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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Types ▸ Vessels & CupsView Options:  |  |  |   

Vessels and Cups on Ancient Coins

Vessels and cups depicted on coins were often those used in religious ceremonies, but also those used in daily life. The amphora, used to store olive-oil and wine, is often depicted on coins, especially from cities that were big wine producers.


Athens, Attica, Greece, c. 104 - 103 B.C., New Style Silver Tetradrachm

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The "New Style" tetradrachms were issued by Athens as a semi-autonomous city under Roman rule. The new-style Owls are markedly different from the Owls of Periclean Athens or the "eye in profile" Athena head of the Fourth Century. They were struck on thinner, broad flans, typical of the Hellenistic period, with a portrait of Athena that reflected the heroic portraiture of the period. The owl now stands on an amphora, surrounded by magistrates' names and symbols, all within an olive wreath. The amphora is marked with a letter that may indicate the month of production. Letters below the amphora may indicate the source of the silver used in production.
SH87798. Silver tetradrachm, Thompson Athens 806 (same dies); Svoronos Athens pl. 62, 6 (same dies); BMC Attica p. , 320 var. (ΣE below), VF, well centered and struck, some die wear, bumps and scrapes, weight 16.306 g, maximum diameter 29.8 mm, die axis 0o, Athens mint, c. 104 - 103 B.C.; obverse helmeted head of Athena Parthenos right, triple-crested helmet decorated with curvilinear ornament on the shell, a griffin right above the raised earpiece, and protomes of horses above the visor; reverse A-ΘE / AN∆-PEAΣ / XAPI/NAY/THΣ AMY/N-O-M (magistrates Andreas, Charinautes, and Amynomachos), owl standing right on amphora on its side; Dionysos seated facing beside Demeter standing facing holding a long torch in each hand; Z on amphora, ΣO below, all within olive wreath; $900.00 SALE PRICE $810.00 ON RESERVE


Thebes, Boiotia, c. 368 - 364 B.C.

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The largest city in Boeotia, leader of the Boeotian confederacy, and rival of Athens, Thebes sided with Persia during Xerxes' invasion in 480 B.C. Thebes ended Sparta's power at the Battle of Leuctra in 371. The Sacred Band of Thebes famously fell to Philip II at Chaeronea in 338. After a revolt in 335, Alexander the Great destroyed the city, except, according to tradition, the house of the poet Pindar.
SH87858. Silver stater, BCD Boiotia 531; Hepworth 69; BMC Central p. 83, 154; SNG Cop 343; Head Boeotia p. 65; HGC 4 1332 (S), VF, toned, light marks, some porosity, weight 12.554 g, maximum diameter 20.9 mm, die axis 210o, Thebes mint, magistrate Klion, c. 368 - 364 B.C.; obverse Boeotian ox-hide shield; reverse ornate amphora, KΛ−IΩ divided across field below center, all within a round concave incuse; ex Savoca Coins, silver auction 26, lot 161 ; scarce; $680.00 (578.00)


Leontini, Sicily, c. 405 - 402 B.C.

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Leontini was founded as by colonists from Naxos in 729 BC, itself a Chalcidian colony established five years earlier. It was the only significant Greek settlement in Sicily not located on the coast, being some 6 miles inland. The site, originally held by the Sicels, was seized by the Greeks owing to its command of the fertile plain to the north. The city was reduced to subject status in 498 BC by Hippocrates of Gela, and in 476 BC Hieron of Syracuse moved the inhabitants from Catania and Naxos to Leontini.
GI86576. Bronze tetras, Calciati III p. 77, 3/27 (this coin); SNG Cop 360; SNG ANS 270; SNG Morcom 606; SNG Lloyd 1070; BMC Sicily p. 92, 56; Laffaille 169; HGC 2 709 (R1), gVF, dark patina, well centered and struck, weight 2.165 g, maximum diameter 14.7 mm, Leontini mint, c. 405 - 402 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right, olive leaf and olive behind; reverse tripod lebes with loop handles, a barley kernel flanking on each side, kithara between legs of tripod, three pellets in exergue; ex Roma Numismatics e-sale 6 (22 Feb 2014), lot 45; Calciati III plate coin! ; $160.00 (136.00)


Roman Republic, Q. Cassius Longinus, 55 B.C.

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The obverse portrait has been variously interpreted as Bonus Eventus (the God of good Success) or Genius Populi Romani (the guardian spirit of the Roman people). Quintus Cassius Longinus was a governor in Hispania for Caesar. Cassius was one of the tresviri monetales of the Roman mint in 55 B.C. He served as a quaestor for Pompey in Hispania Ulterior in 54 B.C.
RR87659. Silver denarius, SRCV I 391, Sydenham 916, Crawford 428/3, BMCRR 3868, RSC I Cassia 7, aVF, light toning, highest points flatly struck, banker's marks, bumps and scratches, scrape on reverse, closed edge crack, weight 3.651 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 55 B.C.; obverse young male head (Genius Populi Romani or Bonus Eventus) right, scepter behind; reverse eagle standing right on thunderbolt, head right, wings open, lituus (augur's staff) on left, jug on right, QCASSIVS below; $160.00 (136.00)


Augustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D., Uncertain Mint, Anatolia or Syria

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The mint, the quaestor who struck this type, and even the identity of the person in the portrait remain uncertain. The type has previously been attributed to Macedonia and the portrait identified as Brutus (Friedlander) or Caesar (Grant). David Sear notes the type has never been found in Macedonia. Finds point to Syria or Anatolia. It is possible that the type was issued, with his own portrait, by Sosius, a general under Marc Antony who was quaestor in 39 B.C. Much more likely, however, the portrait is of Augustus.
RB71004. Bronze AE 27, RPC I 5409; Sear CRI 957 (Syria); AMNG II 29 (Pella), F, green patina, weight 17.823 g, maximum diameter 26.6 mm, die axis 180o, uncertain Anatolian or Syrian mint, obverse bare head right; reverse hasta (spear), sella quaestoria (quaestor's seat of office), and fiscus (imperial treasury), Q (for quaestor) below; previously a rare type but recent finds have made it somewhat easier to acquire; $140.00 (119.00)


Thasos, Thrace, c. 411 - 350 B.C.

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In 411 B.C., Thasos revolted from Athens and received a Lacedaemonian governor. In 407 B.C. Spartans were expelled and the Athenians readmitted. After the Battle of Aegospotami in 405 B.C., Thasos again fell under the Lacedaemonians led by Lysander who formed a decarchy there. Athens must have recovered it, for later it was one of the subjects of dispute with Philip II of Macedonia.
GS87873. Silver trihemiobol, BMC Thrace p. 221, 53 ff., SGCV I 1755, SNG Cop 1029 ff., Dewing 1331, aVF, toned, porous/grainy, light scratches and marks, weight 0.802 g, maximum diameter 11.8 mm, die axis 0o, Thasos mint, c. 411 - 350 B.C.; obverse satyr kneeling left, nude, kantharos in right hand; reverse ΘAΣ−IΩN, amphora; $140.00 (119.00)


Larissa-Ptolemais, Troas, 3rd Century B.C.

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Imhoof-Blumer attributed this type to Ptolemais in Pamphylia, but in Hill convincingly argued against that city. Waddington was of the opinion that these coins might belong to Lebedos under the name Ptolemais. L. Robert in Monnaies antiques en Troade (Paris, 1966), p. 56, suggests Larissa-Ptolemais in Troas. Most recent auction listings accept Robert's attribution but the identity of the city is by no means certain.
GB88082. Bronze AE 13, SNGvA 2026 (Lebedos-Ptolemais, Ionia), BMC Troas -, SNG Cop -, SNG Tbingen -, SNG Mnchen -, Winterthur -, Klein -, VF, nice dark patina, some porosity, earthen deposits, weight 1.988 g, maximum diameter 13.1 mm, die axis 0o, Larissa-Ptolemais mint, 3rd century B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIEΩ, amphora; very rare; $110.00 (93.50)


Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus VI Dionysos, 144 - 142 B.C.

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Apamea is believed to be the Biblical city Shepham (Num. xxxiv. 11). It was fortified and enlarged by Seleucus I Nicator, who renamed it from Pharmake to Apamea, after his Bactrian wife, Apama. The Seleukids' elephant breeding and training camp was at Apamea. The pretender, Diodotus Tryphon, made Apameia the basis of his operations. At a strategic crossroad on the road to Cappadocia, Apamea was an important trade center in Roman Asia and flourished to the extent that its population eventually numbered half a million. The city boasted one of the largest theaters in the Roman world, and a monumental colonnade. The ruins of Apamea, with an enormous and highly ornamental acropolis, are about 55 km (34 mi) to the northwest of Hama, Syria.Great Colonnade at Apamea
GY85851. Bronze AE 21, Houghton-Lorber II 2015(1)c; Lindgren-Kovacs 1836 var. (∆P below), BMC Seleucid p. 65, 27 (IΓ lower left); HGC 9 1044, VF, earthen encrustation, porosity, marks and scratches, edge cracks, beveled obverse edge, weight 8.918 g, maximum diameter 20.8 mm, die axis 0o, Syria, Apameia (Qalaat al-Madiq, Syria) mint, 144 - 142 B.C.; obverse radiate head of Antiochos VI right; reverse Kantharos, palm frond inner right, control letter or monogram in exergue (off flan), BAΣIΛEΩΣ ANTIOXOY EΠIΦANOΣ ∆IONYΣOY in four downward lines the first two in the right, the last two on the left; ex Moneta Numismatic Services; $95.00 (80.75)


Seleukid Kingdom, Cleopatra Thea and Antiochus VIII Grypus, 125 - 121 B.C.

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Antiochus VIII Epiphanes Grypus (Hook-Nose) was crowned as a teenager, ruling jointly with his mother Cleopatra Thea. In 121 B.C., one day when he returned from a hunt, his mother offered him a cup of wine. Since this was not common behavior for her, Grypus was suspicious and forced her to drink the wine; poisoned, it killed her. Grypus fought a civil war with his brother that ended with his murder.
GB87733. Bronze AE 19, Houghton-Lorber II 2263(2)a, Houghton CSE 317, SNG Spaer 2443, HGC 9 1189 (S), VF, highlighting desert patina, struck with a worn obverse die, obverse slightly off center, beveled reverse edge, weight 5.690 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 123 - 122 B.C.; obverse radiate head of Antiochus VIII right; reverse BAΣIΛIΣΣHΣ / KΛEOΠATPAΣ / KAI BAΣIΛEΩΣ / ANTIOXOY in four downward lines first two on the right, last two on left, owl, looking forward, standing right on amphora on its side, IE (control) inner right; ϘP (Seleucid Era year 190) with aphlaston (control) to right below; scarce; $90.00 (76.50)


Laodikeia on the Lykos, Phrygia, c. 133 - 67 B.C.

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Laodicea on the Lycus was located in the Hellenistic regions of Caria and Lydia, which later became the Roman Province of Phrygia Pacatiana. In 188 B.C., the city passed to the Kingdom of Pergamon. After 133 B.C. it fell under Roman control. It suffered greatly during the Mithridatic Wars but quickly recovered under the dominion of Rome. Towards the end of the Roman Republic and under the first emperors, Laodicea, benefiting from its advantageous position on a trade route, became one of the most important and flourishing commercial cities of Asia Minor. It contained one of the Seven churches of Asia mentioned in the Book of Revelation.
GB77497. Bronze AE 14, SNG Cop 506, HGC 7 741 (S), SNGvA 3805 var. (rev leg arrangement), BMC Phrygia p. 286, 44 var. (same), VF, dark green patina with earthen highlighting, weight 3.063 g, maximum diameter 14.0 mm, die axis 0o, Laodikeia (near Denizli, Turkey) mint, c. 133 - 67 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo, long curls down neck; reverse ΛAO∆IKEΩN, tripod lebes; ex Divus Numismatic, ex H. D. Rauch auction 92 (22 Apr 2013), lot 1117; $55.00 (46.75)




  



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Vessels & Cups