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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Gods, Olympians| ▸ |Demeter or Ceres||View Options:  |  |  |   

Demeter or Ceres

The known mythology of Demeter and Ceres is identical. Demeter's (Ceres') virgin daughter Persephone (Proserpina) was abducted by Hades (Pluto) to be his wife in the underworld. Demeter searched for her endlessly, lighting her way through the earth with torches. While Demeter searched, preoccupied with her loss and her grief, the seasons halted; living things ceased their growth, then began to die. Some say that in her anger she laid a curse that caused plants to wither and die, and the land to become desolate. Faced with the extinction of all life on earth, Zeus (Jupiter) sent his messenger Hermes (Mercury) to the underworld to bring Persephone back. However, because Persephone had eaten while in the underworld, Hades had a claim on her. It was decreed that she must spend four months each year in the underworld. During these months Demeter grieves for her daughter's absence, withdrawing her gifts from the world, creating winter. Persephone's return brings the spring.


Caligula, 16 March 37 - 24 January 41 A.D., Magnesia ad Sipylum, Lydia

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Britannica 1859, Roman History notes: "[Caligula] encircled his own head with the oriental diadem armed with spikes or rays, the well-known symbol of divinity in the East." Prior to this, the radiate crown had been used to indicate the divinity of Divus Augustus achieved after his death. This is the first time that this crown is shown on a coin of a living Roman.
RP90987. Bronze assarion, RPC I 2455 (same dies, 4 spec.); SNG Cop 257 (same dies); BMC Lydia p. 145, 51; SNGvA -, VF, dark patina, scratches, some porosity, small edge split, weight 5.668 g, maximum diameter 20.9 mm, die axis 0o, Magnesia ad Sipylum (Manisa, Turkey) mint, 25 Jan 41 - 13 Oct 54 A.D.; obverse GAION KAICA-P-A - C-E-BACTON, radiate head of Caligula right; reverse MAΓN,HTΩN AΠO CIΠY,ΛOY (first three letters in exergue, continuing counterclockwise on the right, last three letters upward on left), Germanicus (on left) stands facing in toga capite velato, patera in right hand, behind Agrippina as Demeter, grain in right hand, scepter in left hand, [ΓEP/M / AΓ/PI in four lines in center field (not visible on this coin and not visible on the RPC plate coin)]; very rare; $320.00 SALE |PRICE| $288.00


Uncertain City (Panormos?), Sicily, Roman Rule, c. 211 - 190 B.C.

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In 254 B.C. Panormus was captured by the Romans. It retained its municipal freedom, and remained for many years one of the principal cities of Sicily. It continued to issue bronze coins, bearing the names of various resident magistrates, and following the Roman system. Under Augustus, Panormus received a Roman colony.
GI89312. Bronze triens, Semuncial standard; Calciati I p. 365, 205 (Panormos); SNG Mnchen 835 (Panormos); HGC 2 1691 (R1, uncertain Romano-Sicilian); SNG Cop -, aVF, off center but types on flan, a little rough, weight 3.239 g, maximum diameter 17.1 mm, die axis 90o, uncertain Romano-Sicilian mint, c. 211 - 190 B.C.; obverse veiled and draped bust of Demeter-Ceres left, small cornucopia behind neck; reverse double cornucopia, overflowing with bunches of grapes, tied with fillets, four pellets (mark of value) in a vertical line to left; rare; $120.00 SALE |PRICE| $108.00


Priapos, Mysia, 3rd - 1st Century B.C.

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Unpublished in the references examined and the only example of the type known to Forum.

Priapos (Karabiga, Turkey today) is located on the Mysian coast, on a small east-facing bay at the mouth of the Biga River, about a third of the distance from ancient Parium to Cyzicus. Strabo mentions that the area produced fine wine and that the god Priapus gave the town its ancient name. Thucydides mentions the town as a naval station. In 334 B.C., the town surrendered to Alexander the Great without contest, prior to the Battle of Granicus. Deities worshiped there included Demeter, Apollo, Artemis, and Dionysus. Under the Eastern Roman Empire, the town was known as Pegae and was the site of a Byzantine fortress.
GB83634. Bronze AE 13, cf. BMC Mysia p. 177, 14 (AE20, full ethnic 2 lines, bucranium); SNG Tb 2500 (same); SNG BnF 2410 (similar); SNG Cop -; SNGvA -; Lindgren -, VF, green patina, corrosion, weight 2.400 g, maximum diameter 13.4 mm, die axis 0o, Priapos (Karabiga, Turkey) mint, 3rd - 1st century B.C.; obverse head of Demeter right, veiled and wreathed with grain; reverse ΠPIA within grain wreath; extremely rare; $110.00 SALE |PRICE| $99.00


Thebai, Thessaly, Greece, c. 302 - 286 B.C.

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The famous sanctuary of Protesilaos was about ten miles from Thebai, at Phylake. An oracle had prophesied that the first Greek to walk on the land after stepping off a ship in the Trojan War would be the first to die. Protesilaos was the first who dared to leap ashore when the fleet touched the Troad. After killing four men, Protesilaos was slain by Hector, as prophesied, the first Greek to die.

In the war between Demetrius Poliorcetes and Cassander, in 302 B.C., Thebai was one of the strongholds of Cassander. Thebai and Pelinnaeum are mentioned in 282 B.C. as the only Thessalian cities that did not take part in the Lamian War.
GB87154. Bronze chalkous, BCD Thessaly II 760, Rogers 551, HGC 4 34 (R1), BCD Thessaly I -, aF, dark patina, tight flan, light pitting, weight 2.394 g, maximum diameter 14.5 mm, die axis 0o, Thebai Phthiotides (north of Mikrothivai, Greece) mint, c. 302 - 286 B.C.; obverse head of Demeter right, wearing grain wreath; reverse ΘHBAIΩN, Protesilaos advancing right from the prow of a galley right behind him, wearing military garb, sword in right hand, shield on left arm; rare; $105.00 SALE |PRICE| $95.00


Petelia, Bruttium, Italy, c. 216 - 204 B.C., Time of Hannibal

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"In 216, when most of South Italy joined Hannibal after Cannae, Petelia remained faithful to Rome and sought the dispatch of a Roman garrison. The Senate, however, felt it self unable to lend aid to so distant and ally; the town was besieged and after eleven months fell to the Carthaginians, who handed it over to the Bretti. After the defeat of Hannibal a substantial contingent of refugees who had escaped to Rome were restored to Petelia in recognition of their loyalty to Rome." -- N.K. Rutter, Historia Numorum Italy
GB88309. Bronze AE 21, BMC Italy p. 372, 8 (also Λ); HN Italy 2454; SNG ANS 602 var. (control); SNG Cop 1908 var. (same); SNG Mnchen 1551 - 1552 var. (same), F, uneven strike with weak areas, olive green and red patina, areas of corrosion, weight 7.431 g, maximum diameter 20.8 mm, die axis 90o, Petelia mint, under Hannibal, c. 216 - 204 B.C.; obverse head of Demeter right, wearing veil and wreath of barley; reverse ΠETHΛINΩN (clockwise on left), Zeus in fighting stance left, head right, nude, hurling thunderbolt with right hand, transverse long scepter in left hand, star with five rays around a central pellet left, Λ (control letter) lower right; ex Rudnik Numismatics; scarce; $90.00 SALE |PRICE| $81.00


Leontini, Sicily, c. 207 - 200 B.C.

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Leontini was founded by colonists from Naxos in 729 B.C. Six miles inland, it is the only Greek settlement in Sicily not located on the coast, Originally held by the Sicels, the site was seized by the Greeks to gain control of the fertile plain to the north.

When the Roman general Marcus Claudius Marcellus stormed the city in 214 B.C., Leontini was subject to Syracuse and the rulers of Syracuse actually resided there. Marcellus had 2000 Roman deserters who were hiding in the city killed, and then moved to lay siege to Syracuse itself.
GB65520. Bronze AE 16, Calciati p. 81, 9; SNG ANS 274; BMC Sicily p. 93, 66; SNG Cop 366, VF, weight 4.170 g, maximum diameter 16.1 mm, die axis 180o, Leontini mint, c. 207 - 200 B.C.; obverse veiled head of Demeter left, plow behind; reverse ΛEON, bundle of grain; $75.00 SALE |PRICE| $67.50


Pella, Macedonia, c. 187 - 168 B.C.

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Pella was founded in 399 B.C. by King Archelaus (413 - 399 B.C.) as his capital. It was the seat of Philip II and of his son, Alexander the Great. In 168 B.C., it was sacked by the Romans, and its treasury transported to Rome. Later the city was destroyed by an earthquake. By 180 A.D., Lucian could describe it in passing as "now insignificant, with very few inhabitants."
GB79966. Bronze AE 19, SNG ANS 572; SNG Cop 257 var. (no monogram upper right); BMC Macedonia p. 92, 29 var. (same); HGC 3 615, aVF, attractive patina, well centered on a tight flan, scratches, weight 7.510 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 0o, Pella mint, c. 187 - 168 B.C.; obverse veiled facing head of Demeter; reverse cow grazing right; ΠEΛ/ΛHΣ in two lines, starting above, ending below; monogram upper right, monogram below; ear of barley right on right in exergue; $75.00 SALE |PRICE| $67.50


Panormus, Sicily, 2nd - 1st Century B.C.

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Pyrrhus occupied Panormos in 276 B.C., taking it away from Carthage. After Pyrrhus departed Sicily, the Romans occupied Panormos in 254 or 253 B.C. Hasdrubal in 251 and Hamilcar in 247 - 245 B.C. attempted to retake the town but failed. Panormos prospered under Rome, assuming great importance in trade due to its location at the center of the Mediterranean Sea.
GB89333. Bronze AE 13, Calciati p. 363, 195; Winterthur 1062, HGC 2 -, SNG Cop -, SNG ANS -, SNG Morcom -, BMC Sicily -, aVF, flan crack, rough, weight 1.439 g, maximum diameter 14.0 mm, die axis 0o, Panormos (Palermo) mint, Roman rule, 2nd - 1st century B.C.; obverse bust of Demeter right, veiled and wreathed in grain; reverse two heads of grain, crescent above center, flanked by a pellet on each side; very rare; $60.00 SALE |PRICE| $54.00


Lysimachia, Thracian Chersonesos, c. 309 - 220 B.C.

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Lysimachia was built by Lysimachus in 309 B.C. On the isthmus, it commanded the road from Sestos and mainland Thrace. To obtain inhabitants for his new city, Lysimachus destroyed neighboring Cardia and settled the inhabitants of it and other Chersonese cities here. Lysimachus made Lysimachia the capital of his kingdom and it must have rapidly risen to great splendor and prosperity.
GB87702. Bronze AE 21, SNG Cop 906 var. (kerykeion); BMC Thrace p. 238, 6a var. (torch); Lindgren II 870 var. (kernel); SNG UK -; SNG Aarhus -; SNG Bar -, F, dark green patina, bumps and marks, corrosion, weight 8.993 g, maximum diameter 20.8 mm, die axis 270o, Lysimachia (Eksemil, Turkey) mint, probably c. 280 B.C.; obverse veiled head of Demeter right, wearing wreath of grain; reverse ΛYΣIMA/XEΩN in two lines within wreath of barley, club right (control) below; ex Savoca Numismatik, blue auction 4 (29 Dec 2017), lot 91; very rare; $45.00 SALE |PRICE| $40.50


Elaia, Aiolis, 2nd - 1st Century B.C.

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Elaea or Elaia was an ancient city of Aeolis, the port of Pergamum. The site is not precisely determined but is somewhere near the modern town of Zeytindag, Izmir Province, Turkey. According to Strabo, from Livy (xxxv. 13), travelers who would reach Pergamum from the sea, would land at Elaea. One of the passages of Livy shows that there was a small hill near Elaea, and that the town was on a plain and walled. Elaea was damaged by an earthquake in the reign of Trajan.
GB89013. Bronze AE 15, BMC Troas p. 127, 20; SNGvA 7685; SNG Cop 181; SNG Mnchen 395; SGCV II 4206, F, dark patina, scratches, porosity, earthen deposits, weight 3.725 g, maximum diameter 14.9 mm, die axis 0o, Aiolis, Aigai (near Yuntdagi Koseler, Turkey) mint, 2nd - 1st century B.C.; obverse head of Demeter right, wearing grain wreath; reverse lit torch, EΛ−AI/T−ΩN in two divided lines, all within grain wreath; ex Gerhard Rohde; $40.00 SALE |PRICE| $36.00




  



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Demeter or Ceres