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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Types ▸ SculptureView 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.


Ptolemaic Kingdom, 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; $180.00 (158.40)


Kaunos, Caria, c. 197 - 191 B.C. (or Later 2nd Century)

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On the Rosetta Stone, "The Memphis Decree" announces Ptolemy V's rule and ascension to godhood, and describes him as "like Horus." In "A Statue of a Hellenistic King," Journal of Hellenistic Studies, 33 (1913), C. Edgar attributes a statue very similar to the reverse figure to Ptolemy V: "[The statue] stands with right foot drawn back, the toes alone resting on the ground...His head is held erect and his gaze is turned slightly to his right. His shoulders are drawn up a little...[the upper part] unnaturally short in proportion to the lower part of the trunk...[The missing right] forearm was clear of the body. The [missing] left hand was raised and probably rested on a spear." We believe this type is from the among the last issues of Kaunos under Ptolemaic rule, struck after the 13 year old Ptolemy V came of age in 197/6 B.C., perhaps to commemorate his accession, and before he sold the city to the Rhodians for 200 talents of silver in 191 B.C.
GB87087. Bronze AE 16, SNGvA 8103; Lindgren III 425; Imhoof-Blumer KM I, p. 138, 1; BMC Caria -; SNG Cop -; SNG Keckman -; SNG Mnchen -, VF, green patina, well centered on a tight flan, a little porous/rough, tiny edge crack, weight 2.166 g, maximum diameter 15.6 mm, die axis 0o, Kaunos (Dalyan, Turkey) mint, c. 197 - 191 B.C. (or later 2nd century); obverse diademed and horned head of Alexander the Great right; reverse youth (Ptolemy V as Horus?) advancing right, nude, long lotus-tipped scepter transverse in left hand, right arm and index finger extended, snake before him coiled around scepter, K-AY (Kaunos) divided high across field, ΣΩ-TAΣ (magistrate) divided across center; very rare; $140.00 (123.20)


Hadrian, 117 - 138 A.D., Perga, Pamphylia

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Artemis is depicted here in the same pose as The Diana of Versailles, a slightly over life-size Roman marble statue from the 1st or 2nd century A.D., copying a lost Greek bronze original attributed to Leochares, c. 325 B.C. The sculpture also has a stag at her side. The sculpture may have come from a sanctuary at Nemi or possibly from Hadrian's Villa in Tivoli. In 1556, it was given by Pope Paul IV to Henry II of France, a subtle allusion to the king's mistress, Diane de Poitiers. It is now in the Muse du Louvre, Paris.
RP86567. Bronze AE 21, SNG BnF 400, Waddington 3345, SNG Cop -, SNGvA -, SNG Righetti -, gVF/aVF, nice green patina, attractive portrait, porous, areas of reverse slightly rough, weight 5.484 g, maximum diameter 21.1 mm, die axis 0o, Perga (15 km east of Antalya, Turkey) mint, 117 - 138 A.D.; obverse A∆PIANOC KAICAP, laureate draped cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse APTEMI∆OC ΠEPΓAIAC, Artemis standing right, bow in left hand, reaching with right hand for arrow in quiver on his shoulder, stag right on far side; from the David Cannon Collection, ex Beast Coins; rare; $120.00 (105.60)


Roman Republic, L. Marcius Philippus, 56 B.C.

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The Marcia gens claimed descent from Ancus Marcius, the fourth king of Rome, who constructed the first aqueduct. The reverse honors the moneyer's ancestor, Q. Marcius Rex, who constructed the Aqua Marcia in 144 B.C. The lituus on the obverse may refer to the augurate of another ancestor, L. Marcius Philippus. This moneyer was the stepfather of Octavian.
RR91016. Silver denarius, SRCV I 382, Sydenham 919, Crawford 425/1, RSC I Marcia 28, aVF, tight oval shaped flan, weight 3.667 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 56 B.C.; obverse diademed head of King Ancus Marcius right, lituus behind, ANCVS below; reverse equestrian statue of Q. Marcius Rex above the aqueduct, Aqua Marcia, flower below horse, AQVA MAR (MAR in monogram) within the arches of the aqueduct, PHILIPPVS downward on left; from the Eric J. Engstrom Collection; $110.00 (96.80)


Faustina Junior, Augusta 146 - Winter 175 A.D, Wife of Marcus Aurelius, Ankyra, Phrygia

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The image on the reverse resembles a 1st century A.D. sculpture of Artemis, the Lady of Ephesus, now at the Ephesus Archaeological Museum. 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.
RP89908. Bronze AE 19, RPC IV online T1727 (37 spec.); BMC Phrygia, p. 64, 33; SNG Cop 142; SNGvA 3436; SNG Mn 99; Weber 7021; Waddington 5644; Lindgren I A887B, VF, choice obverse, attractive portrait, dark green patina, weight 4.381 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 180o, Ankyra in Abbaitis mint, obverse ΦAVCTINAE CEBATH (clockwise from upper right), draped bust right, hair in a bun at the back; reverse ANKV-PANΩN (clockwise from upper right), cultus-statue of Ephesian Artemis standing facing, kalathos on head, flanked by stag on each side, extended arms with supports; $95.00 (83.60)


Pergamon, Mysia, c. 310 - 282 B.C.

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Pergamon, Mysia was located to the northwest of the modern city of Bergama, Turkey, 16 miles (26 km) from the Aegean Sea on a promontory on the north side of the Caicus (Bakircay) River. It was the capital of the Kingdom of Pergamon under the Attalid dynasty, 281-133 B.C. Pergamon is cited in the book of Revelation as one of the seven churches of Asia.
GS87695. Silver diobol, Von Fritze 10; BMC Mysia p. 111, 5 ff.; SNG Cop 317 ff.; SNGvA 1350; SNG BnF 1558 ff.; SNG Kayhan 64 ff.; SNG Delepierre 2534, aVF, light marks and scratches, porosity, off center, weight 1.194 g, maximum diameter 11.0 mm, die axis 0o, Pergamon (Bergama, Turkey) mint, c. 310 - 282 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing a Nemean Lion's scalp headdress; reverse cultus statue of Athena standing facing (Palladium), kalathos, drapery hanging over both shoulders, spear in right hand, shield in left hand with dangling fillet, ΠEPΓAM upward on left (off flan); $80.00 (70.40)


Argos, Argolis, Peloponnesos, Greece, c. 280 - 260 B.C.

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Argos is located in the eastern Peloponnese, very near the Aegean Sea. Inhabitants worshiped Hera. Sparta was a close neighbor to the south but the city was a nominal ally of Athens in the continuous conflict between Athens and Sparta in 5th century B.C.
GB85883. Bronze dichalkon, BCD Peloponnesos 1102; Nemea 1644 - 1646, BMC Peloponnesus p. 144, 106; SNG Cop 57; HGC 5 697 (S), VF, green patina, rough corrosion, weight 2.990 g, maximum diameter 17.1 mm, die axis 0o, Argos mint, c. 280 - 260 B.C.; obverse head of Hera right, wearing polos inscribed APΓE; reverse Palladion statuette of Athena advancing left, helmeted and draped, shield on raised left arm, hurling javelin with right hand; ex J. Cohen Collection; scarce; $55.00 (48.40)


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D., Rabbathmoba-Areopolis, Provincia Arabia

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Rabbathmoba, probably the Biblical Ir-Moab, was conquered by Alexander Jannaeus. Its ruins are 18 kilometers north of Kerak in Jordan.
RP84127. Bronze AE 27, Sofaer 5; Spijkerman p. 264, 8; cf. Rosenberger IV 1-3 (bust and legend variations, etc.); SNG ANS 1414 (same), VF, no patina, weight 6.492 g, maximum diameter 27.4 mm, die axis 180o, Rabbathmoba-Areopolis mint, obverse AVT KAIC Λ CEΠ - CEOVHPOC ΠEB, laureate bust right; reverse RABBAΘM-WBHNWN APHC, cult statue of Ares standing facing in military dress, sword erect in right hand, spear and round shield in left hand, on platform with four legs set on base; rare; $48.00 (42.24)







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