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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ GeographyView Options:  |  |  |   

Geography

Every ancient coin is associated with a place, at the least where it was minted. Rarely, but occasionally, we learn where a coin was found. Many ancient coins depict the personification of a nation, province, city, or river. Every coin has some tie to geography. Of course collecting every coin is not a theme, so geography must be narrowed down in some way. Collecting the coins of one mint, city or region is popular. Hadrian's famous "travel series" would make an excellent geography theme collection. Another is the travels of Paul. Or you could collect coins from all places you simply find captivating.


Otho, 15 January 69 - 17 April 69 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

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Otho ruled for just a few months. The mint of Alexandria struck coins with his name, though the portrait bears little resemblance to those of the other mints. It is possible that Alexandria produced coins without having an image of the new emperor.
RP84745. Bronze hemidrachm, RPC I 5364 (3 spec.); Geissen 257; Dattari 336; BMC Alexandria 217; Milne 376; SNG BnF 710; Kampmann-Ganschow 18.13; Emmett 189 (R4); SNG Milan -, F, attractive brown tone, flan crack, light scratches, smoothing, weight 16.768 g, maximum diameter 30.2 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 69 A.D.; obverse AYTOK MAPK OΘΩNOΣ KAIΣ ΣEB, laureate head right, beveled edge; reverse bust of Nilus right, wearing papyrus diadem, cornucopia behind right shoulder, date LA (year 1) before; from the Jyrki Muona Collection; extremely rare; $1170.00 (€994.50)


France, Charles X, 1824 - 1830

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For most of his life Charles X was known as the Count of Artois (in French, comte d'Artois). An uncle of the uncrowned Louis XVII, and younger brother to reigning kings Louis XVI and Louis XVIII, he supported the latter in exile and eventually succeeded him. His rule of almost six years ended in the July Revolution of 1830, with his abdication and the election of Louis Philippe I as King. Exiled once again, Charles died in 1836 in Gorizia, then part of the Austrian Empire. He was the last of the French rulers from the senior branch of the House of Bourbon.
SH86157. Gold 40 Francs, Gadoury 1105, Friedberg 547, Krause KM 721.1, Schlumberger Gold 170, EF, light bumps and marks; incuse on edge: DOMINE SALVUM FAC REGEM (Lord save the King), weight 12.867 g, maximum diameter 26.1 mm, die axis 180o, Paris (A) mint, 1830; obverse CHARLES X ROI DE FRANCE., bare head right, MICHAUT. (engraver Auguste-Francois Michaut) over italic T below; reverse crowned shield of France, flanked by 40 - F, all surrounded by a laurel wreath formed of two branches tied at the bottom, 1830 below flanked by an anchor on left and A (Paris mintmark) on right; $750.00 (€637.50)


France, Henry III, 1574 - 1589

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Three months after Henri was made the elected king of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, his brother, Charles IX of France, died and Henri returned to France to assume the French throne. Henri brought several Polish inventions back to France, including septic facilities which deposited excrement outside the castle walls, a bath with regulated hot and cold water, and the fork. Henri gave protestant Huguenots the right of public worship, except in Paris and at Court. In response, Henry I, Duke of Guise, formed the Catholic League. Henri III was eventually forced to flee Paris. After he had the duke assassinated, Henri III prepared to return to Paris but was murdered before he could return. During the French Revolution, Henri III was disinterred from his tomb, his body was desecrated and thrown into a common grave.

On May 31, 1575, Henry III created a new 14.188 grams, .833 fine silver coin with the value of 20 sols tournois. The gold écu was set at 60 sols. The gold franc equaled 1/3 écu or 20 sols. This coin, corresponding to the value of the medieval gold franc, naturally took the name franc d'argent (silver franc). Our coin is a franc avec fraise, distinguished from the contemporary franc au col plat by the addition of a lace ruff to the king's collar. It was unique to the Toulouse mint. Due to constant clipping, the coinage of francs was suspended for good on October 13, 1586. After the death of the king, however, mints held by the Catholic League struck francs in his name.
SH84614. Silver franc, Duplessy 1130A, Ciani 1434, Roberts 3612, Lafaurie 970, aVF, iridescent toning, weight 13.995 g, maximum diameter 35.2 mm, die axis 180o, Toulouse (M) mint, 1586; obverse •HENRICVS•III D•G FRANC ET•POL•REX• (Henry III, by the grace of god, King of France and Poland), laureate and cuirassed bust of Henry III, ruffled collar, M (Toulouse workshop letter) below bust, 1586 at bottom between end and beginning of legend; reverse * SIT•NOMEN•DOMINI•BENEDICTVM S (Blessed be the name of the Lord), foliate cross fleurée, H surrounded by dots in the center; $600.00 (€510.00)


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D.

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Issued to commemorate victory in Britain. Between 208 and 210 A.D., Septimius Severus and his son Caracalla campaigned into Scotland (then Caledonia) and also restored Hadrian's Wall. The victories in the north pacified the island for the remainder of the century, but the aged Septimius died at Eburacum (York) in 211 A.D.
SH83529. Silver denarius, RIC IV 332 (S); RSC III 727; BMCRE V p. 366, 51; Hunter III 108; SRCV II 6382, Choice gVF, some luster, perfect centering, nice portrait, light toning, small edge cracks, weight 3.369 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 210 - 211 A.D.; obverse SEVERVS PIVS AVG BRIT, laureate head right; reverse VICTORIAE BRIT (victories over the British), Victory advancing right, raising wreath in extended right hand, palm frond in left hand over left shoulder; scarce; $450.00 (€382.50)


Otho, 15 January 69 - 17 April 69 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

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This variety with a simpulum on the reverse is much rarer than the same type without this control symbol. RPC reports only 5 specimens with the simpulum and 17 specimens without it. This variety is missing from the important collections in Cologne, Paris, and Milan, and we know of only one example offered at auction in the past two decades (CNG 76, 12 Sep 2007, lot 3152, VF, $430 plus fees).
RP84748. Billon tetradrachm, Milne 359; RPC I 5354 (5 spec.); Dattari 327; BMC Alexandria p. 25, 208; Curtis 238; Kampmann 18.6; Emmett 184; Geissen -; SNG BnF -; SNG Milan -, F, toned, light encrustations, tight flan cutting off parts of legends, weight 12.583 g, maximum diameter 24.4 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 15 Jan 69 - 17 Apr 69 A.D.; obverse AYTOK MAPK OΘΩNOΣ KAIΣ ΣEB, laureate head right, LA (year 1) lower right; reverse EΛEY-ΘEPIA, Eleutheria (Liberty) standing left, wreath in extended right hand, scepter in left hand, leaning with left elbow on column, simpulum (ladle used for tasting and pouring sacrificial libations) left in lower left field; from the Jyrki Muona Collection; extremely rare; $450.00 (€382.50)


France, Charles IX, 1560 - 1574

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Charles IX ascended the throne of France upon the death of his brother Francis II. After decades of tension, war broke out between Protestants and Catholics after the massacre of Vassy in 1562. In 1572, after several unsuccessful peace attempts, Charles ordered the marriage of his sister Margaret of Valois to Henry of Navarre, a major Protestant nobleman and the future King Henry IV of France, in a last desperate bid to reconcile his people. Facing popular hostility against this policy of appeasement, Charles allowed the massacre of all Huguenot leaders who gathered in Paris for the royal wedding at the instigation of his mother Catherine de' Medici. This event, known as the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre, was a significant blow to the Huguenot movement. Religious civil warfare soon began anew. Charles ordered the Siege of La Rochelle, but was unable to take the Protestant stronghold. Charles died of tuberculosis without legitimate male issue in 1574 and was succeeded by his brother Henry III.
UK86329. Silver teston, cf. Roberts 3551, Duplessy 1063, Ciani 1356, Lafaurie 895, VF, toned, scratches and marks, areas of weak strike, weight 8.927 g, maximum diameter 28.7 mm, die axis 255o, Saint-Lô mint, 1561; obverse CAROLVS•VIIII•D•G•FRANCO•REX• (Charles IX, by the Grace of God, King of France), laureate and cuirassed boy's bust left, C (mint-mark) below; reverse SIT•NOMEN•DNI•BENEDICIM•M•D•LXI (Blessed be the name of the Lord, 1561), crowned coat of arms (three fleur de lis), crowned C's flanking; very rare; $450.00 (€382.50)


Levant, Egypt, or Arabia, Imitative Athenian Transitional Style Tetradrachm, c. 390 - 330 B.C.

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This coin is from the hoard containing at least 76 Athenian-type owls, both Athenian issues and Egyptian and Levantine imitations, and two silver "dumps" cataloged and discussed by Peter G. van Alfen, in "A New Athenian "Owl" and Bullion Hoard from the Near East" in AJN 16-17 (2004-05), pp. 47-61, and pl. 6-13. The hoard is rumored to have come from the western coast of the Arabian Peninsula. On page 58, Van Alfen identifies this coin as a non-Athenian, an imitative.Temple of Fortuna

GS86471. Silver tetradrachm, Van Alfen New p. 58 & pl. 12, 74 (this coin); countermark: Van Alfen New p. 49, fig. 1; for prototype see: Kroll Pi-Style p. 241, fig. 4, VF, multiple countermarks, edge cracks, weight 16.642 g, maximum diameter 23.7 mm, die axis 270o, non-Athenian Eastern mint, c. 390 - 330 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right with eye seen in true profile, wearing crested helmet ornamented with three olive leaves and floral scroll, quatrefoil countermarks; reverse owl standing right, head facing, to right AΘE in large lettering, to left olive sprig and crescent, quatrefoil countermarks; Van Alfen New plate coin, ex Amphora catalog 98, lot 149; $400.00 (€340.00)


Anglo-Gallic, Edward III, 1327 - 1377

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Edward III transformed the Kingdom of England into one of the most efficient military powers in Europe. His reign saw vital developments in the evolution of the English parliament, the ravages of the Black Death and the beginning of the Hundred Years' War. He remained on the throne for 50 years.

The outer obverse legend abbreviates, "BENEDICTUM SIT NOMEN DOMINI NOSTRI DEI IHESU CHRISTI," which means, "Blessed be the name of the Lord our God, Jesus Christ."
ME85375. Silver Gros Tournois a la Porte, SCBC 8063, Elias 63, Duplessy Féodales 1067, Elias Collection 120, Poey d'Avant 2856, Boudeau –, gF, toned, tight flan, weight 2.478 g, maximum diameter 23.9 mm, die axis 270o, 1351 - 1356; obverse ED'· REX : A*nGLIE / + BnDICTV · SIT · nOmE : DnI : nRI : DEI : IhV · XPI (annulet and double annulet stops, secret mark: asterisk between A and n), short cross pattée; reverse + DVX : AQITA*nIE (double annulet stops, secret mark: asterisk between A and n), châtel aquitanique, gateway below; all within tressure of arches containing twelve leaves; rare; $265.00 (€225.25)


France, Philip IV, 1285 - 1314 A.D.

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King Philip IV, deeply in debt to the Knights Templar, took advantage of rumors about the Order's secret initiation ceremony. On Friday, October 13, 1307, he had the Order's members in France arrested (the origin of the Friday the 13th superstition). Pope Clement, under threat from Philip, instructed all Christian monarchs in Europe to arrest all Templars and seize their assets. Many Templars were tortured into giving false confessions and burned at the stake. Grand Master Jacques de Molay, burned alive in Paris in 1314, called out from the flames, "Dieu sait qui a tort et a pëché. Il va bientot arriver malheur à ceux qui nous ont condamnés à mort" ("God knows who is wrong and has sinned. Soon a calamity will occur to those who have condemned us to death"). Pope Clement died only a month later, and King Philip died in a hunting accident before the end of the year.
ME86328. Silver Gros Tournois, Duplessy 217, Ciani 200, Roberts 2465, Lafaurie I 219, gVF, toned, weight 4.032 g, maximum diameter 26.1 mm, die axis 90o, c. 1298(?); obverse outer legend: + BNDICTV: SIT: NOmE: DNI: nRI: DEI: IhV: XPI (the name of our Lord Jesus Christ be blessed), triple pellet stops, inner legend: + PHILIPPVS' REX (King Philip), lis stop; cross pattée; reverse TVRONVS' CIVIS (City of Tours), annulet on T, lis stop, Châtel tournois topped with a lis, border of twelve lis within arches; ex Gordon Andreas Singer; $250.00 (€212.50)


Roman Egypt, Antinoopolites Nome(?), Portrait of Antinous, c. 130 - 153 A.D.

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Antinous probably joined the entourage of Hadrian when it passed through Bithynia in about 124. He became Hadrian's constant companion and lover but in October 130 Antinous drowned in the Nile. Hadrian's grief knew no bounds; he enrolled him among the gods, erected a temple, and on 30 October 130 A.D., Hadrian founded the city of Antinoopolis on the very bank of the Nile river where Antinous drowned. It was the capital of a new nome, Antinoopolites. Artists vied with each other in immortalizing his beauty. Temples and statues to his memory were erected all over the Empire, and there began a Cult of Antinous. On this coin he is depicted in the guise of Hermanubis.
RX90575. Lead tessera, Dattari 6536, Geissen 3559 var. (11.23g), Emmett 4397 (R4), F, weight 4.666 g, maximum diameter 20.6 mm, die axis 0o, Antinoopolis (or Alexandria?) mint, c. 130 - 153 A.D.; obverse draped bust of Antinous right, wearing hem-hem crown of Harpocrates, crescent before; reverse Serapis standing left, wearing chiton, himation, and kalathos on head, right hand raised, long scepter vertical behind in left; rare; $200.00 (€170.00)




  



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Geography