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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Types| ▸ |Sculpture||View Options:  |  |  | 

Sculpture on Ancient Coins

Many of the images of gods and goddesses on ancient coins were derived from sculptures. The coins on this page depict known sculptures or images that are clearly taken from sculpture.

Eumeneia, Phrygia, c. 244 - 249 A.D.

|Eumeneia|, |Eumeneia,| |Phrygia,| |c.| |244| |-| |249| |A.D.||AE| |23|
Eumenia, Phrygia was founded by Attalus II Philadelphus (159 - 138 B.C.) at the source of the Cludrus, near the Glaucus, and named after his brother Eumenes. Numerous inscriptions and many coins remain to show that Eumenia was an important and prosperous city under Roman rule. As early as the third century its population was in great part Christian, and it seems to have suffered much during the persecution of Diocletian. The remains of Eumenia are located in Denizli Province, Turkey on the shore of Lake Isikli near Civril.
RP97255. Bronze AE 23, RPC Online VIII U20608 (8 spec., 2 var.); BMC Phrygia p. 214, 24; Lindgren III 583; SNG Cop 389 var. (leg. from upper r.); SNGvA 3586 var. (same), VF, green patina, rough areas, scattered porosity, weight 7.002 g, maximum diameter 23.0 mm, die axis 180o, Eumeneia (near Civril, Turkey) mint, reign of Philip I, c. 244 - 249 A.D.; obverse IEPA CVNKΛHTOC (clockwise from the lower left), bare-headed, draped bust of the Senate right; reverse EVMENEΩ-N AXAIΩN, cult image of Artemis Ephesia standing facing, wearing kalathos and veil, with arm supports, between two stags standing facing outward with heads turned back towards the goddess; ex Savoca Numismatik, silver auction 82 (26 Jul 2020), lot 247; this coin is the primary plate coin for the type in RPC Online VIII; rare; $135.00 SALE PRICE $122.00


Ephesos, Ionia, 133 - 88 B.C.

|Ephesos|, |Ephesos,| |Ionia,| |133| |-| |88| |B.C.||stater|
The Ephesians believe that Artemis was born in Ephesus and her temple at Ephesus, the Artemision, was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Antipater of Sidon described the temple in his list of the world's Seven Wonder: "I have set eyes on the wall of lofty Babylon on which is a road for chariots, and the statue of Zeus by the Alpheus, and the hanging gardens, and the colossus of the Sun, and the huge labour of the high pyramids, and the vast tomb of Mausolus; but when I saw the house of Artemis that mounted to the clouds, those other marvels lost their brilliancy, and I said, "Lo, apart from Olympus, the Sun never looked on aught so grand."
SH87300. Gold stater, Jenkins Hellenistic, pl. B, 6; Montagu I 567; SNGvA 1869 var. (control); Head HN p. 69, 2 ff. var. (control); Gulbenkian 985 var. (same); SNG Cop -, Choice gVF, well centered and struck, attractive style, die wear, bumps and marks, weight 8.463 g, maximum diameter 21.1 mm, die axis 0o, Ephesos mint, c. 123 - 119 B.C.; obverse draped bust of Artemis right, wearing stephane and single-pendant earring, hair drawn together and tied in the back, bow and quiver over shoulder; reverse Ephesian Artemis cult statue facing, kalathos on head, fore-arms outward horizontal at sides, fillet hanging from each hand, E−Φ flanking head, thymiaterion (control) inner right between legs and fillet; rare; SOLD


Macedonian Kingdom, Demetrius I Poliorketes, 306 - 283 B.C.

|Macedonian| |Kingdom|, |Macedonian| |Kingdom,| |Demetrius| |I| |Poliorketes,| |306| |-| |283| |B.C.||tetradrachm|
The bull's horns suggest Demetrius' relationship to Poseidon is the same as Alexander's to Zeus Ammon. The portrait is individualized, but evokes the image of Alexander. Demetrios was the first to assimilate elements of Alexander's deified portrait and the first living ruler to portray himself as a god on coins.
SH55017. Silver tetradrachm, Newell p. 142, 153; SNG Alpha Bank -, SNG Berry-, SNG Ashmolean -, SNG Munchen -, SNG Cop -, VF, weight 16.741 g, maximum diameter 28.6 mm, die axis 225o, Euboea, uncertain mint, c. 290 - 287 B.C.; obverse Demetrios diademed head right with horns of a bull, the animal sacred to Demetrios' patron deity, Poseidon; reverse Poseidon standing left, right foot on rock, trident in left (apparently inspired by the Lateran Poseidon, a statue by Lysippos, court sculptor of Alexander), monogram inner left, BAΣIΛEΩΣ (κινγ) δοωνωαρδ ον ριγητ, ∆HMHTPIOY downward on right; rare; SOLD


Vespasian, 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D.

|Vespasian|, |Vespasian,| |1| |July| |69| |-| |24| |June| |79| |A.D.||aureus|
The heifer depicted on this coin represents one of the famous works of Athenian 5th century B.C. sculptor Myron, considered by the ancients to be one of the finest artists. After Actium, Octavian shipped four sculptures to Rome to decorate his new temple of Apollo. To commemorate the event, gold and silver coins (of outstanding hellenistic style) were struck. After the great reconstruction of Rome, Vespasian relocated the heifers to the temple of Pax, where they were still standing in the time of historian Procopius.
SH42155. Gold aureus, RIC II-1 842; BMCRE I 178; SRCV I -, aVF, weight 7.033 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 225o, Rome mint, 76 A.D.; obverse IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG, laureate head left; reverse COS VII, heifer right; ex Ponterio; SOLD


Augustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D.

|Augustus|, |Augustus,| |16| |January| |27| |B.C.| |-| |19| |August| |14| |A.D.||denarius|
The inscriptions tell us this coin was dedicated by the senate and people of Rome to Augustus for improving the roads. Augustus improved many roads around Rome and personally financed and directed work on the Via Flaminia and the Milvian Bridge over the Tiber, where he erected statues and triumphal arches in his own honor. In Hispania, the old via Herculea was renamed Via Augusta shortly after Augustus' stay in Tarraco in 27 B.C., perhaps indicating he made improvements to the road during his visit.
SH66803. Silver denarius, RIC I 142 (R4), RSC I 235, BMCRE I 435, SRCV I -, VF, slightly grainy, weight 3.374 g, maximum diameter 17.6 mm, die axis 180o, Tarraco(?) mint, 17 - 16 B.C.; obverse S P Q R AVGVSTO CAESARI, bare head left; reverse QVOD VIAE MVN SVNT, legend in four lines between two arches atop a viaduct, each bearing an equestrian statue facing center and a trophy; among the very rarest Augustus' denarii; extremely rare; SOLD


Julia Mamaea, Augusta 13 March 222 - February or March 235 A.D., Tomis, Moesia Inferior

|Tomis|, |Julia| |Mamaea,| |Augusta| |13| |March| |222| |-| |February| |or| |March| |235| |A.D.,| |Tomis,| |Moesia| |Inferior||triassarion|
Hecate or Hekate is an underworld goddess of archaic origin associated with magic, childbirth, nurturing the young, gates and walls, doorways, crossroads, lunar lore, torches and dogs. During the Hellenistic period, she appeared as a three-faced goddess associated with ghosts, witchcraft, and curses. Today she is popular with modern witches and neo-pagans.
SH56016. Bronze triassarion, AMNG I/II 3296, Varbanov I 5453, aVF, rough surfaces, weight 7.322 g, maximum diameter 24.4 mm, die axis 225o, Tomis (Constanta, Romania) mint, obverse IOVΛIA MAMAIA AVΓ, bare-headed, draped bust right; reverse MHTPO ΠONTOV TOMEΩC, bust of Hekate triformis set on column, her six arms holding her torches of lunar fire, serpents of immortality and knives of midwifery, Γ (mark of value) in left; rare; SOLD


Plotina, Augusta 105 - 129 A.D., Wife of Trajan, Ankyra in Abbaitis, Phrygia

|Other| |Phrygia|, |Plotina,| |Augusta| |105| |-| |129| |A.D.,| |Wife| |of| |Trajan,| |Ankyra| |in| |Abbaitis,| |Phrygia||AE| |21|
Ankyra, the chief city of the district Abbaitis in western Phrygia, should not be confused with Ankyra in Galatia, the modern capital of Turkey.

The image on the reverse resembles sculptures of Artemis, the Lady of Ephesus, including one at the Ephesus Archaeological Museum and another at the Vatican. The Ionians worshiped Artemis as a mother goddess, akin to the Phrygian Cybele. Her cult image was adorned with multiple rounded breast like protuberances on her chest. They have been variously interpreted as accessory breasts, eggs, grapes, acorns, or even bull testes. Excavation at the site of the Artemision in 1987/8 found a multitude of tear-shaped amber beads that once adorned the ancient wooden xoanon.
Artemis
RP99610. Bronze AE 21, RPC Online III 2536 (6 spec.); BMC Phrygia p. 61, 21; Waddington 5638; SNG Cop -; SNGvA -; SNG Munchen -; SNG Tb -; SNG Leypold -, aF, green patina, closed flan crack, reverse scratches, scattered small shallow pitting, off center, weight 5.108 g, maximum diameter 21.4 mm, die axis 0o, Ankyra in Abbaitis (Ankara, Turkey) mint, 112 - Aug 117 A.D.; obverse ΠΛΩTEINA CEBACTH (from upper right), draped bust right, hair in plait behind; reverse ANKYPANΩN EΠI ΛOVKIOY (Ankyra, struck under magistrate Loikios), cult statue of Artemis standing facing, kalathos on head, arms extended with supports, flanked by two stags; very rare; SOLD


Bargylia, Caria, 1st Century B.C.

|Other| |Caria|, |Bargylia,| |Caria,| |1st| |Century| |B.C.||AE| |12|
According to myth, Bargylia, on the coast of Caria between Iasos and Myndus, was founded by Bellerophon in honor of his companion Bargylos, who had been killed by a kick from Pegasus. Near Bargylia was the Temple of Artemis Kindyas. Strabo reports the local belief that rain would fall around the temple but never touch it.
GB82943. Bronze AE 12, SNG Cop 176, VF, weight 2.197 g, maximum diameter 12.2 mm, die axis 270o, Bargylia (Bogazici, Turkey) mint, obverse forepart of Pegasos right; reverse BAPΓYΛIHTΩN, statue of Artemis Kindyas; SOLD







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