Dear Friends of ancient mythology!
Today I want to tell something about Griffins, which obviously seem to be related closely to Sphinxes. The myths about the fabolous peoples of the Arimasps and the Hyperboreans belong to their ambit.
Thrace, Abdera, 352-323 (VIII Period)
AR - Triobol, 1.5g, 12.98mm, 0°
Obv.: Griffin, jumping up l., peaked feathered wing directed diagonal upward, beak
slightly opened, his feet on club, laying with grip l.
above eight-pointed star
Rev.: square of lines, within head of Apollo(?), with short hair, laureate, r., field
around the square ABΔ / HPI / TE / ΩN
Ref.: AMNG II, 206 (3 ex., Copenhagen, London, Ratto)
(1) The club was added to the coin depiction as a symbol of the sovereignty of the Heraklids after Abdera came under the rule of Philipp II from Makedonia 352 BC. Abdera, a Ionian foundation, probably of Teos, was a provincial city of the province of...
Last week, Spink held the much-delayed auction of The Tony Abramson Collection of Dark Age Coins. Dr Abramson is a well-known expert on early Saxon coins, published by Spink, including his well-illustrated Sceatta List. He was selling his collection because his “rate of acquisition dropped” and he’d reached a plateau. He said he’d become detached from his coins on account of them being in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge – a problem I wouldn’t mind having!
He was going to leave them at the museum, but museums are less interested in physical coins now images can be studied online, and their budgets don’t stretch far in any case. Instead, he thought selling them might generate interest in a neglected period. That it did.
Secondary Series Type 70 Saltire Cross Sceat, 710-760
Silver, 0.79g. Obverse: Linear saltire with pellet ends, in beaded standard, tufa above, chevrons at other sides. Reverse: Beaded standard containing...
I was forced to abstain form Coin-Talk for the past 4 days. The first 3 were courtesy of my internet provider who decided to do network maintenance work in my area. As if that wasn't enough, when I finally got my net access back yesterday morning, I discovered to my horror that Coin-Talk was down. It took less than a week of abstinence to remind me that I am addicted to this hobby. Luckily, the postman made sure that I was right back on track by delivering something nice this morning. It is the latest addition to my collection, a gold hyperpyron of the runaway Byzantine empire of Nicaea. One of my collecting goals is to get all Byzantine gold types, so I am nearly there as I have solidi, histamena and now a hyperpyron. A tetarteron is next, however that is going to be a bit trickier both availability and budget wise.
Collectors familiar with these coins will instantly notice that this specimen is far from being a prime example of the type. The main...
For all the previous talk about Chapman and Zerbe proofs, I thought it might be appropriate to post really fine examples of both, and provide a bit of information about two unique 1921 Morgan Dollar issues. Both are extremely rare, and at this moment, there are one of each for sale, by a very reliable source. These coins do not normally appear on the market often, and any Morgan collector should be familiar with them.
The Chapman Proof was struck by the US Mint, as a special issue. It was not a regular issue of the mint, but intended for noted Philadelphia coin dealer, Henry Chapman. An invoice exists, showing a private sale to Chapman, for 10 proofs, although actual mintage is probably closer to 20 coins. It is a fully struck coin, with extremely bright proof surfaces, 16 berries on the wreath, and distinctive striations by the letters “UN AM” on the obverse. The obverse has die striations by the letters “RICA.” Here is the current example for sale:...
We can survive a month without eating, but only about a week without drinking water. It is vital substance for all known forms of life, even though it provides no calories or organic nutrients. That's why March 12th is the WORLD WATER DAY. So let's talk about the relation between water and the Romans, and also with coinage.
Roman people, many centuries ago, depended on the Tiber River, local springs, and shallow wells for their need of drinking water; but water obtained from these sources grew polluted and became inadequate for the city's growing population. It was this necessity that brought the invention of aqueduct technology. The date of the first aqueduct is assigned around the year 312 BC. The water in the aqueducts descended gently through concrete channels. Multi-tiered viaducts were used to cross low areas. Inverted siphons were employed when valleys were particularly deep....
Exactly a year ago (according to a previous version of the personal coin catalog I keep), I owned 16 Roman Republican denarii. I remember vaguely thinking around that time that perhaps someday I would reach 50, but I certainly never thought I would get there this quickly. Will I stop at 50, or keep going? We shall see.
One of my first few Roman Republican coins was this denarius of L. Calpurnius Piso Frugi, minted in 90 BCE, from one of the largest coin issues (if not the largest) of the Republic, and undoubtedly one of the better-known types. The coin is nothing spectacular, but I still find it very appealing:
Roman Republic, L. [Lucius] Calpurnius Piso Frugi, AR Denarius, 90 BCE. Obv. Head of Apollo right (control marks H behind and F below) / Rev. Horseman galloping right w/palm frond (control marks G above and H below), L• PISO FRUGI beneath. Crawford 340/1, RSC I Calpurnia 11, Sear RCV I 235/1, BMCRR 1938-2129 [this combination of two-letter control marks is not...
In the land of the blind the man with one eye is king. And in the land of the bald the man with a hat is king... especially if it's a funny looking hat!
Bought a fun little cap last Artemide and it got me thinking about all the silly hats the ancients wore:
Anonymous. Period of Domitian to Antoninus Pius. AE Quadrans, late 1st-mid 2nd Century AD. Winged petasus. / Winged caduceus; S C across field. RIC II 32; C. 36. AE. 2.24 g. 15.00 mm. Good VF.
Roman Republic, after 211 BCE Ae-20mm (Sextans) Rome mint.
Av. laur. head of Mercurius right
Rv. prow right
quality is fine to very fine with a dark brown patina, weight is 5,75gr
Marcus Aurelius Antoninus
Denarius,222 CE,Mint Rome 19mm, 12h2.76,gr.
RCV.7518 - RIC.88 var. - Th.258 - RSC.61 b - RCV.7518
Obverse: IMP ANTONINVS - PIVS AVG. Bearded bust,...
Post your coins depicting someone wearing the stephane, comments, or anything you feel is relevant!
Though often referred to in the numismatic literature as a diadem, the a stephane is considered to be a specific subtype of diadem in the form of an upright, tiara-like headdress, standing free from the head.
In Greek art, and in Roman copies of Greek works, goddesses are frequently depicted wearing the stephane, such as on such famous works as the Diana of Versailles, Ceres Ludovisi and Venus of Capua.
Musée du Louvre Database Online reference number Ma 589.
http://ancientrome.ru/art/artworken/img.htm?id=3523 Palazzo Altemps reference number 8596.
http://www.theoi.com/Gallery/S10.19.html Museo Archeologico Nazionale di...
Talk about a beautiful head of hair: The Coriosolites/Old Elvis was still a hunka hunka burning loveLike old Elvis (not that he ever got to be old. He was dead just three years older than I am now. I'm trying not to say, "fat" Elvis as body shaming is lame... but that's what most folks call him during the late stages) the subject of the portrait on my latest acquisition, from CNG, may be chubby. But man O man does he have one helluva head of hair!
GAUL, Northwest. Coriosolites. Circa 100-50 BC. BI Stater (19mm, 6.28 g, 6h). Celticized head right, hair in large spiral curls, S-like ear / Devolved charioteer-in-biga right; quadrilateral banner hanging from lash to right, [boar below]. Depeyrot, NC VIII, 186; D&T 2340. Brown surfaces, hard green encrustation. VF.
(Not too bad for a "hefty old" guy. Also, proof that El invented the world's first "sexual mixed martial arts move???)
However, unlike Elvis, we know next to nothing about the folks that made such beautiful and...
The Restoration/Restitution coinage of Titus
Background notes (13 March 2021):
- Although both Restoration and Restitution are employed by modern day authors to describe this coinage, I employ Restoration here because that is the nomenclature used by Harold Mattingly in his seminal reference: THE "RESTORED" COINS OF OF TITUS, DOMITIAN AND NERVA - The Numismatic Chronicle and Journal of the Royal Numismatic Society Fourth Series, Vol. 20 (1920), pp. 177-207 (31 pages) and on which much of the information presented here is based.
- Upon assuming the purple, Vespasian adopted a policy of honoring illustrious members of the Julio-Claudian dynasty by issuing several commemorative coin types in their memory. Commemoration of the illustrious dead on coins originated during the later Republic and became an integral part of the legacy of deified Emperors.
- Titus perpetuated his father's policy of honoring the illustrious dead by issuing commemorative coinage in a like manner....
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