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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Types| ▸ |Grapes & Wine||View Options:  |  |  |   

Grapes and Wine on Ancient Coins

Coins related to grapes and wine are popular. Of course, we also include in this theme coins depicting the gods of wine - Dionysus, Bacchus, and Liber.


Roman Bronze Vessel Handle, Ornamented With Bacchus and a Panther, c. 1st Century A.D.

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The Panther was the companion of Bacchus. The grapevine and its wild barren alter-ego, the toxic ivy plant, were both sacred to him. This handle was once attached to vessel used for serving or drinking wine.
AI30971. height 8.0 cm (3"), excellent condition with a nice green patina, bronze vessel handle ornamented with a facing young head of Bacchus wearing an ivy wreath in his long flowing hair, panther skin tied at neck, the curving handle ends with a panther head; $350.00 (€308.00)
 


Naxos, Sicily, c. 461 - 430 B.C.

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Naxos was an ancient Greek city of Sicily on the east coast of the island between Catana (modern Catania) and Messana (modern Messina). It was at the mouth of the river Acesines (modern Alcantara) and at the foot of the hill on which was afterwards built the city of Tauromenium (modern Taormina). In 403 B.C., Dionysius of Syracuse, having made himself master of Naxos by the treachery of their general Procles, sold all the inhabitants as slaves and destroyed the walls and buildings of the city. The site of Naxos was never again inhabited in antiquity; but in 358 B.C., the Naxian exiles from all parts of the island joined together and founded Tauromenium on top of the nearby hill.
GI91051. Silver litra, Cahn 74.8 (V54/R62); Rizzo pl. XXVIII, 15; SNG ANS 521; SNG Mün 758; SNG Cop 491; BMC Italy 17; de Luynes 1067, HGC 2 970 (R2) (all same dies), VF, well centered, light marks, etched surfaces, weight 0.653 g, maximum diameter 11.6 mm, die axis 0o, Naxos mint, c. 461 - 430 B.C.; obverse NAXI (clockwise on right), head of Dionysos right, wearing ivy wreath; reverse bunch of grapes on vine with leaves and tendrils around; ex Roma Numismatics e-sale 39 (27 Aug 2017), lot 68; ex Mark Christenson Collection; rare; $280.00 (€246.40)
 


Thracian Tribes, c. 400 - 338 B.C., Imitative of Chersonesos

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This "barbarous imitation" was likely minted by a Thracian tribe living near the Greek colony of Cherronesos. Imitative tribal coinage such as this was common in the outlying regions of the classical world as peoples who traded with the ancient Greeks and Romans, also emulated their ways. The coin's simplified style is typical of such coinage. Tribal coinage has not been as well studied or documented and apparently no Cherronesos imitatives are listed in the references held by Forum.
GS91085. Silver hemidrachm, cf. McClean II 4079; BMC Thrace p. 183, 11; SNG Ashmolean 3589; Weber 2419; SNG Cop - (Chersonesos prototype), VF, uneven obverse strike, porous etched surfaces, weight 2.374 g, maximum diameter 13.2 mm, tribal mint, c. 400 - 338 B.C.; obverse lion forepart right, head turned back left; reverse quadripartite incuse square with alternating shallow and deeper sunken quarters, pellet in one sunken quarter, bunch of grapes in the opposite sunken quarter; $250.00 (€220.00)
 


Thracian Tribes, c. 400 - 338 B.C., Imitative of Chersonesos

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This "barbarous imitation" was likely minted by a Thracian tribe living near the Greek colony of Cherronesos. Imitative tribal coinage such as this was common in the outlying regions of the classical world as peoples who traded with the ancient Greeks and Romans, also emulated their ways. The coin's simplified style is typical of such coinage. Tribal coinage has not been as well studied or documented and apparently no Cherronesos imitatives are listed in the references held by Forum.
GS91084. Silver hemidrachm, cf. McClean II 4079; BMC Thrace p. 183, 11; SNG Ashmolean 3589; Weber 2419; SNG Cop - (Chersonesos prototype), VF, lightly etched surface, obverse off center, weight 2.470 g, maximum diameter 13.6 mm, tribal mint, c. 400 - 338 B.C.; obverse lion forepart right, head turned back left; reverse quadripartite incuse square with alternating shallow and deeper sunken quarters, pellet in one sunken quarter, bunch of grapes in the opposite sunken quarter; $225.00 (€198.00)
 


Roman Macedonia, "Thasian" Type, c. 148 - 80 B.C.

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This Dionysos / Herakles type was first struck by Thasos itself on the island and in its continental territories in the South of the Balkans, c. 168 - 148 B.C. After Rome took control of the area, "Thasian" types were struck by Roman authorities, c. 148 - 80 B.C., mainly in Macedonia but also, perhaps, by mobile military mints on campaigns. Imitatives were also struck by at least several tribal groups (mainly Celtic or mixed enclaves) from as early as 120 - 100 B.C. to about 20 - 10 B.C.
GS82782. Silver tetradrachm, Prokopov Thasos, group XII, monogram 7, 689 (V AC3 / R 536); Lukanc 771 (same dies); SNG Cop 1042, VF, porosity on obverse, bumps and scratches, edge crack, weight 16.65 g, maximum diameter 32.2 mm, die axis 0o, Roman provincial or military mint, c. 148 - 80 B.C.; obverse head of Dionysos right, wearing taenia and wreathed in flowering ivy; reverse HPAKΛEOYΣ ΣΩTHPOΣ ΘAΣIΩN, Herakles standing half left, nude but for Nemean lion's skin on left arm, resting right hand on grounded club before him, left hand on hip, (MH monogram) inner left; $200.00 (€176.00)
 


Dikaia, Macedonia, 5th Century B.C.

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The referenced Pecunem Gitbud & Naumann coin is very similar, but from different dies. The referenced VAuctions coin, presumably a later issue, is also very similar but with ∆IKAI and a dotted square border around the grapes within a shallower square incuse. Dikaia was located between the rivers Nestos and Hebros.
GS92899. Silver hemiobol, Apparently unpublished in the standard references; Gitbud & Naumann auction 11 (29 Dec 2013), lot 89; cf. VAuctions 270, lot 112 (see notes), VF, well centered on an irregularly shaped flan, toned, earthen deposits, reverse flatly struck, weight 0.295 g, maximum diameter 7.5 mm, die axis 180o, Dikaia mint, 5th century B.C.; obverse head of lion right; reverse bunch of grapes on stem within incuse square; extremely rare; $200.00 (€176.00)
 


Roman Macedonia, "Thasian" Type, c. 148 - 80 B.C.

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This Dionysos / Herakles type was first struck by Thasos itself on the island and in its continental territories in the South of the Balkans, c. 168 - 148 B.C. After Rome took control of the area, "Thasian" types were struck by Roman authorities, c. 148 - 80 B.C., mainly in Macedonia but also, perhaps, by mobile military mints on campaigns. Imitatives were also struck by at least several tribal groups (mainly Celtic or mixed enclaves) from as early as 120 - 100 B.C. to about 20 - 10 B.C.
GS82779. Silver tetradrachm, Prokopov Thasos, group XIX, monogram 2, 1831 (V GB4 / R 1437); Lukanc 735 (same dies); SNG Cop 1045 (Thasos), weight 16.694 g, maximum diameter 32.3 mm, die axis 0o, Roman provincial or military mint, c. 148 - 80 B.C.; obverse head of Dionysos right, wearing taenia and wreathed in flowering ivy; reverse HPAKΛEOYΣ ΣΩTHPOΣ ΘAΣIΩN, Herakles standing half left, nude but for Nemean lion's skin on left arm, resting right hand on grounded club before him, left hand on hip, (MH monogram) inner left; $190.00 (€167.20)
 


Roman Macedonia, "Thasian" Type, c. 148 - 80 B.C.

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This Dionysos / Herakles type was first struck by Thasos itself on the island and in its continental territories in the South of the Balkans, c. 168 - 148 B.C. After Rome took control of the area, "Thasian" types were struck by Roman authorities, c. 148 - 80 B.C., mainly in Macedonia but also, perhaps, by mobile military mints on campaigns. Imitatives were also struck by at least several tribal groups (mainly Celtic or mixed enclaves) from as early as 120 - 100 B.C. to about 20 - 10 B.C.
GS79632. Silver tetradrachm, Prokopov Thasos, group XIV, monogram 24, cf. 1100 - 1104 (V CD3 / -); SNG Cop 1046 (Thasos), VF, centered, toned, struck with a worn obverse die, scrape on chin, scratches and marks, weight 16.690 g, maximum diameter 33.1 mm, die axis 0o, Roman provincial or military mint, c. 148 - 80 B.C.; obverse head of Dionysos right, wearing taenia and wreathed in flowering ivy; reverse HPAKΛEOYΣ ΣΩTHPOΣ ΘAΣIΩN, Herakles standing half left, nude but for Nemean lion's skin on left arm, resting right hand on grounded club before him, left hand on hip, monogram inner left; $160.00 (€140.80)
 


Late Roman - Byzantine, Holyland (Syro-Palestinian), "Elongated" Pottery Oil Lamp, c. 400 - 620 A.D.

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This type is identified by Adler as a Transjordan elongated lamp. Adler writes that the shoulders are narrow and ornamented with a wide variety of motifs including linear bands, geometric, and floral designs; the handle is tongue shaped projecting horizontally and decorated with three or more bands; the nozzle is decorated with geometric or floral designs or rarely a cross. The type is found in the northern part of Transjordan, and in Israel, mainly in northern Israel and the Beit Shean area. They date to the fifth and sixth century but possibly also the beginning of the seventh century. In the Hellenistic and Roman eras Beit Shean was the Decapolis city Scythopolis. Click the photo on the right of the ancient ruins at Beit Shean, to learn more about the city. Scythopolis
AL93937. Transjordan elongated lamp; Adler type JOR.1, cf. 971 (slightly larger, very similar ornamentation); 8.9 cm (3 1/2") long, Choice, complete and intact, c. 400 - 600/620 A.D.; pink clay, mold made, elongated body, tongue shaped handle rising diagonally ornamented with three vertical bands, double rim around large filling hole, radiating bands on convex shoulders, dots and lines (grapes on vine) on nozzle; $150.00 (€132.00)
 


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 (€88.00)
 




  



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Grapes & Wine