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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Nautical & Marine||View Options:  |  |  |   

Nautical & Marine Themes on Ancient Coins

Here we include coins that depict Poseidon, Neptune, ships, anchors, prows, dolphins, sea eagles, crabs, scallops, and all things related to the sea.

Nero, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D.

|Nero|, |Nero,| |13| |October| |54| |-| |9| |June| |68| |A.D.|, |sestertius|
Annona was the goddess of harvest and Ceres the goddess of agriculture. This reverse refers to the transportation of grain by sea from the provinces (especially from Africa) and its distribution to the people. By the Code De Naviculariis, the mariners appointed to carry grain from Egypt could be executed if they did not keep the proper course; and if they did not sail in the proper season, the master of the vessel would be banished.
SH94037. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC I 137, BMCRE I 128, Mac Dowall WCN 119, BnF II 273 var. (NERO CLAVDIVS...), Cohen I 24 var. (same), Hunter I -, SRCV I -, VF, well centered on a broad flan, nice green patina, pin-prick pitting, weight 26.678 g, maximum diameter 35.3 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 65 A.D.; obverse NERO CLAVD CAESAR AVG GER P M TR P IMP P P, laureate bust right wearing aegis; reverse ANNONA AVGVSTI CERES, Annona standing right, right hand on hip, cornucopia in left hand, facing Ceres enthroned left, holding grain-ears in right hand, torch in left hand, modius on garlanded altar in center between them, ship's stern in background, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; ex Pegasi Numismatics; $1210.00 SALE |PRICE| $980.00


Arados, Phoenicia, Unknown King "S", c. 348 - 339 B.C.

|Phoenicia|, |Arados,| |Phoenicia,| |Unknown| |King| |"S",| |c.| |348| |-| |339| |B.C.|, |stater|
Early coins of Arados have the Aramaic letters mem aleph (read from right to left) above the galley, abbreviating Melech Arad (meaning King of Arados), sometimes followed by the king's initial, and sometimes by the Phoenician regnal year date.
GS94263. Silver stater, cf. BMC Phoenicia p. 10, 59; Betlyon 26, pl. 7, 6; Rouvier III p. 132, 9; SNG Cop 23; HGC 10 34 (R1), VF, attractive toning, centered on a tight flan, highest points not fully struck, die wear, weight 9.767 g, maximum diameter 20.7 mm, die axis 270o, Arados (Arwad, Syria) mint, c. 348 - 339 B.C.; obverse laureate bearded head of Ba'al Arwad right; reverse galley right, figure of Pataikos right on prow, row of shields on bulwark, Phoenician letters mem aleph samen (Melech Arad S - King of Arados S) from right to left above, three waves below; ex Gorny & Mosch online auction 267 (17 Oct 2019), lot 3298; ex Shlomo Moussaieff Collection (London, 1948 - 1980s); $400.00 SALE |PRICE| $360.00


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

|Antoninus| |Pius|, |Antoninus| |Pius,| |August| |138| |-| |7| |March| |161| |A.D.|, |dupondius|
Annona was worshiped in Rome as the goddess who prospered the year's supply of grain. She was represented on an altar in the capital. The three principal granaries of Rome were Sicily, Egypt, and the African provinces. Annona civilis was the grain which purchased each year by the Roman state, then imported and put into storage, reserved and distributed for the subsistence of the people. Annona militaris was grain appropriated to the use of an army during a campaign.
RB92442. Orichalcum dupondius, RIC III 993; Strack III 1129; BMCRE IV p. 342, * (refs Strack); Hunter II 342; SRCV II -; Cohen II -, gVF, superb portrait and reverse style, attractive toned brass surfaces, marks, some porosity, tight flan, weight 11.118 g, maximum diameter 24.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 156 - 157 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P IMP II, radiate head right; reverse TR POT XXI COS IIII (holder of Tribunitian power 21 years, consul 4 times), Annona standing slightly left, head left, two stalks of grain downward in right hand, modius at feet left overflowing with grain, rudder in left hand resting on prow at feet on right, S - C (senatus consulto) divided across field at center; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $300.00 SALE |PRICE| $270.00


Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 A.D.

|Hadrian|, |Hadrian,| |11| |August| |117| |-| |10| |July| |138| |A.D.|, |as|
Hadrian toured Greece, 124 - 125, made a detour to Sicily, and returned to Italy in 126. He left again in 128 to visit Africa. Hadrian returned to Italy in the summer of 128 but his stay was brief and he set off on another tour that would last three years. Hadrian's galley reverse types refer to his travels to the provinces and his safe return.
RB92428. Copper as, BMCRE III 1342, Hunter II 422, RIC II-3 820, SRCV II 3682, Cohen II 446 var. (no drapery), aVF, nice portrait, nice galley, well centered, light deposits, scattered light corrosion, part of obv. legend weak, weight 10.699 g, maximum diameter 27.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 125 - 128 A.D.; obverse HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS, laureate bust right, slight drapery on left shoulder; reverse COS III, galley right with rowers; ram, acrostolium, and vexillum (or furled sail) at prow; rudder and arched cabin at stern; S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $150.00 SALE |PRICE| $135.00


Domitian, 13 September 81 - 18 September 96 A.D.

|Domitian|, |Domitian,| |13| |September| |81| |-| |18| |September| |96| |A.D.|, |denarius|
In 79 A.D., Mount Vesuvius spawned a deadly cloud of volcanic gas, stones, ash and fumes to a height of 33 km (20.5 miles), spewing molten rock and pulverized pumice at the rate of 1.5 million tons per second, ultimately releasing a hundred thousand times the thermal energy released by the Hiroshima bombing. The towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum were obliterated and buried underneath massive pyroclastic surges and lava. An estimated 16,000 people died from the eruption. Historians have learned about the eruption from the eyewitness account of Pliny the Younger, a Roman administrator and poet.
RS94499. Silver denarius, RIC II-1 V1081; RSC II 393; BMCRE II V269; BnF III V240; Hunter I p. 248, 21; SRCV I 2643, F, interesting portrait, toned, centered on a crowded flan, scratches, weight 3.150 g, maximum diameter 17.7 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, as caesar under Vespasian, 79 A.D.; obverse CAESAR AVG F DOMITIANVS COS VI, laureate head right; reverse PRINCEPS IVVENTVTIS (the first of youths), clasped hands holding legionary eagle on galley prow left; $150.00 SALE |PRICE| $135.00


Histiaia, North Euboea, Greece, c. 267 - 146 B.C.

|Euboia|, |Histiaia,| |North| |Euboea,| |Greece,| |c.| |267| |-| |146| |B.C.|, |tetrobol|
Histiaia, named after its patron nymph, commanded a strategic position overlooking the narrows leading to the North Euboian Gulf. In the Iliad, Homer describes the surrounding plain as "rich in vines." It was pro-Macedonian during the 3rd century, for which it was attacked in 208 and captured in 199 by a Roman-Pergamene force. The Roman garrison was removed in 194. It appears Histiaia continued to prosper but little is known of its later history. Finds at the site indicate it continued to be inhabited in Roman, Byzantine, and later times.
GS95244. Silver tetrobol, cf. BCD Euboia 377 ff.; SNG Cop 517 ff.; BMC Central p. 128, 34 ff.; SGCV I 2498, VF, nice style, toned, tight flan, bumps and marks, weight 2.055 g, maximum diameter 14.6 mm, die axis 90o, Histiaea mint, c. 267 - 146 B.C.; obverse head of nymph Histiaia right, wreathed in vine, hair rolled, wearing earring and necklace; reverse IΣTI−AIEΩN (counterclockwise, starting below), nymph Histiaia seated right on stern of a galley, naval standard in left hand, ornate apluster; ex Forum (2018); $140.00 SALE |PRICE| $126.00


Roman Republic, Anonymous, 211 - 206 B.C.

|before| |150| |B.C.|, |Roman| |Republic,| |Anonymous,| |211| |-| |206| |B.C.|, |as|
Janus (or Ianus) was the god of gates, doors, doorways, beginnings and endings. He is most often depicted as having two faces or heads, facing in opposite directions. Janus is believed to be one of the few major deities in Roman mythology that does not have a Greek origin or counterpart.
RR88221. Bronze as, Crawford 56/2, Sydenham 143, BMCRR Rome 373 ff., SRCV I 627, F, green patina, crack, porous, weight 29.386 g, maximum diameter 33.3 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 211 - 206 B.C.; obverse laureate head of bearded Janus, I (mark of value) above, countermark: head right in round punch; reverse war galley prow right, I (mark of value) above, ROMA in exergue; ex Moneta Numismatic Services; $130.00 SALE |PRICE| $117.00


Roman Republic, Unofficial, c. 169 - 91 B.C.

|before| |150| |B.C.|, |Roman| |Republic,| |Unofficial,| |c.| |169| |-| |91| |B.C.|, |quadrans|
Crawford notes, "The very common quadrantes with M and N (as Milan 351) are clearly unofficial."
RR79715. Copper quadrans, cf. Milan 351 (from Crawford appendix p. 309 unofficial issues of bronze coins), Sydenham -, VF, centered on a tight flan, light marks,, weight 4.182 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 135o, unofficial mint, c. 169 - 91 B.C.; obverse head of Hercules right, wearing Nemean Lion scalp headdress, three pellets behind; reverse prow right, ROMA below, three pellets before, M above; ex Forum (2006), ex Goodman collection; $125.00 SALE |PRICE| $113.00


Roman Republic, Cn. Gellius, c. 138 B.C.

|150-100| |B.C.|, |Roman| |Republic,| |Cn.| |Gellius,| |c.| |138| |B.C.|, |quadrans|
In 138 B.C., Tautalus, chieftain of the proto-Celtic Lusitanian tribe from western Hispania, surrendered to the Romans. An Iberian town by the river Turia was refounded as the Roman colony Valentia Edetanorum and about two thousand Roman colonists settled there.
RR92994. Bronze quadrans, Crawford 232/4, Sydenham 435b (very scarce), BMCRR I Rome 923, RBW Collection 966, SRCV I 1139, gF, tight flan, earthen deposits, scratches, weight 5.334 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, c. 138 B.C.; obverse head of Hercules right, wearing Nemean lion-skin headdress, three pellets (mark of value) behind; reverse prow right, CN. GEL above, ROMA in exergue; very scarce; $110.00 SALE |PRICE| $99.00


Roman Republic, M. Marcius Mn.f., 134 B.C.

|150-100| |B.C.|, |Roman| |Republic,| |M.| |Marcius| |Mn.f.,| |134| |B.C.|, |quadrans|
The First Servile War, 135 - 132 B.C., was an unsuccessful slave rebellion against the Roman Republic. The war was prompted by slave revolts in Enna on the island of Sicily. It was led by Eunus, a former slave claiming to be a prophet, and Cleon, a Cilician (from present-day Turkey) who became Eunus's military commander. After some minor battles won by the slaves, a larger Roman army arrived in Sicily and defeated the rebels.
RR88355. Bronze quadrans, Crawford 245/3, Sydenham 501a, BMCRR I Rome 1017, RBW Collection 1011, SRCV I 1151, aF, dark green patina, corrosion, edge crack, weight 5.255 g, maximum diameter 19.1 mm, die axis 315o, Rome mint, 134 B.C.; obverse head of Hercules right, wearing Nemean Lion's scalp headdress, three pellets behind; reverse prow of galley right, M MARCI / MN F (MAR and MNF ligate) in two lines above, three pellets before, ROMA in exergue; ex Rudnik Numismatics, with an old collector tag dated 30 November 1932, with the cost noted as $.25; $105.00 SALE |PRICE| $95.00




  



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