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.
Kyzikos, Mysia, c. 200 - 27 B.C.
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; $185.00 (€160.95)
Titus, 24 June 79 - 13 September 81 A.D.
Mouchmov noted this variant it in his description of the Reka Devnia hoard, recording only 3 specimens with ravens and the dolphin and 24 specimens of the regular type with only the dolphin. The dolphin, ravens, laurel and tripod are all symbols of Apollo. His most famous attribute is the tripod, the symbol of his prophetic powers. It was in the guise of a dolphin that Apollo brought priests from Crete to Delphi, explaining Apollo's cult title "Delphinios" and the name of the town. He dedicated a bronze tripod to the sanctuary and bestowed divine powers on one of the priestesses, and she became known as the "Pythia." It was she who inhaled the hallucinating vapors from the fissure in the temple floor, while she sat on a tripod chewing laurel leaves. After she mumbled her answer, a male priest would translate it for the supplicant.RS70185. Silver denarius, RIC II, part 1, 131 (R), BMCRE II 82, RSC II 323a, BnF III 66, SRCV -, Choice F, centered, toned, excellent portrait, weight 3.291 g, maximum diameter 18.1 mm, die axis 135o, Rome mint, 1 Jan - 30 Jun 80 A.D.; obverse IMP TITVS CAES VESPASIAN AVG P M, laureate head right; reverse TR P IX IMP XV COS VIII P P, tripod lebes, ornamented with fillets, lion paw feet, loop handles above the bowl, surmounted by the Pythia's seat with arms in the form of ravens and a back ornamented with a dolphin on a laurel branch; $165.00 (€143.55) ON RESERVE
Galba, 3 April 68 - 15 January 69 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt
During the mummification process, large organs, such as the liver, lungs, stomach and intestines were extracted and placed in four jars. In the Ptolemaic period, the Greeks called these jars "canopic jars," relating them to the deity of the old city Canop (now a village in Abu Kyr). The heart was left in the body because it held the spirit, understanding and senses and would be needed on the Day of Judgment in the underworld.
RX68898. Bronze obol, RPC I 5352; Kampmann 17.28; Dattari 318; BMC Alexandria p 24, 204; Emmett 181; Geissen -, F, weight 5.514 g, maximum diameter 20.9 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 68 - 15 Jan 69 A.D.; obverse CEΠOYI ΓAΛBA AYTO KAIΣ ΣEBA, laureate head right, LB (year 2) below chin; reverse Canopic Jar of Osiris right, with headdress, horns, uraei and plumes, L B (year 2) on right; from the Jyrki Muona Collection; very rare; $160.00 (€139.20)
Athens, Attica, Greece, c. 264 - 267 A.D.
Athens remained a center of learning and philosophy during its 500 years of Roman rule, patronized by emperors such as Nero and Hadrian. In 267, the city was sacked by the Heruli. All the public buildings were burned, the lower city was plundered and the Agora and Acropolis were damaged. After, the city to the north of the Acropolis was hastily refortified on a smaller scale, with the Agora left outside the walls.GB69774. Bronze AE 20, Svoronos Athens pl. 90, 8; cf. Kroll 378; SNG Cop 368; BMC Attica p. 99, 712, Lindgren-Kovacs 1561 (cf. refs bust and ethnic variations), F, weight 4.770 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 0o, Athens mint, time of Gallienus, c. 264 - 267 A.D.; obverse head of Athena right, wearing crested Corinthian helmet, and aegis(?); reverse olive tree, between amphora on left, and owl on right, AΘH in exergue; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; rare; $150.00 (€130.50)
Priene, Ionia, c. 150 - 125 B.C.
GB72670. Bronze AE 22, BMC Ionia p. 233, 48; SNGvA 2156; SNG München 879; cf. Lindgren 534 (controls off flan); SNG Cop -; SNG Tübingen -, VF, reverse a little off center, weight 8.583 g, maximum diameter 22.2 mm, die axis 0o, Priene mint, c. 150 - 125 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right, in crested Attic helmet; reverse owl standing on amphora, flanked on each side in upper field by star above pileus (control symbol), PRI-HN flanking across field below pilei, AXIΛΛEI/∆HC (magistrate's name) in two lines below, all within olive wreath; ex Roger Liles Collection; rare; $150.00 (€130.50)
Neapolis, Macedonia, c. 500 - 450 B.C.
While some examples of this hemiobol have an odd style gorgon, this example is of a style similar to Neapolis staters. Nevertheless, Klien's attribution of the type to Neapolis is less than certain.GS68401. Silver hemiobol, Klein 154, SNG ANS -, SNG Cop -, Rosen -, Tzamalis -, VF, porosity, weight 0.345 g, maximum diameter 7.0 mm, die axis 270o, Macedonia, Neapolis mint, c. 500 - 450 B.C.; obverse Gorgon; reverse Kantharos within a square incuse; very rare; $145.00 (€126.15)
Mende, Macedonia, 400 - 346 B.C.
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; $135.00 (€117.45)
Krannon, Thessaly, Greece, 350 - 300 B.C.
A hydria is a type of Greek pottery used for carrying water. The hydria has three handles. Two horizontal handles on either side of the body of the pot were used for lifting and carrying the pot. The third handle, a vertical one, located in the center of the other two handles, was used when pouring water. This water vessel can be found in both the red and black figure pottery styles. They often depicted scenes of Greek mythology, that reflected moral and social obligations.GB71038. Bronze dichalkon, Rogers 197; SNG Cop 43; BMC Thessaly p. 16, 5; SGCV I 2073, VF, bold strike well centered on a tight flan, weight 4.666 g, maximum diameter 16.9 mm, die axis 180o, Krannon mint, 350 - 300 B.C.; obverse horseman galloping right, wearing petasos and chlamys; reverse K-PA/NNO, hydria (water carrying vessel) mounted on cart; $135.00 (€117.45)
Vespasian, 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D.
The augur was an official and priest, whose main role was to interpret the will of the gods by studying the flight of birds: whether they are flying in groups or alone, what noises they make as they fly, direction of flight and what kind of birds they are. This was known as "taking the auspices." The ceremony and function of the augur was central to any major undertaking in Roman society, public or private, including matters of war, commerce, and religion. The Roman historian Livy stresses the importance of the augurs: "Who does not know that this city was founded only after taking the auspices; that everything in war and in peace, at home and abroad, was done only after taking the auspices?"RS70421. Silver denarius, RIC II, part 1, 356; RSC II 45; BMCRE II 64; BnF III 49; Hunter I 27; SRCV I 2282, aVF, bold relief, nice portrait, toned, small flan, weight 3.299 g, maximum diameter 18.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 72 - early 73 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES VESP AVG P M COS IIII, laureate head right; reverse simpulum, sprinkler, jug and lituus (emblems of the augurate and pontificate), AVGVR above, TRI POT below; $125.00 (€108.75)
Pantikapaion, Tauric Chersonesos. Thrace, c. 109 - 105 B.C.
Panticapaeum (Kerch, Ukraine) was an important city and port in Taurica (Tauric Chersonesos) on the western side of the Cimmerian Bosporus. In the 5th - 4th centuries B.C., the city was the residence of the Thracian kings of Bosporus. The last of these kings, left his realm to Mithridates VI Eupator, king of Pontus.GB90789. Bronze dichalkon, SNG BM 941, SNG Cop 48, MacDonald 161, Anokhin 203, SNG Stancomb -, VF, weight 3.104 g, maximum diameter 14.6 mm, Pantikapaion (Kerch, Crimea) mint, c. 109 - 105 B.C.; obverse star of eight ray, ΠANTIKAΠ between rays; reverse tripod lebes; ex Ancient Imports; scarce; $125.00 (€108.75)
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