A Friday Afternoon Die

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by David Atherton, Feb 13, 2019.

  1. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic

    I placed a bid for this coin on a whim. The bidding started at € 25, surprisingly I won it for € 30. It has all the hallmarks of a coin struck just before quitting time when the mint workers had that end of the day cup of wine on their minds. Admittedly, not a pretty coin, but it's the kind of piece that really brings me joy.

    V1170var..jpg Vespasian
    Æ As, 8.58g
    Lyon mint, 71 AD
    RIC 1170 var. BMC 811 var.
    Obv: IMP CAESAR VESPASIAN AVG COS III; Head of Vespasian, r.; globe at point of bust
    Rev: Retrograde S C in field; Eagle stg. front on globe, wings outstretched, head r.
    Ex Ibercoin 25, 30 January 2019, lot 385.

    The reverse is the main attraction here. The 'S C' is mistakenly struck retrograde, a major error on the engraver's part. I wonder how many of these were struck until the mistake was noticed? It's the first one I've come across. Errors like this are quite rare in the Flavian era, which would probably indicate there aren't many examples of this reverse die that survived. This As was struck in 71 when both Rome and Lyon produced a massive issue of bronze, which may somewhat excuse the error. Rare even without the retrograde 'S C'. Also of note, the 'S C' on this type is normally placed on either side of the eagle's wings, here it is on either side of its claws.

    Feel free to post your 'Friday afternoon' coins!
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2019
    Pavlos, dlhill132, Cucumbor and 29 others like this.
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  3. alde

    alde Always Learning

    That's one of the most interesting coins I've seen in a while. When I first saw it I assumed the photo of the reverse was a mirror image.
    David Atherton likes this.
  4. Justin Lee

    Justin Lee I learn by doing Supporter

    I'm glad you got it! It is a really fascinating coin!

    This Antioch Augustus was struck by Kevin after already starting his Happy Hour wine (or two) a little early on a Friday afternoon.

    Augustus, Ruled 27 BC-14 AD
    AE30, Syria, Antioch Mint
    : IMP•AVGVST• - TR•POT, laureate bust of Augustus right.
    Reverse: Large SC within laurel-wreath of eight leaves fastened at top with pellet, between inner and outer borders.
    Reverse is slightly double-struck, which is typical of this early issue (per Butcher, Coinage in Roman Syria).
    References: RPC I 4247, McAlee 206b
    Size: 30mm, 18.0g
  5. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Supporter! Supporter

    ROMAN Soldier emoji.gif
    Nice score David
  6. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Here's a couple of 'em struck just before quittin' time at the mint:

    Gallienus PAX off center.jpg Gallienus PAX flan chip.jpg
  7. Aleph

    Aleph Active Member

    Are you confident it’s not an ancient imitation? I have several examples of bronzes with sc retrograde. I have always assumed they are unofficial.
    Volodya likes this.
  8. TypeCoin971793

    TypeCoin971793 Just a random nobody...

  9. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Supporter! Supporter

  10. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic

    Yes - style, fabric, and weight are correct for an official piece.
    Aleph likes this.
  11. randygeki

    randygeki Coin Collector

    That's a pretty neat find!
    David Atherton likes this.
  12. rrdenarius

    rrdenarius non omnibus dormio Supporter

    Interesting find. If I had seen the pic in an auction, I would have assumed the pic was flipped.
    I have some Friday Widow's Mites.
    fods mite 5.JPG fods mite s2.JPG
  13. Andres2

    Andres2 Well-Known Member

    That's a bargain David , congrats.

    Suppose to look like this:

  14. Nemo

    Nemo Well-Known Member

    Awesome coin, it’s funny how our eyes usually only see what we expect to see.
    David Atherton likes this.
  15. Orielensis

    Orielensis Well-Known Member

    It took me a second to see it – quite a wonderful coin!

    Here is one of my "Kevins":

    Roman Provincial – Geta:Caracalla hybrid.png
    Caracalla, Roman Empire, provincial AE issue of Pautalia in Thrace, ca. 211–217 (?). Obv: Π AV[T K M A or similar] ANTONEI, laureate head of Caracalla r. Rev: OYΛΠIAC [ΠAYTAΛIAC], snake coiled on short column/altar. 17.5–21mm, 5.69g. Ref: Varbanov II, 4975 var. (legend); see also Ruzicka (1933), no. 758, 842, and 844.

    What's exceptional about this otherwise unremarkable coin is the obverse legend. The initial Π (for Publius Septimius Geta) would indicate Geta; the legend on comparable coins reads Π CEPTI GETAC KAI or similar.

    Yet, the same type also exists for Caracalla, and the final ANTONEI (for Marcus Aurelius Severus Antoninus) suggests that this coin was minted for Caracalla. His full legend on coins of Pautalia tends to be something along the lines of AVT K M AYΡH ANTΩNEINOC, and is often abbreviated as AVT K M A ANTΩNEI or similar.

    My best guess is that the engraver started a legend for Geta beginning with Π, and then realized that he actually had to engrave a die for Caracalla, for example because the latter just had had his brother murdered. Thus, our resourceful celator simply continued with AV ... ANTONEI, effectively producing a hybrid legend.
  16. dlhill132

    dlhill132 Member

  17. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic

    Possibly struck with one eye on the sundial! o_O
    dlhill132 likes this.
  18. cmezner

    cmezner Well-Known Member

    My Friday afternoon Augustus: engraver placed the dot after the large C instead between S and C, and I took the picture on a Friday afternoon :bag: will have to make a better one:
    25 x 28 mm, 14.38 g; Seleucis and Pieria, Antiochia ad Orontem, 5 BC – 4 BC
    Ref.: RPC 4260; McAlee 120, 206c;
    Ob.: IMP · AVGVS(T) · TR · POT · laureate head of Augustus right
    Rev.: Large S·C within wreath with eight leaves in circular borders; dot after C

    Attached Files:

  19. Justin Lee

    Justin Lee I learn by doing Supporter

    There is speculation that the placement of the dot (at least in the 1st century) was in regard to which officina struck the coin... Using cardinal location of dots: North, South, East, and West.

    These two are examples of the North dots...
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2019
  20. cmezner

    cmezner Well-Known Member

    I think I made a mistake attributing the Augustus coin. :(

    For RPC 4260, I found https://www.acsearch.info/search.html?id=4410826 but according to wildwinds RPC 4260 has an EΛ monogram beneath neck, which mine has not. Maybe the right attribution is RPC 4248 or RPC 4264 which according to wildwinds are undated and struck ca. 5 - 12 AD.

    RPC 4247, 4260 and 4261 are all dated.
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