Sunday, 28 July 2019

'Fake' gold coin sells for $2.16 million

Mistakenly believed by its owner to be fake, a historic gold coin was authenticated as 'the discovery of a lifetime' by Numismatic Guaranty Corporation last year. It is only the fourth known surviving example of a $5 denomination coin struck at the San Francisco Mint in 1854. It made $ 2.16m. Mint records indicate 268 of these coins were made in the San Francisco mint in 1854, the first year they were produced.

The other known coins have a history. One is located at the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian, and another was stolen from the DuPont family in 1967 and has never been seen since.

Wednesday, 24 July 2019

New treasures from Heracleion

Heracleion off Egypt's north coast slumped into the sea some 1,200 years ago and was lost for centuries until divers rediscovered it in 2000.

Archaeologists have announced a series of new finds at the underwater site. A temple and shipwrecks with treasure has been discovered among the ruins of an ancient sunken city described as the "Egyptian Atlantis". Ancient columns, 2,000-year-old pottery and bronze coins from the reign of King Ptolemy II (283 to 246 BC) were also found.
Located at the entrance to the Nile, the city was Egypt's main international trading port, sporting statues, temples and a maze of canals.

Buried under centuries of silt, the ruins and artifacts are perfectly preserved thousands of years later.
See ----->Thonis-Heracleion

Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Roman Emperor Nerva

Nerva was Roman emperor from 96 to 98. Nerva became emperor at age 66 after a lifetime of imperial service under Nero. On 18 September 96, Domitian was assassinated in a palace conspiracy involving the Praetorian Guard. On the same day, Nerva was declared emperor by the Roman Senate.

A gold aureus of Nerva reflects the delicate balance of power in ancient Rome at the time. The circa A.D. 97 gold coin features a portrait of Nerva on the obverse, with clasped hands holding a legionary eagle set upon a prow on the reverse.
Nerva’s reign was greatly assisted by his predecessor’s decision to increase wages for soldiers from 225 denarii to 300 denarii, annually. In addition, the coins used to pay the wages were of increased weight and purity compared to previous coins, so the payout was even better.

Nerva's reign was marred by financial difficulties and his inability to assert control over the Roman army. A revolt by the Praetorian Guard in October 97 forced him to adopt an heir. Nerva adopted Trajan, a young and popular general, as his successor. Nerva died of natural causes shortly after and was succeeded by Trajan.

Friday, 19 July 2019

Treasures of Thrace

Thrace is a historical and geographic area in southeast Europe, centered on the modern borders of Bulgaria, Greece, and Turkey. In antiquity, it was also referred to as Europe, prior to the term to describe the whole continent.

Thrace designates a region bounded by the Balkan Mountains on the north, Rhodope Mountains and the Aegean Sea on the south, and by the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara on the east. The areas it comprises are southeastern Bulgaria (Northern Thrace), northeastern Greece (Western Thrace), and the European part of Turkey (Eastern Thrace). The biggest part of Thrace is part of present-day Bulgaria. The population of Thrace was a people called the Thracians, divided into numerous tribal groups. The region was controlled by the Persian Empire at its greatest extent, and Thracian soldiers were known to be used in the Persian armies. Later, Thracian troops were known to accompany Alexander the Great when he crossed the Hellespont.
Some of Bulgaria’s famous Thracian treasures were part of a major exhibition at the Louvre Museum in Paris in 2015.

The exhibition brought together more than 1,600 objects from 17 Bulgarian museums and several international museums including the Louvre and the Prado Museum, giving visitors an opportunity to see in one place some of the most significant Thracian artifacts that have ever been discovered.
The Odrysian kingdom was mostly on the territory of present-day Bulgaria but also included parts of modern Greece and Turkey. It was a regional power which was involved in the struggle with the Macedonian kingdom and with Athens and Sparta. One of the exhibition highlights is the bronze head of Seuthes III.

Hilt with gold inlay of Seuthes III's sword. ca. 331 BC.
Another highlight was the Panagyuriste gold treasure, which was excavated in 1949 and consists of gold drinking vessels that are elaborately decorated with mythological scenes and images, showcasing the artistic skills of the Thracians.

Rare gold hemidrachm from Thasos, Thracian islands.
Gold and silver greave (knee-piece)

Monday, 15 July 2019

Frank Frazetta - Egyptian Queen - $5.4m

Frank Frazetta. Egyptian Queen Painting, Original Art (1969). Frank Frazetta would continue to produce paintings for another 30 years, but this unforgettable image captured the hearts of legions and remains burned into the minds of generations. The Egyptian Queen first appeared in print as the cover for Eerie magazine #23 in mid-1969, and countless prints and posters were produced over subsequent decades.

This masterpiece has resided with the Frazetta family since its creation, it is the first time it has ever been offered on the market. It made $5.4m on 16th May, 2019.

Sunday, 14 July 2019

Foo Fighters - Hitler's Stealth Fighter

The term 'Foo Fighter' was used by Allied aircraft pilots in World War II to describe various UFOs or mysterious aerial phenomena seen in the skies over both the European and Pacific theaters of operations.

Though "foo fighter" was named by the U.S. 415th Night Fighter Squadron, the term was also commonly used to mean any UFO sighting from that period.
Formally reported from November 1944 onwards, witnesses often assumed that the foo fighters were secret weapons employed by the enemy. The Robertson Panel explored possible explanations, for instance that they were electrostatic phenomena similar to St. Elmo's fire, electromagnetic phenomena, or simply reflections of light from ice crystals.
The Horten Ho 229 – “Hitler’s Stealth fighter” was the first “flying wing” aircraft with a jet engine. It was the first plane with design elements, which can be referred to as stealth technology, to hinder the effectiveness of radar to detect the plane.

In 1943, the head of the German Luftwaffe, Hermann Göring, presented what is known as the “3 X 1000” goal. Goring wanted a plane that could carry 1000 kg of bombs (2,200 lb), with a range of 1000 km (620 miles), at a speed of 1000 km/h (620 mph). Work on the next prototype version of the plane, the H.IX V3, ended when the American 3rd Army’s VII Corps on April 14, 1945 reached the Gotha plant in Friederichsroda.
The only remaining Horten Ho 229 known was restored at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center.

The H.IX’s wings were made from two carbon injected plywood panels adhered to each other with a charcoal and sawdust mixture. Engineers at Northrop tested a non-flying reproduction and found the design gave about a 20 percent reduction in radar range detection over a conventional fighter of the day.