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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Personifications ▸ Good LuckView Options:  |  |  |   

Luck (Forutuna)

The Romans believed that Fortuna after deserting the Persians and Assyrians took flight over Macedonia and saw Alexander perish as she passed into Egypt and into Syria. At last arriving on Mount Palatine she threw aside her wings and casting away her wheel, entered Rome where she took up her abode forever. Fortuna distributed good and evil among mankind according to her caprice and without any regard to merit. Fortuna Redux, one of the many aspects of Fortuna, was in charge of bringing people home safely, primarily from wars - redux means "coming back" or "returning."


Caligula, 16 March 37 - 24 January 41 A.D.

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The first Rome mint portrait sestertius type, and a highly sought after reverse type.
SH84794. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC I 33; BMCRE p. 152, 36; BnF II 47; Cohen I 4; SRCV I 1800, gF, excellent centering and strike, attractive portrait, patina worn and scraped on high points, bumps and scratches, weight 27.881 g, maximum diameter 35.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 37 - 38 A.D.; obverse C CAESAR AVG GERMANICVS PON M TR POT, laureate head left; reverse AGRIPPINA DRVSILLA IVLIA, the three sisters of Caligula standing, in the guises of Securitas, Concordia, and Fortuna, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; rare; $2800.00 (2492.00)


Macrinus, 11 April 217 - 8 June 218 A.D.

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Macrinus was Praetorian Prefect for Caracalla but arranged Caracalla's assassination and seized power. He and his son were accepted by the senate. The Syrian legions, inspired by Julia Maesa, Caracalla's aunt, revolted after he concluded an unfavorable peace with the Persians. He was defeated and executed.
SL84525. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 139 (S), BMCRE V 120 var. (also draped, noted), Cohen IV 66 71, SRCV II 7386, Hunter III -, Ch VF, strike 5/5, surface 5/5 (4373010-005), lovely mahogany tone with lighter tones on the high points, weight 20.5 g, maximum diameter 31 mm, die axis 15o, Rome mint, 11 Apr 217 - 31 Dec 217 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES M OPEL SEV MACRINVS AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right, from the front; reverse PONTIF MAX TR P COS P P (high priest, tribune of the people, consul, father of the country), Felicitas standing facing, head left, long caduceus in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, drapery over left arm, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field below center; NGC Certified, ex Stacks-Bowers; $990.00 (881.10)


Roman Republic, M. Plaetorius Cestianus, 69 B.C.

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The moneyer, M. Plaetorius Cestianus, was from Praeneste, in Latium, 23 miles east-southeast of Rome, home of the great temple to Fortuna Primigenia. Her sanctuary was an immense complex of buildings rising up the hillside on five vast terraces, connected with each other by grand staircases, visible even from the sea. The reverse likely depicts a pediment in the sanctuary. The epithet of Primigenia means "Original." She was represented suckling two babes, said to be Jupiter and Juno, and she was especially worshiped by matrons. The oracle continued to be consulted down to Christian times, until Constantine the Great, and again later Theodosius I, forbade the practice and closed the temple.
SH76980. Silver denarius, BMCRR Rome 3524 (same wheel control); Crawford 405/1b; Sydenham 800a; SRCV I 340, F, banker's mark, weight 3.563 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 135o, Rome mint, 69 B.C.; obverse diademed and draped bust of Fortuna Primigenia right, hair in net, wheel (control symbol) behind; reverse temple pediment, ornamented with sculpture of an anguipede (snake legged) giant holding a club(?) in his left hand, M PLAETORI (AE ligate) on the architrave, CEST S C in exergue; very rare; $720.00 (640.80)


Philip I the Arab, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D.

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Felicitas was the goddess or personification of good luck and success. She played an important role in Rome's state religion during the empire and was frequently portrayed on coins. She became a prominent symbol of the wealth and prosperity of the Roman Empire.
RS75697. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 75A (R); RSC IV 130, SRCV III 8945, Hunter III -, EF, superb strike with sharp dies, nice metal, weight 4.966 g, maximum diameter 22.4 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 247 - 248 A.D.; obverse IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse P M TR P IIII COS P P (high priest, tribune of the people for four years, consul, father of the country), Felicitas standing left, long caduceus in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; $360.00 (320.40)


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

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On 25 February 138, Hadrian designated Antoninus Pius his successor, on condition that he adopt Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus. Hadrian died on 10 July after a heart failure at Baiae, he was buried at Rome in the Gardens of Domitia beside his wife, Vibia Sabina. Antoninus Pius succeeded Hadrian as Emperor and asked the Senate to confer divine honors for Hadrian.
SH77280. Silver denarius, BMCRE IV 17, RIC III 11 (S), RSC II 77, Strack III 16, SRCV IV 4054, VF, nice portrait, centered on a tight flan, toned, die wear, tiny edge cracks, weight 3.216 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 138 A.D.; obverse IMP T AEL CAES HADRI ANTONINVS, bare head right; reverse AVG PIVS P M TR P COS DES II, Felicitas standing left, caduceus in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; from the Jyrki Muona Collection, ex Barry Murphy; scarce; $240.00 (213.60)


Romano-British Empire, Carausius, Mid 286 - Spring or Early Summer 293 A.D.

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The obverse and reverse legends and types are known from the London mint with MLXXI in the exergue and B - E across the reverse field (RIC V 31, Web Carausius 34). This variety, without marks and perhaps unofficial, is unpublished in the many references examined by Forum. We also could not find an example online. This is the only example known to Forum.
RA73246. Billon antoninianus, Apparently unpublished, RIC V -, Webb Carausius -, Casey -, Hunter -, SRCV IV -, King Unmarked -, Burton Latimer -, et al., aVF, green patina, broad flan, crude, light marks, weight 3.624 g, maximum diameter 22.1 mm, die axis 180o, uncertain mint, obverse IMP CARAVSIVS P F AVG, radiate and draped bust right; reverse FELICITAS AVG (the good fortune of the Emperor), Felicitas standing facing, head left, long caduceus vertical in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; from the Charles Peters Carausius Collection; possibly unique!; $225.00 (200.25)


Philip I the Arab, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D.

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Felicitas was the goddess or personification of good luck and success. She played an important role in Rome's state religion during the empire and was frequently portrayed on coins. She became a prominent symbol of the wealth and prosperity of the Roman Empire.
RB83480. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 150a, Cohen V 138, Hunter III - (p. lxxxvii), SRCV III 9005, gVF, superb portrait, centered on a tight squared flan, green encrustations, weight 17.859 g, maximum diameter 28.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 247 A.D.; obverse IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse P M TR P IIII COS II P P (high priest, tribune of the people for 4 years, consul 2 times, father of the country), Felicitas standing half left, long caduceus in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; $170.00 (151.30)


Clodius Albinus, Late 195 or Early 196 - 19 February 197 A.D.

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Fortuna was the goddess of luck, fortune, and fate. She might bring good luck, or bad. This coin was dedicated to Fortuna Reduci in the hope that she would help Clodius Albinus safely return to Rome. Apparently she wasn't impressed. Despite being caesar and consul when this coin was struck, Clodius remained in Britain. In 195 A.D., after consolidating his position, Septimius declared Clodius a public enemy. After Clodius was defeated in 197 A.D., his body, along with the bodies of his wife and children, were thrown into the Rhone at Lugdunum. Only his head returned to Rome - sent as a warning to others who might oppose Septimius.
RB77426. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 53a (R), Cayn III 17, BMCRE V 533, Cohen III 34, SRCV II 6150, Hunter II - (p. xliii), aF, weight 17.522 g, maximum diameter 27.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, as caesar, 194 - 195A.D.; obverse D CL SEPT ALBIN CAES, bare head right; reverse FORT REDVCI COS II, Fortuna seated left, holding tiller of rudder set on globe with right hand, cornucopia in left hand, wheel under seat, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; rare; $160.00 (142.40)


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

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Julia Domna was born in Emesa in 170 A.D. She was the youngest daughter of high-priest Julius Bassianus, a descendant of the Royal House of Emesa. Emesa was famous for its Temple of the Sun, the center of worship for the ancient pagan cult El-Gebal (or Elagabal). El-Gebal, worshiped in the form of a conical black stone, was the Aramaic name for the Syrian Sun God and means God of the Mountain. Emesa was also the birthplace of three other Roman empresses, Julia Maesa, Julia Mamaea and Julia Soaemias, and one emperor, Julia Domna's nephew, Elagabalus.
RS84440. Silver denarius, RSC III 65, RIC IV S624 (S), BMCRE p. 103 note citing Cohen 65 (Hamburger Coll.), SRCV II -, VF, nice style, toned, porous, light marks, small deposits, weight 3.239 g, maximum diameter 17.6 mm, die axis 45o, Emesa (Homs, Syria) mint, 194 - 8 Apr 217 A.D.; obverse IVLIA DOMNA AVG, draped bust right; reverse FORTVN REDVC, Fortuna seated left on throne without back, kalathos on head, rudder in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; ; rare; $150.00 (133.50)


Nerva, 18 September 96 - 25 January 98 A.D.

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On 28 October 97 A.D. Nerva recalled his general Marcus Ulpius Trajanus, age 44, from the German frontier and was forced by the Praetorian Guard to adopt him as his successor.
RB55449. Copper as, RIC II 83, BMCRE III 130, Cohen II 68, F, scratches, weight 10.666 g, maximum diameter 26.9 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 97 A.D.; obverse IMP NERVA CAES AVG P M TR P COS III P P, laureate head right; reverse FORTVNA AVGVST (good fortune of the Emperor), Fortuna standing left, rudder held by tiller in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; $125.00 (111.25)




  



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Luck