A Rare and Gorgeous Titus

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by David Atherton, Jan 24, 2020.

  1. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic Supporter

    Yesterday the postman delivered a coin I have been breathlessly anticipating for over 3 weeks. There are many reasons why I wanted it, chief of which is the superb condition and fine style. Also, it's extremely rare and was priced well under what it should have been! It took me all of 30 seconds to decide to purchase!

    Titus as Caesar
    Æ As, 9.55g
    Rome mint, 73 AD (Vespasian)
    Obv: T CAESAR VESPASIAN IMP IIII PON TR POT III COS II; Head of Titus, laureate, bearded, r.
    Rev: FIDES PVBLICA; S C in lower field; Hands clasped over caduceus and corn ears
    RIC 571 (R2). BMC -. BNC -.
    Acquired from N&N Collection, December 2019.

    An extremely scarce As struck for Titus Caesar in 73 AD featuring an extraordinary obverse legend. Unusually, both the imperatorial and tribunican numbers are included, which is quite rare on the bronze. Although the coin was struck after July the legend omits the title CENS, which had been adopted in Titus' titulature since April. The clasped hands type was struck in both silver and bronze and according to H. Mattingly symbolises Concordia (clasped hands), agricultural prosperity (corn-ears), and successful trade (caduceus) in relation to the censorship. Also of note, the S C on this coin is in the lower field instead of the more common in exergue.

    Missing from the BM and Paris collections.

    The long obverse legend is pretty neat, but apparently was a pain for the engraver to do - notice how he or she began to run out of room near the end and the letters become smaller and smaller. I wonder if the same engraver was responsible for the elegant portrait? The reverse was no mean feat either, hands are notoriously very difficult to draw, let alone engrave properly. However, the ancients knew what they were doing. It's quite an eye catching reverse.

    Feel free to post your 'clasped hands' or anything relevant.
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2020
    dlhill132, Nemo, 7Calbrey and 34 others like this.
  2. Avatar

    Guest User Guest

    to hide this ad.
  3. Nvb

    Nvb Well-Known Member

    I don't have a relevant coin here, but can sure relate to smashing the buy button within 30 seconds =)

    Often it plays out more like "I'm going to bid whatever it takes to win that coin 5 weeks from now"
    David Atherton and tibor like this.
  4. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Here is a hand-shaking coin. It represents the "harmony of the armed forces," i.e. the union of the forces, both on land and at sea, during the reign of Nerva. But, as Carson* notes, "the message of the reverse is more an appeal rather than a statement of fact."

    Nerva, AD 96-98.
    Roman AR denarius, 3.21 g, 18.5 mm, 7 h.
    Rome, January - September, AD 97.
    Obv: IMP NERVA CAES AVG P M TR P COS III P P, laureate head, right.
    Rev: CONCORDIA EXERCITVVM, clasped hands.
    Refs: RIC 14; BMCRE 25-26; Cohen/RSC 20; RCV 3020; CBN 15.

    *Carson, R A G, Principal coins of the Romans: Volume II: The Principate 31 BC - AD 296. London, BMP, 1978, p. 45.
  5. Spargrodan

    Spargrodan Active Member

    Very nice coin, congrats! I just decided to start a collection of the Flavian dynasty and your homepage and posts on CoinTalk have been a great inspiration and source to learn more.
  6. Cucumbor

    Cucumbor Dombes collector Supporter

    What a portrait !
    That's exceptionnal. It wouldn't have taken me 30 seconds to hit the "buy" button : seems a bit long and risky

    Last edited: Jan 24, 2020
    David Atherton and tibor like this.
  7. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter I dig ancient coins...

    Cool coin. 30 seconds!???

    Sometimes I get it down to 15 seconds!
  8. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic Supporter

    That is great news indeed! Welcome aboard!

    Feel free to reach out if you have any questions. I'll be more than happy to help.
  9. Jay GT4

    Jay GT4 Well-Known Member

    NO! Don't do it! More competition!

    Just kidding, welcome to the world of the Flavians.

    Great coin David. I saw Forum has a RIC 444 (R) at the moment and it's on sale.

    Last edited: Jan 24, 2020
    David Atherton likes this.
  10. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic Supporter

    Last edited: Jan 24, 2020
  11. Cucumbor

    Cucumbor Dombes collector Supporter

  12. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic Supporter

  13. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

    Amazing coin, David, congrats.
  14. Spargrodan

    Spargrodan Active Member

    Jay GT4 likes this.
  15. Orfew

    Orfew Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus Supporter

    Welcome @Spargrodan

    I also collect Flavians. As David said if you need anything just let one of us know
    Spargrodan likes this.
  16. dadams

    dadams Well-Known Member

  17. Jay GT4

    Jay GT4 Well-Known Member

    Orfew likes this.
  18. Barry Murphy

    Barry Murphy Well-Known Member


    Not to be too negative, but that coin has been pretty extensively smoothed and tooled.

    Barry Murphy
  19. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic Supporter

    Thanks Barry. I suspected a bit of smoothing in the fields, but I believe you are correct, features have been tooled too. None of which was disclosed when I purchased the piece. Now, I have to decide what to do with it.

    I appreciate the confirmation.
    monetarium likes this.
  20. panzerman

    panzerman Well-Known Member

    Awesome coin! It would have taken me a split second:happy:
  21. galba68

    galba68 Well-Known Member

    Classy coin!!!
    panzerman likes this.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page