A Big Old Fat Bronze

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by David Atherton, Mar 25, 2021.

  1. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic

    I have to say I love big bronzes. My latest coin is a hefty drachm struck for Vespasian at Alexandria. The medallion like character of these pieces are truly something to behold. It's like getting a small dinner plate in the mail. :cigar:

    Æ Drachm, 17.32g
    Alexandria mint, 70-71 AD
    Obv: ΑΥΤΟΚ ΚΑΙΣ ΣΕΒΑ ΟΥΕΣΠΑΣΙΑΝΟΥ; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.
    Rev: LΓ; Winged bust of Nike, r.
    RPC 2427 (23 spec.). Emmett 208.3. Dattari-Savio 389-390.
    Acquired from Marc Breitspreicher, March 2021.

    The first drachms struck for Vespasian at Alexandria featured the 'Greek' winged Nike reverse - regnal year three being by far the most common. This Nike bust is a continuation of the same type struck for Galba, Otho, and Vitellius.

    Post your big bronzes!
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  3. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Cool coin, @David Atherton! Chunky indeed!

    This one's good sized.

    Gordian III, AD 238-244.
    Roman Provincial Æ 35 mm, 26.72 g, 6 h.
    Pisidia, Antioch, AD 238-244.
    Obv: IMP CAES M ANT GORDIANVS AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust of Gordian III, r., seen from rear.
    Rev: COL CAES ANTIOCH, S-R, Mên standing r., wearing Phrygian cap, foot on bucranium, holding sceptre and Victory (standing r., on globe, holding trophy), resting elbow on column; behind his shoulders, crescent; to l., rooster standing, l.
    Refs: RPC VII.2, — (unassigned; ID 3431); Krzyżanowska XXII/94; BMC xix.187, 70.

    It's chunky style!

  4. Orfew

    Orfew Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus Supporter

    A really nice example.
    David Atherton likes this.
  5. Clavdivs

    Clavdivs Supporter! Supporter

    That is a great drachm example!
    I have a massive Imperial issue of Domiatian that is very "medallion like"..

    Its very rough - but impressive in hand:

    Domitian, 81 - 96 AD
    AE Sestertius, Rome Mint, 35mm, 30.75 grams
    Obverse: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GER M COS XIII CENS PER P P, Laureate head of Domitian right.
    Reverse: IOVI VICTORI S C, Jupiter seated left holding Victory and scepter
  6. Andres2

    Andres2 Well-Known Member

  7. Ocatarinetabellatchitchix

    Ocatarinetabellatchitchix Supporter! Supporter

    Congrats on the decision you took 2 1/2 years ago !
  8. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic

    Thank you. It's one of the best things I have done for my collection!
    Alegandron likes this.
  9. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    I have no Alexandrian drachms to post, only tetradrachms. I do find it strange that in Roman Alexandria, the drachm was larger than the tetradrachm worth 4 times as much, even though for most of the period when both were manufactured, both were (or appeared to be) made entirely of bronze. A very different situation from elsewhere, where it was typical for a smaller silver coin to be worth more than a larger bronze coin. One would think that a larger bronze coin being worth more than a smaller bronze coin (even though the smaller coin was technically billon) would have caused some cognitive dissonance. Apparently not, though.
    Carl Wilmont and David Atherton like this.
  10. scottishmoney

    scottishmoney Unwell Unknown Unmembered Supporter


    A large AE46 from the Third Ptolemy in Egypt.
  11. Pellinore

    Pellinore Supporter! Supporter

    Two years ago I bought two of these (without anticipating it) in a German auction. Fascinating coins, heavy blobs of bronze they are, not nicely finished in any way. We discussed them on CoinTalk then. Here they are again, this time both seller's pictures (that I doctored a bit).

    3140 Vesp ct.jpg

    AE drachm Vespasian, Alexandria. Year 2-3 (=69-71). Bust of Nike with little wings on the shoulders to the right / Laureate head of Vespasian right. 35 mm, 21.85 gr. Emmett 208.

    3141 sct.jpg

    AE drachm Vespasian, Alexandria. Year 2-3 (=69-71). Bust of Nike right / Head of Vespasian right. 37 x 35 mm, 20.69 gr. Emmett 208.
  12. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic

    Flavian Alexandrian tetradrachms have a silver fineness of around 30%. In hand they certainly appear more 'silvery' than the drachms. Apparently, that was just enough silver to value them above the larger drachms.
  13. ancientone

    ancientone Well-Known Member

    Another nice Flavian David and in bronze!

    Here's some AE's for dinner.

    Keramus (7).jpg
    Caria, Ceramos. Antonininus Pius AE33 Zeus Chrysaoreus
    Laureate head of Antoninus Pius with traces of drapery, l. Zeus (Chrysaoreus) standing, facing, head, l., holding patera over eagle and long sceptre. BMC Caria, Pl. XII. Magistrate P. Ailios Themistokles Protoleontos, arxas (ex-archon?)
    33 mm. 19.91 g

    Tarsos1 (2).jpg Cilicia, Tarsos. AE35. Philip I or II / Spes
    AVT KAI IOV ΦIΛIΠΠON ЄVT ЄVC CЄ around, Π - Π in field, radiate, draped, cuirassed bust right.
    TAPCOV THC MHTPOΠOΛEΩC AMK, Elpis (Spes) standing left, holding flower and pulling on skirt, Γ B across fields.
    35mm., 23.4gm.

    Clipboarde2.jpg Ionia, Smyrna. Marcus Aurelius AE32. Alliance with Laodicea in Phrygia. Obv: AY K M AY ANTWNINOC, Bust of Marcus Aurelius r., laur., wearing cuirass and paludementum.
    Rev: ΑΤΤΑΛΟС СΟΦΙСΤΗС ΤΑΙС ΠΑΤΡΙСΙ СΜVΡ ΛΑΟ(Δ), Zeus Laodikeus holding eagle and scepter, the two Nemeses of Smyrna standing, facing each other, one holding cubit, the other holding bridle.
    32mm., 20g.
    Magistrate: P. Kl. Attalos, the sophist.
    BMC 514

    PergamonEphesosCommodus.jpg Mysia, Pergamon. Alliance with Ephesos. AE34 of Commodus
    Obv: laureate-headed bust of Commodus (short beard) wearing cuirass and paludamentum, r.
    Rev: to l., Asclepius standing, facing, (head, r.), holding serpent-staff; to r., cult statue of Artemis of Ephesus standing, facing, wearing kalathos, having supports.
    34mm and 20.8g.
    Howgego 70, Caracalla laureate, and reported on 114 coins from Pergamum.
    Howgego 811 meaning revalued to 6 assarii, and reported on
    32 coins from Ephesus.

    normal_philomelium2.jpg Phrygia, Philomelion. Severus Alexander AE34 Tetrassarion
    Obv: Radiate bust to the right
    Rev: Emperor rides with a raised lance to the right.
    Magistrate Markos Iulios Pauleinos
  14. Clavdivs

    Clavdivs Supporter! Supporter

    This big bronze beauty arrived today (finally).
    This is the first coin I have purchased from a European auction.. it was an interesting experience.
    I had been searching for a nice follis of Justinian for some time...
    My requirements were simple: a well centered coin with as much "face detail" as possible (while being affordable) - also the coin HAD to be larger than 40mm. I wanted a very big bronze!

    Followed some excellent advice I had read here... I created a spreadsheet calculating the Buyer's Fee, shipping etc - and knew my top bid prior to the auction. I was willing to go to $90 GBP ($124 USD) on this coin.. after prebids the "live" bidding started at $70 GBP at auction. I quickly bid $75 GBP and surprisingly to me that price held! So price worked out to $103 USD.
    With Buyers fee (10%), PayPal fee (4.5%), and Registered Shipping ($15 GBP) the price topped out at $101 GBP.. so $139 USD.

    Did I do well? There are cheaper options on VCoins to be sure - but none met my outlined criteria as fully as this coin. There are also similar coins with prices over $400 USD. I think I paid a very fair price (not a steal by any means) and was very happy to get the coin I wanted.

    One thing I learned... you may pay $15 GBP for "registered mail" delivery.. but you cannot track the shipment... last tracking note was when the coin left Belgium on March 3rd... arrived at my door March 26th... those 23 days were a worrying void of no information... just hope. I really thought I would see a tracking note on the acceptance of a registered letter once Canada Post received the coin.. but no. However it finally arrived. It was also well packaged - another worry of mine. The sellers photo was also a good representation.

    Sellers photo:
    My quick cell phone photo today:


    Byzantine Empire, Justinian I (527-565) AE follis
    Condition: Very Fine
    Weight: 23.4 gram
    Diameter: 42.3 mm

    Zeus Numismatics, Budget Auction 15, Lot#716

    Overall I am very happy with the coin, the price and the auction house (although the wait was a bit stressful).
    This is now my biggest bronze - an amazing feeling in hand!
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2021
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