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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Personifications ▸ LibertyView Options:  |  |  | 

Liberty (Liberitas)

Galba, 3 April 68 - 15 January 69 A.D.

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The pileus liberatis was a soft felt cap worn by liberated slaves of Troy and Asia Minor. In late Republican Rome, the pileus was symbolically given to slaves upon manumission, granting them not only their personal liberty, but also freedom as citizens with the right to vote (if male). Following the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 B.C., Brutus and his co-conspirators used the pileus to signify the end of Caesar's dictatorship and a return to a Republican system of government. The pileus was adopted as a popular symbol of freedom during the French Revolution and was also depicted on some early U.S. coins.
RB89529. Bronze dupondius, RIC I 137 (R), BnF III 263 var. (rev. legend from lower left), SRCV I 136 var. (same), Cohen I 163 var. (same), BMCRE I -, aF, well centered, rough from corrosion, edge split, weight 11.454 g, maximum diameter 30.1 mm, die axis 180o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, c. Dec 68 - 15 Jan 69 A.D; obverse SER GALBA IMP CAESAR AVG P M TR P P P (or similar), laureate head right, globe at point of bust; reverse LIBERTAS PVBLICA (freedom of the people, clockwise, from upper right), Liberty standing half left, pileus in right hand, rod in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) across fields; from the Errett Bishop Collection; very rare; $280.00 (238.00)


Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D.

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Libertas (Latin for Liberty) was the Roman goddess and embodiment of liberty. The pileus liberatis was a soft felt cap worn by liberated slaves of Troy and Asia Minor. In late Republican Rome, the pileus was symbolically given to slaves upon manumission, granting them not only their personal liberty, but also freedom as citizens with the right to vote (if male). Following the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 B.C., Brutus and his co-conspirators used the pileus to signify the end of Caesar's dictatorship and a return to a Republican system of government. The pileus was adopted as a popular symbol of freedom during the French Revolution and was also depicted on some early U.S. coins.
RS89491. Silver denarius, RIC IV 161, RSC III 143, BMCRE V 511, SRCV III 6817, Hunter III -, VF, excellent portrait, well centered on a tight flan, frosty surfaces, edge cracks, weight 2.981 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 208 - 210 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS PIVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse LIBERTAS AVG, Libertas standing half left, head left, pileus in right hand, long rod vertical behind in left hand; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 73, part of lot 970; $110.00 (93.50)


Commodus, March or April 177 - 31 December 192 A.D.

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Libertas (Latin for Liberty) was the Roman goddess and embodiment of liberty. The pileus liberatis was a soft felt cap worn by liberated slaves of Troy and Asia Minor. In late Republican Rome, the pileus was symbolically given to slaves upon manumission, granting them not only their personal liberty, but also freedom as citizens with the right to vote (if male). Following the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 B.C., Brutus and his co-conspirators used the pileus to signify the end of Caesar's dictatorship and a return to a Republican system of government. The pileus was adopted as a popular symbol of freedom during the French Revolution and was also depicted on some early U.S. coins.
RB87466. Orichalcum dupondius, RIC III MA1591; Szaivert MIR 427-18/50; Cohen III 333; Hunter II 37; BMCRE IV MA1690; SRCV II -, VF, dark patina, rough, weight 14.385 g, maximum diameter 25.9 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, Dec 177 - Dec 178 A.D.; obverse L AVREL COMMODVS AVG TR P III, radiate head right; reverse LIBERTAS AVG IMP II COS P P, Libertas standing slightly left, head left, pileus in right hand, rod in right hand, S C (senatus consulto) flanking across field below center; $100.00 (85.00)


Commodus, March or April 177 - 31 December 192 A.D.

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Libertas (Latin for Liberty) was the Roman goddess and embodiment of liberty. The pileus liberatis was a soft felt cap worn by liberated slaves of Troy and Asia Minor. In late Republican Rome, the pileus was symbolically given to slaves upon manumission, granting them not only their personal liberty, but also freedom as citizens with the right to vote (if male). Following the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 B.C., Brutus and his co-conspirators used the pileus to signify the end of Caesar's dictatorship and a return to a Republican system of government. The pileus was adopted as a popular symbol of freedom during the French Revolution and was also depicted on some early U.S. coins.
RB88855. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC III p. 341, 1589; Hunter II p. 404, 35; BMCRE IV p. 675, 1684; SRCV II 5766; MIR 18 427; Cohen III 330 var. (no drapery), F, dark patina, centered on a tight flan, corrosion, scratch, small edge splits, weight 20.522 g, maximum diameter 29.1 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, Dec 177 - Dec 178 A.D.; obverse L AVREL COMMODVS AVG TR P III, laureate bust right, slight drapery on left shoulder; reverse LIBERTAS AVG IMP II COS P P, Libertas standing half left, pileus (freedom cap) in right hand, vindicta (long rod) vertical in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking low across field; $70.00 (59.50)


Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D.

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Liberalitas coin types attest to occasions when the emperor has displayed his generosity towards the people by a distribution to them of money, provisions, or both. The first mention of Liberalitas was on coins of Hadrian. It was a type frequently repeated by the succeeding emperors. Indeed these instances of imperial generosity are more carefully recorded on coins than they are by history. Liberality is personified by the image of a woman, holding in one hand a counting board, or square tablet with a handle on which are cut a certain number of holes. These boards were used to quickly count the proper number of coins or other items for distribution to each person. In the other hand she holds a cornucopia, to indicate the prosperity of the state and the abundance of wheat contained in the public graineries.
RL88748. Billon antoninianus, Gbl MIR 645a var. (LIBERTAS), RSC VI 585 corr. or var. (LIBERITAS, left hand "hanging"), RIC V-1 -, SRCV III -, F, a little rough, porous, light earthen deposits, weight 2.786 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 0o, 5th officina, Rome mint, 265 - Sep 268 A.D.; obverse GALLIENVS AVG, radiate head right; reverse LIBER[I?]TAS AVG (appears to have an addtional I, in error), Libertas standing half left, head left, pileus (freedom cap) in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, E right; extremely rare; $30.00 (25.50)







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Liberty