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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Types| ▸ |Orbs or Globes||View Options:  |  |  |   

Orbs and Globes on Ancient Coins
Gordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D.

|Gordian| |III|, |Gordian| |III,| |29| |July| |238| |-| |25| |February| |244| |A.D.|, |aureus|
Providentia is the personification of the ability to foresee and to make provision for the future. This ability was considered essential for the emperor and providentia was among the embodiments of virtues that were part of the imperial cult. Cicero said that providentia, memoria (memory) and intellegentia (understanding) are the three main components of prudentia, the knowledge what is good or bad or neither.
SH94301. Gold aureus, RIC IV 23 (R), Calic 3213, Cohen IV 195, SRCV III 8579, Hunter - (p. lxxxiii), gVF, well centered and struck, flow lines, bumps, light scrape on obverse, weight 4.732 g, maximum diameter 21.2 mm, die axis 0o, 5th officina, Rome mint, special emission, early 239 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES M ANT GORDIANVS AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse P M TR P II COS P P (high priest, holder of Tribunitian power for two years, consul, father of the country), Providentia standing left, globe in right hand, transverse scepter in left; scarce; $4700.00 SALE |PRICE| $4230.00

Byzantine Empire, Alexius I Comnenus, 4 April 1081 - 15 August 1118 A.D.

|Alexius| |I|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Alexius| |I| |Comnenus,| |4| |April| |1081| |-| |15| |August| |1118| |A.D.|, |hyperpyron|
Although he was not the founder of the Comnenian dynasty, it was during his reign that the Comnenus family came to full power. Inheriting a collapsing empire and faced with constant warfare during his reign against both the Seljuq Turks in Asia Minor and the Normans in the western Balkans, Alexius was able to curb the Byzantine decline and begin the military, financial, and territorial recovery known as the Comnenian restoration.
SH94415. Gold hyperpyron, DO IV 20g; Hendy pl. 4, 3-5; CLBC 2.1.2; Morrisson BnF 59/Cp/Av/3; Wroth BMC 7; Ratto 2059; SBCV 1913, Choice gVF, scyphate, beautiful luster, weight 4.348 g, maximum diameter 31.0 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 1092 - 1118 A.D.; obverse KE RO-HΘEI (Lord, help [Alexius]), Christ Pantokrator enthroned facing, wearing nimbus cruciger, pallium, and colobium, raising right in benediction, gospels in left hand, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Jesus Christ) high across field, double border; reverse A/ΛE/ΞI/W / ∆EC/ΠO/TH - Tw / KO/MNH/Nw, Alexius standing facing, wearing chlamys, five jewels on collar, labarum scepter in right hand, globus cruciger in left hand, manus Dei (hand of God) above right, six pellets in loros end; from the Robert Watcher Collection; ex New York Sale XLII auction (9 Jan 2018), lot 483; $700.00 SALE |PRICE| $630.00

Roman Republic, Q. Pomponius Musa, 66 B.C.

|99-50| |B.C.|, |Roman| |Republic,| |Q.| |Pomponius| |Musa,| |66| |B.C.|, |denarius|
Many of the Roman moneyers had a solid sense of humor and word play with homonyms was very popular. Pomponius Musa, playing on his name, issued ten types each depicting Hercules Musagetes (Conductor of the Muses) or one of nine different Muses, creating one of the most interesting and sought after series of the Republican coinage. This coin depicts Urania, the Muse of Astronomy.
RR94286. Silver denarius, Crawford 410/8, Sydenham 823, RSC I Pomponia 22, RBW Collection 1488, SRCV I 359, gF, banker's marks, a little off center, weight 3.683 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 66 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right, star behind; reverse MVSA on left, Q POMPONI on right, Urania, Muse of Astronomy standing left, pointing with rod in right hand at globe on tripod-stand; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 77 (5 May 2019), lot 601; $280.00 SALE |PRICE| $252.00

Galba, 3 April 68 - 15 January 69 A.D.

|Galba|, |Galba,| |3| |April| |68| |-| |15| |January| |69| |A.D.|, |denarius|
Sixty-five years old when he was made emperor, Galba was bald and his feet and hands were so crippled by arthritis that he could not wear shoes, or hold a book. He had a growth on his left side which was held in by a corset. Suetonius wrote that Galba was, in sexual matters, more inclined to males, and then none but the hard bodied and those past their prime. Although many of the Roman emperors are believed to have been homosexual, this seems to be the only case in Roman history where a named individual male is stated to prefer adult males. The freedman Icelus, rumored to have been Galba's homosexual lover, was said to have embezzled more in his seven months in office than all of Nero's freedmen had stolen in 13 years.
RS94492. Silver denarius, RIC I 45 (R2), RSC II 223, BMCRE I 187, BnF III 26, Hunter I 70, SRCV I -, gF, a little rough, flan crack, weight 3.084 g, maximum diameter 16.8 mm, die axis 90o, uncertain Spainish (Tarraco?) mint, Apr - late 68 A.D.; obverse GALBA IMPERATOR, laureate head right, large globe below behind point of neck; reverse ROMA VICTRIX, Roma standing left, helmeted and wearing military dress, right foot on globe, raising laurel branch in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand; from an Israeli collection; Roma Numismatics e-sale 58 (20 Jun 2019), lot 1070 (noted from the inventory of a European dealer); very rare; $250.00 SALE |PRICE| $225.00

Byzantine Empire, Andronicus I, September 1183 - 12 September 1185 A.D.

|Andronicus| |I|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Andronicus| |I,| |September| |1183| |-| |12| |September| |1185| |A.D.|, |half| |tetarteron|
Marchev and Watcher suggest the scarcity of this type my be due to limited or no minting during the Norman siege of Thessalonica.
BZ95147. Bronze half tetarteron, CLBC 5.4.4; DOC IV-1 8; SBCV 1989; Hendy pl. 19, 4; Morrisson BnF - (p. 731); Wroth BMC 17-18; Ratto 2172; Sommer 62.6; Grierson 1115, aVF, weak strike, ragged flan with edge splits typical of type, weight 1.781 g, maximum diameter 16.1 mm, die axis 180o, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, Sep 1183 - 12 Sep 1185 A.D.; obverse facing bust of the Virgin Orans, nimbate, wearing pallium and maphorium, the nimbate head of the infant Christ on her chest, MP - ΘV (Greek abbreviation: Mητηρ Θεου - Mother of God) across field; reverse AN∆PO, half-length figure of Andronicus facing with forked beard, wearing crown, scaramangion and sagion, labarum in left hand, globus cruciger in right hand; from the S. Lindner Collection; rare; $200.00 SALE |PRICE| $180.00

Tacitus, 25 September 275 - June 276 A.D.

|Tacitus|, |Tacitus,| |25| |September| |275| |-| |June| |276| |A.D.|, |antoninianus|
Jupiter or Jove, Zeus to the Greeks, was the king of the gods and god of the sky and thunder, and of laws and social order. As the patron deity of ancient Rome, he was the chief god of the Capitoline Triad, with his sister and wife Juno. The father of Mars, he is, therefore, the grandfather of Romulus and Remus, the legendary founders of Rome. Emperors frequently made vows to Jupiter for protection. The Roman's believed as the king of the gods, Jupiter favored emperors and kings, those in positions of authority similar to his own.
RA91193. Silvered antoninianus, MER-RIC 4105 (17 spec.), RIC V-1 210, BnF XII 1827, Hunter IV 71, Venra -, Choice EF, full silvering, full border centering, nice portrait, weight 4.455 g, maximum diameter 24.3 mm, die axis 180o, 8th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, issue 3, Jan - Jun 276 A.D.; obverse IMP C M CL TACITVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse CLEMENTIA TEMP (time of peace and calm), Emperor (on left) standing right, holding eagle tipped scepter, receiving globe from Jupiter, Jupiter standing left, nude but for cloak over shoulder, long scepter vertical in left hand, H in center, XXI in exergue; $190.00 SALE |PRICE| $171.00

Probus, Summer 276 - September 282 A.D.

|Probus|, |Probus,| |Summer| |276| |-| |September| |282| |A.D.|, |antoninianus|
Serdica struck many similar types with the reverse legends RESITVT ORBIS and RESTITVTOR ORBIS, combined with various busts, obverse legends, officina, and control marks. This coin differs from all the varieties listed in RIC. KA in the exergue, is the Greek numeral 21, a mark of value, indicating 21 parts bronze to one part silver (approximately 4.5% silver). B is the Greek numeral 2, indicating the coin was struck by the 2nd officina (mint workshop).
RA93248. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 856 var. (...PROBVS AVG), Cohen VI 516 var. (same, bust draped), SRCV III -, Hunter IV -, Choice VF, much silvering, excellent centering, slightest porosity, weight 4.272 g, maximum diameter 23.0 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Serdica (Sofia, Bulgaria) mint, 5th emission, 280 - 281 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR PROBVS P F AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right; reverse RESTITVTOR ORBIS (to the restorer of the world), Emperor standing right, holding short scepter, receiving globe from Jupiter standing left, holding long scepter, MS in center, KAB in exergue; scarce; $140.00 SALE |PRICE| $126.00

Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D.

|Antoninus| |Pius|, |Antoninus| |Pius,| |August| |138| |-| |7| |March| |161| |A.D.|, |dupondius|
Antoninus Pius was born to a distinguished family. After a typical senatorial career, he made a name for himself as proconsul of Asia. He was adopted as Hadrian's heir and succeeded soon after. His reign was long and peaceful, a Golden Age of tranquility and prosperity.
RB95362. Orichalcum dupondius, RIC III 953 (S); Cohen II 978; BMCRE IV p. 336, ‡; SRCV II -, Hunter IV -, aVF, attractive green patina, some bumps and scratches, light deposits, weight 13.076 g, maximum diameter 25.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 155 - 156 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P IMP II, radiate head right; reverse TR POT XIX COS IIII, Providentia standing left, scepter in right hand pointing down at globe at feet, cornucopia in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field below center; scarce; $120.00 SALE |PRICE| $108.00

Gordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D.

|Gordian| |III|, |Gordian| |III,| |29| |July| |238| |-| |25| |February| |244| |A.D.|, |sestertius|
In 241 Timesitheus was appointed the head of the Praetorian Guard, Gordian married his daughter Tranquillina, and she received the honorific title of Augusta. The marriage indicates Gordian correctly understood that Timesitheus was indispensable. Timesitheus died under suspicious circumstances in 243. Not long after losing his protector, Gordian was murdered by mutinous soldiers in February 244.
RB92623. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 306a, Cohen V 254, Hunter III 114, SRCV III 8731, VF, well centered, attractive style, part of reverse legend weak, slight double strike, some porosity, edge flaw, edge cracks, weight 22.690 g, maximum diameter 32.9 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 241 - 242 A.D.; obverse IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AVG, Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse P M TR P IIII COS II P P (high priest, holder of Tribunitian power for 4 years, consul 2 times, father of the country), Gordian standing right, wearing military garb, transverse spear in right hand, globe in extended left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $110.00 SALE |PRICE| $99.00

Jovian, 27 June 363 - 17 February 364 A.D.

|Jovian|, |Jovian,| |27| |June| |363| |-| |17| |February| |364| |A.D.|, |double| |maiorina|
After evacuating Persia, upon arriving at Antioch, Jovian revoked the edicts of Julian against Christians. The Labarum of Constantine the Great again became the standard of the army. He issued an edict of toleration, to the effect that, while the exercise of magical rites would be punished, his subjects should enjoy full liberty of conscience. However, soon after he ordered burning down the Library of Antioch and on 11 September issued an edict that punishing those who worshiped ancestral gods with the death penalty. He extended the same punishment on 23 December to participation in any pagan ceremony (even private ones). In Syriac literature Jovian became the hero of a Christian romance. From Jovian's reign until the 15th century Christianity remained the dominant religion of both the Western and Eastern Roman Empires, until the Fall of Constantinople to the Turks in 1453.
RL93285. Bronze double maiorina, RIC VIII Antioch 228 (S), LRBC II 2645, SRCV V 19215, Cohen VIII 22, Hunter V -, aVF, well centered, dark brown-black patina, porous, a few light scratches, minor flaw on cheek, weight 7.410 g, maximum diameter 25.9 mm, die axis 180o, 4th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 363 - 364 A.D.; obverse D N IOVIANVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VICTORIA ROMANORVM (the Roman victory), Jovian standing facing, head right, labarum (Chi-Rho standard) in right hand, Victory on globe offering wreath in left hand, ANT∆ in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; scarce; $110.00 SALE |PRICE| $99.00



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