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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Gods, Olympians| ▸ |Aphrodite or Venus||View Options:  |  |  |   

Aphrodite or Venus

Goddess of love, beauty and sexuality. Daughter of Zeus and Dione or, in other traditions, of Uranus. Symbols include the dove.


Ambrakia, Epeiros, Greece, c. 456 - 426 B.C.

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Ambracia (modern Arta) was founded as a Corinthian colony 650 - 625 B.C. Its economy was based on farmlands, fishing, timber for shipbuilding, and the exporting the produce of Epirus. In 433, Ambracia fought with Corinth at the Battle of Sybota, against the rebellious Corinthian colony of Corcyra (modern Corfu). Ambracia was besieged by Philip II and forced to accept a Macedonian garrison in 338. In 294, after 43 years of semi-autonomy, Ambracia was given by the son of Cassander to Pyrrhus, king of Epirus, who made it his capital, and adorned it with palace, temples and theaters. In the wars of Philip V of Macedon and the Epirotes against the Aetolian league (220-205) it changed sides and ultimately joined the Aetolians. Against Rome, it stood a stubborn siege, including the first known use of poison gas, against Roman siege tunnels. It was captured and plundered by Marcus Fulvius Nobilior in 189 B.C., after which it gradually fell into insignificance.Epirus and Environs

GS93836. Silver stater, Pegasi 22 (same dies), SNG Cop -, VF, slightly off center on an irregular flan generally favoring the types, reverse double struck, light etching, weight 8.036 g, maximum diameter 21.6 mm, die axis 180o, Ambrakia (Arta, Greece) mint, c. 456 - 426 B.C.; obverse Pegasos flying left, straight wings; reverse helmeted head of Athena (or Aphrodite) right, crowned by Nike above flying left, A behind, all within an incuse square; ex Savoca blue auction 5 (24 Feb 18), lot 302; $270.00 (237.60)


Ionia, Phokaia, c. 360 - 300 B.C.

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GS89699. Silver tetartemorion, apparently unpublished, four specimens known from auctions, including CNG e-auction 378 (13 Jul 2016), lot 160, VF, well centered, toned, slightly grainy, weight 0.280 g, maximum diameter 7.4 mm, die axis 270o, Phokaia (Foca, Turkey) mint, c. 360 - 300 B.C.; obverse female (Aphrodite?) head left, hair rolled at back; reverse head and neck of a griffin left, with spiked crest, within a linear square border; ex Beast Coins; extremely rare; $250.00 (220.00)


The Sileraioi, Sicily, c. 357 - 330 B.C.

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Sileraioi was not a city. The Sileraians were Campanian mercenaries who took their name from their proximity to the river Silaros. These rare coins have been found at the site of their settlement, Cozzo Mususino, a natural strong-hold in north central Sicily. The coins are often overstruck on coins from Syracuse minted c. 375 - 345 B.C.
SH68704. Bronze Calciati p. 301, 2; HGC 2 1243 (R1); SNG Cop -; SNG ANS -; SNG Mnchen -; SNG Morcom -, VF/F, reverse rough, weight 7.521 g, maximum diameter 20.6 mm, die axis 90o, Sileraian mint, c. 340 - 330 B.C.; obverse ΣI−ΛEPAIΩ−N (retrograde counterclockwise from 3:00), man-faced bull forepart charging right; reverse SIL (retrograde, upward behind), warrior advancing right, spear in right hand, shield in left; rare; $150.00 (132.00)


Lucilla, Augusta c. 164 - 182 A.D., Wife of Lucius Verus

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The story of Commodus and Lucilla in the movie Gladiator was not historically accurate but the characters were based, in part, on the real emperor and his sister. Lucilla did plot to assassinate her brother Commodus and the plot did fail. Commodus actually did fight as a gladiator. But Maximus, entirely fictional, was not there to save Lucilla. Commodus won every time. Lucilla was banished to Capri and executed a year later.
RB92462. Bronze as, RIC III 1766, Cohen III 75, BMCRE IV 1224, Hunter II 60, SRCV II 5524 var. (obv. leg.), VF, well centered, olive patina, legends weak, edge flaking, weight 10.336 g, maximum diameter 26.1 mm, die axis 210o, Rome mint, 164 - 166 A.D.; obverse LVCILLA AVGVSTA, draped bust right, hair elaborately waived and knotted in chignon low at back; reverse VENVS, Venus standing left, apple in extended right, long grounded scepter in left, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field below center; from the Errett Bishop Collection, ex B. A. Seaby Numismatists (69, Great Portland Street, London, W.1.); scarce; $150.00 (132.00)


Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Ptolemy III Euergetes, 246 - 222 B.C.

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Ptolemy III Euergetes was the third ruler of the Ptolemaic dynasty in Egypt. He promoted the translation of Jewish scriptures into Greek as the Septuagint. Due to a falling out at the Seleucid court, his eldest sister Berenice Phernophorus was murdered along with her infant son. In response, he invaded Syria, occupied Antioch, and even reached Babylon. This war, the Third Syrian War, is cryptically alluded to in Daniel XI 7-9. The Ptolemaic kingdom reached the height of its power during his reign.
GP85912. Bronze trihemiobol, Lorber CPE B447; Svoronos 1005; SNG Cop 644; Weiser 107; BMC Ptolemies p. 52, 57; SNG Milan 199; Weber 854; McClean 9789; Noeske -; Hosking -, VF, dark patina, well centered, some red earthen deposits, porosity/light corrosion, central cavities, weight 17.135 g, maximum diameter 28.5 mm, die axis 0o, Cyprus, Paphos mint, series 5; obverse diademed head of Zeus-Ammon right; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ (King Ptolemy), cult statue of Aphrodite standing facing on base, wearing polos, chiton and peplos, right arm across breast, left arm downward away from side; $140.00 (123.20)


Livia and Julia, Pergamon, Mysia, c. 10 - 2 B.C.

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Julia was Augustus' only natural child, the daughter of his second wife Scribonia. She was born the same day that Octavian divorced Scribonia, to marry Livia. Julia's tragic destiny was to serve as a pawn in her father's dynastic plans. At age two, she was betrothed to Mark Antony's ten-year-old son, but the fathers' hostility ended the engagement. At age 14, she was married to her cousin but he died two years later. In 21 B.C., Julia married Agrippa, nearly 25 years her elder, Augustus' most trusted general and friend. Augustus had been advised, "You have made him so great that he must either become your son-in-law or be slain." Agrippa died suddenly in 12 B.C. and Julia was married in 11 B.C. to Tiberius. During her marriages to Agrippa and Tiberius Julia took lovers. In 2 B.C., Julia was arrested for adultery and treason. Augustus declared her marriage and void. He also asserted in public that she had been plotting against his own life. Reluctant to execute her, Augustus had her exiled, with no men in sight, forbidden even to drink wine. Scribonia, Julia's mother, accompanied her into exile. Five years later, she was allowed to move to Rhegium but Augustus never forgave her. When Tiberius became emperor, he cut off her allowance and put her in solitary confinement in one room in her house. Within months she died from malnutrition.
RP89139. Bronze AE 18, RPC I 2359; SNG Cop 467; BMC Mysia p. 139, 248; AMC I 1229; McClean 7718; SNG Paris -; SNGvA -, aVF, closed flan crack, earthen encrustation, weight 4.195 g, maximum diameter 17.5 mm, die axis 180o, Pergamon (Bergama, Turkey) mint, grammateus Charinos, c. 10 - 3 B.C.; obverse ΛIBIAN HPAN CAPINOΣ, draped bust of Livia (as Hera) right; reverse IOVΛIAN AΦPO∆ITHN, draped bust of Julia (as Aphrodite) right; $130.00 (114.40)


Galeria Valeria, Augusta, June 293(?) - 311 A.D., Second Wife of Galerius

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Venus (Aphrodite) can be faulted for the Trojan War. Upset that she was not invited to a wedding, she went anyway and maliciously left a golden apple inscribed "For the fairest" on the banquet table. The goddesses, as Aphrodite expected, argued who was the rightful possessor of this prize. It was determined the most handsome mortal in the world, a noble Trojan youth named Paris, would decide. Each of the three finalists offered Paris a bribe. Hera promised he would rule the world. Athena said she would make him victorious in battle. Aphrodite guaranteed the love of the most beautiful woman in the world. This was Helen, who was married to the king of Sparta. Paris awarded the golden apple to Aphrodite. Aphrodite enabled Paris to elope with Helen, Helen of Troy. Helen's husband raised a Greek army to retrieve his wife, starting the Trojan War.
RT91453. Billon follis, Hunter V 9 (also 2nd officina), RIC VI Heraclea 43, SRCV IV 14593, Cohen VII 10, VF, well centered, dark brown tone, weight 4.755 g, maximum diameter 25.6 mm, die axis 0o, 4th officina, Heraclea (Marmara Ereglisi, Turkey) mint, c. 309 - 310 A.D.; obverse GAL VALERIA AVG, draped bust right, wearing stephane; reverse VENERI VICTRICI, Venus standing facing, head left, raising apple in right hand, raising drapery over shoulder with left hand, HTB in exergue; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection, ex Pegasi Coins; $130.00 (114.40)


Lucilla, Augusta c. 164 - 182 A.D., Wife of Lucius Verus

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Venus (Aphrodite) can be faulted for the Trojan War. Upset that she was not invited to a wedding, she went anyway and maliciously left a golden apple inscribed "For the fairest" on the banquet table. The goddesses, as Aphrodite expected, argued who was the rightful possessor of this prize. It was determined the most handsome mortal in the world, a noble Trojan youth named Paris, would decide. Each of the three finalists offered Paris a bribe. Hera promised he would rule the world. Athena said she would make him victorious in battle. Aphrodite guaranteed the love of the most beautiful woman in the world. This was Helen, who was married to the king of Sparta. Paris awarded the golden apple to Aphrodite. Aphrodite enabled Paris to elope with Helen, Helen of Troy. Helen's husband raised a Greek army to retrieve his wife, starting the Trojan War.
RS92464. Silver denarius, RIC III 784, BMCRE IV 322, RSC II 70, SRCV II 5491, Cohen 70, VF, toned, flow lines, mild die wear, slightly off center on a broad flan, edge cracks, weight 2.860 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 164 - 166 A.D.; obverse LVCILLA AVG ANTONINI AVG F, draped bust right, hair waived and knotted in chignon low at back; reverse VENVS, Venus standing left, apple in right, long scepter in left; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $110.00 (96.80)


Faustina Junior, Augusta 146 - Winter 175/176 A.D., Daughter of Antoninus Pius, Wife of Marcus Aurelius

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Faustina II was the daughter, wife, and mother of emperors and empresses. When she gave birth to the first of many children she was given the title of Augusta, which for a time made her superior in rank to her husband. She was a devoted wife and mother and accompanied her husband on all his military campaigns.
RS93045. Silver denarius, RIC III AP495a, RSC II 15, BMCRE IV AP1099, SRCV II 4700, VF, nice portrait, flow lines, mild die wear, victorolia unstruck (filled die), weight 3.190 g, maximum diameter 17.6 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, struck under Antoninus Pius, 157 - 161 A.D.; obverse FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, draped bust right with head bare, hair waved and coiled on back of head; reverse AVGVSTI PII FIL (daughter of the pius emperor), Venus standing left, Victory in right hand, resting left hand on shield set on helmet on the ground; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $100.00 (88.00)


Laodicea ad Lycus, Phrygia, c. 200 - 133 B.C.

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Laodicea on the Lycus was on the river Lycus (Curuksu), in Lydia, later the Roman Province of Phrygia Pacatiana, now near the modern city of Denizli, Turkey. It was home to one of the Seven churches of Asia in the Book of Revelation. In 2013 the archaeological site was identified as a of World Heritage Site. Its ruins attest to its former greatness. Its many buildings include a stadium, baths, temples, a gymnasium, theaters, and a bouleuterion (Senate House). On the eastern side, the line of the ancient wall may be distinctly traced, with the remains of the Ephesus gate; there are streets traversing the town, flanked by colonnades and numerous pedestals. North of the town, towards the Lycus, are many sarcophagi, with their covers lying near them, partly embedded in the ground, and all having been long since rifled. Laodicea
GB91507. Bronze AE 16, BMC Phrygia p. 284, 29; SNG Cop -; SNGvA -; Lindgren -, aVF, dark patina rubbed to bare bronze on highest points, reverse slightly off center, weight 3.437 g, maximum diameter 15.7 mm, die axis 0o, Laodicea ad Lycum (near Denizli, Turkey) mint, c. 200 - 133 B.C.; obverse draped bust of Aphrodite right, wearing stephane, hair in a bun at the back; reverse Aphrodite standing slightly left, head left, draped in long chiton dove in extended right hand, rose on stem in lower left field, ΛAO∆IKEΩN downward on right; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; scarce; $95.00 (83.60)




  



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Aphrodite or Venus