A common coin... but...

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Orfew, Jul 6, 2021.

  1. Orfew

    Orfew Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus Supporter

    As many of you know I have added many rare Denarii of Domitian over the last few years. I have tried to add the rarest ones first reasoning that the common ones would readily be available but the opportunities to own the rare ones would be well...rare.

    So this coin is exceptional for 2 reasons. First, this is a very common coin, unlike the vast majority of coins in my collection. Next, I was totally blown away by the portrait. I have many portraits of Domitian and they range from bad to ho-hum nothing special, to very good, to spectacular. I have found that the denarii for Domitian as Caesar tend to be ugly or okay at best. This coin however is an exception to that observation.

    Even with the wear on the high spots of the hair, it should be easy to spot that this is not an ordinary portrait but is instead the product of a very talented engraver. This coin is from the Scipio collection. All I know about this collection is that it consisted of several thousand coins from many different eras and interests. I bought this coin as an unsold lot. I could hardly believe that it went unsold.

    Please post your coins with portraits you consider exceptional.

    Domitian as Caesar AR Denarius. Rome 77-78 CE
    Obv: Laureate head right; CAESAR AVG F DOMITIANVS
    Rev: Horseman galloping right; COS V in exergue
    RIC 957 (Vespasian); BMC 234 (Vespasian); RSC 49
    Purchased from Soler y Llach. Subasta Numismatica, Collecion Scipio, Primera Parte June 30, 2021 Lot 518.
    Screen Shot 2021-07-01 at 2.45.46 PM.png
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  3. Andres2

    Andres2 Well-Known Member

  4. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    That is a well-rendered, expressive portrait, indeed, @Orfew! A worthy addition to your numophylacium for sure!

    This portrait of Faustina is exceptional, and was obviously crafted by a very talented die-engraver.

    Faustina II, AD 147-175.
    Roman orichalcum sestertius, 24.80 g, 32.6 mm, 6 h.
    Rome, end AD 162-early 163.
    Obv: FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, draped bust right, wearing stephane.
    Rev: LAETITIA S C, Laetitia standing left, holding wreath and scepter.
    Refs: RIC 1653; BMCRE 928; Cohen 150; RCV 5279 var. (bust); MIR 21-6/10b diad.

    The Latin noun laetitia roughly means "happiness." Specifically, the word connotes a feeling of joy, exultation, rejoicing, gladness, pleasure, or delight.

    The Laetitia reverse type was large issue, issued under Marcus Aurelius end AD 162-early 163. The issue probably refers to the birth of M. Annius Verus in AD 162. The LAETITIA reverse type was used for the aureus, denarius, sestertius, and middle bronze denominations. Not only may the empress appear bare-headed, wearing a single or double strand of pearls, or a stephane, but Laetitia may appear standing right or left, with mirror-image reverse types. You'll have no trouble picking up one or more of these varieties on the market.

    *Szaivert, Wolfgang, Die Münzprägung der Kaiser Marcus Aurelius, Lucius Verus und Commodus (161/192), Moneta Imperii Romani 18. Vienna, 1989, p. 230 and Beckmann, Martin, Faustina the Younger: Coinage, Portraits, and Public Image, A.N.S. Numismatic Studies 43, American Numismatic Society, New York, 2021, p. 61.
  5. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

    Great portrait & coin.

    I always like the portraits on these two.

    Valerian I (253 - 260 A.D.)
    AR Antoninianus
    O: IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS AVG, radiate, draped bust right.
    R: CONCORDIA EXERCIT, Concordia standing left holding patera and double cornucopiae.
    RIC 81, Cohen 39; Sear 9929.

    Lucilla (162 - 182 A.D.)
    AR Denarius
    O: LVCILLAE AVG ANTONINI AVG F, Draped bust right.
    R: CONCORDIA, Concordia standing facing, head left, holding patera and double cornucopiae.
    Rome Mint
    RIC III 760.

    Ex. Cabinet Numismatique, Genève.

  6. gsimonel

    gsimonel Supporter! Supporter

    The coin itself is pretty beat up, but I've always been fond of this portrait of Claudius II ("Gothicus")
  7. Spaniard

    Spaniard Well-Known Member

    @Orfew.....Sweet looking coin, nice profile!
    Here's 3 of my favourites....
  8. Shea19

    Shea19 Supporter! Supporter

    That’s a beautiful portrait...surprised that went unsold, great pickup!

    I recently re-photographed this Trajan bronze with one of my favorite portraits.
  9. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter 3rd Century Usurper

    This one of Gallienus is pretty good (for the time and the fabric of the coin)/

    gal1.jpg gal2.jpg

    I also like this Pupienus, who has care-worn lines on his forehead and slight bags under the eyes.


  10. IMP Shogun

    IMP Shogun Well-Known Member

    Looks like an interesting patina, what's the reverse look like?
  11. Finn235

    Finn235 Well-Known Member

    Superb pick-up!

    Looking at it, I wonder if yours isn't the same hand that engraved my new Titus as Caesar denarius - mine definitely isn't as "wow!" but I see some definite stylistic similarities

    Titus as Caesar AR denarius PONTIF MAXIM vespasian mule.jpg

    My all-time favorite Roman Portrait is this snarling, intensely-staring-down Caracalla, that the engraver took the time to engrave individual nose wrinkles

    Better lighting:

    Some other favorite portraits (I'm a sucker for a fine style portrait, which used to be the exclusive focus of my Roman collection)

    Trebonianus Gallus
    Trebonianus Gallus Libertas.jpg

    Trajan Arabia denarius.jpg

    Quintillus AE Antoninianus Providentia.jpg

    I believe this was engraved by the engraver of his Aurei:

    Marcus Aurelius
    Marcus aurelius jupiter denarius.jpeg

    Pupienus antoninianus caritas mvtva avgg.jpg

    Probus military bust ADVENTVS PROBI.jpg

    Antoninus Pius as Caesar
    Antoninus pius caesar diana standing.jpg

    (These are usually good, but @Severus Alexander has one that is spectacular!)
  12. IMP Shogun

    IMP Shogun Well-Known Member

    I am very much a fan of Domitian coins, and have noticed a continuation of the fine style developed under him into the adoptive emperors. Even as part of my Scarface collection (say 'ello to my...nvm) one may appreciate the fine portrait style even early on in his reign:

    Domitian 81–96 A.D. denarius RIC 506 - Minerva
    Minerva standing right on capital of rostral column, holding spear and shield, owl at foot right

    My common coin is all-in $36; there are no barriers of entry to this hobby!

    I know there is no need to but - apologies for those that get weirded out with the cost reference, for me it's an integral part of collecting [money!].
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2021
    kountryken, Puckles, Spaniard and 9 others like this.
  13. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Supporter! Supporter

    Orfew, Your Domitian denarius has an exceptional high relief portrait :happy:! Attached below are some of my favorite portraits on coins. These have all been posted before but I'll enjoy posting them again :D.

    Prieur 1141 obv..JPG Prieur 86 obv..jpg Prieur 890, obv. (2).JPG RIC IV 676, obv..JPG 100_7071-1.jpg McAlee 901f, obv..JPG IMG_8889.JPG Philip II as Augstus, Prieur 470, McAlee 1054.jpg
    Antioch-Syria, Philip II, AD 247-249. Billon Tet: 13.37 gm, 27 mm, 2 h.

    IMG_8271.JPG Prieur 503, obv..JPG
  14. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander Blame my mother. Supporter

    I agree, that is a phenomenal portrait of Titus as Caesar!
    I enjoyed this bit of (presumably intentional) irony! Of course it makes total sense, but I imagine it would sound quite funny to a non-collector. :D

    I agree it's easier to find a nice portrait of Titus as Augustus. Here's my favourite (you've seen it before, but this is a new photo):
    titus as.jpg

    Thanks, @Finn235! As you know, I think your T-bone is spectacular, as is that Quintillus! Wonderful Pupienus too.

    Here's that A. Pi:
    ant pius as caesar.jpg

    I think it's pretty hard to find portraits of Marcus Aurelius that don't look cartoonish. Here's one I'm pretty happy with:
    aurelius ring.jpg

    Later gets harder. It's almost impossible to find a nice-style portrait of Gallienus post 260, for example. Here's one that I think is pretty decent:
    gallienus vict gm.jpg
    kountryken, Puckles, PeteB and 8 others like this.
  15. Hrefn

    Hrefn Well-Known Member

    Late Roman and Byzantine 3/4 facing busts lack much individuality for the most part, but this image of Constantius II seems to me to be an exception. This solidus and the London mint follis of Constantius I MEMORIA FELIX which I recently posted are among the few coins with a claim to realistic portraiture in my collection. upload_2021-7-6_17-23-13.jpeg
    kountryken, Puckles, PeteB and 5 others like this.
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