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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Birds| ▸ |Phoenix||View Options:  |  |  | 

Phoenix on Ancient Coins

The Roman poet Ovid tells the story of the Phoenix: 'Most beings spring from other individuals; but there is a certain kind which reproduces itself. The Assyrians call it the Phoenix. It does not live on fruit or flowers, but on frankincense and odoriferous gums. When it has lived five hundred years, it builds itself a nest in the branches of an oak, or on the top of a palm tree. In this it collects cinnamon and spikenard, and myrrh, and of these materials builds a pile on which it deposits itself, and dying, breathes out its last breath amidst odors. From the body of the parent bird, a young Phoenix issues forth, destined to live as long a life as its predecessor. When this has grown up and gained sufficient strength, it lifts its nest from the tree (its own cradle and its parent's sepulcher), and carries it to the city of Heliopolis in Egypt, and deposits it in the temple of the Sun.'

Constantius II, 22 May 337 - 3 November 361 A.D.

|Constantius| |II|, |Constantius| |II,| |22| |May| |337| |-| |3| |November| |361| |A.D.||quarter| |maiorina|
Siscia, a chief town and colony of Pannonia, was located at the confluence of the Colapis and the Savus, and is now called Sisak, Croatia. The mint master was called procurator monetae Siscianae. Dates of operation: 260 - c. 390. Mintmarks: S, SIS, SISC, SISCPS.
RL93370. Bronze quarter maiorina, RIC VIII Siscia 243, LRBC II 1135, SRCV V 18261, Cohen VII 36, VF, well centered, green patina, light scratches, encrustations, weight 2.012 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, 348 - 350 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTANTIVS P F AVG, pearl diademed draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse FEL TEMP REPARATIO (happy times restored), emperor stands left in galley, phoenix on globe in right hand, labarum (Chi-Rho standard) in left, Victory seated steering in stern, BSIS and symbol (similar to reversed R) in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $45.00 (41.40)


Constans I, 9 September 337 - 19 January 350 A.D.

|Constans|, |Constans| |I,| |9| |September| |337| |-| |19| |January| |350| |A.D.||quarter| |maiorina|
The Roman poet Ovid tells the story of the Phoenix: 'Most beings spring from other individuals; but there is a certain kind which reproduces itself. The Assyrians call it the Phoenix. It does not live on fruit or flowers, but on frankincense and odoriferous gums. When it has lived five hundred years, it builds itself a nest in the branches of an oak, or on the top of a palm tree. In this it collects cinnamon and spikenard, and myrrh, and of these materials builds a pile on which it deposits itself, and dying, breathes out its last breath amidst odors. From the body of the parent bird, a young Phoenix issues forth, destined to live as long a life as its predecessor. When this has grown up and gained sufficient strength, it lifts its nest from the tree (its own cradle and its parent's sepulcher), and carries it to the city of Heliopolis in Egypt, and deposits it in the temple of the Sun.'
RL89594. Billon quarter maiorina, RIC VIII Antioch 131 (S, unlisted officina), LRBC II 2619, SRCV V 18667, Cohen VII 21, Hunter V -, VF, green patina, earthen deposits, tiny edge cracks, weight 2.166 g, maximum diameter 17.2 mm, die axis 90o, 6th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 348 - 350 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTA-NS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse FEL TEMP REPARATIO (happy times restored), radiate Phoenix standing right on globe, star right, ANS in exergue; ex Ancient Imports (Marc Breitsprecher), ex Alex G. Malloy (Mar 1993); very scarce; SOLD


Constantius II, 22 May 337 - 3 November 361 A.D.

|Constantius| |II|, |Constantius| |II,| |22| |May| |337| |-| |3| |November| |361| |A.D.||quarter| |maiorina|
The Roman poet Ovid tells the story of the Phoenix: 'Most beings spring from other individuals; but there is a certain kind which reproduces itself. The Assyrians call it the Phoenix. It does not live on fruit or flowers, but on frankincense and odoriferous gums. When it has lived five hundred years, it builds itself a nest in the branches of an oak, or on the top of a palm tree. In this it collects cinnamon and spikenard, and myrrh, and of these materials builds a pile on which it deposits itself, and dying, breathes out its last breath amidst odors. From the body of the parent bird, a young Phoenix issues forth, destined to live as long a life as its predecessor. When this has grown up and gained sufficient strength, it lifts its nest from the tree (its own cradle and its parent's sepulcher), and carries it to the city of Heliopolis in Egypt, and deposits it in the temple of the Sun.'
RL38127. Bronze quarter maiorina, RIC VIII Constantinople 93 (S), LRBC II 2019, Voetter 36, SRCV V 18253, Cohen VII 57, Hunter V -, nice VF, weight 2.536 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 0o, 3rd officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, c. 348 - 15 Mar 351 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTANTIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse FEL TEMP REPARATIO (happy times restored), radiate Phoenix standing right on globe, CONSΓ* in exergue; scarce; SOLD







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