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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Types ▸ Vessels & CupsView Options:  |  |  |   

Vessels and Cups on Ancient Coins

Vessels and cups depicted on coins were often those used in religious ceremonies, but also those used in daily life. The amphora, used to store olive-oil and wine, is often depicted on coins, especially from cities that were big wine producers.


Leontini, Sicily, c. 405 - 402 B.C.

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Leontini was founded as by colonists from Naxos in 729 BC, itself a Chalcidian colony established five years earlier. It was the only significant Greek settlement in Sicily not located on the coast, being some 6 miles inland. The site, originally held by the Sicels, was seized by the Greeks owing to its command of the fertile plain to the north. The city was reduced to subject status in 498 BC by Hippocrates of Gela, and in 476 BC Hieron of Syracuse moved the inhabitants from Catania and Naxos to Leontini.
GI86576. Bronze tetras, Calciati III p. 77, 3/27 (this coin); SNG Cop 360; SNG ANS 270; SNG Morcom 606; SNG Lloyd 1070; BMC Sicily p. 92, 56; Laffaille 169; HGC 2 709 (R1), gVF, dark patina, well centered and struck, weight 2.165 g, maximum diameter 14.7 mm, Leontini mint, c. 405 - 402 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right, olive leaf and olive behind; reverse tripod lebes with loop handles, a barley kernel flanking on each side, kithara between legs of tripod, three pellets in exergue; ex Roma Numismatics e-sale 6 (22 Feb 2014), lot 45; Calciati III plate coin! ; $160.00 (136.00)


Roman Republic, Quintus Cassius Longinus, 55 B.C.

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The obverse portrait has been variously interpreted as Bonus Eventus (the God of good Success) or Genius Populi Romani (the guardian spirit of the Roman people). Quintus Cassius Longinus was a governor in Hispania for Caesar. Cassius was one of the tresviri monetales of the Roman mint in 55 B.C. He served as a quaestor for Pompey in Hispania Ulterior in 54 B.C.
RR87659. Silver denarius, Crawford 428/3, Sydenham 916, RSC I Cassia 7, BMCRR I Rome 3868, RBW Collection 1535, SRCV I 391, aVF, light toning, highest points flatly struck, banker's marks, bumps and scratches, scrape on reverse, closed edge crack, weight 3.651 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 55 B.C.; obverse young male head (Genius Populi Romani or Bonus Eventus) right, scepter behind; reverse eagle standing right on thunderbolt, head right, wings open, lituus (augur's staff) on left, jug on right, QCASSIVS below; $160.00 (136.00)


Pantikapaion, Tauric Chersonesos, Thrace, c. 109 - 105 B.C.

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Panticapaeum (Kerch, Ukraine) was an important city and port in Tauric Chersonesos on the western side of the Cimmerian Bosporus. It was founded by Milesians in the late 7th or early 6th century B.C. In the 5th century B.C. it became the capital of the Thracian kings of Bosporus. The last of the kings of Bosporus left it to Mithridates VI Eupator, king of Pontus. After his defeat to Rome, he committed suicide at Panticapaeum in 63 B.C. In that same year, the city was partly destroyed by an earthquake.
GB88987. Bronze dichalkon, SNG BM 941, SNG Cop 48, MacDonald Bosporus 161, Anokhin 203, SNG Stancomb -, VF, full legend, dark patina, marks, weight 2.029 g, maximum diameter 12.8 mm, Pantikapaion (Kerch, Crimea) mint, c. 109 - 105 B.C.; obverse star of eight rays around central pellet, Π-A-N-T-I-K-A-Π between rays; reverse tripod lebes; ex Ancient Imports; scarce; $125.00 (106.25)


Athens, Attica, Greece, c. 140 - 90 B.C.

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The Panathenaic Games were held every four years in Athens from 566 B.C. to the 3rd century A.D. These games incorporated religious festival, ceremony, athletic competitions, and cultural events hosted within a stadium. Ritual observances consisted of numerous sacrifices to Athena, as well as Poseidon and others. The competitions were the most prestigious games for the citizens of Athens, but not as important as the Olympic Games or the other Panhellenic Games. Award ceremonies included the giving of Panathenaic amphorae which were the large ceramic vessels that contained the oil given as prizes. The winner of the chariot race received as a prize one-hundred and forty Panathenaic amphorae full of olive oil.
GB88151. Bronze AE 12, Agora XXVI 105; Svoronos pl. 107, 36-41, VF, reverse rough, weight 1.920 g, maximum diameter 12.1 mm, die axis 0o, Athens mint, c. 140 - 90 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right; reverse A-Θ/E, panathenaic amphora; rare; $120.00 (102.00)


Larissa-Ptolemais, Troas, 3rd Century B.C.

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Imhoof-Blumer attributed this type to Ptolemais in Pamphylia, but in Hill convincingly argued against that city. Waddington was of the opinion that these coins might belong to Lebedos under the name Ptolemais. L. Robert in Monnaies antiques en Troade (Paris, 1966), p. 56, suggests Larissa-Ptolemais in Troas. Most recent auction listings accept Robert's attribution but the identity of the city is by no means certain.
GB88082. Bronze AE 13, SNGvA 2026 (Lebedos-Ptolemais, Ionia), BMC Troas -, SNG Cop -, SNG Tbingen -, SNG Mnchen -, Winterthur -, Klein -, VF, nice dark patina, some porosity, earthen deposits, weight 1.988 g, maximum diameter 13.1 mm, die axis 0o, Larissa-Ptolemais mint, 3rd century B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIEΩ, amphora; very rare; $110.00 (93.50)


Kios, Bithynia, c. 325 - 203 B.C.

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According to myth, Kios (Cius) was founded on the Propontis (Sea of Marmara) by Herakles when he accompanied the Argonauts. According to historians, it was founded in 626 - 625 B.C. by colonists from Miletos. Kios was often subject to greater powers, predominantly the Persian Empire until Alexander the Great invaded and took the city in 334 B.C. After disputes with Alexander's successors, Kios joined the Aetolian League, in opposition to Macedonia. In 202 B.C., Philip V of Macedonia and Prusias I of Bythinia destroyed the city and massacred, banished, or enslaved its citizens. Prusias built a new city on the site and named it for himself (Prusias ad Mare). After this atrocity, the Rodians asked the Roman Senate for help. The Romans seized this opportunity to invade Greece and defeat Philip V. In 74 B.C., after the death of King Nikomides III, the Romans occupied Kios and the whole of Bythinia. Under Rome, the name Kios was revived. An important link in the ancient Silk Road, Kios became a wealthy town.
GB89135. Bronze AE 11, SNG Cop 382; BMC Pontus, p. 131, 20; var. (KIA); SNGvA 7004 var. (same); Rec Gn I.2 7 var. (same), VF, nice dark green patina, weight 1.020 g, maximum diameter 10.5 mm, die axis 0o, Kios (Bursa, Turkey) mint, c. 325 - 203 B.C.; obverse young beardless male head (Mithras?) right, wearing a Phrygian cap and laurel wreath; reverse Kantharos between two bunches of grapes hanging on vines which emerge from the cup, K-I divided by stem, all within wreath of two stalks of grain; rare; $100.00 (85.00)


Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus VI Dionysos, 144 - 142 B.C.

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Apamea is believed to be the Biblical city Shepham (Num. xxxiv. 11). It was fortified and enlarged by Seleucus I Nicator, who renamed it from Pharmake to Apamea, after his Bactrian wife, Apama. The Seleukids' elephant breeding and training camp was at Apamea. The pretender, Diodotus Tryphon, made Apameia the basis of his operations. At a strategic crossroad on the road to Cappadocia, Apamea was an important trade center in Roman Asia and flourished to the extent that its population eventually numbered half a million. The city boasted one of the largest theaters in the Roman world, and a monumental colonnade. The ruins of Apamea, with an enormous and highly ornamental acropolis, are about 55 km (34 mi) to the northwest of Hama, Syria.Great Colonnade at Apamea
GY85851. Bronze AE 21, Houghton-Lorber II 2015(1)c; Lindgren-Kovacs 1836 var. (∆P below), BMC Seleucid p. 65, 27 (IΓ lower left); HGC 9 1044, VF, earthen encrustation, porosity, marks and scratches, edge cracks, beveled obverse edge, weight 8.918 g, maximum diameter 20.8 mm, die axis 0o, Syria, Apameia (Qalaat al-Madiq, Syria) mint, 144 - 142 B.C.; obverse radiate head of Antiochos VI right; reverse Kantharos, palm frond inner right, control letter or monogram in exergue (off flan), BAΣIΛEΩΣ ANTIOXOY EΠIΦANOΣ ∆IONYΣOY in four downward lines the first two in the right, the last two on the left; ex Moneta Numismatic Services; $95.00 (80.75)


Seleukid Kingdom, Cleopatra Thea and Antiochus VIII Grypus, 125 - 121 B.C.

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Antiochus VIII Epiphanes Grypus (Hook-Nose) was crowned as a teenager, ruling jointly with his mother Cleopatra Thea. In 121 B.C., one day when he returned from a hunt, his mother offered him a cup of wine. Since this was not common behavior for her, Grypus was suspicious and forced her to drink the wine; poisoned, it killed her. Grypus fought a civil war with his brother that ended with his murder.
GB87733. Bronze AE 19, Houghton-Lorber II 2263(2)a, Houghton CSE 317, SNG Spaer 2443, HGC 9 1189 (S), VF, highlighting desert patina, struck with a worn obverse die, obverse slightly off center, beveled reverse edge, weight 5.690 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 123 - 122 B.C.; obverse radiate head of Antiochus VIII right; reverse BAΣIΛIΣΣHΣ / KΛEOΠATPAΣ / KAI BAΣIΛEΩΣ / ANTIOXOY in four downward lines first two on the right, last two on left, owl, looking forward, standing right on amphora on its side, IE (control) inner right; ϘP (Seleucid Era year 190) with aphlaston (control) to right below; scarce; $90.00 (76.50)


Laodikea ad Mare, Seleucis and Pieria, Syria, 80 - 79 B.C.

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Laodicea ad Mare prospered thanks to the excellent wine produced in the nearby hills and was also famous for its textiles, both of which were exported to all the empire. A sizable Jewish population lived in Laodicea during the first century. Under Septimius Severus the city was fortified and was made for a few years the capital of Roman Syria: in this period Laodicea grew to be a city of nearly 40,000 inhabitants and had even an hippodrome. Christianity was the main religion in the city after Constantine I and many bishops of Laodicea participated in ecumenical councils, mainly during Byzantine times. The heretic Apollinarius was bishop of Laodicea in the 4th century, when the city was fully Christian but with a few remaining Jews. An earthquake damaged the city in 494 A.D. Justinian I made Laodicea the capital of the Byzantine province of "Theodorias" in the early sixth century. Laodicea remained its capital for more than a century until the Arab conquest.
GB88223. Bronze AE 22, BMC Galatia p. 248, 10; HGC 9 1405 (R1); SNG Mnchen -; SNG Cop -, VF, green patina, scratches and marks, corrosion, light earthen deposits, weight 7.132 g, maximum diameter 22.3 mm, die axis 0o, Laodicea ad Mare (Latakia, Syria) mint, 80 - 79 B.C.; obverse laureate, bearded head of Zeus right; reverse tripod lebes, B (year 2 of the era of Laodikea ad Mare) inner left, ΛAO∆IKEΩN THΣ / IEPAΣ KAI in two downward lines on right, AYTONOMOY downward on left, EI(?) in exergue; rare; $90.00 (76.50)


Seleukid Kingdom, Demetrius I Soter, 162 - 150 B.C.

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As required by the Treaty of Apamea, Demetrius, son of Seleucus IV, was held in Rome as a hostage. After Antiochus IV (his uncle) died, he claimed the right to rule but Rome preferred Antiochus V, a weak child. Demetrius escaped, was welcomed in Syria and took his throne. Antiochus V and his regent were executed. Demetrius defeated Judas Maccabaeus and restored Seleukid control over Judaea.
GY89198. Bronze serrated AE 26, Houghton-Lorber I 1648, SNG Fitzwilliam 5673, SNG Cop 240 var. (control), Babylon Rois 725 var. (control), F, well centered, central cavities, weight 17.365 g, maximum diameter 25.8 mm, die axis 0o, perhaps Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 162 - 150 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right bow and quiver at his shoulder; reverse tripod lebes, BAΣIΛEΩΣ (king) downward on right, DHMHTPIOY downward on left, ΠoE monogram (control) left; $75.00 (63.75)




  



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Vessels & Cups