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Ancient coins of particulary accomplished style and artistry.
Mytilene, Lesbos, c. 412 - 378 B.C.
Mytilene was famous in ancient times for its great output of electrum coins struck from the late 6th through mid - 4th centuries B.C. The usual denomination was the hekte (1/6th stater). Warwick Wroth noted in the British Museum Catalog, "The Sixths of [this Lesbos electrum series] form one of the most beautiful coin-series of the ancient world. This will be evident from a glance." SH95224. Electrum hekte, Bodenstedt 79, SNGvA 1731, BMC Troas 62; Pozzi 2324, Traité II 2183, HGC 6 1005, VF, fine style, toned, scuff on cheek, marks, weight 2.551 g, maximum diameter 11.0 mm, die axis 180o, Mytilene mint, c. 412 - 378 B.C.; obverse female (muse?) head right, hair in sakkos, wearing a pendant earring and necklace; reverse Kithara with seven strings in linear square, within incuse square; ex Forum (2016), ex Frank L. Kovacs; $930.00 (€837.00)
Mytilene, Lesbos, c. 377 - 326 B.C.
Mytilene was famous in ancient times for its great output of electrum coins struck from the late 6th through mid - 4th centuries B.C. The usual denomination was the hekte (1/6th stater). Warwick Wroth noted in the British Museum Catalog, "The Sixths of [this Lesbos electrum series] form one of the most beautiful coin-series of the ancient world. This will be evident from a glance." SH95232. Electrum hekte, Bodenstedt 100B (k/ξ); SNG Cop 317; SNGvA 1715; Boston MFA 1718, HGC 6 1026, aEF, fine style, well centered and struck, flow lines, light deposits, weight 2.542 g, maximum diameter 10.3 mm, die axis 0o, Mytilene mint, c. 377 - 326 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right, coiled snake lower left; reverse head of Artemis right, hair in sphendone, all within linear frame and incuse square; ex Forum (2018), ex Roma Numismatics, auction XV (5 Apr 2018), lot 196; $1000.00 SALE |PRICE| $910.00 ON RESERVE
Athens, Attica, Greece, c. 454 - 404 B.C., Old Style Tetradrachm
The old-style tetradrachm of Athens is famous for its almond shaped eye, archaic smile, and charming owl reverse. Around 480 B.C. a wreath of olive leaves and a decorative scroll were added to Athena's helmet. On the reverse, a crescent moon was added.
During the period 449 - 413 B.C. huge quantities of tetradrachms were minted to finance grandiose building projects such as the Parthenon and to cover the costs of the Peloponnesian War. SH95119. Silver tetradrachm, SNG Cop 31, SNG Munchen 49, Kroll 8, Dewing 1611, Gulbenkian 519, HGC 4 1597, SGCV I 2526, EF, mint luster, high relief, light marks, light deposits, tight flan, tiny edge cracks, weight 17.198 g, maximum diameter 23.7 mm, die axis 135o, Athens mint, c. 454 - 404 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right, almond shaped eye, crested helmet with olive leaves and floral scroll, wire necklace, round earring, hair in parallel curves; reverse owl standing right, head facing, erect in posture, olive sprig and crescent left, AΘE downward on right, all within incuse square; $1000.00 SALE |PRICE| $900.00
Metapontion, Lucania, Italy, c. 330 - 290 B.C.
Demeter in Greek mythology is the goddess of grain and fertility, the pure; nourisher of the youth and the green earth, the health-giving cycle of life and death; and preserver of marriage and the sacred law. In the Homeric Hymn to Demeter, dated to about the seventh century B.C. she is invoked as the "bringer of seasons," a subtle sign that she was worshiped long before she was made one of the Olympians. She and her daughter Persephone were the central figures of the Eleusinian Mysteries that also predated the Olympian pantheon. SH95240. Silver nomos, Johnston C6; BMC Italy p. 252, 108; SNG ANS 489; SNG Munchen 977; SNG Lockett 421; SNG Fitzwilliam 509; SNG Oxford 760; HN Italy 1589, VF, attractive style, struck with high relief dies, light toning, tight flan, weight 7.524 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 270o, Metapontion (Metaponto, Italy) mint, c. 330 - 290 B.C.; obverse head of Demeter left, wreathed in grain; reverse barley ear with seven rows of grains, leaf on left, griffin springing right above leaf, ΛY below leaf, META on right; ex Forum (2013); $800.00 SALE |PRICE| $720.00
Neapolis, Campania, Italy, c. 275 - 250 B.C.
In angst at not seducing Ulysses with her voice, the siren Parthenope, threw herself into the sea and died. Her body washed up on the shore near Neapolis. There she was not envisioned as one of the insidious monsters of Homer, but rather like a dead hero, she was enshrined and deified and her name was given to an early settlement on the site. Neapolis held funerary torch-races to commemorate Parthenope and her nearby tomb and sanctuary were among the local places of interest. The river god Achelous was her father. SH95243. Silver nomos, SNG Cop 440; SNG ANS 381; BMC Italy 100, 63; Sambon 483; HN Italy 586; SNG Cop -, Choice VF, fine style, toned, well centered on a tight flan, porous, light marks, weight 7.114 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, die axis 45o, Neapolis (Naples, Italy) mint, c. 275 - 250 B.C.; obverse head of siren Parthenope left, wearing taenia, triple-pendant earring, and necklace, EY behind neck; reverse the river-god Achelous in the form of a man-faced bull, walking left, head turned facing, Nike flying left above, placing wreath on river-god's head, ΛOY below, NEOΠOΛITHΣ in exergue; ex Forum (2018); $700.00 SALE |PRICE| $630.00
Sinope, Paphlagonia, c. 330 - 300 B.C.
Long used as a Hittite port, Sinope was re-founded as a Greek colony by Miletus in the 7th century B.C. Sinope flourished as the Black Sea port of a caravan route that led from the upper Euphrates valley. The city escaped Persian domination until the early 4th century B.C. In 183 B.C. it was captured by Pharnaces I and became the capital of the kingdom of Pontus. Lucullus conquered Sinope for Rome in 70 B.C., and Julius Caesar established a Roman colony there, Colonia Julia Felix, in 47 B.C. It remained with the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantines). It was a part of the Empire of Trebizond from the sacking of Constantinople by the Fourth Crusade in 1204 until the capture of the city by the Seljuk Turks of Rûm in 1214. SH95239. Silver drachm, SNG BM 1481, SNG Cop 277, Rec Gen 25, HGC 7 399, SNGvA 6847, gVF, attractive style, toned, well centered, tight flan as usual for the type, some light scratches, weight 5.969 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 15o, Sinope (Sinop, Turkey) mint, magistrate Agreos, c. 330 - 300 B.C.; obverse head of nymph Sinope left, hair in sakkos, wearing triple pendant earring and necklace, apluster before her; reverse eagle flying right with dolphin right in talons, AΓPEΩΣ (magistrate's name) below wing, ΣINΩ below dolphin; ex Forum (2015); $680.00 SALE |PRICE| $612.00
Thourioi, Lucania, Italy, c. 400 - 350 B.C.
The head of Athena is probably that of the sea-goddess Athena Skyletria. The bull may be a symbol of Dionysos or may have been derived from the archaic coins of Sybaris and symbolize the river Krathis. A more romantic view is that the butting bull symbolizes the rushing waters of the fountain Thuria from which the city took its name. This denomination is described as a stater, nomos or didrachm in various references and sales listings. SH95227. Silver nomos, SNG Munchen 1192 (same dies), SNG Oxford 932, SNG Cop 1439, SNG ANS 992, HN Italy 1799, VF, well centered on a tight flan, fine classical style, light iridescent toning, light marks and scratches, weight 7.771 g, maximum diameter 20.5 mm, die axis 0o, Thourioi (near Sibari, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy) mint, c. 400 - 350 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right, wearing Attic helmet ornamented with Scylla scanning, using left hand to shade her eyes; reverse ΘOYPIΩN, bull butting right, right foreleg raised, double exergue line, the top line solid, the bottom line dotted, fish right in exergue; ex Forum (2016), ex Gorny & Mosch auction 233 (6 Oct 2015), lot 1101; $470.00 SALE |PRICE| $423.00
Geta, 209 - c. 26 December 211 A.D.
Between 209 and their father's death in February 211, both brothers were shown as equally mature young men with a short full beard. Both sons were presented as equally suitable heirs to the throne, showing thus more "depth" to the dynasty. Between the death of Septimius Severus and the assassination of Geta, Caracalla's portraits did not change, while Geta was depicted with a long beard with hanging hairs much like his father, a strong indication of Geta's efforts to be seen as the "true" successor of his father.RS86671. Silver denarius, RIC IV 88, RSC III 68, BMCRE V 65, SRCV II -, Choice EF, nearly as struck except for light toning, fantastic portrait, luster in recesses, perfect centering on a broad flan, some legend just a little weak, tiny edge cracks, weight 3.250 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 210 - 212 A.D.; obverse P SEPT GETA PIVS AVG BRIT, laureate head right; reverse LIBERALITAS AVG V (the 5th liberality [distribution of gifts to the people] by the Emperor), Liberalitas standing half-left, coin counting board in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; from the Jyrki Muona Collection; $240.00 SALE |PRICE| $216.00
Byzantine Anonymous Follis of Christ, Class I, Nicephorus III, 7 January 1078 - 1 April 1081
BZ86180. Bronze anonymous follis, Anonymous follis of Christ, DOC III-2, class I; SBCV 1889, gVF, excellent bust of Christ, weight 3.510 g, maximum diameter 21.9 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 7 Jan 1078 - 1 Apr 1081; obverse Christ bust facing, wearing nimbus cruciger, pallium, and colobium, raising right in benediction, gospels in left, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Ihsoús Xristós - Jesus Christ) across field; reverse Latin cross with X at center, globule and two pellets at each extremity, floral ornaments in lower fields, crescents in upper fields; $190.00 SALE |PRICE| $171.00
Histiaia, North Euboea, Greece, c. 267 - 146 B.C.
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 (€126.00)