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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Types| ▸ |Vessels & Cups||View Options:  |  |  |   

Vessels and Cups on Ancient Coins

Vessels and cups depicted on coins were often those used in religious ceremonies, but also those used in daily life. The amphora, used to store olive-oil and wine, is often depicted on coins, especially from cities that were big wine producers.


Roman Republic, Quintus Cassius Longinus, 55 B.C.

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The obverse portrait has been variously interpreted as Bonus Eventus (the God of good Success) or Genius Populi Romani (the guardian spirit of the Roman people). Quintus Cassius Longinus was a governor in Hispania for Caesar. Cassius was one of the tresviri monetales of the Roman mint in 55 B.C. He served as a quaestor for Pompey in Hispania Ulterior in 54 B.C.
RR87659. Silver denarius, Crawford 428/3, Sydenham 916, RSC I Cassia 7, BMCRR I Rome 3868, RBW Collection 1535, SRCV I 391, aVF, light toning, highest points flatly struck, banker's marks, bumps and scratches, scrape on reverse, closed edge crack, weight 3.651 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 55 B.C.; obverse young male head (Genius Populi Romani or Bonus Eventus) right, scepter behind; reverse eagle standing right on thunderbolt, head right, wings open, lituus (augur's staff) on left, jug on right, Q•CASSIVS below; $140.00 SALE |PRICE| $126.00
 


Perinthos, Thrace, c. Late 3rd - Mid 1st Century B.C.

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Perinthos an ancient Ionian colony from Samos, was situated between Bisanthe and Selymbria, on the northern shore of the Propontis. It is famous chiefly for its stubborn and successful resistance to Philip II of Macedon in 340 B.C.; at that time it seems to have been more important than Byzantium itself. In Roman times it was called Heraclea Thraciae (or Heraclea Perinthus). Today it is Marmara Ereglisi in the European part of Turkey.
RP89906. Bronze AE 17, Schönert-Geiss Perinthos p. 101 & pl. 3, 67 (same dies, 2 specimens); CNT_1989; Mionnet Supp. 2, p. 399, 1173; SNG Cop -; BMC Thrace -, F, dark brown patina, porous, scratches, die wear, weight 3.930 g, maximum diameter 16.9 mm, die axis 225o, Heraclea Perinthos (Marmara Ereglisi, Turkey) mint, c. late 3rd - mid 1st century B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right; reverse tripod lebes, ΠEPIN/ΘIΩN in two flanking downward lines, the first on the right; less than 1/2 dozen specimens known to FORVM; very rare; $140.00 SALE |PRICE| $126.00
 


Pantikapaion, Tauric Chersonesos. Thrace, c. 109 - 105 B.C.

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Panticapaeum (Kerch, Ukraine) was an important city and port in Tauric Chersonesos on the western side of the Cimmerian Bosporus. It was founded by Milesians in the late 7th or early 6th century B.C. In the 5th century B.C. it became the capital of the Thracian kings of Bosporus. The last of the kings of Bosporus left it to Mithridates VI Eupator, king of Pontus. After his defeat to Rome, he committed suicide at Panticapaeum in 63 B.C. In that same year, the city was partly destroyed by an earthquake.
GB92212. Bronze dichalkon, SNG BM 941, SNG Cop 48, MacDonald Bosporus 161, Anokhin 203, HGC 7 128, SNG Stancomb -, VF, dark green patina, light cleaning marks, weight 3.208 g, maximum diameter 14.5 mm, Pantikapaion (Kerch, Crimea) mint, c. 109 - 105 B.C.; obverse star of eight rays around central pellet, Π-A-N-T-I-K-A-Π between rays; reverse tripod lebes; ex CNG mail bid sale 85 (5 May 2010), lot 554; ex Alex Shubs Collection; scarce; $120.00 SALE |PRICE| $108.00
 


Kios, Bithynia, c. 325 - 203 B.C.

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According to myth, Kios (Cius) was founded on the Propontis (Sea of Marmara) by Herakles when he accompanied the Argonauts. According to historians, it was founded in 626 - 625 B.C. by colonists from Miletos. Kios was often subject to greater powers, predominantly the Persian Empire until Alexander the Great invaded and took the city in 334 B.C. After disputes with Alexander's successors, Kios joined the Aetolian League, in opposition to Macedonia. In 202 B.C., Philip V of Macedonia and Prusias I of Bythinia destroyed the city and massacred, banished, or enslaved its citizens. Prusias built a new city on the site and named it for himself (Prusias ad Mare). After this atrocity, the Rodians asked the Roman Senate for help. The Romans seized this opportunity to invade Greece and defeat Philip V. In 74 B.C., after the death of King Nikomides III, the Romans occupied Kios and the whole of Bythinia. Under Rome, the name Kios was revived. An important link in the ancient Silk Road, Kios became a wealthy town.
GB89135. Bronze AE 11, SNG Cop 382; BMC Pontus, p. 131, 20; var. (KIA); SNGvA 7004 var. (same); Rec Gén I.2 7 var. (same), VF, nice dark green patina, weight 1.020 g, maximum diameter 10.5 mm, die axis 0o, Kios (Bursa, Turkey) mint, c. 325 - 203 B.C.; obverse young beardless male head (Mithras?) right, wearing a Phrygian cap and laurel wreath; reverse Kantharos between two bunches of grapes hanging on vines which emerge from the cup, K-I divided by stem, all within wreath of two stalks of grain; rare; $100.00 SALE |PRICE| $90.00
 


Amisos, Pontos, c. 120 - 100 B.C.

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Amisos was settled c. 760 - 750 B.C. by people from Miletus, who established a flourishing trade relationship with the ancient peoples of Anatolia. Amisos came under the rule of the Persian Empire, Alexander the Great's Macedonian Empire, and then the Kingdom of Pontus. The Romans took control in 47 B.C. and Amisos remained within the Byzantine Empire after the fall of Rome. In 1200, the city was captured by the Seljuks, to be later taken over by the Ilhanlilar. Amisos today is Samsun, a city of about half a million people on the north coast of Turkey.
GB89153. Bronze AE 20, SNG BM 1138; SNG Stancomb 671; BMC Pontos p. 37; HGC 7 226 (R1), VF, dark patina, light marks, slightly porous, weight 8.195 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 0o, Amisos (Samsun, Turkey) mint, c. 120 - 100 B.C.; obverse head of Artemis right, wearing stephane, hair rolled, bow and quiver at shoulder behind; reverse tripod lebes, AMI-ΣOY divided across field; rare; $100.00 SALE |PRICE| $90.00
 


Eumeneia, Phrygia, 133 - 30 B.C.

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"Philokhoros [Greek historian, c. 3rd century B.C.] says that drinkers not only reveal what they are, but also disclose the secrets of everybody else in their outspokenness. Hence the saying, ‘wine is truth also,’ and ‘wine revealeth the heart of man.’ Hence also the tripod as prize of victory in the Dionysia (Festival of Dionysos). For of those who speak the truth we say that they ‘speak from the tripod,’ and it must be understood that the mixing-bowl is Dionysos' tripod...In these they used to mix their wine, and this is ‘the veritable tripod truth.’ Wherefore the tripod is proper to Apollon because of its prophetic truth, while to Dionysos it is proper because of the truth of wine." -- Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae 2. 37f -38a
GB92007. Bronze AE 21, BMC Phrygia p. 212, 13; cf. SNG Cop 382 (magistrate); SNG München 203 (same); SNGvA 3583 (same); SNG Tübingen -, gF, centered on a tight flan, dark patina with highlighting buff earthen deposits, bumps and scratches, weight 7.485 g, maximum diameter 20.9 mm, die axis 0o, Eumeneia (near Civril, Turkey) mint, magistrate Dionysios Philonidos, 133 - 30 B.C.; obverse head of young Dionysos right, wreathed with ivy; reverse tripod lebes with three handles, star above center, star above snake-entwined labrys left, star above filleted laurel-branch right, EYMENEΩN downward on right, ∆IONYΣIOY / ΦIΛΩNI∆ (magistrate's name) downward in two lines on left; very rare magistrate; $100.00 SALE |PRICE| $90.00
 


Larissa-Ptolemais, Troas, 3rd Century B.C.

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Imhoof-Blumer attributed this type to Ptolemais in Pamphylia, but in Hill convincingly argued against that city. Waddington was of the opinion that these coins might belong to Lebedos under the name Ptolemais. L. Robert in Monnaies antiques en Troade (Paris, 1966), p. 56, suggests Larissa-Ptolemais in Troas. Most recent auction listings accept Robert's attribution but the identity of the city is by no means certain.
GB88082. Bronze AE 13, SNGvA 2026 (Lebedos-Ptolemais, Ionia), BMC Troas -, SNG Cop -, SNG Tübingen -, SNG München -, Winterthur -, Klein -, VF, nice dark patina, some porosity, earthen deposits, weight 1.988 g, maximum diameter 13.1 mm, die axis 0o, Larissa-Ptolemais mint, 3rd century B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIEΩ, amphora; very rare; $95.00 SALE |PRICE| $85.50
 


Laodikea ad Mare, Seleucis and Pieria, Syria, 80 - 79 B.C.

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Laodicea ad Mare prospered thanks to the excellent wine produced in the nearby hills and was also famous for its textiles, both of which were exported to all the empire. A sizable Jewish population lived in Laodicea during the first century. Under Septimius Severus the city was fortified and was made for a few years the capital of Roman Syria: in this period Laodicea grew to be a city of nearly 40,000 inhabitants and had even an hippodrome. Christianity was the main religion in the city after Constantine I and many bishops of Laodicea participated in ecumenical councils, mainly during Byzantine times. The heretic Apollinarius was bishop of Laodicea in the 4th century, when the city was fully Christian but with a few remaining Jews. An earthquake damaged the city in 494 A.D. Justinian I made Laodicea the capital of the Byzantine province of "Theodorias" in the early sixth century. Laodicea remained its capital for more than a century until the Arab conquest.
GB88223. Bronze AE 22, BMC Galatia p. 248, 10; HGC 9 1405 (R1); SNG München -; SNG Cop -, VF, green patina, scratches and marks, corrosion, light earthen deposits, weight 7.132 g, maximum diameter 22.3 mm, die axis 0o, Laodicea ad Mare (Latakia, Syria) mint, 80 - 79 B.C.; obverse laureate, bearded head of Zeus right; reverse tripod lebes, B (year 2 of the era of Laodikea ad Mare) inner left, ΛAO∆IKEΩN THΣ / IEPAΣ KAI in two downward lines on right, AYTONOMOY downward on left, EI(?) in exergue; rare; $90.00 SALE |PRICE| $81.00
 


Pantikapaion, Tauric Chersonesos, Thrace, c. 109 - 105 B.C.

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Panticapaeum (Kerch, Ukraine) was an important city and port in Tauric Chersonesos on the western side of the Cimmerian Bosporus. It was founded by Milesians in the late 7th or early 6th century B.C. In the 5th century B.C. it became the capital of the Thracian kings of Bosporus. The last of the kings of Bosporus left it to Mithridates VI Eupator, king of Pontus. After his defeat to Rome, he committed suicide at Panticapaeum in 63 B.C. In that same year, the city was partly destroyed by an earthquake.
GB88987. Bronze dichalkon, SNG BM 941, SNG Cop 48, MacDonald Bosporus 161, Anokhin 203, HGC 7 128, SNG Stancomb -, VF, full legend, dark patina, marks, weight 2.029 g, maximum diameter 12.8 mm, Pantikapaion (Kerch, Crimea) mint, c. 109 - 105 B.C.; obverse star of eight rays around central pellet, Π-A-N-T-I-K-A-Π between rays; reverse tripod lebes; ex Ancient Imports (Marc Breitsprecher); scarce; $90.00 SALE |PRICE| $81.00
 


Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus VI Dionysos, 144 - 142 B.C.

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Apamea is believed to be the Biblical city Shepham (Num. xxxiv. 11). It was fortified and enlarged by Seleucus I Nicator, who renamed it from Pharmake to Apamea, after his Bactrian wife, Apama. The Seleukids' elephant breeding and training camp was at Apamea. The pretender, Diodotus Tryphon, made Apameia the basis of his operations. At a strategic crossroad on the road to Cappadocia, Apamea was an important trade center in Roman Asia and flourished to the extent that its population eventually numbered half a million. The city boasted one of the largest theaters in the Roman world, and a monumental colonnade. The ruins of Apamea, with an enormous and highly ornamental acropolis, are about 55 km (34 mi) to the northwest of Hama, Syria.Great Colonnade at Apamea
GY85851. Bronze AE 21, Houghton-Lorber II 2015(1)c; Lindgren-Kovacs 1836 var. (∆P below), BMC Seleucid p. 65, 27 (IΓ lower left); HGC 9 1044, VF, earthen encrustation, porosity, marks and scratches, edge cracks, beveled obverse edge, weight 8.918 g, maximum diameter 20.8 mm, die axis 0o, Syria, Apameia (Qalaat al-Madiq, Syria) mint, 144 - 142 B.C.; obverse radiate head of Antiochos VI right; reverse Kantharos, palm frond inner right, control letter or monogram in exergue (off flan), BAΣIΛEΩΣ ANTIOXOY EΠIΦANOΣ ∆IONYΣOY in four downward lines the first two in the right, the last two on the left; ex Moneta Numismatic Services; $85.00 SALE |PRICE| $76.50
 




  



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