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Thermae Himerenses, Sicily, c. Late 2nd - Early 1st Century B.C.
The poet Tisias, better known as Stesichorus (meaning 'choral master'), lived in Himera. When the Carthaginians destroyed Himera in 409 B.C., most of the survivors settled seven miles away at Thermae Himerenses. Even after the change of location and into the Roman period they considered Tisias their most famous citizen (or perhaps second to Agathokles the tyrant of Syracusan who was born at Thermae).
Calciati notes this type is rare and especially rare in better condition because the type, along with many Sicilian issues of the Roman period, was struck with low quality metal highly susceptible to corrosion.GB85695. Bronze AE 26, Calciati I p. 120, 18; BMC Sicily p. 84, 9; HGC 2 1616 (R2); SNG ANS -; SNG Cop -; SNG Munchen -; SNG Morcom -, VF, green patina, porosity, light corrosion, reverse a little off center, weight 12.564 g, maximum diameter 26.0 mm, die axis 90o, Thermai Himeraiai (Termini Imerese, Sicily, Italy) mint, c. late 2nd - early 1st Century B.C.; obverse turreted and veiled head of Tyche right, cornucopia behind; reverse ΘEPMITAN IMEPAIΩN, The poet Tisias (Stesichoros) standing right, long staff leaning against his right shoulder, with his right hand he is inscribing a poem on a wax tablet held in his left hand; ex Roma Numismatics e-sale 2 (2 Nov 2013), lot 28; very rare; $550.00 (€467.50)
Larissa, Thessaly, Greece, c. 450 - 400 B.C.
During religious games, the young men of Thessaly participated in bull jumping and bull wrestling. In bull wrestling, participants would jump from a horse, naked save a chlamys (cloak) and petasos (hat), to bring a bull down to the ground. The obverse shows a wrestler bringing down a bull and the reverse shows the horse running free after the leap was made. The game may have originated in Asia Minor and then traveled to Crete, where it is known the people of Thessaly learned the sport.GS73424. Silver drachm, Lorber Thessalian 52, SNG Munchen 49, BCD Thessaly I 1128, BCD Thessaly II 175, HGC 4 420 (S), F, off-center, uneven strike, die wear, weight 6.075 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 315o, Larissa mint, c. 450 - 400 B.C.; obverse hero Thessalos restraining bull, both left, holding band around its head, nude but for billowing chlamys tied around his neck, petasos tied around neck flying behind; reverse bridled horse running right, trailing rein, ΛAPI/ΣAIA in two lines above and below, all within shallow incuse square; ex BCD Collection with his tag noting, "Thessaly Z hd. early '85."; scarce; $160.00 (€136.00)
Tegea, Arkadia, Peloponnesos, Greece, c. 50 - 25 B.C.
Aleos was the mythical founder of Alea and the king of Tegea. Kepheos was his son and successor as king. When Kepheos and all of his 20 sons joined Herakles on his campaign against King Hippocoon of Sparta, Athena (or Herakles in some sources) presented a lock of Medusa's hair to Kepheos' daughter Sterope. This lock made Tegea, the home of a major sanctuary of Athena, unconquerable despite the absence of its men. Kepheos and all of his sons (or 17 in some sources) were killed on the campaign against Sparta. GB85887. Bronze hemiobol, BCD Peloponnesos 1749; BMC Peloponnesus p. 202, 20; Nemea 1967, SNG Cop 314; Weber 4353; HGC 5 1056, Fair/Fine, pitting, edge chipping, weight 2.544 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 270o, Tegea (Alea, Arcadia, Peloponnese, Greece) mint, c. 50 - 25 B.C.; obversehead of Aleos right, wearing tainia; reverse Kepheos standing right, holding spear and shield and extending hand to Athena standing left, holding spear and lock of Medusa's hair; between them stands Sterope, holding vessel to receive the lock; monograms in center above and below; ex J. Cohen Collection; ex J. Aiello; ex BCD Collection; ex Bruun Rasmussen auction 498 (17 Sep 1987); deacquisition (duplicate) Danish National Museum, Copenhagen; very rare; $140.00 (€119.00)
Marathos, Phoenicia, 173 - 172 B.C.
Marathos, the most northern coastal town in Phoenicia, was apparently under Ptolemaic hegemony when this coin was struck. The bust of Hermes is usually attributed to be also that of Ptolemy VI. Destroyed by its neighbor and rival Aradus, c. 145 B.C., Marathos was later rebuilt as a colony of Aradus.GP73972. Bronze AE 21, Svoronos 1082 - 1085 (various controls); Duyrat Ateliers 252 - 261 (same); Cohen Dated 832; cf. HGC 10 194 (S); SNG Cop -; BMC Phoenicia -, F, black patina, rough, corrosion, weight 6.489 g, maximum diameter 21.1 mm, die axis 0o, Marathos (near Tartus, Syria) mint, 173 - 172 B.C.; obverse laureate and draped bust of Ptolemy VI as Hermes, kerykeion over shoulder; reverse Marathos standing left, apluster in right, Phoenician date IIIIIIINNNN (year 87) on left, Phoenician MRT (Marathos) right, Phoenician control letters low across field; $100.00 (€85.00)
Gyrton, Thessaly, Greece, c. 350 - 330 B.C.
Some sources say Gyrton was named for its founder, Gyrton, a brother of Phlegyas, who built the town on the Peneius river. Other sources say the town was named for the nymph Gyrtone, a daughter of Phlegyas. Both are depicted on this coin.GB83640. Bronze dichalkon, Rogers 228; BCD Thessaly 1052; BCD Thessaly II 83.4; SNG Cop 57, BMC Thessaly p. 20, 1 var. (nymph right), F, tight flan, corrosion, weight 3.89 g, maximum diameter 16.8 mm, die axis 90o, Gyrton mint, c. 350 - 330 B.C.; obversehead of the hero Gyrton right, head and neck of bridled horse right before him; reverse ΓYPTΩNION, head of nymph Gyrtone left, her hair bound in a roll and wearing an earring and a necklace; $70.00 (€59.50)
The Maliens, Lamia, Thessaly, Greece, 325 - 300 B.C.
The Malien tribe inhabited the area around the Malian Gulf. Lamia was their main town and only mint.
Philoctetes was the son of King Poeas of Meliboea, Thessaly. When Herakles put on a shirt stained with Hydra's blood, the blood poisoned him, tearing his skin and exposing his bones. To end his suffering, Herakles built for himself a funeral pyre. Only his friend Philoctetes would light it. As Herakles body burned, but his immortal side rose to Olympus. Philoctetes was given Heracles' bow and poisoned arrows. Later, the Greeks learned through a prophecy that they needed the bow and arrows of Herakles to defeat Troy. Philoctetes shot Paris with one of Herakles' arrows, and he later died from the poison. Philoctetes was among those chosen to hide inside the Trojan Horse, and during the sack of the city he killed many famed Trojans.GB72645. Bronze chalkous, BCD Thessaly I 1093; BCD Thessaly II 125; Rogers 384 (Malia); Georgiou Lamia 16; SNG Cop 87; Traite IV 462, BMC Thessaly p. 35, 3 ff. (Malienses), F, flan crack, weight 1.775 g, maximum diameter 14.0 mm, die axis 0o, Lamia mint, 325 - 300 B.C.; obversehead of Athena right, wearing crested Corinthian helmet and necklace; reverse MAΛIEΩN, Philoktetes standing right, shooting bow at birds, one of which falls before him; quiver on the ground at his feet on right; rare; $50.00 (€42.50)
Gyrton, Thessaly, Greece, c. 350 - 330 B.C.
Some sources say Gyrton was named for its founder, Gyrton, a brother of Phlegyas, who built the town on the Peneius river. Other sources say the town was named for the nymph Gyrtone, a daughter of Phlegyas. Both are depicted on this coin.BB90753. Bronze dichalkon, Rogers 227; BCD Thessaly 1051; BCD Thessaly II 83.3; SNG Cop 56; BMC Thessaly p. 20, 1, F, weight 4.006 g, maximum diameter 15.7 mm, die axis 180o, Gyrton mint, c. 350 - 330 B.C.; obversehead of the hero Gyrton right; head and neck of bridled horse right before him; reverse ΓYPTΩNION, head of nymph Gyrtone right, her hair bound in a roll and wearing an earring and a necklace; $45.00 (€38.25)
Halos, Thessaly, Greece, 3rd Century B.C.
Alos or Halos was 10 km south of present-day Almyros. The city is mentioned by Herodotus as one of the places where the Persian king Xerxes stayed in the summer of 480 B.C. during his attack on Greece. The classical city was destroyed in 346 during the Third Sacred War, but was refounded in 302 by Demetrius Poliorcetes. This Hellenistic city lies very close to the surface and is greatly disturbed, but several houses have been excavated, as well as a part of the city walls. This city was abandoned in the mid-third century, perhaps after an earthquake. A Byzantinefort was the last building phase from Antiquity.GB75129. Bronze dichalkon, Reinder series 6; Rogers 241, fig. 114; BCD Thessaly II 85, gF, rough, corrosion, weight 2.868 g, maximum diameter 15.4 mm, die axis 195o, Halos mint, 3rd century B.C.; obverse laureate head of Zeus right; reversePhrixos, nude but for cloak billowing behind him, clinging to neck and chest of ram flying right, AX monogram to upper left; ex Roma Numismatics e-sale 12 (1 Nov 2014), lot 268; ex Frank James Collection; $40.00 (€34.00)
Kibyra, Phrygia, c. 100 - 84 B.C.
Kibyra (Cibyra) near the modern town of Gölhisar in south-west Turkey, was possibly originally settled by Lydians. According to Strabo, the Lydian language was still being spoken by a multicultural population in the 1st century B.C.; thus Kibyra was the last place where the Lydian culture, by then extinct in Lydia proper, persevered. GB86109. Brass AE 10, SNG Cop 271; SNG München 284; SNG Tübingen 4079; BMC Phrygia p. 134, 20; SNGvA -, F, dark patina with red earthen highlighting, tight flan, weight 1.396 g, maximum diameter 10.3 mm, die axis 270o, Kibyra (near Gölhisar, Turkey) mint, c. 100 - 84 B.C.; obverse helmeted bust of Kibyras right, wearing Corinthian helmet; reverse humped bull butting right on ground line, KIBYPA in exergue; rare; $28.00 (€23.80)