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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Types| ▸ |Love & Beauty||View Options:  |  |  | 

Love & Beauty on Ancient Coins

Venus is the Roman goddess principally associated with love and beauty, the rough equivalent of the Greek goddess Aphrodite. The son of Venus and Mars, Cupid to the Romans, Eros to the Greeks, is the god of desire, affection and erotic love.

Julius Caesar, Imperator and Dictator, October 49 - 15 March 44 B.C.

|Julius| |Caesar|, |Julius| |Caesar,| |Imperator| |and| |Dictator,| |October| |49| |-| |15| |March| |44| |B.C.||denarius|
"The coin that killed Caesar." The obverse legend declares Caesar is "Dictator for Life" and he wears the veil, symbolic of his life-term position as Pontifex Maximus. Caesar would be both the dictator and high priest of Rome for the remainder of his life, but his life would end only a few weeks after this coin was struck. For Caesar to put his image on coins and in effect declare himself king was too much for Brutus and his republican allies. On the Ides of March (15 March) 44 B.C. Caesar was stabbed to death by as many as 60 conspirators, led by Brutus and Cassius. According to Plutarch, a seer had warned that harm would come to Caesar no later than the Ides of March. On his way to the Theater of Pompey, where he would be assassinated, Caesar passed the seer and joked, "The ides of March have come," meaning to say that the prophecy had not been fulfilled, to which the seer replied, "Aye, Caesar, but not gone." This meeting is famously dramatized in William Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar when Caesar is warned by the soothsayer to "beware the Ides of March."

Minted for Caesar's planned Parthian war, this type was often carelessly struck indicating the mint was working under great pressure.
SH45450. Silver denarius, Crawford 480/13, Sydenham 1074, Sear CRI 107d, RSC I Julius Caesar 39, BMCRR I Rome 4173, SRCV I 1414, Vagi 56, Choice gVF, magnificent portrait, weight 3.660 g, maximum diameter 19.2 mm, die axis 225o, Rome mint, moneyer P Sepullius Macer, Feb - Mar 44 B.C.; obverse CAESAR DICT PERPETVO, veiled and wreathed head of Caesar right; reverse P SEPVLLIVS MACER, Venus standing left, Victory in extended right hand, long scepter in left hand, shield at feet right; SOLD


Julius Caesar, Imperator and Dictator, October 49 - 15 March 44 B.C., P Sepullius Macer

|Julius| |Caesar|, |Julius| |Caesar,| |Imperator| |and| |Dictator,| |October| |49| |-| |15| |March| |44| |B.C.,| |P| |Sepullius| |Macer||denarius|
"The coin that killed Caesar." The obverse legend declares Caesar is "Dictator for Life" and he wears the veil, symbolic of his life-term position as Pontifex Maximus. Caesar would be both the dictator and high priest of Rome for the remainder of his life, but his life would end only a few weeks after this coin was struck. For Caesar to put his image on coins and in effect declare himself king was too much for Brutus and his republican allies. On the Ides of March (15 March) 44 B.C. Caesar was stabbed to death by as many as 60 conspirators, led by Brutus and Cassius. According to Plutarch, a seer had warned that harm would come to Caesar no later than the Ides of March. On his way to the Theater of Pompey, where he would be assassinated, Caesar passed the seer and joked, "The ides of March have come," meaning to say that the prophecy had not been fulfilled, to which the seer replied, "Aye, Caesar, but not gone." This meeting is famously dramatized in William Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar when Caesar is warned by the soothsayer to "beware the Ides of March."

Minted for Caesar's planned Parthian war, this type was often carelessly struck indicating the mint was working under great pressure.
SH28916. Silver denarius, Crawford 480/13, Sydenham 1074, Sear CRI 107d, RSC I Julius Caesar 39, BMCRR I Rome 4173, SRCV I 1414, Vagi 56, gVF, weight 3.865 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 315o, Rome mint, moneyer P Sepullius Macer, Feb - Mar 44 B.C.; obverse CAESAR DICT PERPETVO, veiled and wreathed head of Caesar right; reverse P SEPVLLIVS MACER, Venus standing left, Victory in extended right hand, long scepter in left hand, shield at feet right; superb portrait, toned, excellent centering and strike for the type; SOLD


Julius Caesar, Imperator and Dictator, October 49 - 15 March 44 B.C.

|Julius| |Caesar|, |Julius| |Caesar,| |Imperator| |and| |Dictator,| |October| |49| |-| |15| |March| |44| |B.C.||denarius|
"The coin that killed Caesar." This coin declares Caesar is "Dictator for Life." He did serve as Dictator for the remainder of his life, but his life would end only a few weeks after this issue. For Caesar to put his image on coins and essentially declare himself king was too much for Brutus and his republican allies. This coin (along with other similar types) is sometimes called "the coin that killed Caesar." Minted for Caesar's planned Parthian war, this type was often carelessly struck indicating the mint was working under great pressure..
SH54919. Silver denarius, SRCV I 1413, Sydenham 1072, Crawford 480/10, RSC I 38, gVF, nice portrait, typical uneven strike, weight 3.583 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 45o, Rome mint, moneyer P Sepullius Macer, Jan - Feb 44 B.C.; obverse CAESAR DICT PERPETVO, wreathed head of Caesar right; reverse P SEPVLLIVS MACER, Venus standing left, Victory in right hand, long scepter vertical in left hand, shield at feet right; SOLD


Julius Caesar, Imperator and Dictator, October 49 - 15 March 44 B.C.

|Julius| |Caesar|, |Julius| |Caesar,| |Imperator| |and| |Dictator,| |October| |49| |-| |15| |March| |44| |B.C.||denarius|
Certificate of Authenticity issued by David R. Sear.

"The coin that killed Caesar." This coin declares Caesar is "Dictator for Life." He did serve as Dictator for the remainder of his life, but his life would end only a few weeks after this issue. For Caesar to put his image on coins and essentially declare himself king was too much for Brutus and his republican allies. This coin (along with other similar types) is sometimes called "the coin that killed Caesar." Minted for Caesar's planned Parthian war, this type was often carelessly struck indicating the mint was working under great pressure.
SH50025. Silver denarius, Crawford 480/13, Sydenham 1074, Sear CRI 107d, RSC I Julius Caesar 39, BMCRR I Rome 4173, SRCV I 1414, Vagi 56, gVF, weight 4.103 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 225o, Rome mint, moneyer P Sepullius Macer, Feb - Mar 44 B.C.; obverse CAESAR DICT PERPETVO, veiled and wreathed head of Caesar right; reverse P SEPVLLIVS MACER, Venus standing left, Victory in extended right hand, long scepter in left hand, shield at feet right; banker's mark on Caesar's nose, a little carelessly struck with some flatness, tiny chip in border near DICT; ex Colosseum Coin Exchange, Auction 119, 5 Feb 2002 (copy of catalog included); SOLD


Julius Caesar, Imperator and Dictator, October 49 - 15 March 44 B.C.

|Julius| |Caesar|, |Julius| |Caesar,| |Imperator| |and| |Dictator,| |October| |49| |-| |15| |March| |44| |B.C.||denarius|
"The coin that killed Caesar." The obverse legend declares Caesar is "Dictator for Life" and he wears the veil, symbolic of his life-term position as Pontifex Maximus. Caesar would be both the dictator and high priest of Rome for the remainder of his life, but his life would end only a few weeks after this coin was struck. For Caesar to put his image on coins and in effect declare himself king was too much for Brutus and his republican allies. On the Ides of March (15 March) 44 B.C. Caesar was stabbed to death by as many as 60 conspirators, led by Brutus and Cassius. According to Plutarch, a seer had warned that harm would come to Caesar no later than the Ides of March. On his way to the Theater of Pompey, where he would be assassinated, Caesar passed the seer and joked, "The ides of March have come," meaning to say that the prophecy had not been fulfilled, to which the seer replied, "Aye, Caesar, but not gone." This meeting is famously dramatized in William Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar when Caesar is warned by the soothsayer to "beware the Ides of March."

Minted for Caesar's planned Parthian war, this type was often carelessly struck indicating the mint was working under great pressure.
SH84607. Silver denarius, Crawford 480/13, Sydenham 1074, Sear CRI 107d, RSC I Julius Caesar 39, BMCRR I Rome 4173, SRCV I 1414, Vagi 56, gVF, nice portrait, toned, scratches, off center, edge cracks, weight 3.830 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 90o, Rome mint, moneyer P Sepullius Macer, Feb - Mar 44 B.C.; obverse CAESAR DICT PERPETVO, veiled and wreathed head of Caesar right; reverse P SEPVLLIVS MACER, Venus standing left, Victory in extended right hand, long scepter in left hand, shield at feet right; SOLD


Julius Caesar, Imperator and Dictator, October 49 - 15 March 44 B.C.

|Julius| |Caesar|, |Julius| |Caesar,| |Imperator| |and| |Dictator,| |October| |49| |-| |15| |March| |44| |B.C.||denarius|
This type was a special military coinage produced by Caesar during his final campaign. This campaign against the Pompeian forces in Spain culminated in the battle of Munda on 17 March 45 B.C. The obverse refers to Caesar's mythical descent from the goddess Venus. The reverse refers to Caesar's victories in Gaul and the male Gaulish captive may be Vercingetorix.
RS50608. Silver denarius, Crawford 468/1, Sydenham 1014, RSC I 13, BMCRR Spain 89, Sear CRI 58, SRCV I 1404, Choice VF, weight 4.110 g, maximum diameter 18.1 mm, die axis 45o, Spanish mint, 46 - 45 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Venus right, small Cupid behind; reverse trophy of Gallic arms; on left, Gallia seated left with hand to head in attitude of morning; on right, male (Vercingetorix?) captive seated right, hands bound behind, looking up; CAESAR in exergue; SOLD


Julius Caesar, Imperator and Dictator, October 49 - 15 March 44 B.C.

|Julius| |Caesar|, |Julius| |Caesar,| |Imperator| |and| |Dictator,| |October| |49| |-| |15| |March| |44| |B.C.||denarius|
In February 44 B.C., Mark Antony presented Julius Caesar with a royal diadem, urging him to declare himself king. Caesar refused and ordered the crown be placed in the Temple of Jupiter. Although he refulsed the diadem, he was already dictator for life, commander of the army, and high priest. He had the power of a king and, like a king, he put his own portrait on the coinage.
SH71920. Silver denarius, Crawford 480/4, Sydenham 1060, BMCRR Rome 4152, RSC I 22, Sear CRI 102, SRCV I 1408, VF, slightly uneven and off-center strike, but nearly all detail on flan, weight 4.034 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 90o, struck by L. Aemilus Buca, Rome mint, lifetime issue, Jan - Feb 44 B.C.; obverse CAESAR IM P M, wreathed head of Caesar right, crescent with horns up behind; reverse L AEMILIVS BVCA, Venus standing left, Victory in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand; from the Andrew McCabe collection, ex Roma Numismatics; SOLD


Julius Caesar, Imperator and Dictator, October 49 - 15 March 44 B.C.

|Julius| |Caesar|, |Julius| |Caesar,| |Imperator| |and| |Dictator,| |October| |49| |-| |15| |March| |44| |B.C.||denarius|
This issue was minted to pay for Caesar's military operation against the Pompeians in North Africa. The campaign ended with the dictator's victory at Thapsus on 6 April 46 B.C. The reverse depicts Aeneas carrying his father and the palladium away from burning Troy and refers to the mythical descent of the Julia gens from Iulus, the son of Aeneas.
SH65236. Silver denarius, Crawford 458/1, RSC I 12, Sydenham 1013, BMCRR East 31, SRCV I 1402, Choice VF, weight 3.883 g, maximum diameter 17.6 mm, die axis 135o, North Africa mint, 47 - 46 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Venus right, wearing necklace, hair rolled back, in a knot behind, two locks down neck; reverse CAESAR, Aeneas walking left, nude, carrying his father, Anchises, on his left shoulder, palladium in right hand; SOLD


Pupienus, 22 April - 29 July 238 A.D.

|Pupienus|, |Pupienus,| |22| |April| |-| |29| |July| |238| |A.D.||antoninianus|
A great story coin. This ironic reverse refers to the mutual love shared between the emperors Balbinus and Pupienus. In reality, because they were quarreling they were unable to gain support or put up a joint defense against the praetorians and they were both murdered after a reign of only 99 days.
SH45482. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV-1 9b, RSC III 2, BMCRE VI 82, Hunter III 7, SRCV III 8518, VF, nicely centered, weight 2.927 g, maximum diameter 22.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, obverse IMP CAES PVPIEN MAXIMVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse AMOR MVTVVS AVGG (Mutual Love of the Emperors), clasped hands; scarce; SOLD


Severina, Augusta Spring 274 - November 275 A.D., Wife of Aurelian

|Severina|, |Severina,| |Augusta| |Spring| |274| |-| |November| |275| |A.D.,| |Wife| |of| |Aurelian||denarius|
Denarii of this period are scarce and extremely rare in this condition.
SH11074. Billon denarius, MER-RIC 1857, RIC V-1 6, BnF XII 266 ff., Venra 1504 - 1506, Normanby 1286, Maravielle 110, Choice EF, weight 2.568 g, maximum diameter 19.52 mm, die axis 180o, 3rd officina, Rome mint, issue 11, early 275 - Sep 275; obverse SEVERINA AVG, diademed and draped bust right; reverse VENVS FELIX (Venus who brings good fortune), Venus standing left holding uncertain object (apple?) in right hand, scepter in left hand, Γ in exergue; SOLD







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