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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.


Licinius I, 11 November 308 - 18 September 324 A.D.

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Hercules is depicted in the same pose as the Farnese Hercules, a massive marble sculpture, which depicts a muscular yet weary Hercules leaning on his club, which has his lion-skin draped over it. He has just performed the last of The Twelve Labors, which is suggested by the apples of the Hesperides he holds behind his back. The Farnese Hercules is probably an enlarged copy made in the early third century A.D., signed by Glykon, from an original by Lysippos that would have been made in the fourth century B.C. The copy was made for the Baths of Caracalla in Rome (dedicated in 216 A.D.), where it was recovered in 1546. Today it is in Naples National Archaeological Museum. The statue was well-liked by the Romans, and copies have been found in many Roman palaces and gymnasiums. It is one of the most famous sculptures of antiquity, and has fixed the image of the mythic hero in the human imagination.Farnese Hercules

RL91319. Billon follis, cf. Cohen VII 59 (obv. legend), RIC VI 68 (Maximinus II), SRCV IV 15200 (Antioch); references list this rev. for Licinius only at Antioch, Choice EF, excellent centering and strike, superb style, highlighting patina, light marks, scattered minor porosity, weight 5.020 g, maximum diameter 22.2 mm, die axis 0o, 4th officina, Nicomedia mint, 313 - 317 A.D.; obverse IMP C VAL LICIN LICINIVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse HERCVLI VICTORI, Hercules leaning right on club, on top of which are lion skins, ∆ left, SMN in exergue; although unpublished in references examined by Forum we know of eight other specimens; rare; $320.00 (281.60)


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)


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)


Elagabalus, 16 May 218 - 11 March 222 A.D., Pella, Macedonia

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Pan is depicted in the pose of the life-size marble statue known as the Barberini Faun (Drunken Satyr) in the Glyptothek in Munich. A Faun is the Roman equivalent of a Greek Satyr. The position of the right arm over the head was a classical artistic convention indicating sleep. The statue is believed to have once adorned Hadrian's Mausoleum. The historian Procopius recorded that during the siege of Rome in 537 the defenders had hurled down upon the Goths the statues adorning Hadrian's Mausoleum. When discovered, the statue was heavily damaged; the right leg, parts of both hands, and parts of the head were missing. Johann Winckelmann speculated that the place of discovery and the statue's condition suggested that it had been such a projectile.Barberini Faun

RP89875. Bronze AE 25, cf. SNG ANS 629 (younger, Caracalla?), Moushmov 6476 (syrnix in field), Varbanov 3732 (R4, same), AMNG -, SNG Cop -, SNG Hunt -, BMC -, Lindgren -, Choice gF/aVF, broad flan, nice green patina, light scratches and marks, scattered minor porosity, weight 9.863 g, maximum diameter 24.6 mm, die axis 180o, Pella mint, 16 May 218 - 11 Mar 222 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR ANTONINVS, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse CO IVL AVS PELLA (sic), Pan seated left on rock, nude, right hand raised to top of head, left forearm leaning on syrnix on rock behind; other than SNG ANS specimen, with an obscure legend and a much different portrait which we suspect is Caracalla, this type is unpublished in the standard references, there is one specimen on Coin Archives (attributed to Caracalla in error), Wildwinds lists this type but misidentified as Moushmov 6476; extremely rare; $120.00 (105.60)


Pergamon, Mysia, c. 330 - 284 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.
GS91756. Silver diobol, BMC Mysia p. 111, 9 (PERGAMH); SNG Kayhan 66; cf. SNG BnF 1558 (PERGAM); SNG Cop 322; SNGvA 1350; SNG Delepierre 2534; Von Fritze 10, EF, light toning, a little off center, tiny edge split, weight 1.355 g, maximum diameter 11.8 mm, die axis 0o, Pergamon (Bergama, Turkey) mint, c. 330 - 284 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, ΠEPΓAMH upward on left; $120.00 (105.60)


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; $105.00 (92.40)


Probus, Summer 276 - September 282 A.D.

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The reverse depicts the double temple of Venus and Roma, designed by Hadrian, the largest and most splendid temple in Rome, finished by Antoninus Pius. Damaged by fire in 307, the temple was restored "in magnificent manner" by Maxentius. When Constantius visited Rome fifty years later, the "Temple of the City" was one of the sights he most admired. In 625, Pope Honorius received a special dispensation from Heraclius to strip the gilded bronze roof tiles for the repair of St. Peter's. During a twelve-day visit to Rome in 663, Constans II stripped it of its remaining bronze ornaments. It was damaged by an earthquake in 847. Later a church was built in the ruins.
RA91617. Silvered antoninianus, Hunter IV 32 (also 3rd officina); RIC V-2 185; Cohen VI 530; Pink VI-1, p. 56-57/4; SRCV III -, Choice gVF, excellent centering, traces of silvering, center high points a little weak, weight 4.076 g, maximum diameter 23.8 mm, die axis 180o, 3rd officina, Rome mint, emission 4, 279 A.D.; obverse IMP PROBVS AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right, seen from the front; reverse ROMAE AETER (eternal Rome), statue of Roma seated facing inside a hexastyle temple, head left, Victory in right hand, long scepter in left hand, R pellet in crescent with horns up Γ in exergue; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection, ex Munzen und Medaillen (Basil, Switzerland); $100.00 (88.00)


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.
GS91757. Silver diobol, BMC Mysia p. 111, 5 ff.; SNG Kayhan 64; SNG BnF 1558 ff.; SNG Cop 318 ff.; SNGvA 1350; SNG Delepierre 2534; Von Fritze 10, VF, centered on a tight flan, toned, a few scratches, porous, weight 1.267 g, maximum diameter 10.7 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); $90.00 (79.20)


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, BMC Mysia p. 111, 5 ff.; SNG Kayhan 64; SNG BnF 1558 ff.; SNG Cop 318 ff.; SNGvA 1350; SNG Delepierre 2534; Von Fritze 10, 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)


Apameia, Phrygia, c. 133 - 48 B.C.

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Rome received Apamea with the Pergamene Kingdom in 133 B.C., but sold it to Mithridates V of Pontus, who held it till 120 BC. After the Mithridatic Wars it became a great center for trade, largely carried on by resident Italians and Jews. Apamea is mentioned in the Talmud (Ber. 62a, Niddah, 30b and Yeb. 115b). By order of Flaccus, nearly 45 kilograms of gold, intended by Jews for the Temple in Jerusalem was confiscated in Apamea in 62 B.C. Christianity was very likely established early in the city, and Saint Paul probably visited the place, for he went throughout Phrygia. The city's decline dates from the local disorganization of the empire in the 3rd century.
GB92906. Bronze AE 22, BMC Phrygia p. 84, 87; SNG Cop 177; SNG Tbingen 2972; SNG Mnchen 126; SGCV II 5121; SNGvA -, gVF, excellent style, attractive green patina, earthen deposits, weight 8.491 g, maximum diameter 21.5 mm, die axis 0o, Phrygia, Apameia (Dinar, Turkey) mint, c. 133 - 48 B.C.; obverse head of Zeus right, wearing wreath of oak and laurel leaves; reverse AΠAME - MENEK / ∆IO, cultus-statue of Artemis Anaitis facing, wearing kalathos and veil, taenia hanging from each hand (arm supports); ex Savoca Numismatik auction 32 (14 Apr 2019), lot 125; $80.00 (70.40)




  



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