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Home>Catalog>CollectingThemes>Types>Vessels&Cups PAGE 1/51234

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.

Maroneia, Thrace, 377 - 365 B.C.
Click for a larger photo Maroneia was on the Aegean coast about midway between the mouths of the Hebrus and the Nestus rivers. The city was named after Maron, sometimes identified as a son of Dionysos, who in the Odyssey gives Odysseus the wine with which he intoxicates Polyphemos. Maroneia was famous for its wine, which was esteemed everywhere and was said to possess the odor of nectar.
SH63583. Silver triobol, Schnert-Geiss 251 (V39/R46), SNG Cop 616 (different dies), VF, weight 2.586 g, maximum diameter 15.3 mm, die axis 90o, Maroneia mint, 377 - 365 B.C.; obverse Forepart of horse prancing left, A−N−Θ around; reverse grape bunch on vine with leaves and tendrils, kantharos lower left, MA lower right; all within dotted square within shallow incuse square; $330.00 (247.50)

Macedonian Kingdom, Kassander, 319 - 297 B.C.
Click for a larger photo Antipater's son but not his heir, Kassander seized power. He had no intention of surrendering rule to Alexander's son, who was to be king when he came of age. In 309 B.C., Kassander had Alexander's young son and the boy's mother, Roxane, murdered. In 305 B.C., he declared himself king of Macedonia.
SH67612. Bronze AE 19, SNG Alpha Bank 895 - 896, cf. SNG Cop 1162 (ΛE monogram), gVF, weight 6.545 g, maximum diameter 18.6 mm, die axis 45o, Macedonian mint, 306 - 297 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right; reverse KAΣΣAN∆POY BAΣIΛEΩΣ, tripod lebes, lion paw feet, palm frond on frame above, AE monogram outer left, caduceus outer right; $250.00 (187.50)

Thasos, Thrace, 168 - 80 B.C.
Click for a larger photo Thasos had been subject to Persia, Sparta, Athens or Macedonia for most of its history. After the Battle of Cynoscephalae in 197 B.C., Rome granted Thasos its "freedom." It was still a "free" state in the time of Pliny, the 1st century A.D. Of course, Thasos was "free" under Rome only in much the same way that Rome was a "republic" under Augustus and the emperors.
SH63888. Bronze AE 16, Le Rider Thasiennes 56 var (monogram); SNG Cop 1055 var (same); BMC Thrace p. 224, 95 ff. var (same); SNG Dreer 165 var (same), gVF, green patina, weight 4.240 g, maximum diameter 15.7 mm, die axis 90o, Thasos mint, 168 - 80 B.C.; obverse bearded mature head of Herakles right wearing Nemean lion scalp headdress; reverse ΘAΣION, amphora within bow, above legend, club over ∆IM(?) monogram below; $220.00 (165.00)

Galba, 3 April 68 - 15 January 69 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt
Click for a larger photo 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; $200.00 (150.00)

Neapolis, Macedonia, c. 500 - 450 B.C.
Click for a larger photo 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; $185.00 (138.75)

Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D.
Click for a larger photo In the first century A.D., the Roman satirist Juvenal observed that his countrymen were made content with two things: bread and circus games. Games were part of religious celebrations and holidays. At one time, across the Empire, Romans celebrated more than forty different games each year. Glory was the main reward for athletes. The actual prize was usually a simple palm frond, wreath, ribbon, or basket.
RB59932. Copper quadrans, BMCRE III 1068, RIC II 687, Cohen 349, VF, weight 2.363 g, maximum diameter 17.3 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 98 - 102 AD; obverse IMP CAES NERVA TRAIAN AVG, laureate bust right, drapery on left shoulder; reverse S C, Urn containing palm frond and wreath set on three-quarter view table; $180.00 (135.00)

Abydos, Troas, 480 - 450 B.C.
Click for a larger photo 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.
GS68733. Silver obol, SNG Cop 4; Weber 5258; BMC Troas p. 1, 7 var (monogram vice kylix); SNG Mnchen 4 var (no kylix); SNGvA -; SNG Kayhan -; Klein -, VF, toned, oval flan, reverse a little flat, weight 0.581 g, maximum diameter 11.4 mm, die axis 270o, Abydos mint, 480 - 450 B.C.; obverse ABY, eagle standing left, wings closed, kylix upper right; reverse facing gorgoneion, tongue protruding, within incuse square; $140.00 (105.00)

Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D. Mallos, Cilicia
Click for a larger photo Coins of Antoninus Pius from Mallus are exceedingly rare and absent from most museums and major collections.
RP59745. Bronze AE 21, SNG Levante 1275; RPC Online 10298; SNG BnF -, BMC Lycaonia -, SNG Cop -, aF, weight 4.485 g, maximum diameter 20.6 mm, die axis 0o, Mallus mint, obverse [AYTO...ANT...], laureate bust right, slight drapery on right shoulder; reverse MAΛΛΩTΩN, tripod entwined by serpent; extremely rare; $95.00 (71.25)

Gordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D., Neocaesarea, Pontus
Click for a larger photo Neocaesarea (modern Niksar, Turkey) was a favorite residences of Mithridates the Great and later of King Polemon and his successors. Pompey made it a city and gave it the name of Diopolis, while Pythodoris widow of Polemon, made it her capital and called it Sebaste. Judging from its coins the city was probably renamed Neocaesarea during the reign of Tiberius. In 344 and again in 499 the city was destroyed by an earthquake.
RP51390. Bronze AE 28, Rec Gn 53; SNGvA 109; BMC Pontus p. 34, 14 var (no palm beneath table), VF, weight 14.425 g, maximum diameter 28.2 mm, die axis 225o, Neocaesarea mint, 241 - 242 A.D.; obverse AY K M ANT ΓOP∆IANOC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse KOI ΠONT MH NEOKAICAPIAC, Agnostic table with ornate prize urn and palm on top, palm below table, ET POH in ex.; $80.00 (60.00)

Krannon, Thessaly, Greece, 350 - 300 B.C.
Click for a larger photo It was customary in time of drought to take a sacred chariot with Hydria in procession through the City to supplicate Apollo for rain, and if a crow settled on the wheels, that was the sign that Apollo would grant the prayers of the faithful. -- Rev. Edgar Rogers in The Copper Coinage of Thessaly
GB49226. Bronze dichalkon, BCD Thessaly 1085 var (reverse legend); cf. Rogers 191.ff.; BMC Thessaly p. 16, 3; SNG Cop 44 var (obv Π); SGCV I 2073, gF, weight 4.364 g, maximum diameter 18.5 mm, Krannon mint, 350 - 300 B.C.; obverse horseman galloping right, wearing petasos and chlamys, A right, N below; reverse [K]PAN, hydria (water carrying vessel) mounted on cart, crow standing on right wheel; ex BCD collection with his handwritten round tag; unpublished variety; $75.00 (56.25)

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Catalog current as of Thursday, April 24, 2014.
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Vessels & Cups