When people describe ancient coins depicting "panthers," I suspect that they don't think very much about the fact that the panther is not a separate species, and that all or most of such animals were probably simply leopards. Even so-called "black panthers" are simply melanistic leopards or jaguars. (Obviously, jaguars weren't known to the ancient Greeks and Romans!) For whatever reason, though -- and maybe I'm just not looking in the right places -- almost all "panthers" that I've seen on ancient coins are depicted without spots or any other body markings. (I'm not counting the striped big cats on some of Gallienus's zoo coins with legends naming "Liber Pater" [associated with Dionysos/Bacchus], traditionally identified as panthers, that are actually tigresses. See the article at https://www.forumancientcoins.com/numiswiki/view.asp?key=Liber Pater .)
One possibility is that most...
Last month we had a thread about who was the most decent of the Roman emperors and not surprisingly Antoninus Pius came in as the number one nice guy emperor. There were a number of runner-up's but, surprising to me, one of them was not the one I would have picked after Antoninus as a very decent emperor, who managed in his brief reign do some pretty good things for the Empire but who is remembered, if at all, for the one act of choosing his replacement. Of course many readers have figured out who I am writing about, Marcus Cocceius Nerva, a ruler who, by both our standards (more or less) and those of the Roman people, was a capable and thoughtful person and ruler.
Nerva was born into an upper class family in a town about 50 miles outside Rome with some moderately successful relatives and ancestors and who entered the imperial service as a youth. The one notable gap in his education was a lack of expertise, or interest in, military matters, which almost terminated his already...
These two pieces were on the PCGS site this morning. I am posting them here to warn collectors NOT to depend on the holders for detecting counterfeits. This first one is a poor counterfeit in a deceptive holder.
BAD 1915 $10 gold in a fake slab.
Here are close-ups of the bad coin. These were supplied by the seller. Note that they are dark for a reason.
Counterfeiters get the serial numbers from real slabs by looking them up on sites like Heritage. Here is the the real coin. The photo is from the Heritage site.
Here is a bogus 1903 $20 gold. Note that the fake logo on the back of the slab has bled over to the front. The "3" in the date does not match the other digits in the date which is a dead give away as to what this thing is.
Here is a genuine 1903 double eagle...
Public Domain Image
Some of my favorite coins have been opportunistic rather than the result of careful planning. This coin is in that category, a quick search for price comparison, the price was right, the look intriguing: a prone wolf, an incuse "A" reverse, light wear, decent strike and great toning. I hadn’t noticed one of these before, and decided to bid. Now I have questions and the hope that CT members will be able to add to my incomplete picture.
Argolis, Argos, circa 90-50 BC, AR Triobol, Hieron (IEPΩNOΣ), magistrate
Obv: Forepart of wolf at bay left
Rev: Large A; I-E/P-Ω/NO-Σ in three lines around; below crossbar, eagle standing right on thunderbolt; all within incuse square
Size: 14mm 2.43g
Ref: BCD Peloponnesos 1177-8
A few things I can share about this...
James Ramsey Ullman wrote a novel in 1945 called The White Tower. The book was made into a film in 1950 with Glenn Ford, Lloyd Bridges, and Alida Valli.
In the novel which is set around October of 1944, Captain Martin Ordway is a US Army Air Force bomber pilot. His airplane is heavily damaged on a bombing mission over Germany, he orders his crew to bail out (leave the airplane with parachutes) and then he bails out.
The story hinges on two coincidences. First Martin lands in Switzerland and discovers that he has landed near a town, Kandermatt, where his wealthy father had sent him before the war to take mountaineering classes from the Swiss guides. He also encounters Carla, a young Austrian woman who he knew from that period who is now working and living there.
The residents start making arrangements to move Martin to France where he can rejoin his unit.
Before the war Swiss guides had made 40 francs per day guiding climbers but the loss of tourists has closed much of...
In Roman foundational mythology, Venus was the mother of Aeneas, the hero of Virgil's Aeneid and the ancestor of Romulus and Remus. Being such a central figure in Roman myth, the goddess featured prominently in numismatics for nearly 500 years. She first appears on Republican coinage in the second century BC and was depicted on the folles of Galeria Valeria as late as AD 311. Venus is depicted on Roman coins with many avatars and epithets -- Venus Felix, Venus Victrix, Venus Genetrix, and so on -- but she does not appear in the guise of Venus Caelestis -- "Venus of Heaven" -- until the reign of Elagabalus, when she is used as a reverse type for coins issued for Julia Soaemias, his mother. Venus Caelestis then disappears from Roman coins altogether, with the inexplicable exception of a rare Antoninianus of Magnia Urbica some 60 years later.
Julia Soaemias, AD 218-222.
Roman AR Denarius, 3.02 g, 19.2 mm, 1 h.
Rome, AD 220-222.
ONE CENT COIN - BRITISH NORTH BORNEO COMPANY - COAT OF ARMS
Obverse: Coat of arms of the British North Borneo Company and date - PERGO ET PERAGO / H / 1891
Reverse: Wreath, name and denomination - One Cent (English, Chinese and Malay below) / British North Borneo Co. around top
Minted by Ralph Heaton & Sons - Birmingham Mint
This is a bronze 1 cent coin of the British protectorate of North Borneo, a territory in the far north of the island of Borneo that was governed by the North Borneo Chartered Company (NBCC) also known as the British North Borneo Company (BNBC). Under its 1881 royal charter the British North Borneo Company gained the right to produce coinage. These coins were produced by Ralph Heaton and Sons Birmingham Mint and were possibly engraved by the very prolific medalist Joseph Moore. This coin was minted in 1891 under the tenure of Rutherford Alcock as Chairman of the Board of Directors.
Kyzikos or Cyzicus (I'll be referring to it as Kyzikos herein to avoid confusion and cause it's just so cool to type!), was a highly important coastal city of Mysia.
(Kyzikos ancient ruins, ain't so ruined)
Famous to us ancient coin collectors for their dynamic lion and boar obols for starters
480 BC. Obol AR 11mm., 0,71g. Forepart of boar left , E (retrograde) on shoulder, with tall mane and dotted truncation, dotted line on shoulder, to right, tunny upward / Head of roaring lion left with bristling mane, outstretched tongue, and dotted truncation, all within incuse square.
Ex Silicua Subastas
Lasting from the Greek dark ages to the medieval dark ages, approximately! The town was alleged to have been founded by Jason and his Argonauts
(you might have heard of them and their voyage)
BEFORE the Trojan war (1300 BCEish)! And would not be abandoned until the...
Happy Fourth of July to all!
I will share a little history over the next several days.
Missouri Centennial Exposition and State Fair
Sedalia, Missouri, August 8-20, 1921
“Missouri is going to have a state-wide Centennial Celebration worthy of the name.
With the signing of the Centennial Exposition bill by Governor Hyde, and the appointment of a Commission of twenty-one members to supervise the Exposition, the machinery has been officially set in motion. The bill passed by the Fifty-First Assembly carries and appropriation of $150,000 to defray the expenses of the Celebration.
The dates will be August 8-20, 1921. The State Fair Grounds at Sedalia were chosen as the site. Plans for a stupendous program are already underway.
Governor Arthur M. Hyde was elected President of the Centennial Commission at the first meeting of the body held in Jefferson City, April 21. Lieutenant-Governor Hiram Lloyd was elected Vice-President, and appointed by Governor...
Some banknote designs just pull in the viewer. For example, the current Icelandic 5000 Krona features some very intriguing headgear, as well as colorful and intricate embroidery patterns interspersed throughout the overall design. If nothing else, it makes one wonder how that immense hat stays on.
Not surprisingly, especially given the ruff collar, the clothing shown dates back to the 17th century. The woman pictured, Ragnheiður Jónsdóttir, wears a traditional Icelandic hat called a faldbúningur topped with a gold-banded hat, which reflects the fashions of the era's ecclesiastical nobility. Under the hat, the faldbúningur probably extends out to a point, which likely helps keep the gravity-defying hat from slipping off. Large hidden hat pins may have also helped. Jónsdóttir is the first woman to ever appear on an Icelandic banknote. As the flourish of gold foil to her upper right says, she lived from 1646 to 1715 and became well-known in Iceland for...
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