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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Types ▸ Facing HeadsView Options:  |  |  |   

Facing Heads on Ancient Coins

Knidos, Caria, c. 210 - 185 B.C.

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The ancient Carian city of Knidos, near modern Tekir, Turkey, was described by Strabo as "built for the most beautiful of goddesses, Aphrodite, on the most beautiful of peninsulas." The legendary Aphrodite of Praxiteles, one of the most beautiful sculptures of antiquity, once graced her temple at Knidos. It has perished, but late copies exist, of which the most faithful is in the Vatican Museums. A fine seated statue of Demeter and a colossal figure of a lion found there are in the British Museum.
GS86557. Silver didrachm, SNG Cop 318, Imhoof-Blumer Karische 32, Waddington 2312, SNG Keckman -, SNGvA -, SNG Kayhan -, SNG Mn -, SNG Tb -, SNG Mugla -, BMC Caria -, aEF, toned, tight flan typical for the type, encrustations, light corrosion, edge cracks, weight 5.531 g, maximum diameter 19.2 mm, die axis 0o, Knidos (near Tekir, Turkey) mint, magistrate Agephon..., c. 210 - 185 B.C.; obverse head of Helios facing slightly right; reverse forepart of roaring lion right, club to left, KNI∆ION above, AΓEΦΩN (magistrate) below; from the David Cannon Collection, ex Beast Coins; rare; $580.00 (493.00)


Larissa, Thessaly, Greece, 404 - 370 B.C.

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When Larissa ceased minting the federal coins it shared with other Thessalian towns and adopted its own coinage in the late fifth century B.C., it chose local types for its coins. The obverse depicted the local fountain nymph Larissa, for whom the town was named, probably inspired by the famous coins of Kimon depicting the Syracusan nymph Arethusa. The reverse depicted a horse in various poses.
GS85151. Silver drachm, BCD Thessaly II 380.18 (same dies), Lorber Early group IV H23, 65.1(a) (this obv. die), BCD Thessaly I 1144.2, Hoover HGC 430, Choice VF, toned, fine style, areas of light etching, weight 6.075 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 270o, Larissa mint, 404 - 370 B.C.; obverse head of the nymph Larissa facing slightly right, wearing necklace, hair confined by ampyx and floating loosely; reverse horse grazing right, legs straight, dotted exergual line, ΛAPI above; ex Art of Money (Portland, OR); $400.00 (340.00)


Larissa, Thessaly, Greece, c. 356 - 320 B.C.

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The obverse of most of the coins of Larissa depicted the nymph of the local spring, Larissa, for whom the town was named. The choice was probably inspired by the famous coins of Kimon depicting the Syracusan nymph Arethusa. The reverse usually depicted a horse in various poses. The horse was an appropriate symbol of Thessaly, a land of plains, which was well known for its horses. On other coins, there is a male figure, probably the eponymous hero of the Thessalians, Thessalos.
GS86544. Silver drachm, BCD Thessaly I 1156; BMC Thessaly p. 30, 61; HGC 4 454; BCD Thessaly II 323 var. (same obv. die, trident head left control), VF, toned, etched surfaces, tight flan, small edge cracks, weight 5.869 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, die axis 0o, Larissa mint, c. 356 - 320 B.C.; obverse head of the nymph Larissa facing slightly left, wearing ampyx, pendant earring represented by three pellets in a vertical line, and simple necklace; reverse horse crouching right, left foreleg bent and raised, preparing to roll onto the ground, small plant (control) below, ΛAPIΣ/AIΩN in two lines, the first above, second in exergue; from the David Cannon Collection, ex Beast Coins; $380.00 (323.00)


Byzantine Anonymous Follis of Christ, Class A3, Basil II & Constantine VIII, c. 1023 - 11 November 1028 A.D.

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This is a new ornaments variety, unlisted by Bellinger and Grierson, with one pellet in each limb of the nimbus cross, two pellets vertically arranged within a jeweled border on the Gospels and the ornamentation shown below under the reverse inscription. The ornamentation above the inscription is off flan but most likely the same as below. We have designated this new variety Grierson-NumisWiki ornaments F1c.

BZ86497. Bronze anonymous follis, Anonymous follis of Christ, class A3; SBCV 1818; Grierson-NumisWiki ornaments F1c, gVF, attractive bust of Christ, tight ragged flan, bumps and marks, edge chip, weight 8.514 g, maximum diameter 27.9 mm, die axis 270o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, c. 1023 - 11 Nov 1028 A.D.; obverse + EMMANOVHL, facing bust of Christ, wearing nimbus cruciger, pallium, and colobium, holding gospels with both hands, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation for Jesus Christ) across field; reverse + IhSuS / XRISTuS / bASILEu / bASILE (Jesus Christ King of Kings), ornamentation above and below legend; unpublished variety; $300.00 (255.00)


Larissa, Thessaly, Greece, c. 405 - 370 B.C.

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The obverse of most of the coins of Larissa depicted the nymph of the local spring, Larissa, for whom the town was named. The choice was probably inspired by the famous coins of Kimon depicting the Syracusan nymph Arethusa. The reverse usually depicted a horse in various poses. The horse was an appropriate symbol of Thessaly, a land of plains, which was well known for its horses. On other coins, there is a male figure, probably the eponymous hero of the Thessalians, Thessalos.
GS79835. Silver drachm, Lorber Early 89.1 (same dies), BCD Thessaly I 1148, BCD Thessaly II 215 var. (facing slightly right), VF, toned, area of corrosion, reverse double struck, uneven strike, weight 5.835 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 270o, Larissa mint, c. 405 - 370 B.C.; obverse head of nymph Larissa facing slightly left, wearing ampyx, earring, and wire necklace; reverse horse grazing right, legs straight, ΛAPIΣ above; ex Amphora Coins; $280.00 (238.00)


Byzantine Anonymous Follis of Christ, Class I, Nicephorus III, 7 January 1078 - 1 April 1081

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BZ86180. Bronze anonymous follis, Anonymous follis of Christ, class I; SBCV 1889, gVF, excellent bust of Christ, weight 3.510 g, maximum diameter 21.9 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 7 Jan 1078 - 1 Apr 1081; obverse Christ bust facing, wearing nimbus cruciger, pallium, and colobium, raising right in benediction, gospels in left; reverse Latin cross with X at center, globule and two pellets at each extremity, floral ornaments in lower fields, crescents in upper fields; $270.00 (229.50)


Larissa, Thessaly, Greece, c. 365 - 356 B.C.

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When Larissa ceased minting the federal coins it shared with other Thessalian towns and adopted its own coinage in the late fifth century B.C., it chose local types for its coins. The obverse depicted the local fountain nymph Larissa, for whom the town was named, probably inspired by the famous coins of Kimon depicting the Syracusan nymph Arethusa. The reverse depicted a horse in various poses.
SH73414. Silver drachm, BCD Thessaly II 316, BCD Thessaly I 1158, SNG Cop 121, HGC 4 454, VF, etched surfaces, reverse double struck, weight 5.618 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 0o, Larissa mint, 365 - 356 B.C.; obverse head of nymph Larissa facing slightly left, wearing ampyx, pendant earring and wire necklace; reverse horse crouching right, left foreleg raised, preparing to lie down, ΛAPIΣ/AIΩN in two lines, the first above, the second line in exergue; ex BCD Collection with his tag noting, "V. ex Thessaly, Jan. 94, SFr. 175.-"; $250.00 (212.50)


Gela, Sicily, c. 339 - 310 B.C.

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Demeter in Greek mythology is the goddess of grain and fertility, the pure; nourisher of the youth and the green earth, the health-giving cycle of life and death; and preserver of marriage and the sacred law. In the Homeric Hymn to Demeter, dated to about the seventh century B.C. she is invoked as the "bringer of seasons," a subtle sign that she was worshiped long before she was made one of the Olympians. She and her daughter Persephone were the central figures of the Eleusinian Mysteries that also predated the Olympian pantheon.
SH71027. Bronze tetras, Jenkins Gela, group XII, 549; Calciati III p. 29, 59; BMC Sicily p. 74, 77; SNG Cop 287; SNG Munchen 324; SNG ANS 123; HGC 2 388 (R1), VF, well centered, green patina, corrosion, weight 2.921 g, maximum diameter 14.5 mm, die axis 135o, Gela mint, c. 339 - 310 B.C.; obverse ΓEΛΩI−ΩN (beginning upward on left), head of Demeter facing slightly right, wreathed with barley, wearing earrings and necklace; reverse bearded head of river-god Gela left, short horn over forehead, bull's ear, wreathed with barley (or reeds?); rare; $230.00 (195.50)


Larissa, Thessaly, Greece, c. 356 - 342 B.C.

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The obverse of most of the coins of Larissa depicted the nymph of the local spring, Larissa, for whom the town was named. The choice was probably inspired by the famous coins of Kimon depicting the Syracusan nymph Arethusa. The reverse usually depicted a horse in various poses. The horse was an appropriate symbol of Thessaly, a land of plains, which was well known for its horses. On other coins, there is a male figure, probably the eponymous hero of the Thessalians, Thessalos.
GS73406. Silver drachm, Lorber Hoard pl. III, 27 (same dies); BCD Thessaly I 1158; BCD Thessaly II 316; SNG Cop 121; HGC 4 454, VF, well centered on a tight flan, etched surfaces, scratch on cheek, weight 5.920 g, maximum diameter 19.2 mm, die axis 135o, Larissa mint, c. 356 - 342 B.C.; obverse head of the nymph Larissa facing slightly left, wearing ampyx, pendant earring, and simple necklace; reverse horse crouching right, left foreleg bent and raised, preparing to roll onto the ground, ΛAPIΣ/AIΩN in two lines starting above, ending in exergue; ex BCD Collection with his tag noting, "Thz. G/ni ex Thess., Apr. 94, SFr. 100.-"; $225.00 (191.25)


Halikarnassos, Caria, c. 400 - 387 B.C.

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Halicarnassus was in southwest Caria on a picturesque, advantageous site on the Ceramic Gulf. It was famous for the tomb of Mausolus, the origin of the word mausoleum, built between 353 B.C. and 350 B.C., and one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. It was part of the Persian Empire until captured by Alexander the Great at the siege of Halicarnassus in 334 B.C. The site is now occupied in part by the town of Bodrum; but the ancient walls can still be traced round nearly all their circuit, and the position of several of the temples, the theater, and other public buildings can be fixed with certainty.
GS86730. Silver drachm, Hecatomnus 5 (A4/P5); SNG Keckman 40; SNG Kayhan 759; BMC Caria p. 102, 3; SNG Cop -, VF, rough, corrosion, lamination defects, weight 3.214 g, maximum diameter 15.5 mm, die axis 0o, Halikarnassos (Bodrum, Turkey) mint, c. 400 - 387 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo facing slightly right; reverse eagle standing right, wings open, AΛIKAP upper left, olive sprig lower right, all within an incuse square; scarce; $225.00 (191.25)




  



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Facing Heads