The structure generally known as the temple of Augustus has recently been completely uncovered by the removal of the church of S. Maria Liberatric.(see a brief history and pics below) It is a large rectangular construction of brick-faced concrete, with very lofty and massive walls, and belongs to the period of Domitian. It forms a single structural unit shown very clearly by the unbroken lines of bonding courses of tiles which run right through it.
In 1902 the church located on this site, Chiesa di S.Maria Liberatrice, was demolished. It was built in the 13th century and transformed in baroque forms several centuries later (its name was given to another church built in the beginning of the 20th century in Testaccio district). Destruction brought to the light what rests of the more ancient Christian church, S.Maria Antiqua, erected in the 6th century inside of one of the halls of the imperial palace on Palatine Hill, built by Domitian.
Grab a cup of coffee. This is a novel.
We're all familiar with, and have our preferences one way or the other with the 4 major Third Party Grading (TPG) services - ANACS, ICG, NGC, PCGS (that's in alphabetical order, not preference). We are also aware that in general, PCGS and NGC are the top 2. ANACS seems to be tops when it comes to authenticity and varieties/VAMs by most accounts. ICG (in my personal opinion) had seemed to be a top 4 due to their acceptance by ebay, and not based on reputation among dealers, hobbyists, or numismatic forums. But! ICG has recently had some very good feedback about crossovers, and in general, good reports overall.
I have personally felt while they all do a pretty good job, none of them are perfect in their grading/attributing 100% of the time, and they're grading consistency seems to change with the times, or maybe the weather.
I have a number of coins that while weren't stellar, I felt would benefit from being slabbed...
A Pharaoh of Egypt minted coins!!!
This is where I talk about a coin I didn't know existed or could possibly exist! I stumbled upon this coin in an auction catalog kindly sent to me by Ken D. I must admit when I did read the description I was pretty shocked.
Here's an excellent write up taken from the NY sale XL:
"This remarkable stater is the only “Greek” coin to feature a type intended to express an idea using the Egyptian hieroglyphic script. It was struck by Nektanebo II (ca. 361-342 BC), a rebel Saite Pharaoh who opposed the re-incorporation of Egypt into the Achaemenid Persian empire. In his bid to maintain Egyptian independence, he had the support of the powerful Egyptian priesthood and maintained an army of Greek mercenaries. The coin is itself symbolic of Nektanebo’s unenviable predicament of being a nationalist leader with a regime propped up by foreign military muscle. While it is generally believed that this gold stater was part of an issue used to pay the Pharaoh’s...
Now that the northeast is experiencing another snowstorm I have time to write another thread. As I have mentioned in previous posts, I collect imperial sestertius (sestertii?), focusing on the family of Septimius Severus, excluding Severus Alexander, but including Elagabalus - somewhat irrational, but Severus Alexander would be simply too much! I used to have a far broader collecting goal, to collect examples of every person that struck a sestertius, in every style which existed, and in each rank, in other words, Caesar and Augustus. I managed to carry on with this goal for some years until it became clear that enormous amounts would have to be paid for worn examples, even assuming that there were any to be found. The decision would come down to a very (very) worn Pertinax, or a pretty nice someone else. And for many personages, it would never be possible to afford any at all, even assuming that any could be found. For...
I visited the Israel Museum on a recent vacation. There are two rooms dedicated to coins, as well as lots of smaller displays integrated into their fabulous antiquities collection. It shows coins in context, rather than showing the history of coinage in its own terms.
First was a room of Roman gold coins from the Victor Adda collection. He was an Egyptian cotton merchant who lived 1885-1965. His daughters inherited his collection, and much of it was sold in the 1980s. This display is of coins promised to the Israel Museum by his daughter. They're presented in a small, circular room with big reproductions of gold coins above the cabinets. Here's the Nerva enlargement:
And here are some of the displays:
In the main exhibition galleries I was struck by a hoard of silver from the 8th-7th century BC, just before the first coins, found at En Gedi on the Dead Sea. Interesting how many of the...
Eesti Pank is presenting a Silver collector coin and a Gold one for the 100th anniversary of EstoniaEesti Pank is presenting the silver and gold collector coins for the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Republic of Estonia.
“As a central bank we are making an important contribution to the celebration of the anniversary of the Republic of Estonia by issuing two collector coins. These coins of precious metal will support and help transmit the message of the date that is special for all of us”, said Ardo Hansson, Governor of Eesti Pank.
The gold collector coin for the centenary of the Republic has been designed by Tiiu Pirsko and Mati Veermets. Its design features the Estonian national flower, the cornflower, and the oldest Estonian geometric design, in which the symbols represent perfect happiness, development and balance. The silver coin was designed by Margus Kadarik and Toomas Niklus and has a design featuring the outline of Estonia in blue, black and white on a globe. In the sky above is a line of poetry by Kristjan Jaak Peterson “Is not the language of this...
Reviewing recently the Heritage archives for the 1808 Classic Head, variety S-278 I came across this example which interestingly shows very similar striking characteristics to an example in my collection.
This is the Heritage example:
The auction description for this coins reads: ''The uneven strike suggests misaligned dies or a tapered planchet. The obverse is extremely weak from 6 to 10 o'clock, and the reverse is similarly weak from 8 to 12 o'clock''.
This is my example. It shows the same obverse and reverse peripheral weakness. This weakness is not common in S-278 (of 73 examples of S-278 listed, only 3 or 4 show similar striking weakness).
It therefore occurred to me that both of these coins must have been struck from the same section of planchet strip (that was tapered so as to cause the weakness when struck), and possibly also within a very short time span from each other.
This is the only way that I can explain...
I acquired an Edward I Penny Class 1c back in 2017 but haven’t had the chance to give it the post it deserves until now. I hope this long winded post makes for an enjoyable read, even for those without a collecting interest in medieval coins.
The reign of Henry III of England is remarkable for not only its length, but also the political instability and military setbacks throughout his reign. In 1247 a reformation of the English coinage was badly needed. Clipping of the coins had become such a problem that many of the coins in circulation were underweight while many others were in poor shape. Coins of good quality and full weight were hoarded and removed from circulation. The new penny that was introduced is known as the Voided Long-Cross penny, with a cross stretching the lengthof the reverse of the coin in an attempt to deter clipping. The voided long cross also made cutting the penny into halves and quarters, a long standing tradition, much easier....
... but I don't yet know what! This coin was a splurge from many months ago but I hadn't yet posted it, wanting first to satisfy my remaining questions. I've failed to do so and am enlisting your help.
EGYPT, Alexandria. Nero
Regnal year 14 (CE 67/8)
AE diobol; 27 mm, 10.9 gm
Obv: NEPΩKΛAVK[AIΣΣEBΓEPA]; laureate head right
Rev: L - IΔ; "vase" (Emmett), or "oinochoe" per others (others are probably correct)
Ref: Dattari-Savio Pl. 1, 2 (this coin); Dattari cf 286; RPC 5322; Emmett 153.14; Poole (BM, 1892) cf 188?; Milne -; none in a few other minor references I own. Rare.
ex Dattari collection (Giovanni Dattari, 1858-1923)
I bought this coin for several reasons. First, I love coins of Roman Egypt, especially ones with unusual or Egypt-specific reverses. Second, I'm a sucker for an old pedigree and this is another ex Dattari coin. Third, I hadn't seen such a detailed oinochoe on a coin (they are found on several tiny...
- Roger I Grand Count of Sicily( c. 1031 – 22 June 1101), was a Norman nobleman who became the first Count of Sicily from 1071 to 1101. Born in Normandy, he was a member of the House of Hauteville.
- Roger II, sucessor to his father, Roger I, he became himself first Count of Sicily from 1101 to 1130, then king of Sicily from 1130-1154 , and his descendants in the male line continued to rule Sicily, down to 1194.
- William I. King of Sicily.. the second King of Sicily, ruling from his father's death in 1154
to his own in 1166.
Under the Norman kings, Sicily lived a peaceful period of coexistence for Christians, Moslems and Jews, they could freely speak their language and follow their religious rites.
This is reflected in coins, some of which also reproduced islamic characters (sometimes more imitative than accurate) besides their latin legends.
For instance, here are three coins of the Normans:
-ROGER I, Grand Count of Sicily,...
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