A Redemption Coin

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by David Atherton, Jul 1, 2020.

  1. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic

    A year ago this month I was elated to have acquired one of my 'dream coins' - a well provenanced Vespasian dynastic sestertius from Rome.


    Unfortunately, despite the 100 year old provenance, it turned out to be a 19th Century cast.

    Happily, a couple of weeks later I acquired an example struck at Lugdunum.

    Æ Sestertius, 24.45g
    Lyon mint, 71 AD
    Obv: IMP CAES VESPASIAN AVG P M TR P P P COS III; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.; globe at point of bust
    Rev: CAESAR AVG F DES IMP AVG F COS DES II; S C in exergue; Titus and Domitian stg. front, each with spear and parazonium
    RIC 1132 (R). BMC 799. BNC -.
    Acquired from Romae Aeternae, June 2019.

    But I still continued to pine away for the Rome mint version of this special type ... until now. Finally, I have redeemed myself and added the Rome mint variant!

    V143.jpg Vespasian
    Æ Sestertius, 27.31g
    Rome mint, 71 AD
    Obv: IMP CAES VESPASIAN AVG P M TR P P P COS III; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.
    Rev: CAES AVG F DES IMP AVG F COS DES IT; S C in field; Titus and Domitian stg. l. and r., with spears; Titus (to r.) also with parazonium, Domitian with roll
    RIC 143 (R). BMC 528. BNC 473.
    Acquired from NumisCorner, June 2020.

    An iconic dynastic sestertius struck during Vespasian's great bronze issue of 71. The type was struck both at Rome and Lyon (ancient Lugdunum) and announced Vespasian's intention to found a dynasty. Mattingly in BMCRE II calls it a 'famous' type placing the figures on the reverse as Titus on the left and Domitian on the right. While that is the conventional numismatic placement for the two Caesares, here we see the figure on the right holding a parazonium an attribute of an imperator, which of the two could only be Titus. Conversely, the figure on the left is holding something smaller (a book scroll?) that does not appear to be a parazonium. The reverse legend corresponds for this placement of the figures with the first half of the legend CAES AVG F DES for Domitian on the left, the second half IMP AVG F COS DES II for Titus on the right. The legend has caused confusion over the years with some numismatists creating the phantom title Designatus Imperator for Titus. The title COS is implied for Domitian after DES in the legend as a kind of numismatic shorthand. Gunnar Seelentag attempted to clear up the matter up in his Numismatic Chronicle, Vol 167 (2007) article 'Titus and the Supposed Title Designatus Imperator', but doubts remain. Curtis Clay has proposed that the traditional view of Titus on the left and Domitian on the right is correct, pointing out that both are holding a parazonium, theorising Titus's is hidden behind his body with only the handle showing. His arguments in full can be read here: http://www.forumancientcoins.com/board/index.php?topic=44488.0 The reverse type itself is fairly rare with only a handful of specimens coming to market each decade. Flavian dynastic types are far more common in silver.

    The acquisition of this piece was the completion of an important personal goal and a numismatic redemption.

    Do you have a similar redemption coin?
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2020
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  3. Limes

    Limes Well-Known Member

    Great coin David. Two of them acutally, despited the different mint :) And too bad that no 1 proved to be a cast...

    I'm not quite sure if this fits your definition of a redemption coin, but after finding out that the previous one was a fake, I was determined to add a new one. Which I could:
    Sext Pompey.png

    A coin that 'continued to taunt me' was a type I found at a fair but was unable to purchase at that specific time. I regretted it nevertheless. Lucky enough, half a year later the same seller with the same coin was at another fair. I was able to purchase the coin then:
    MarcAnt LEG II.png
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  4. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

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  5. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member

    ..kool David...i have these two i got because i lost on a provincial Nero with Apollo playing the lyre on reverse... Nero SPQR   Antiocus ll lyre apollo 001.JPG Nero SPQR   Antiocus ll lyre apollo 002.JPG Nero As SPQR shield reverse/ Antiochus ll Apollo/lyre
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  6. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Khnum-Hotep

    Great addition to the collection David! Congrats.
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  7. Gary R. Wilson


    Well, I don't know if you would call this a redemption coin but it is a coin I sold and then bought again. This is from an old thread that was entitled "If It's Gone Is It Really Gone?",or something like that. I got a second chance at acquiring a coin that I regretted selling.

    imgonline-com-ua-twotoone-UY8Ftdm9LPrma-Divi Vesp Titus.jpg

    Titus (Augustus)
    Coin: Brass Sestertius
    DIVVS AVGVSTVS VESP - Radiate Vespasian seated left holding branch and scepter.
    IMP T CAES DIVI VESP F AVG P M TR P P P COS VIII Around large S C - Legend surrounding large S C

    Mint: Rome (80 AD)
    Wt./Size/Axis: 24.10g / 35mm / 12h
    Rarity: Rare
    RIC II 145
    Sear 2573
    Cohen 207
    Father Wilbur B. Dexter Collection
    Acquisition/Sale: fvrivs.rvfvs eBay CNG Electronic/137 #216 $0.00 11/18
    Notes: Jan 5, 19 - The Gary R. Wilson Collection
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  8. randygeki

    randygeki Coin Collector

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  9. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic

    I've done that before as well. And yes, I would consider it a redemptive act!
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2020
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  10. TIF

    TIF Well that didn't last long :D Supporter

    Your new sestertius is just wonderful, David! Great eye appeal and of course the history behind the type makes it a must-have for Flavian fanatics or really any collector of ancient Roman coins :).
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  11. Alegandron

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

    WOW, @David Atherton ! Great job! Now you have THREE cool coins: a study coin, and TWO MINTS!

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