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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.


Ephesos, Ionia, 90 - 89 B.C.

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The torch is an attribute of Artemis and a civic symbol of Ephesus.

Mithridates VI of Pontus invaded Bithynia and Cappadocia beginning the First Mithridatic War.
GS76188. Silver cistophoric tetradrachm, Kleiner Dated 46, Pinder 36, SNG Cop 326, Cohen DCA 325, BMC Ionia -, SNGvA -, SNG Fitzwilliam -, VF, dark uneven toning on reverse, obverse struck with a worn die, weight 12.674 g, maximum diameter 27.7 mm, die axis 0o, Ephesos mint, 90 - 89 B.C.; obverse cista mystica with half-open lid, from which a snake emerges, all within wreath of ivy with berries; reverse bow-case ornamented with an apluster, strap lower right, flanked on each side by a snake with head erect, serpent-entwined staff above between snakes' heads, ME (year 45) over EΦE on left, flaming torch on right; $160.00 (142.40)


Pergamon, Mysia, c. 104 - 98 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.
GS76186. Silver cistophoric tetradrachm, Kleiner Pergamum 5; Pinder 93; SNG BnF 1713; SNG Cop 419; SNGvA 7466; BMC Mysia p. 124, 102, VF, toned, light marks, weight 12.637 g, maximum diameter 26.5 mm, die axis 0o, Pergamon (Bergama, Turkey) mint, c. 104 - 98 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, AΣ (control letters) above between heads of snakes, Pergamon monogram to left, snake entwined thyrsos to right; $155.00 (137.95)


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; $150.00 (133.50)


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)


Thasos, Thrace, c. 411 - 355 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.
GS84662. Silver trihemiobol, Le Rider Thasiennes 27; BMC Thrace p. 221, 53 ff.; SNG Cop 1029 ff., Dewing 1331; HGC 6 351 (S); SGCV I 1755, VF, well centered, grainy, a few small pits on the reverse, weight 0.591 g, maximum diameter 11.9 mm, die axis 0o, Thasos mint, c. 411 - 355 B.C.; obverse satyr kneeling left, on left knee, nude but for cloak tied at waist and flying behind, cantharus in right hand; reverse ΘAΣ−IΩN, volute krater; $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)


Thasos, Thrace, c. 411 - 355 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.
GS77601. Silver trihemiobol, Le Rider Thasiennes 27; BMC Thrace p. 221, 53 ff.; SNG Cop 1029 ff., Dewing 1331; HGC 6 351 (S); SGCV I 1755, VF, nice style, tight flan, porous, light corrosion, light marks, weight 0.802 g, maximum diameter 11.9 mm, die axis 225o, Thasos mint, c. 411 - 355 B.C.; obverse satyr kneeling left, on left knee, nude but for cloak tied at waist and flying behind, cantharus in right hand; reverse ΘAΣ−IΩN, volute krater; $110.00 (97.90)


Titus, 24 June 79 - 13 September 81 A.D.

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Apollo's 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.
RS84671. Silver denarius, RIC II, part 1, 129; RSC II 323; BMCRE II 80; BnF III 69; SRCV 2518, F, well centered, light toning, porous, flan crack, scratches, weight 2.762 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 1 Jan - 30 Jun 80 A.D.; obverse IMP TITVS CAES VESPASIAN AVG P M, laureate head left; reverse TR P IX IMP XV COS VIII P P, tripod lebes, ornamented with fillets, lion paw feet, and loop handles above the bowl, surmounted by Pythia's seat with a dolphin backrest; $110.00 (97.90)


Vespasian, 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D.

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In 78 AD, Gnaeus Julius Agricola was made governor of Roman Britain. Before the end of the year he conquered the Silures and the Ordovices, in Wales. It's unclear whether the Silures were militarily defeated or simply agreed to terms. Tacitus wrote of the Silures: non atrocitate, non clementia mutabatur - the tribe "was changed neither by cruelty nor by clemency." According to Tacitus, Gnaeus Julius Agricola exterminated the whole Ordovices tribe. Although the tribe completely disappeared from the historical record, in view of the mountainous terrain of the area, it is unlikely Agricola could have wiped out the entire population.Pre-Roman Wales
RS70236. Silver denarius, RIC II, part 1, 980; BMCRE II 216; RSC II 216; BnF III 190; SRCV I 2293, aVF, toned, weight 3.466 g, maximum diameter 17.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 77 - 78 A.D.; obverse CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse modius filled with stalks of grain, IMP - XIX flanking across field; $100.00 (89.00)


Kyme, Aiolis, c. 165 - 85 B.C.

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Kyme was conquered by Croesus, king of Lydia, and ruled successively by the Persians, Macedonians, Seleucids, and Pergamenes. Attalus III, the last king of Pergamum, bequeathed Aeolis to Rome in 133 B.C. Shortly afterward, it was made part of the Roman province of Asia. Aeolis was under Byzantine rule until the early 15th century, when the Ottoman Turks occupied the area.
GB71582. Bronze AE 18, SNG Cop 108; SNGvA 1642; SNG Munchen 507; BMC Troas p. 113, 87; Klein 336; SGCV II 4193, VF, nice style and patina, weight 3.400 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 0o, Kyme mint, c. 165 - 85 B.C.; obverse draped bust of Artemis right, bow and quiver over shoulder; reverse Oinochoe (one-handled vase) between two laurel branches, KY above, I−Ω/I−Λ/O−Σ (Zoilos, magistrate) in three lines across inner field flanking vase; $95.00 (84.55)




    



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