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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Gods, Olympians| ▸ |Demeter or Ceres||View Options:  |  |  |   

Demeter or Ceres

The known mythology of Demeter and Ceres is identical. Demeter's (Ceres') virgin daughter Persephone (Proserpina) was abducted by Hades (Pluto) to be his wife in the underworld. Demeter searched for her endlessly, lighting her way through the earth with torches. While Demeter searched, preoccupied with her loss and her grief, the seasons halted; living things ceased their growth, then began to die. Some say that in her anger she laid a curse that caused plants to wither and die, and the land to become desolate. Faced with the extinction of all life on earth, Zeus (Jupiter) sent his messenger Hermes (Mercury) to the underworld to bring Persephone back. However, because Persephone had eaten while in the underworld, Hades had a claim on her. It was decreed that she must spend four months each year in the underworld. During these months Demeter grieves for her daughter's absence, withdrawing her gifts from the world, creating winter. Persephone's return brings the spring.


Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D.

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Marcus Ulpius Traianus, a brilliant general and administrator, was adopted and proclaimed emperor by the aging Nerva in 98 A.D. Regarded as one of Rome's greatest emperors, Trajan was responsible for the annexation of Dacia, the invasion of Arabia and an extensive and lavish building program across the empire. Under Trajan, Rome reached its greatest extent. Shortly after the annexation of Mesopotamia and Armenia, Trajan was forced to withdraw from most of the new Arabian provinces. While returning to Rome to direct operations against the new threats, Trajan died at Selinus in Cilicia.
RB88224. Orichalcum sestertius, Woytek 240q (same dies), BnF IV 512 (same dies), BMCRE III 771, Banti 117, Strack 398, RIC II 478 var. (bust), Cohen 367 var. (same), VF, well centered, rough, weight 21.340 g, maximum diameter 34.4 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 106 - 107 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES NERVAE TRAIANO AVG GER DAC P M TR P COS V P P, laureate heroic bust left, full chest exposed, drapery on left shoulder; reverse S P Q R OPTIMO PRINCIPI, Ceres standing half left, head left, holding grain over modius in right hand, long scepter vertical in left hand, S C (senatus consulto) divided across field; extremely rare with this bust, struck with a superb obverse die!; $880.00 (774.40)


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

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This type is from a very rare early issue of Titus as Augustus, not yet naming him P P (Pater Patriae - Father of the Country). Titus apparently accepted this title quite soon after the beginning of his ninth tribunician year on 1 July 79 and P P was quickly added to the end of the reverse legend.
RS89741. Silver denarius, RIC II 6 (R2, same reverse die), BnF III 1 (same rev. die), RSC II 270a, BMCRE II -, Hunter I -, SRCV I -, Choice VF, excellent portrait, excellent centering, flow lines, weight 3.399 g, maximum diameter 18.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 24 Jun - mid July 79 A.D.; obverse IMP TITVS CAES VESPASIAN AVG P M, laureate head right; reverse TR P VIIII IMP XIIII COS VII, Ceres seated left, grain stalks and poppy head in extended right hand, flaming torch in left hand; only two sales of this type recorded on Coin Archives in the last two decades; very rare; $450.00 (396.00) ON RESERVE


Caligula, 16 March 37 - 24 January 41 A.D., Magnesia ad Sipylum, Lydia

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Britannica 1859, Roman History notes: "[Caligula] encircled his own head with the oriental diadem armed with spikes or rays, the well-known symbol of divinity in the East." Prior to this, the radiate crown had been used to indicate the divinity of Divus Augustus achieved after his death. This is the first time that this crown is shown on a coin of a living Roman.
RP90987. Bronze assarion, RPC I 2455 (same dies, 4 spec.); SNG Cop 257 (same dies); BMC Lydia p. 145, 51; SNGvA -, VF, dark patina, scratches, some porosity, small edge split, weight 5.668 g, maximum diameter 20.9 mm, die axis 0o, Magnesia ad Sipylum (Manisa, Turkey) mint, 25 Jan 41 - 13 Oct 54 A.D.; obverse GAION KAICA-P-A - C-E-BACTON, radiate head of Caligula right; reverse MAΓN,HTΩN AΠO CIΠY,ΛOY (first three letters in exergue, continuing counterclockwise on the right, last three letters upward on left), Germanicus (on left) stands facing in toga capite velato, patera in right hand, behind Agrippina as Demeter, grain in right hand, scepter in left hand, [ΓEP/M / AΓ/PI in four lines in center field (not visible on this coin and not visible on the RPC plate coin)]; very rare; $320.00 (281.60)


Roman Republic, Lucius Cassius Caeicianus, c. 102 B.C.

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The yoke of oxen was used by the Romans as a symbol of colonization. This coin probably refers to a colony established by an ancestor of the moneyer. The control marks on the obverse and reverse are combined in opposite alphabetical order, e.g., A with X, B with V, C with T, down to K with M. -- The Coinage of the Roman Republic by Edward A. Sydenham
RR88380. Silver denarius, Crawford 321/1, Sydenham 594, RSC I Cassia 4, SRCV I 199, BMCRR I Rome 1730 var. (C / T), RBW Collection 1176 var. (controls), aVF, toned, banker's mark, bumps, scratches, tiny test cut on edge, weight 3.913 g, maximum diameter 17.4 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, c. 102 B.C.; obverse draped bust of Ceres left, wreathed in grain, CAEICIAN (AE and AN ligate) upward behind, C (control mark) upper right; reverse two oxen yoked left, plow and T (control mark) above, LCASSI in exergue; ex Forum (2002); $160.00 (140.80)


Roman Republic, C. Marius C.f. Capito, 81 B.C.

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Plowing with a yoke of oxen usually symbolized colonization. The ceremonial founding of a colony included plowing a furrow, the pomerium, a sacred boundary, around the site of the new city. For this issue, the control numbers are always the same on both sides.
RR91676. Silver denarius serratus, Crawford 378/1c, Sydenham 744b, RSC I Maria 9, SRCV I 300, BMCRR I Rome 2855 ff. var. (controls), VF, toned, light marks, weak obverse center, weight 3.874 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 81 B.C.; obverse CAPIT ┴X (60, control number), draped bust of Ceres right, wreathed with grain, pileus with star above (control symbol) below chin; reverse plowman conducting yoke of two oxen left (priest plowing pomerium), ┴X (60, control number) above, CMARICF / SC in two lines in exergue; $150.00 (132.00) ON RESERVE


Uncertain City (Panormos?), Sicily, Roman Rule, c. 211 - 190 B.C.

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In 254 B.C. Panormus was captured by the Romans. It retained its municipal freedom, and remained for many years one of the principal cities of Sicily. It continued to issue bronze coins, bearing the names of various resident magistrates, and following the Roman system. Under Augustus, Panormus received a Roman colony.
GI89312. Bronze triens, Semuncial standard; Calciati I p. 365, 205 (Panormos); SNG Mnchen 835 (Panormos); HGC 2 1691 (R1, uncertain Romano-Sicilian); SNG Cop -, aVF, off center but types on flan, a little rough, weight 3.239 g, maximum diameter 17.1 mm, die axis 90o, uncertain Romano-Sicilian mint, c. 211 - 190 B.C.; obverse veiled and draped bust of Demeter-Ceres left, small cornucopia behind neck; reverse double cornucopia, overflowing with bunches of grapes, tied with fillets, four pellets (mark of value) in a vertical line to left; rare; $120.00 (105.60)


Priapos, Mysia, 3rd - 1st Century B.C.

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Unpublished in the references examined and the only example of the type known to Forum.

Priapos (Karabiga, Turkey today) is located on the Mysian coast, on a small east-facing bay at the mouth of the Biga River, about a third of the distance from ancient Parium to Cyzicus. Strabo mentions that the area produced fine wine and that the god Priapus gave the town its ancient name. Thucydides mentions the town as a naval station. In 334 B.C., the town surrendered to Alexander the Great without contest, prior to the Battle of Granicus. Deities worshiped there included Demeter, Apollo, Artemis, and Dionysus. Under the Eastern Roman Empire, the town was known as Pegae and was the site of a Byzantine fortress.
GB83634. Bronze AE 13, cf. BMC Mysia p. 177, 14 (AE20, full ethnic 2 lines, bucranium); SNG Tb 2500 (same); SNG BnF 2410 (similar); SNG Cop -; SNGvA -; Lindgren -, VF, green patina, corrosion, weight 2.400 g, maximum diameter 13.4 mm, die axis 0o, Priapos (Karabiga, Turkey) mint, 3rd - 1st century B.C.; obverse head of Demeter right, veiled and wreathed with grain; reverse ΠPIA within grain wreath; extremely rare; $110.00 (96.80)


Thebai, Thessaly, Greece, c. 302 - 286 B.C.

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The famous sanctuary of Protesilaos was about ten miles from Thebai, at Phylake. An oracle had prophesied that the first Greek to walk on the land after stepping off a ship in the Trojan War would be the first to die. Protesilaos was the first who dared to leap ashore when the fleet touched the Troad. After killing four men, Protesilaos was slain by Hector, as prophesied, the first Greek to die.

In the war between Demetrius Poliorcetes and Cassander, in 302 B.C., Thebai was one of the strongholds of Cassander. Thebai and Pelinnaeum are mentioned in 282 B.C. as the only Thessalian cities that did not take part in the Lamian War.
GB87154. Bronze chalkous, BCD Thessaly II 760, Rogers 551, HGC 4 34 (R1), BCD Thessaly I -, aF, dark patina, tight flan, light pitting, weight 2.394 g, maximum diameter 14.5 mm, die axis 0o, Thebai Phthiotides (north of Mikrothivai, Greece) mint, c. 302 - 286 B.C.; obverse head of Demeter right, wearing grain wreath; reverse ΘHBAIΩN, Protesilaos advancing right from the prow of a galley right behind him, wearing military garb, sword in right hand, shield on left arm; rare; $105.00 (92.40)


Petelia, Bruttium, Italy, c. 216 - 204 B.C., Time of Hannibal

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"In 216, when most of South Italy joined Hannibal after Cannae, Petelia remained faithful to Rome and sought the dispatch of a Roman garrison. The Senate, however, felt it self unable to lend aid to so distant and ally; the town was besieged and after eleven months fell to the Carthaginians, who handed it over to the Bretti. After the defeat of Hannibal a substantial contingent of refugees who had escaped to Rome were restored to Petelia in recognition of their loyalty to Rome." -- N.K. Rutter, Historia Numorum Italy
GB88309. Bronze AE 21, BMC Italy p. 372, 8 (also Λ); HN Italy 2454; SNG ANS 602 var. (control); SNG Cop 1908 var. (same); SNG Mnchen 1551 - 1552 var. (same), F, uneven strike with weak areas, olive green and red patina, areas of corrosion, weight 7.431 g, maximum diameter 20.8 mm, die axis 90o, Petelia mint, under Hannibal, c. 216 - 204 B.C.; obverse head of Demeter right, wearing veil and wreath of barley; reverse ΠETHΛINΩN (clockwise on left), Zeus in fighting stance left, head right, nude, hurling thunderbolt with right hand, transverse long scepter in left hand, star with five rays around a central pellet left, Λ (control letter) lower right; ex Rudnik Numismatics; scarce; $90.00 (79.20)


Leontini, Sicily, c. 207 - 200 B.C.

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Leontini was founded by colonists from Naxos in 729 B.C. Six miles inland, it is the only Greek settlement in Sicily not located on the coast, Originally held by the Sicels, the site was seized by the Greeks to gain control of the fertile plain to the north.

When the Roman general Marcus Claudius Marcellus stormed the city in 214 B.C., Leontini was subject to Syracuse and the rulers of Syracuse actually resided there. Marcellus had 2000 Roman deserters who were hiding in the city killed, and then moved to lay siege to Syracuse itself.
GB65520. Bronze AE 16, Calciati p. 81, 9; SNG ANS 274; BMC Sicily p. 93, 66; SNG Cop 366, VF, weight 4.170 g, maximum diameter 16.1 mm, die axis 180o, Leontini mint, c. 207 - 200 B.C.; obverse veiled head of Demeter left, plow behind; reverse ΛEON, bundle of grain; $75.00 (66.00)




  



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Demeter or Ceres