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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Animals ▸ LionView Options:  |  |  |   

Lions on Ancient Coins

Kingdom of Thrace, Lysimachos, 305 - 281 B.C.

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Lysimachus, one of Alexander the Great's personal bodyguards, was appointed strategos (general) in Thrace and the Chersonesos after Alexander's death. He became one of the diadochi (successors of Alexander) who were initially generals and governors, but who continuously allied and warred with each other and eventually divided the empire. In 309, he founded his capital Lysimachia in a commanding situation on the neck connecting the Chersonesos with the mainland. In 306, he followed the example of Antigonus in taking the title of king, ruling Thrace, Asia Minor and Macedonia. In 281, he was killed in battle against Seleucus, another successor of Alexander.
SH88882. Silver drachm, Thompson 127, Price L27, Müller Alexander L21, HGC 3 1752e (R1), Choice VF, well centered, attractive toning, weight 3.377 g, maximum diameter 17.7 mm, die axis 0o, Kolophon (near Degirmendere Fev, Turkey) mint, 299 - 296 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean Lion skin, scalp over head, forepaws tied at neck; reverse Zeus Aëtophoros seated left, eagle in right hand, scepter in left hand, right leg drawn back, lion-forepart left over Φ (control symbols) in left field, pentagram (control symbol) under throne, ΛYΛIMAXOY downward on left, BAΣIΛIΩΣ below; $200.00 (€170.00)
 


Marion, Cyprus, Stasiakos II, c. 330 - 312 B.C.

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Stasiakos II, king of Marion, was deposed in 312 B.C. by Ptolemy I and the city of Marion was destroyed. This extremely rare type was apparently unpublished until 1998. Coin Archives lists only one sale of this type in the past two decades.
GB87141. Bronze AE 20, Destrooper 16; Bank of Cyprus 10; Symeonides 63 ff., cf. Tziambazis 57 (AE16, lion head facing), SNG Cop -, BMC Cyprus -, VF, rough, weight 7.634 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, Marion mint, c. 330 - 312 B.C.; obverse round shield ornamented with laurel wreath; reverse MAPIEYΣ (below), lion head left; extremely rare; $155.00 (€131.75)
 


Kingdom of Thrace, Lysimachos, 305 - 281 B.C., Struck in the Name of Alexander the Great

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Lysimachus, one of Alexander the Great's personal bodyguards, was appointed strategos (general) in Thrace and the Chersonesos after Alexander's death. He became one of the diadochi (successors of Alexander) who were initially generals and governors, but who continuously allied and warred with each other and eventually divided the empire. In 309, he founded his capital Lysimachia in a commanding situation on the neck connecting the Chersonesos with the mainland. In 306, he followed the example of Antigonus in taking the title of king, ruling Thrace, Asia Minor and Macedonia. In 281, he was killed in battle against Seleucus, another successor of Alexander.
GS87657. Silver drachm, Thompson 127, Price L27, Müller Alexander L21, HGC 3 1752e (R1), VF, well centered, nice style, light toning, light marks, weight 4.258 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 0o, Kolophon (near Degirmendere Fev, Turkey) mint, 299 - 296 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean Lion skin, scalp over head, forepaws tied at neck; reverse Zeus Aëtophoros seated left, eagle in right hand, scepter in left hand, right leg drawn back, lion-forepart left over Φ (control symbols) in left field, pentagram (control symbol) under throne, ΛYΛIMAXOY downward on left, BAΣIΛIΩΣ below; $150.00 (€127.50)
 


Kyzikos, Mysia, c. 450 - 400 B.C.

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These very small fractions always weigh less than the theoretical weight for the denomination. They were often struck significantly below the theoretical weight. Wear, corrosion and porosity have usually further reduced the weight over time. They may even weigh less than half their theoretical weight. Assigning the denomination during attribution is often speculative.
GA85721. Silver obol, SNG BnF 378; SNG Cop 48; SNG Kayhan 55; BMC Mysia p. 35, 118; Von Fritze II 11, gVF, sharp detail, lightly etched surfaces, earthen deposits, tight flan, weight 0.798 g, maximum diameter 11.7 mm, die axis 270o, Kyzikos (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, c. 450 - 400 B.C.; obverse forepart of boar running left, reversed E on side, tunny fish upwards behind (tunny off flan); reverse head of roaring lion left within incuse square; $120.00 (€102.00)
 


Amphipolis, Macedonia, 148 - 32 B.C.

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Amphipolis was a magnificent ancient Greek polis (city), and later a Roman city, whose impressive remains can still be seen. It is famous in history for events such as the battle between the Spartans and Athenians in 422 B.C., and also as the place where Alexander the Great prepared for campaigns leading to his invasion of Asia. Alexander's three finest admirals, Nearchus, Androsthenes and Laomedon, resided in this city and it is also the place where, after Alexander's death, his wife Roxane and their small son Alexander IV were exiled and later murdered. Excavations in and around the city have revealed important buildings, ancient walls and tombs. The finds are displayed at the archaeological museum of Amphipolis. At the nearby vast Kasta burial mound, an important ancient Macedonian tomb has recently been revealed. The unique and beautiful "Lion of Amphipolis" monument nearby is a popular destination for visitors.Lion_of_Amphipolis
GB88169. Bronze AE 17, Lindgren II 929, HGC 3.1 433 (R1), SNG ANS 120 - 122 var. (grain ear vice club, no monogram), SNG Cop -, SNG Dreer -, BMC Macedonia -, VF, green patina, tight flan, obverse off center, weight 3.930 g, maximum diameter 16.8 mm, die axis 0o, Amphipolis mint, Roman rule, 148 - 31 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right clad in Nemean Lion's scalp headdress forelegs tied at neck; reverse AMΦIΠOΛITΩN, lion standing right, club below, monogram (magistrate or control symbol) lower right; ex Triskeles auction 26 (VAuction 334), lot 47; rare; $120.00 (€102.00)
 


Rhegion, Bruttium, Italy, c. 415 - 387 B.C.

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Rhegion reached great artistic and cultural heights. It was home to academies, such as the Pythagorean School, and to well-known poets, historians and sculptors such Ibycus, Ippy, and Pythagoras. It was an important ally of the Roman Republic. Rhegium flourished during the Imperial Age but was devastated by several major earthquakes and tsunami. St. Paul passed through Rhegium on his final voyage to Rome (Acts XXVIII:13).
GS79976. Silver litra, SNG Cop 1936; SNG ANS 670; SNG München 1588; SNG Tüb 536; HN Italy 2495; BMC Italy p. 376, 30, VF, well centered, nice style, uneven toning, light corrosion, weight 0.722 g, maximum diameter 10.2 mm, die axis 90o, Rhegion mint, c. 415 - 387 B.C.; obverse facing lion scalp mask; reverse olive sprig with two olives, PH between the leaves; $110.00 (€93.50)
 


Julia Domna, Augusta 194 - 8 April 217 A.D.

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Cybele was born a hermaphrodite, but castrated by the gods, she became female. Heeding the Sibylline oracle, the senate brought her worship to Rome in 204 B.C. as the first officially sanctioned Eastern cult. After approval, they were dismayed to learn that the priesthood required voluntary self-castration, which was abhorrent to the Romans. Romans were barred from entering the priesthood or even entering the priest's sanctuary. The eunuch priests, recruited from outside Rome, were confined to their sanctuary, leaving only to parade in the streets during festivals in April. Claudius removed the bans on Roman participation, making worship of Cybele and her consort Attis part of the state religion.
RS89456. Silver denarius, RIC IV S564; RSC III 123; BMCRE V p. 163, S51; Hunter III p. 42, S11; SRCV II 6593, Choice VF, well centered and struck, a few light marks, small coppery spots, edge cracks, weight 3.380 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 205 A.D.; obverse IVLIA AVGVSTA, draped bust right; reverse MATER DEVM (mother of the gods), Cybele seated left between two lions, wearing towered crown, branch in right hand, scepter in left hand, resting left arm on drum; scarce; $110.00 (€93.50)
 


Pantikapaion, Tauric Chersonesos, c. 480 - 470 B.C.

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Panticapaeum (Kerch, Ukraine) was an important city and port in Tauric Chersonesos on the western side of the Cimmerian Bosporus. It was founded by Milesians in the late 7th or early 6th century B.C. In the 5th century B.C. it became the capital of the Thracian kings of Bosporus. The last of the kings of Bosporus left it to Mithridates VI Eupator, king of Pontus. After his defeat to Rome, he committed suicide at Panticapaeum in 63 B.C. In that same year, the city was partly destroyed by an earthquake.
GA86537. Silver hemiobol, Frolova, type I, 25 - 26; SNG Stancomb 511; SNG Fitzwilliam 1592; Klein 73; McClean II 4442; HGC 7 40 (R2), gF, toned, tight irregular flan, etched porous surfaces, weight 0.613 g, maximum diameter 9.1 mm, die axis 0o, Pantikapaion (Kerch, Crimea) mint, c. 480 - 470 B.C.; obverse facing lion head; reverse quadripartite incuse square; from the David Cannon Collection, ex Beast Coins; rare; $90.00 (€76.50)
 


Kyzikos, Mysia, c. 450 - 400 B.C.

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During the Peloponnesian War, 431 - 404 B.C., Cyzicus was subject alternately to the Athenians and Lacedaemonians. 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.
GA87967. Silver hemiobol, von Fritze III 14; SNG Kayhan 57; SNG BnF 375; SNG Cop 49; BMC Mysia p. 35, 120; SNGvA -, VF, toned, light marks, light etching, weight 0.347 g, maximum diameter 9.8 mm, die axis 180o, Kyzikos (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, c. 450 - 400 B.C.; obverse forepart of boar running left, tunny fish upwards behind; reverse head of roaring lion left, star of four rays above, all in incuse square; $85.00 (€72.25)
 


Lycia, Uncertain Dynast, c. 400 - 350 B.C.

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Although we cannot find a match with this inscription, Historia Numorum lists lion scalp and helmeted head of Athena types struck by several dynasts in the first half of the 4th century B.C.
GA87325. Silver obol, Apparently unpublished, SNG Cop -, SNGvA -, SNG Tüb -, Vismara -, Podalia Hoard -, BMC Lycia -, F/VF, significant edge chip, weight 0.579 g, maximum diameter 10.9 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain mint, c. 400 - 350 B.C.; obverse lion scalp facing, from above; reverse head of Athena left, wearing crested Corinthian helmet, Lycian letters (EK?) above, dot border, all within a round incuse; extremely rare; $80.00 (€68.00)
 




  



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