A Damaged Domitian

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by David Atherton, May 23, 2020.

  1. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic

    Specialists cannot be too picky about the coins they collect. When it comes to rarities you take what you can get. I recently came across this extremely rare Domitian denarius on eBay, I didn't mind it came warped.

    AR Denarius, 3.02g
    Rome mint, 88 AD
    Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P VII; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
    Rev: IMP XV COS XIIII CENS P P P; Minerva stg. r. on capital of rostral column, with spear and shield; to r., owl (M2)
    RIC 592 (R2). BMC -. RSC -. BNC -.
    Acquired from eBay, May 2020. Formerly in ANACS holder 6241625, grade F 15, Damaged.

    On 1 January 88 Domitian still held his 14th imperial acclamation, but soon he was to rack up three more by the year's end. This denarius is dated by his 15th imperial acclamation, presumably from a Dacian campaign battle, awarded sometime in late summer just before the new title TR P VIII is recorded on the coinage in mid September. The issue from which this coin was struck is quite rare, indicating a very small period of time it could have been struck, perhaps just a few weeks. Missing from the BM and Paris collections. RIC cites one in Madrid and another in a private collection. @Orfew has a specimen as well.

    It's hard to tell when the damage to this coin occurred or what caused it (any educated guesses would be appreciated!), but overall I don't think the warped flan detracts too much from the overall appearance. At any rate, it's highly unlikely another will cross my path any time soon - I can live with it.

    Feel free to post your beloved and damaged coins.
    Last edited: May 23, 2020
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  3. svessien

    svessien Senior Member

    Just so I understand this: It is the combination of IMP XV and TR P VII that is rare? Are IMP XV coins more scarce in general?
  4. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic

    It's the 15th imperial acclamation that makes this an extremely rare variant. Very few denarii record it.
    svessien likes this.
  5. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    Most of us specialize; some of us specialize in several things. There are many who 'specialize' in high grade coins - they never saw a MS coin they did not like. David specializes in Flavians like I specialize in Eastern Severans - we take what we can get. Some coins are more rare than others. A few are unique but more exist in numbers that they come available once in a decade rather than once in a lifetime. We specialists jump at the chance of a once in a decade type or even a once a year type if that type strikes us as significant in some way. My best example is my Julia Domna with the Victor Ivst reverse. When I got my rough one, they were only listed in Cohen from the BnF specimen that has not yet been posted online (so we really do not know what, or if, it exists today. I upgraded (sort of) with a coin with better surfaces but legends lost to a small flan. Then the British Museum posted their coins online and showed two they had obtained since the BMCRE V came out. That means I have seen five listed (four confirmed) including my two. I look forward to the possibility of upgrading again but, since I do not specialize in MS gems, I would be happy with a smooth fine with full legends just as David will be happy when his damaged coin is joined with an even slightly better one. We are specialists and we take what we can get.
    rk5140fd1946.jpg rk5145fd3443.jpg
    Congratulations to David although I am sure that 90% of collectors would not want that coin (or any of my favorites) under any circumstances because we are not Flavian specialists and the coin is not a gem in the high grade sense of the word. I am happy whenever such a coin ends up in the hands of someone who recognizes it is actually a gem even if it is a bit 'rough cut'.
  6. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    This Faustina I dupondius with a veiled and stephaned bust type doesn't look like much, but like @David Atherton and @dougsmit , I jumped on it because it is a once-in-a-lifetime coin.

    Faustina Sr AETERNITAS Fortuna dupondius veiled.jpg
    Faustina I, AD 138-141.
    Roman orichalcum dupondius, 10.62 g, 28.1 mm, 7 h.
    Rome, AD 150.
    Obv: DIVA FAV-STINA, diademed, veiled and draped bust, right.
    Rev: AETER-NITAS S C, Fortuna standing left, holding globe and rudder.
    Refs: RIC 1160b; Cohen 9; Strack 1267; ERIC II 356.
    Notes: TimeLine Auctions (February 2019 Antiquities & Coins Auction), 26.2.2019, lot 3379.

    There are no examples online at any database. There are four known specimens:

    Veiled bust, unclear if stephane is present
    Bibliothèque nationale de France in Paris (Cited by Cohen/RIC/ERIC II and Strack)
    Staatliches Münzkabinett in Berlin (Cited by Strack)
    Nationalmuseum in Rome (Cited by Strack)​

    Veiled and stephaned bust
    My coin.​
  7. Gary R. Wilson


    Here's a Faustina funeral pyre sestertius with damage but because of it's rarity I can definitely live with it.


    Faustina I (Augusta)
    Coin: Brass Sestertius
    DIVA AVGVSTA FAVSTINA - Veiled and draped bust right
    CONSE-CRATIO, S C in exergue - Pyramidal crematorium of four stories, surmounted by Faustina in biga right.
    Exergue: SC

    Mint:Rome (141 AD)
    Wt./Size/Axis:23.76g / 33mm / 12h
    RIC III 1135b (Pius)
    BMCRE 1429 (Pius)
    Cohen 186.
    Sear 4625
    BMC 1429
    Savoca Coins
    Acquisition/Sale: Savoca Coins Internet 3rd Blue Auction #992 $0.00 06/19
    Notes: Jun 9, 19 - The Gary R. Wilson Collection
  8. Orfew

    Orfew Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus Supporter

    This coin is one of the very rare examples where I found one before David did.

    When I see a coin I have not seen in 4-5 years, I do not care about condition. I would rather have the coin than not. In these cases you take what the market gives you.

    Congrats David on adding this elusive coin to your collection.

    Domitian RIC 592 no background.jpg
  9. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter

    Very nice, @David Atherton ! LOL, I LIKE the warpage! Always a story / reason / conundrum as to why or how that happened! Inf act, if you had not pointed it out, I would had just admired the coin, and my mind's eye would had ignored it.

    Did a lot of steel and molded products manufacturing over my career, and it was so cool to see some of the weird manufacturing mistakes!

    I believe this is flan warpage / deformation as it was pounded. Still, I like the curls / rolls.

    Thasos, Thrace, (146 - 50 B.C.)
    AR Tetradrachm
    O: Young head of Dionysos wearing wreath of leaves and grapes and band across forehead.
    R: ΗΡΑΚΛΕΟΥΣ ΣΩΤΗΡΟΣ ΘΑΣΙΩΝ, Hercules naked standing left holding club, lion skin draped over arm; monogram.
    33mm 16.1g
    SNG Copenhagen 1040; SG-1759; SNG Ashmolean 3689; Le Rider, Thasos 51Thasos
    Ex: @Ancientnoob
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