ancient Greek/Roman Coins depicting lost/noteworthy sculpture

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by rg3, Jun 5, 2016.

  1. rg3

    rg3 Well-Known Member

    Good afternoon,

    As a new collector of ancient coins, I am very happy to find this forum, and I thank the moderators for its upkeep. Through my research I have found several coins to (supposedly) depict lost or otherwise noteworthy pieces of ancient sculpture. For example:

    1. the obverse of Philip II's tetradrachm depicts the head of the statue of Zeus in the Temple of Zeus at Olympia,

    2. the obverse of the new style Athens tetradrachm depicts the head of the Athena Parthenos, and

    3. the obverse of a Demetrius Poliorcetes tetradrachm depicts a monument upon
    which the Nike of Samothrace was based.

    I was wondering if anyone knew of other famous examples (and I apologize if my examples above are incorrectly identified)?
  2. Avatar

    Guest User Guest

    to hide this ad.
  3. red_spork

    red_spork Triumvir monetalis Supporter

    Welcme, RG3

    This denarius of Ti. Minucius C.f. Augurinus depicts the Columna Minucia. I wrote a bit about it here when I first got it.
  4. Mikey Zee

    Mikey Zee Delenda Est Carthago

    Glad to have you with us @rg3 !!!!

    Give this thread a little time and I'm sure you will have a 'ton' of responses....

    I'll offer this denarius of Trajan with the Trajan's column reverse:
    trajan column denarius reverse.JPG trajan denarius and column.JPG
  5. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    Welcome rg3

    About 56 BC, the moneyer L. Marcius Philippus honored Q. Marcius Rex with a coin bearing the image of 'his' aqueduct, the Aqua Marcia. The obverse of this denarius shows a bust of Ancus Marcius, behind Lituus augurum, the letters ANCVS, apparently referring to the mythical ancestor Ancus Marcius - the fourth king of Rome.
    The reverse side shows an equestrian statue based on five arches and the name of the moneyer PHILIPPVS. Within the arches one reads AQVA MR (Aqua Marcia). Here the builder Q Marcius Rex is represented together with the aqueduct which is named after him.
    Note that the moneyer also belongs to the Marcia family.
    L Marcus Philippus.jpg
    AR Denarius
    OBVERSE: Diademed head of Ancus Marcius right, lituus hehind, ANCVS below
    REVERSE: Equestrian statue right on an arcade of five arches; flower below horse, AQVA MAR between arches, PHILLIVS behind
    Rome 56 BC
    Cr425/1, Marcia 28, Syd 919
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2016
  6. TIF

    TIF Always learning. Supporter

    Welcome, rg3! Yes, there are many ancient statues (and various architecture) on ancient coins. While there are some extant statues and structures, some are only known from coins.

    As Mikey Zee posted, Trajan's Column is a good example of a structure still standing, although the statue of Trajan atop the column was lost in the middle ages, replaced with St. Peter in the sixteenth century.

    More info here.

    Here's a structure and statues which no longer exist except for its footprint in Basilica Aemilia: the shrine of Venus Cloacina, the goddess of Rome's Great Sewer :). The shrine's appearance is only known from two coins issued during the Roman Republic.

    More info here.
  7. 7Calbrey

    7Calbrey Well-Known Member

    The reverse of this coin has a temple which includes the statue or sacred stone of Zeus.The name Zeus is depicted to the right of reverse in the legend. The obverse shows probably Emp. Septimius Severus . Struck in Seleucia and Piera. S Sever R          Seleuk Piera.JPG S Sever O        Stone Zeus.JPG
    dlhill132, stevex6, Pishpash and 6 others like this.
  8. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    There are many. My favorite is Apollo Sauroktonos which is only one of many Apollo statue copies.

    darting from Nicopolis - Septimius Severus
    attempting to grab from Nicopolis - Geta

    Years ago I posted a web page on Geta which included the above coin. I received an email from a college professor asking if coins like this are hard to find. As luck would have it, I had a dealer friend who I knew had a nice one so I put them in touch. Today, both of them have forgotten more than I'll ever know about Provincials but we have continued corresponding for nearly 20 years now. Neither of them are Coin Talk participants but I have invited them several times.

    The original Sauroktonos is lost but there are several later copies scattered around the world:

    Most are very similar to my Geta. I find interest in my Septimius coin that shows the boy with a dart in hand leaving the appearance he intends to dart the lizard rather than capture it in hand. Both of mine are from the same city and about the same date. I assume the city owned a copy statue (even possibly the original?) but I wonder if they also had the darter version in large size. It would really make my day if it came to light that Praxiteles' original was a darter but later copyists changed it to grabbers. I am not an art history student but I do enjoy talking to them. Several other Apollo versions are on my page:

    My correspondent is of the opinion that most coin types are based on larger works and many showing works owned by the city that issued the coins. Certainly many show works completely lost to history. It is possible that the coin engravers created original designs but using statues that the city was proud to own really makes sense.

    Since you mentioned it as #3, here are Poliorcetes coins with Nike. They come in big silver and small bronze.
    g02187bb3051.jpg g02190bb0778.jpg

    Is that Poseidon a statue copy? What do you think?
  9. TIF

    TIF Always learning. Supporter

  10. rg3

    rg3 Well-Known Member

  11. randygeki

    randygeki Coin Collector

  12. rg3

    rg3 Well-Known Member

  13. rg3

    rg3 Well-Known Member

    TIF and Mikey Zee like this.
  14. Carthago

    Carthago Does this look infected to you? Supporter

    The lighthouse of Messina and the Rostra in the Forum.

    Sextus Pompey Pharos of Messana Denarius CNG 2013.jpg
    Lollius Palicanus 473-1 NAC 2015.jpg
  15. rg3

    rg3 Well-Known Member

  16. rg3

    rg3 Well-Known Member

  17. AncientJoe

    AncientJoe Supporter! Supporter

    Here are some of mine depicting objects which haven't been mentioned yet:

    The Colossum:

    The Colosseum again, after repairs (in 244 AD)


    The Labyrinth at Knossos:


    Circus Maximus:


    Temple of Mars Ultor:


    The Capitoline Temple:


    The Port of Ostia:


    Nero's Triumphal Arch:


    The Arch in Trajan's Forum:

  18. Mikey Zee

    Mikey Zee Delenda Est Carthago

    WOW !! I never tire of seeing those magnificent coins!!!
  19. rg3

    rg3 Well-Known Member

  20. chrsmat71

    chrsmat71 I LIKE TURTLES!

    i think this coin depicts the athena parthenos...


    Mysia, City of Lampsacus, 190-85 BC
    O: Apollo, R: Athena holding Nike. 20 mm, 6.7 g
    dlhill132, stevex6, zumbly and 5 others like this.
  21. 4to2centBC

    4to2centBC Well-Known Member

    Magnificent in so many ways.
    Mikey Zee likes this.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page