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Athens, Greece, Old StyleTetradrachm, c. 454 - 404 B.C.
The old-style tetradrachm of Athens is famous for its almond shaped eye, archaic smile, and charming owl reverse. Around 480 B.C. a wreath of olive leaves and a decorative scroll were added to Athena's helmet. On the reverse, a crescent moon was added.
During the period 449 - 413 B.C. huge quantities of tetradrachms were minted to finance grandiose building projects such as the Parthenon and to cover the costs of the Peloponnesian War. SL85595. Silver tetradrachm, SNG Cop 31, SNG Munchen 49, Kroll 8, Dewing 1611, Gulbenkian 519, HGC 4 1597, Dewing 1611, SGCV I 2526, NGC MS, strike 5/5, surface 3/5 (4377469-089), well centered, bold strike, some light marks, weight 17.18 g, maximum diameter 24 mm, die axis 270o, Athens mint, c. 454 - 404 B.C.; obversehead of Athena right, almond shaped eye, crested helmet with olive leaves and floral scroll, wire necklace, round earring, hair in parallel curves; reverse AΘE right, owl standing right, head facing, erect in posture, olive sprig and crescent left, all within incuse square; NGC certified (slabbed); ex Heritage Auction 231729, lot 63023; $2350.00 (€2091.50)
The Temple Tax Coin, Tyre KP TypeShekel, Jerusalem or Tyre Mint, 36 - 37 A.D., Temple Tax for Two
Full Shekel - Tax for Two. At the Great Temple in Jerusalem the annual tax levied was 1/2 shekel per male. The 1/2 shekel and shekel were the only coins accepted by the temple. Some experts believe that after the coinage of Tyre was debased under Roman control, Herod the Great began to strike "Tyre" shekels in Jerusalem. These coins were of cruder fabric and style, but maintained the silver purity required to pay the temple tax. The "Jerusalem" shekels have the letters KP or KAP to the right of the eagle and dates range from PH (18/17 B.C.) to PKE (69/70 A.D.). The Greek letters KP or KAP are probably an abbreviation for KAICAP, Greek for Caesar. SL85592. Silver shekel, Cohen DCA 919 (year 162, C); BMC Phoenicia p. 249, 206; RPC I 4695; Prieur 1426 (6 spec.); Rouvier 2109; Baramki AUB -, NGC AU (about Uncirculated), strike 4/5, surface 5/5 (1883026-004), weight 14.37 g, maximum diameter 22 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem or Tyre mint, 36 - 37 A.D.; obverse laureate head of Melqart right, lion's skin knotted around neck; reverse TYPOY IEPAΣ KAI AΣYΛOY (of Tyre the holy and inviolable), eagle left, right foot on ship's ram, palm frond under wing, date PΞB (year 162) over club left, KP (καισαρ?) over monogram right, Phoenician letter beth (control) between legs; $2000.00 (€1780.00) ON RESERVE
Otho, 15 January 69 - 17 April 69 A.D.
With this coin Otho claimed there was peace all over the world. It was true that at the time it was struck there was peace along all the borders of the empire, which was a rare event because Rome was almost always engaged in some war with the nations and tribes that surrounded it. It was, however, an absurdity, in the midst of a civil war within the borders, to acclaim peace on the borders as peace all over the world. SL85593. Silver denarius, RIC I 4 (R), RSC II 3, BMCRE I 3, BnF III 3, Hunter I 2, SRCV I 2156, NGC Ch VF, strike 4/5, surface 3/5 (4278887-006), toned, weight 3.12 g, maximum diameter 18 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, Jan - Feb 69 A.D.; obverse IMP M OTHOCAESARAVG TR P, bare head right; reverse PAX ORBIS TERRARVM (All the World at Peace), Pax standing left, olive branch in right hand, caduceus in left; NGC certified (slabbed); rare; $1000.00 (€890.00)
Mark Antony, Triumvir and Imperator, 44 - 30 B.C., LEG XI
This may have been a legion raised by Antony and disbanded by Augustus. The XI Claudia, an old legion of Caesar's, fought for Octavian (and won the title Actiaca at the battle of Actium).SL79267. Silver denarius, Crawford 544/25, Sydenham 1229, BMCRR II East 203, RSC I 39, NGC F, strike 3/5, surface 2/5, banker's marks (2400602-008), toned, weight 3.48 g, maximum diameter 15.4 mm, die axis 180o, Patrae(?) mint, 32 - 31 B.C.; obverse ANT•AVG / III VIR•R•P•C, galley right with rowers, mast with banners at prow; reverse LEG - XI, aquila (legionary eagle) between two legionary standards; NGC certified (slabbed); $400.00 (€356.00)
Thurium (Thurioi), Lucania, Italy, c. 410 - 350 B.C.
Nearly 70 years after Sybaris was destroyed by the Crotoniats, a new colony was founded on the site on the Gulf of Taranto. Soon after, on the advice of an oracle, the settlers moved a short distance away near a fountain named Thuria, after which the new city was named. SL85594. Silver nomos, HN Italy 1791c, SNG ANS 1041, SNG Cop 1442, SNG ANS 1028, SNG München 1196, BMC Italy -, NGC VF, strike 5/5, surface 4/5 (3987747-003), weight 7.67 g, maximum diameter 22 mm, die axis 180o, Thourioi mint, c. 410 - 350 B.C.; obversehead of Athena right, wearing necklace and crested Athenian helmet decorated with Skylla holding trident in right hand, rudder over shoulder in left hand; reverse ΘOYPIΩN, bull butting right, lashing tail, head lowered, HP monogram above, tunny fish right below; NGC certified (slabbed); ex Heritage auction 231729, lot 63004; $285.00 (€253.65)
Vespasian, 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D.
Vesta was the Roman goddess of the hearth (home) and, derived from that, was important for the security of the state (homeland). Vespasian may have been especially devoted to Vesta because he was brought up by his grandmother in home that he loved and appreciated. Suetonius wrote, "He was brought up under the care of his paternal grandmother Tertulla on her estates at Cosa. Therefore, even after he became emperor he used constantly to visit the home of his infancy, where the manor house was kept in its original condition, since he did not wish to miss anything which he was wont to see there; and he was so devoted to his grandmother's memory that on religious and festival days he always drank from a little silver cup that had belonged to her." With his coinage dedicated to Vesta, Vespasian expressed his respect for home and hearth, and his dedication to security of the state.SL85101. Silver denarius, RIC II, part 1, 50; RSC II 574; BMCRE II 71; BnF III 55; SRCV I 2316, ANACS VF35 (5163464), Rome mint, 72 A.D.; obverseIMP CAESVESPAVG P MCOS IIII, laureate head right; reverseVesta standing left, simpulum in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, VES-TA across field; certified (slabbed) by ANACS; $160.00 (€142.40)
Philip I the Arab, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D.
Eternal peace was just wishful thinking during the reign of Philip I (just as it has always been).SL84533. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 41, RSC IV 102, Bland 23, SRCV III 8939 var. (pax standing left), Hunter III 12 var. (AETERNA), NGC AU, strike 3/5, surface 4/5, weight 5.03 g, maximum diameter 23 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 244 - 245 A.D.; obverse IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassedbust right, from behind; reversePAX AETERN (eternal peace), Pax advancing left, branch in right hand, transverse scepter in left hand; certified (slabbed) by NGC, from the Dr. Sam Mansourati Collection; $135.00 (€120.15)
Lucius Verus, 7 March 161 - February 169 A.D.
In 162, Marcus Aurelius sent Lucius Verus to lead the war against Parthia. Lucius spent most of the campaign in Antioch, though he wintered at Laodicea and summered at Daphne, a resort just outside Antioch. Critics derided Lucius' luxurious lifestyle. He took up a mistress, enjoyed the company of actors and would "dice the whole night through." The Syrian army was said to spend more time in Antioch's open-air cafés than with their units. The war was, nevertheless, a success. Despite Lucius' minimal personal participation, he was awarded the titles Armeniacus, Medicus and Parthicus Maximus and a triumph upon his return to Rome in 166.SL76246. Orichalcumsestertius, BMCRE IV p. 564, 1116; Cohen 249, RIC III M. Aurelius 1396 var. (drapery not mentioned), NGC certified VG, strike 4/5, surface 2/5, lt. scrapes (4094568-014), weight 22.91 g, maximum diameter 33.0 mm, die axis 315o, Rome mint, Dec 163 - Dec 164 A.D.; obverseL AVREL VERVS - AVG ARMENIACVS, laureate bust right, slight drapery on left shoulder; reverse TR P IIII - IMP IICOS II, Victory standing facing, head right, nude to the waist, both wings visible on left, palm frond in right, resting left on shield inscribed VIC / AVG in two lines set on palm tree, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking in lower fields; from the Sam Mansourati Collection; scarce; $130.00 (€115.70)
Crispus, Caesar, 1 March 317 - 326 A.D.
Certificate of Authenticity issued by David R. Sear.
David Sear notes, "a previously unpublished variant of the series listed by Bastien (Le Monnayage de l'Atelier de Lyon) on pages 163 and 164, numbers 155-6 and 159-61 (cf. RIC vii, p. 134, 202-4)...good F, rare and interesting as an unpublished obverse variant."RL70838. Billoncentenionalis, unpublished obverse variant; cf. Bastien Lyon XIII, 155-6 and 159-61; RIC VII Lyons 202 - 204, gF, weight 3.451 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, as caesar, 322 - 323 A.D.; obverse IVL CRISPVS NOB C, laureate and cuirassedbust left, spear pointed forward in right, shield in left; reverse BEAT TRAN-Q-LITAS, globe on altar inscribed VOT/IS / XX in three lines, three stars above, PLG in exergue; from the Dr. Sam Mansourati Collection; $120.00 (€106.80)