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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.


Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus II Theos, 261 - 246 B.C.

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Antiochus II Theos was the son of Antiochus I and Princess Stratonice, the daughter of Demetrius Poliorcetes. He inherited a state of war with Egypt and while he was thus occupied, his satraps in Parthia and Bactria declared independence. To make peace with Egypt and to seal the treaty, Antiochus repudiated his wife Laodice I, exiled her to Ephesus, and married Ptolemy II's daughter Berenice. Antiochus later left Berenice and their infant son Antiochus, to live again with Laodice. Laodice poisoned him, had Berenice and her infant son murdered, and proclaimed her son Seleucus II as King.
GB71560. Bronze AE 16, cf. Houghton-Lorber I 525(1); Newell WSM 1407 ff.; SNG Cop 95; SNG Spaer 362; BMC Seleucid p. 15, 13; HGC 9 253a (all various controls outer left), EF, nice jade green patina, typical tight flan, contact marks, slightest spots of corrosion, weight 3.767 g, maximum diameter 16.0 mm, die axis 0o, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, 261 - 246 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right, hair falling in spiral curls down neck and beneath ear; reverse tripod lebes with lion paw feet, anchor with flukes right below, BAΣIΛEΩΣ downward on right, ANTIOXOY downward on left, monograms outer left and outer right (controls, outer left off flan); $150.00 (133.50)


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.
GI76342. Bronze tetras, Calciati III p. 77, 3; SNG Cop 360; SNG ANS 270; SNG Morcom 606; SNG Lloyd 1070; BMC Sicily p. 92, 56; Laffaille 169; HGC 2 709 (R1), VF, well centered, glossy dark patina, weight 1.891 g, maximum diameter 14.1 mm, die axis 180o, 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; $135.00 (120.15)


Kyzikos, Mysia, c. 200 - 27 B.C.

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Cyzicus was one of the great cities of the ancient world. During the Peloponnesian War (431-404 B.C.) Cyzicus was subject to the Athenians and Lacedaemonians alternately. In the naval Battle of Cyzicus in 410, an Athenian fleet completely destroyed a Spartan fleet. At the peace of Antalcidas in 387, like the other Greek cities in Asia, it was made over to Persia. Alexander the Great captured it from the Persians in 334 B.C.
GB72168. Bronze AE 28, SNGvA 7355 (with same countermark); SNG BnF 505 (also with same c/m); SNG Cop 84; BMC Mysia p. 40, 167, VF, nice style, well centered, nice green patina, bevelled obv edge, weight 12.530 g, maximum diameter 28.2 mm, die axis 90o, Cyzicus (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, c. 200 - 27 B.C.; obverse head of Kore Soteira right, wearing grain wreath; countermark: eagle standing right, wings open in a 7.5mm round punch; reverse tripod with three loop handles, KYZI/KHNWN from upper right, in two flanking downward lines, branch right above, torch left below, monogram outer right, monogram outer left; $120.00 (106.80)


Pergamon, Mysia, c. 95 - 92 B.C.

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The cista mystica was a basket used for housing sacred snakes in connection with the initiation ceremony into the cult of Bacchus (Dionysus). In the Dionysian mysteries a snake, representing the god and possibly symbolic of his phallus, was carried in a cista mystica on a bed of vine leaves. The cista in the mysteries of Isis may also have held a serpent, perhaps associated with the missing phallus of Osiris.

The thyrsus is the staff carried by Bacchus and his associates; topped by a pine cone or a bunch of ivy leaves and wreathed with tendrils of vine or ivy.
GS84724. Silver cistophoric tetradrachm, Kleiner Pergamum 10; Pinder 94, SNG BnF 1718, SNGvA 7467; BMC Mysia -; SNG Cop -, VF, obverse off center and struck with a worn die, weight 12.569 g, maximum diameter 26.1 mm, die axis 0o, Pergamon (Bergama, Turkey) mint, c. 95 - 92 B.C.; obverse Cista mystica with half-open lid, from which a snake emerges, all within wreath of ivy with berries; reverse bow-case holding strung bow and ornamented with an apluster, flanked on each side by a snake with head erect, BO above, Pergamon monogram to left, snake entwined thyrsos to right; $110.00 (97.90)


Mende, Macedonia, 400 - 346 B.C.

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Mende was an ancient colony of Eretria, on the SW side of Cape Poseidion in Pallene. Its coins illustrate some forgotten myth of Dionysos, his companion Seilenos, and an ass. The wine of Mende was famous and is frequently mentioned by ancient writers. It is unlikely that Mende struck any coins after it was first captured by Philip in 358 B.C.
GB68715. Bronze chalkous, SNG Cop 221; SNG ANS 397 var. (crescent above); BMC Macedonia p. 83, 13 var. (no ivy branch), VF, weight 1.078 g, maximum diameter 11.2 mm, die axis 315o, Mende mint, 400 - 346 B.C.; obverse head of youthful Dionysos to left, wearing ivy wreath; reverse MEN, Amphora with tall handles, ivy branch left; scarce; $90.00 (80.10)


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; $85.00 (75.65)


Magnesia ad Maeandrum, Ionia, 350 - 300 B.C.

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Magnesia ad Maeandrum was an inland city of Ionia, located on a small tributary of the Maeander River about 12 miles southeast of Ephesus.
GB72671. Brass AE 28, Imhoof MG p. 291, 89; Mionnet III p. 145, 620; SNG Cop -; SNGvA -; BMC Ionia -, VF/F, some corrosion, weight 14.368 g, maximum diameter 27.5 mm, die axis 0o, Magnesia ad Maeandrum (near Tekin, Turkey) mint, Pausanias and Metrodoros, magistrates; obverse rider on horseback right, holding lance; reverse tripod lebes with dome cover tied with fillets, MAΓNHTΩN above, ΠAYΣANIAΣ to right, MHTPO∆OPOΣ to left, monogram in exergue; ex Roger Liles Collection; very rare; $80.00 (71.20)


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; $80.00 (71.20)


Abydos, Troas, c. 320 - 200 B.C.

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Abydos is located on the Asiatic shore of the Hellespont (Dardanelles), at the shortest crossing point, scarcely a mile across from Sestus on the European side. In the Iliad, Abydos was an ally of the Trojans (Iliad ii.836) and it is the mythical home of Leander. Persians occupied it in 514 B.C. and Darius burned it in 512. When he invaded Greece in 480 B.C., Xerxes built his two bridges of boats across the strait from Abydos. Abydos became a member of the Delian League, but revolted against Athens in 411 B.C. It allied itself to Sparta, until 394 B.C. Then it passed under Achaemenid rule until 334. Alexander the Great threw a spear to Abydos while crossing the strait and claimed Asia as his own. Abydos is celebrated for the vigorous resistance it made against Philip V of Macedon in 200 B.C. The city minted coins from the early fifth century B.C. to the mid-third century A.D.
GB77994. Bronze AE 11, SNG Cop 33 ff. var.; SNG Munchen 18 var., SNGvA 7538 var.; SNG Tub 2516 var., Weber 5270 var., BMC Troas - (none with this control symbol), VF, very nice for the type, weight 1.750 g, maximum diameter 10.8 mm, die axis 90o, Abydos mint, c. 320 - 200 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right; reverse ABY, eagle standing right, wings closed, head right, amphora (control symbol) right; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; $80.00 (71.20)


Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus II Theos, 261 - 246 B.C., Sardes, Lydia

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Antiochus II Theos was the son of Antiochus I and Princess Stratonice, the daughter of Demetrius Poliorcetes. He inherited a state of war with Egypt and while he was thus occupied, his satraps in Parthia and Bactria declared independence. To make peace with Egypt and to seal the treaty, Antiochus repudiated his wife Laodice I, exiled her to Ephesus, and married Ptolemy II's daughter Berenice. Antiochus later left Berenice and their infant son Antiochus, to live again with Laodice. Laodice poisoned him, had Berenice and her infant son murdered, and proclaimed her son Seleucus II as King.
GB85167. Bronze AE 17, Houghton-Lorber I 524(3); HGC 9 253a, Houghton CSE 598 var. (controls), VF, dark patina with areas of exposed bronze, tight flan, light corrosion, weight 3.136 g, maximum diameter 17.4 mm, die axis 0o, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, 4th series; obverse laureate head of Apollo right, wavy locks falling forward over shoulder and down back of neck; reverse tripod lebes, , BAΣIΛEΩΣ downward on right, ANTIOXOY downward on left, ∆H monogram (control) outer left, o∆ monogram (control) outer right, anchor flukes right below; $80.00 (71.20)




    



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