This is a coin that I obtained from World-wide Coins of California back in the late 1980's. Normally, I do not concentrate on British coinage, but this coin has proven to be a well worthwhile type acquisition for the period of the English Civil War (1642–1651).
Massive and impressive, the silver half pound of 10 shillings, and the even more massive pound were produced in Oxford by Charles I, following the inconclusive battle of Edgehill on October 23, 1642, when Charles I and his queen, Henrietta moved to Oxford from London to establish their capital.
The half pound was produced in 1642 and 1643. This coin, dated 1643, was hammer struck, as were the coins produced for Charles I at Oxford and other mints during the conflict. As a hammer struck coin, this example has good detail, but not the best artistry,...
I had for some years been looking for a portrait coin of Cleopatra Selene II, and was both surprised and pleased when I finally managed to win one that I liked and could afford. Her parents, Cleopatra VII of Egypt and the Roman triumvir Mark Antony, were both in their lifetime and to the present day, amongst the most notorious and written about historical figures. Comparatively few details, however, have survived about Cleopatra Selene's life after the death of her parents.
Antony and Cleopatra were defeated by the future first emperor of the Roman Empire, Augustus, at the Battle of Actium in 30 BC. After the lovers had committed suicide at Alexandria, their young children, Alexander Helios, Cleopatra Selene, and Ptolemy Philadelphios were taken to Rome as captives. At his triumph in 29 BC, Augustus paraded 11-year old Selene and her twin brother Alexander Helios, both of them weighed down by heavy gold chains, behind a wax effigy of their mother. All three children were...
Ionia - Magnesia ad Maeandrum, circa 155-145 BC, Magistrate Herognetos, son of Zopryionos. AR Tetradrachm: 16.89 gm, 31 mm, 12 h (reduced Attic standard). Obverse: Draped bust of Artemis wearing a diadem, with bow and quiver over left shoulder. Reverse: Apollo Delphios leaning on tripod censer and holding a branch tied with fillet, meander pattern under feet. The inscription in the left field identifies the issuing authority, and the inscription in the right field translates "of the Magnesians", all within a laurel wreath. SNG von Aulock 7921, BMC Ionia pg. 162.
Roma Numismatics Ltd. Auction XX, lot 178, Oct. 2020
Heritage Auction 3081, lot 30081, NGC 2490574-004, Ch AU*, Strike 5/5, Surface 5/5, Jan. 2020
CNG Triton VI, lot 357, Jan. 2003
The instant I saw this coin I remembered seeing it in a Heritage auction earlier this year, however, at that time it was in an NGC slab. The coin was removed from the slab and no mention of the Heritage...
This reverse type was issued by Antoninus Pius for his daughter, Faustina II, on coins bearing two different obverse inscriptions: FAVSTINA AVG PII AVG FIL and FAVSTINA AVGVSTA AVG PII F. With the exception of a very rare variant with a left-facing bust type, those bearing the earlier FAVSTINA AVG PII AVG FIL inscription depict Faustina with an early hairstyle, while those with the latter FAVSTINA AVGVSTA AVG PII F inscription depict Faustina with a later hairstyle. Cohen erroneously transcribed the obverse inscription on the later issue as "... PII FIL," which was uncritically accepted by the authors of RIC, leading to much confusion. The absolute dating of these issues in unclear, however, and both inscriptions are dated to AD 152-156 by Strack; Mattingly dates them to AD 154-156.
This post will detail the coins issued with the later reverse inscription. For an example of a sestertius of this reverse type but with the earlier inscription and hairstyle, @Julius...
This is my latest acquisition. I bid on this coin because I've never owned a fourrée Aureus. This one is imitating a Probus' victory issue from Serdica in 290 AD, and probably produced by uncertain Germanic (Gothic?) tribes. Here is the aureus it supposed to copy :
PROBUS fourrée Aureus
Exactly the same coin, don't you think so ? No difference at all between the two...except de price...the genuine one cost 800 times more than the fourrée ! This is a description of this gold Probus : "Prior to his reign it was unusual to see an armoured bust with spear and shield, and especially to see the emperor wearing a helmet. Here we have the terrifying bust of an emperor ever-prepared to attack or defend on behalf of his empire. The helmet is elaborately decorated and crowned with a laurel wreath; the spear is in the prone position, and the shield is raised in defence. The impact of this war regalia is amplified by the 'heroic bust' composition,...
I have been enamored of late by some of the astounding architectural bronze medals engraved by Wiener, Bianchi, and others during the mid 1800's. In trolling for a few new "objects of my affection" I ran across something that piques my curiosity, and that I just had to pick up . . . . and I believe that it might have quite the dark history in and of itself . . . .
(click on the images to enlarge)
On the surface, this looks like a somewhat ordinary anniversary medal for the St. Peter's Cathedral in Cologne Germany, but the Cologne Cathedral is no ordinary edifice.
In itself, the cathedral has quite the history. It's construction began in medieval 1248 and continued until 1560, when all work on it stopped. It sat unfinished for 300 years until the mid 1800's when construction resumed. Construction was finally finished in 1880, some 640 years after it began, and the medal below is...
When I got my Virgin Mary Follis (anonymous class G) a few days back, it rekindled my interested for Byzantine copper coinage. They are not to everyone's taste, as they often come in poor shape, but once you get used to them they get pretty darn addictive as the historical drama, significance, and gossip that often is attached to them is impossible to overlook (and quite fun too). Additionally, one certainty about them is that they are not hoard coins and were used by the common man - a lot! After all they were recalled and restruck all the time when they became too worn or the new emperor didn't want any reminders of the previous one left around. And even if their condition sometimes leaves a lot to be desired, the benefit is that they are quite affordable. You could build a decent collection on a teenager's allowance.
The most common denomination is the Follis (nice and bulky), while the smaller ones are a bit rarer as they are harder to find and they often are so worn that they...
OCTOBER 18th 17 AD. The temple of Janus, near the Theatre of Marcellus and recently rebuilt, is dedicated.
The temple of Janus , Janus Geminus, is mentioned by a great number of ancient writers: Horace, Ovid, Plutarch, Cassius Dio, Servius etc. It's real origin remain unknown, but my favorite version is this one : according to legend, the orinal temple of Janus was built either by Quirinus or Romulus. The ancient writer Macrobius (400 AD) noted that, during the Sabine wars, the enemy were rushing into Rome through the Porta Janualis when they were overwhelmed by a vast torrent of boiling water which impetuously flowed from the Janus' temple. From then it was decreed that as Janus had come to their help during a time of war the doors should remain open...
The temple contained a statue of the god with the right hand showing the number 300 and the left the number 55—i.e., the length in days of the solar year. We can not situate its exact...
...And, between those of us who spend any time in the Middle Ages, who doesn’t need some of this? Enough drama; cut to the chase.
One unusually well-documented example demonstrates the political and cultural porosity of prototypically international borders, along with the initial hesitance or inability of the operant monarchs to intervene. To quote an easy encapsulation, from a much more extensive and incisive secondary source:
“On or about 1 November 1184, the county of Hainaut [ruled by Baldwin V, later VIII of Flanders] was invaded by the armies of [Baldwin’s brother-in-law] Philip Count of Flanders (1168-91), of Philip of Heinsberg, Archbishop of Cologne (1167-91), and of Godfrey III, Duke of Brabant (1142- 90), who was accompanied by his son Henry ([Duke] 1190-1235).” (France, pp. 97-8.)
This map shows borders as of 1477, but just manages to include all of the main protagonists, from the archbishopric of Köln (and the neighboring imperial capital of Aachen) in the...
Unmanned hot air balloons are popular in Chinese history. Zhuge Liang of the Shu Han kingdom, ca. AD 220–280, used airborne lanterns for military signaling. These lanterns are known as Chinese lanterns.
The first documented balloon flight in Europe was by priest Bartolomeu de Gusmão. On August 8, 1709, in Lisbon, he managed to lift a small balloon made of paper full of hot air about four meters in front of King John V and the Portuguese court.
Some important dates in ballooning history:
June 5th, 1783 – The Montgolfier brothers first demonstrated an unmanned hot air balloon.
September 19th, 1783 – The same balloon was used to lift a sheep, duck, and chicken. It rose to 1,500 feet and traveled roughly 3 kilometers before safely landing. The demonstration was performed for King Louis XVI of France and Queen Marie Antoinette.
October 19th, 1783 – First tethered flight with humans.
November 21st, 1783 – King Louis XVI had decreed that condemned criminals would be the first human...
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