edge cracks, weight 17.143 g, maximum diameter 24.2 mm, die axis 0o, Athens mint, c. 454 - 449 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right, almond shaped eye, crested helmet with olive leaves and floral palmette scroll, wire necklace, round earring, hair in parallel curves; reverse robust owl standing right, head facing, tail of one long prong, olive sprig and crescent left, AΘE downward on right, all within incuse square; rare style variant; SOLD
Taras, Calabria, Pyrrhus of Epirus, c. 280 B.C.
Certificate of Authenticity issued by David R. Sear.
Gold coins of Magna Graecia are scarce and were only minted for exceptional occasions, such as paying mercenaries. In 279 BC, Pyrrhus forces, supporting the Greek cities of southern Italy, met and defeated the Romans at the battle of Asculum in Apulia. Pyrrhus, however, lost many men, several close associates, and all of his baggage. When one of his soldiers congratulated him on his victory, he famously replied: "Another such victory and we are ruined!" From this we have the term Pyrrhic victory, a victory achieved at ruinous cost.
SH24865. Gold quarter stater, Fischer-Bossert p. 370, G59g and pl. 68 (this coin); HN Italy 986; Vlasto 49; SNG ANS 1043, VF, weight 2.134 g, maximum diameter 11.7 mm, die axis 225o, Taras (Taranto, Italy) mint, c. 280 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right, AP monogram behind; reverse TAPANTINΩN, eagle standing left on thunderbolt, wings open, (AP monogram) left; ex Hess-Leu, 27th March 1956, lot 12; rare; SOLD
Athens, Attica, Greece, c. 465 - 454 B.C., Transitional Early "Old Style" Tetradrachm
This rare transitional early "old style" type features the most attractive owls of the entire Athenian tetradrachm series.SH86209. Silver tetradrachm, Starr Group V.B, Series 2, 180; Svoronos Athens pl. 10, 9; HGC 4 1596 (R2); SNG Cop -, Choice VF, well centered and struck with high relief dies, superb owl, tight flan cutting off most of crest as usual for the type, bumps and marks, uneven hoard toning, weight 17.143 g, maximum diameter 23.3 mm, die axis 180o, Athens mint, c. 465 - 454 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right, almond shaped eye, crested helmet with olive leaves and floral scroll, wire necklace, round earring, hair in parallel curves; reverse robust owl standing right, head facing, tail composed of three short feathers, olive sprig and crescent left, AΘE downward on right, all within incuse square; rare; SOLD
Athens, Attica, Greece, c. 454 - 404 B.C., Old Style Tetradrachm
The old-style tetradrachm of Athens is famous for its almond shaped eye, archaic smile, and charming owl reverse. Around 480 B.C. a wreath of olive leaves and a decorative scroll were added to Athena's helmet. On the reverse, a crescent moon was added.
During the period 449 - 413 B.C. huge quantities of tetradrachms were minted to finance grandiose building projects such as the Parthenon and to cover the costs of the Peloponnesian War.SH90226. Silver tetradrachm, SNG Cop 31, SNG Munchen 49, Kroll 8, Dewing 1611, Gulbenkian 519, HGC 4 1597, SGCV I 2526, gEF, weight 17.184 g, maximum diameter 25.3 mm, die axis 180o, Athens mint, c. 454 - 404 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right, almond shaped eye, crested helmet with olive leaves and floral scroll, wire necklace, round earring, hair in parallel curves; reverse owl standing right, head facing, erect in posture, olive sprig and crescent left, AΘE downward on right, all within incuse square; ex Heritage CICF World and Ancient Coins Signature Auction 3032, lot 23180; ex The Dr. Patrick Tan Collection; SOLD