Roman Marble Statuette of A Muse Holding a Kithara, 2nd Century AD
74cm (29.1 in) high
74cm (29.1 in) high
The obverse has the image Dionysos wearing an ivy-wreath and the reverse has the inscription ΘAΣION behind Herakles, who’s wearing a lion’s skin headdress, kneeling and shooting an arrow, a K is inscribed on the right, all within a linear square within an incuse square. This rare coin sold at auction for around 82,500 USD.
Thasos is an island off the ancient Thracian coast in the northern Agean Sea. The island was important in wine trade and also controlled rich gold and silver mines on the mainland. It was colonized at an early date by Phoenicians who founded a temple to the god Melqart, whom the Greeks identified as “Tyrian Heracles.” The temple still existed in the time of Herodotus.
Miniature broad collar made in Egypt, early Ptolemaic Period (332–246 B.C.)
Via the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
This silver drachm was struck around 490-425 BC at the city of Sinope in Paphlagonia. It shows just the head of a sea-eagle facing left with a dolphin below. A quadripartite incuse square with an E in one of its quarters is on the reverse. Superb Extremely Fine.
Pontic Sinope (map) was founded by Milesian colonists as a center for trade on the Black Sea coast of Minor in the seventh century BC. It served as the seaport for a caravan route that extended south to Mesopotamia and trafficked in grain, luxury goods and a red earth pigment used throughout the Greek world for painting. This hematite-rich earth was known as sinopia or “Sinopic earth” after the city that exported it, but it was actually mined in the neighboring region of Cappadocia rather than in the environs of Sinope. In the fourth century BC the civic badge of Sinope was a seabird clutching a dolphin, but on early drachms such as this only the head appears and if the dolphin is present at all it is as a small subsidiary symbol.
This silver tetradrachm was struck around 350-334 BC during the Achaemenid Period. It shows a Persian king or hero either kneeling or running while drawing a bow. The reverse side has a Satrap on horseback, thrusting a spear. In the upper left field is the head of Herakles wearing a lion’s skin headdress. Very Rare. Extremely Fine.
This anonymous tetradrachm belongs to an enigmatic Carian coinage struck before the invasion of Alexander the Great and consisting of two series, one lacking additional symbols and the other featuring symbols behind the horseman, like the head of Herakles seen here. The presence of only the unmarked series in the Pixodaros Hoard (closed c. 341/0 BC) has led to the conclusion that the marked series, to which the present coin belongs, must have been produced after 341 BC. With this date it is tempting to suggest that the marked series may have been struck in the context of the dynastic dispute between Ada, the rightful female satrap of Caria, and her usurping brother, Pixodaros. In 340 BC, Pixodaros forcibly expelled Ada from the capital at Halikarnassos and claimed power for himself. She fled to the Carian fortress of Alinda where she continued to rule in exile. She remained in exile after the death of Pixodaros (c. 336 BC) and the transfer of power to his Persian brother-in-law, but she was restored by Alexander the Great in 334 BC after offering to adopt him as her son.
The types used for this coin are explicitly Persian, advertising the loyalty of the anonymous issuer to the Achaemenid dynasty of Great Kings. The obverse depicts the Great King (sometimes described as a hero) shooting a bow, drawing from the iconography of the already well-known royal/heroic archer obverses used for Persian sigloi struck by the satraps of Lydia since the end of the sixth century BC. The reverse depicts a cavalryman wearing the distinctive Persian kyrbasia headdress. Taken together, the types exemplify the noble ethos attributed to the Persians by the Greek historian Herodotus, who reports (1.136) that until age twenty, Persian youths were only taught three things: to ride, to shoot straight, and to speak the truth. The first two elements of this education are illustrated by the coin types, but the truth of the coin could only be determined with a scale.
A restrung necklace constructed with two-holed components of glass or faience, intended for inlaying flat faience elements resembling flower bundles alternating with flat discs, with later small oblate lapis beads between.
A tetradrachm minted under King Antigonos III Doson (“the man who will give”) of Macedon. Struck circa 227 – 225 BC at the Amphipolis mint. The obverse with the head of Poseidon, god of the sea. The deity is shown with furrowed brow, pursed lips and thick beard. He wears a wreath of seaweed through his wild hair. The reverse with Apollo, perching on the prow of a trireme, his legs resting beside the ship’s three pronged ram, his left hand steadying himself against the deck, his right holding out a bow. The inscription on the vessel’s side reading: BAΣIΛEΩΣ ANTIΓONOY “Of King Antigonos”
With the Greek letters theta and iota incised on the right cheek-guard.