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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Gods, Olympians ▸ Aphrodite or VenusView Options:  |  |  |   

Aphrodite or Venus

Goddess of love, beauty and sexuality. Daughter of Zeus and Dione or, in other traditions, of Uranus. Symbols include the dove.


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)


The Sileraioi, Sicily, c. 357 - 330 B.C.

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Sileraioi was not a city. The Sileraians were Campanian mercenaries who took their name from their proximity to the river Silaros. These rare coins have been found at the site of their settlement, Cozzo Mususino, a natural strong-hold in north central Sicily. The coins are often overstruck on coins from Syracuse minted c. 375 - 345 B.C.
SH68704. Bronze Calciati p. 301, 2; HGC 2 1243 (R1); SNG Cop -; SNG ANS -; SNG Mnchen -; SNG Morcom -, VF/F, reverse rough, weight 7.521 g, maximum diameter 20.6 mm, die axis 90o, Sileraian mint, c. 340 - 330 B.C.; obverse ΣI−ΛEPAIΩ−N (retrograde counterclockwise from 3:00), man-faced bull forepart charging right; reverse SIL (retrograde, upward behind), warrior advancing right, spear in right hand, shield in left; rare; $170.00 (149.60)


Livia and Julia, Pergamon, Mysia, c. 10 - 2 B.C.

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Julia was Augustus' only natural child, the daughter of his second wife Scribonia. She was born the same day that Octavian divorced Scribonia, to marry Livia. Julia's tragic destiny was to serve as a pawn in her father's dynastic plans. At age two, she was betrothed to Mark Antony's ten-year-old son, but the fathers' hostility ended the engagement. At age 14, she was married to her cousin but he died two years later. In 21 B.C., Julia married Agrippa, nearly 25 years her elder, Augustus' most trusted general and friend. Augustus had been advised, "You have made him so great that he must either become your son-in-law or be slain." Agrippa died suddenly in 12 B.C. and Julia was married in 11 B.C. to Tiberius. During her marriages to Agrippa and Tiberius Julia took lovers. In 2 B.C., Julia was arrested for adultery and treason. Augustus declared her marriage and void. He also asserted in public that she had been plotting against his own life. Reluctant to execute her, Augustus had her exiled, with no men in sight, forbidden even to drink wine. Scribonia, Julia's mother, accompanied her into exile. Five years later, she was allowed to move to Rhegium but Augustus never forgave her. When Tiberius became emperor, he cut off her allowance and put her in solitary confinement in one room in her house. Within months she died from malnutrition.
RP89139. Bronze AE 18, RPC I 2359; SNG Cop 467; BMC Mysia p. 139, 248; AMC I 1229; McClean 7718; SNG Paris -; SNGvA -, aVF, closed flan crack, earthen encrustation, weight 4.195 g, maximum diameter 17.5 mm, die axis 180o, Pergamon (Bergama, Turkey) mint, grammateus Charinos, c. 10 - 3 B.C.; obverse ΛIBIAN HPAN CAPINOΣ, draped bust of Livia (as Hera) right; reverse IOVΛIAN AΦPO∆ITHN, draped bust of Julia (as Aphrodite) right; $130.00 (114.40)


Julia Domna, Augusta 194 - 8 April 217 A.D.

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Venus in her aspect as the divine ancestress of the Roman people was known as Venus Genetrix. According to legend, and as recorded in Virgil's Aeneid, Aeneis was the son of Venus who fled Troy after its destruction and founded the city of Rome. Julius Caesar, being of the Gens Julia, claimed direct descent from Venus Genetrix and Aeneas. Julius Caesar built a Temple of Venus Genetrix in his new forum. Most depictions of Venus Genetrix on Roman coinage are of the statue in the Forum, and do not directly refer to pregnancy or fertility.
RS89475. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV C388a; RSC III 211; BMCRE V p. 434, C22; Hunter III C15; SRCV II 7098, Choice VF, nice older portrait, well centered, light tone, light marks, some die wear, tiny edge cracks, weight 4.881 g, maximum diameter 23.8 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, reign of Caracalla, 216 A.D.; obverse IVLIA PIA FELIX AVG, diademed draped bust right on crescent, wearing stephane; reverse VENVS GENETRIX (Mother Venus), Venus seated left, extending right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 73, part of lot 970; scarce; $110.00 (96.80)


Roman Republic, Gaius Norbanus, 83 B.C.

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In 83 B.C., Sulla returned from Greece and defeated the popular forces led by the consul Norbanus (probably the father of this moneyer). The reverse type alludes to the elder Norbanus' activity during the Social War, when he raised troops, organized a fleet, and provisioned the town of Rhegium.

Fasces, from the Latin fascis meaning "bundle," is a bound bundle of wooden rods, sometimes including an axe with its blade emerging. The fasces originated with the Etruscans and was passed on to ancient Rome, where it symbolized a magistrate's power and jurisdiction. The image has survived in the modern world as a representation of magisterial or collective power, law and governance. The fasces frequently occurs as a charge in heraldry. It was the origin of the name of the Mussolini's National Fascist Party in Italy (from which the term fascism is derived). It is on the reverse of the U.S. Mercury dime and behind the podium in the United States House of Representatives.
RR88001. Silver denarius, RSC I Norbana 2, Sydenham 739, Crawford 357/1b, BMCRR I Rome 2810, SRCV I 278, aF, light toning, scratches, banker's mark, weight 3.458 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 83 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Venus right, wearing single drop earring and pearl necklace, Roman numeral control number behind, CNORBANVS below; reverse fasces between grain ear on left and caduceus on right; $100.00 (88.00)


Nagidos, Cilicia, c. 420 - 280 B.C.

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Nagidos, a colony of Samos, was located in Cilicia on a hill at the mouth of the Sini Cay (Bozyazi Dere) near modern Bozyazi in Mersin Province, Turkey. Nagidos minted coins with a grape cluster as a symbol of the city, some with both Greek and Aramaic inscriptions, and one type bearing the name of the Persian satrap Pharnabazus. Aphrodite appears most often on the coins, indicating her sanctuary was the most important in the city. Alexander the Great conquered Cilicia in 133 B.C. After his death, Cilicia briefly came under Seleucid rule. About 270 B.C., the Ptolemaic Empire conquered Cilicia. When the city of Arsinoe was founded on land claimed by Nagidos, the Nagidians refused to recognize the settlers. To resolve the dispute, Nagidos was designated as the mother city and the citizens of both shared a single citizenship. Cilicia came under Seleucid rule in 197 B.C. Nagidos was abandoned in the middle of the second century B.C., possibly due to attacks by the Cilician pirates.
GS88168. Silver obol, SNG BnF 11, Trait II 1507, Gktrk 3 var. (NAGΓ), SNG Levante 3 var. (types right); Lederer Nagidos -, SNG Cop -, BMC Lycaonia -, VF, toned, obverse off center, die wear, light marks, mild porosity, weight 0.716 g, maximum diameter 9.1 mm, die axis 270o, Nagidos (Bozyazi, Turkey) mint, c. 420 - 380 B.C.; obverse head of Aphrodite left, with hair in sphendone; reverse bearded head of Dionysos left, NAΓI upward on left; ex Triskeles auction 26 (VAuction 334), lot 188; $95.00 (83.60)


Paphos, Cyprus, Timocharis or Nicolcles, c. 350 - 320 B.C.

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Destrooper-Georgiades speculates, that the type of the rose may mark a change of reign in the royal house of Paphos or a monetary reform. She also notes, they are often corroded and their study presents many difficulties of classification and dating because, like most bronzes struck in Cyprus at that time they are anepigraphic or bear only one syllabic character whose meaning is not always obvious and because none was found in a dated stratigraphic layer, not even the 12 or so found in the systematic excavations of Kourion and of Paphos.
GB88980. Bronze AE 14, cf. Zapiti-Michaelidou 22; Destrooper-Georgiades Nouvelles 13; Tzambazis 92; BMC Cyprus p. 45; 49, gF, crowded flan, corrosion, weight 2.193 g, maximum diameter 13.6 mm, die axis 180o, Paphos mint, c. 350 - 320 B.C.; obverse head of Aphrodite left, wearing ornamented stephanos; reverse rose, tendril left; very rare; $80.00 (70.40)


Ptolemaic Kingdom, Ptolemy I Soter, 305 - 282 B.C.

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In Coins of the Ptolemaic Empire, C. Lorber writes, "This series combines a type of local significance -- Aphrodite, patroness of Cyprus -- with Ptolemy's personal badge, the eagle on thunderbolt, and names Ptolemy as issuing authority." Of the likely mint, Lorber writes, "The pattern of finds for this issue is consistent with an origin at Palai Paphos, home to the great sanctuary of Aphrodite Cypria."
GP85879. Bronze hemiobol, Lorber CPE B120; Svoronos 81 (2 spec.); BMC Ptolemies p. 7, 60; SNG Milan 28; SNG Cop 643; Weiser 3; Noeske -; Malter -, F, tight flan, rough corrosion, weight 3.046 g, maximum diameter 17.1 mm, die axis 0o, Cyprus, Palai Paphos(?) mint, 294 - 282 B.C.; obverse head of Aphrodite Paphia right, wearing plain taenia; reverse eagle standing left on thunderbolt, wings open, head left, ΠTOΛE (upward on left); rare; $70.00 (61.60)


Katane, Sicily, c. 212 - 50 B.C.

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In 212 B.C., after a two-year siege, despite defenses designed by the Greek mathematician and scientist Archimedes, the Roman general Marcus Claudius Marcellus forced his way into Syracuse. Although Marcellus wished to spare the Syracusans, he was unable to stop his soldiers from sacking the city. Archimedes was killed. Marcellus carried off the art treasures of Syracuse to Rome, the first recorded instance of a practice which was to become common.
GB82650. Bronze two chalkoi, Calciati III p. 110, 25; SNG ANS 1278; SNG Morcom 563; HGC 2 612 (R1); BMC Sicily p. 51, 65 corr.; SNG Cop -, aVF, green patina, scratches, porous, weight 3.768 g, maximum diameter 16.8 mm, die axis 0o, Katane (Catania, Sicily, Italy) mint, c. 212 - 50 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right; reverse KATA/NAIΩN, Aphrodite Hyblaia (or Isis?) standing right, wearing kalathos on head, holding dove in extended right, II (2 chalkoi) right; $70.00 (61.60)


Ptolemaic Kingdom, Ptolemy I Soter, 305 - 282 B.C.

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In Coins of the Ptolemaic Empire, C. Lorber writes, "The pattern of finds for this issue is consistent with an origin at Palai Paphos, home to the great sanctuary of Aphrodite Cypria..." But, she then, noting that the hemiobol is the only denomination with two varieties, one with Aphrodite wearing a taenia and the other wearing a stephane, writes, "the variety with stephane, not found at Curium, could have been struck at Neo Paphos."
GP88272. Bronze hemiobol, Lorber CPE B123; Svoronos 80 (5 spec.); SNG Cop 643; BMC Ptolemies p. 7, 59; Weiser 3; SNG Milan 27; Noeske -; Hosking -, F, rough, weight 4.460 g, maximum diameter 16.2 mm, die axis 0o, Cyprus, Nea Paphos(?) mint, 294 - 282 B.C.; obverse head of Aphrodite right, wearing a stephane; reverse eagle standing left on thunderbolt, head left, wings open, ΠTOΛE upward on left, wreath left; ex Ora Eads Collection; ex CNG Sale 41 (19 Mar 1997), lot 1035 (part of); scarce; $60.00 (52.80)




  



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Aphrodite or Venus