A strange match!

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Jochen1, Dec 1, 2021.

  1. Jochen1

    Jochen1 Well-Known Member

    Dear friends of ancient coins!

    15 years ago I got this rare coin:
    Coin #1.jpg
    Coin #1
    Moesia inferior, Nikopolis ad Istrum, Commodus, AD 177-192
    AE 16, 2.73g, 16.20mm, 315°
    obv. [AV] M AVRH - KOMMO[DOC]
    laureate head r.
    rev. NEIKOPOLI
    in ex. in 2 lines: PROC I - C / T[RON]
    Herakles, nude, resting l. on lion's skin, holding club beneath
    ref. a) not in AMNG
    b) not in Varbanov
    c) Hristova/Hoeft/Jekov (2020) No. 8.10.14.4 (plate coin)
    obv. e.g. No. 8.10.8.3 (same die)
    very rare, F+/VF-, stripped
    Curtis Clay has written:
    Reminiscent of the type of Eros reclining r. on lion's skin (?), holding torch almost horizontally beneath him, known at Nicopolis for Caracalla Caesar and Julia Domna, AMNG 1468 and 1489, pl. XVI.4. There, however, one of Eros' wings is clearly visible above him. I'm not sure Eros is meant under Commodus too, since the all-important wing isn't visible.

    Pat Lawrence has written:
    Where did I read that the Caracalla Eros Æ21 (Caesar) is as Eros also known elsewhere where Eros is playing Herakles, and is here sleeping as a very weary Herakles from all his Labors? So both answers may be true, or the wing (given Commodus's die engraver) might just not show. (Pat Lawrence)

    Yesterday I got this coin:
    Coin #2.jpg
    Coin #2
    Moesia inferior, Nikopolis ad Istrum, Commodus, AD 177-192
    AE 17, 3.89g
    obv.: [AV M A]VRH - KOMODOC
    Laureate head r.
    rev.: NEIKOPOLI
    in ex. in 2 lines: PROC I - C / TRON
    Eros, nude, winged, with legs drawn up, rests head in left hand.
    In front of him the torch (or quiver?); holding in right hand an arrow(?), which
    causes the gap between PROC and I (Then it would not be a torch, but rather a
    quiver.)
    ref.: a) not in AMNG
    b) not in Varbanov
    c) not in Hristova/Hoeft/Jekov (2020):
    rev. not listed
    obv. e.g. 8.10.14.4
    probably unpublished
    VF
    Pedigree:
    ex Gorny&Mosch auction 265, Lot 726
    ex coll. Erwin Link

    (1) The obv. of both coins is from the same die.
    (2) The rev. legend of both coins is identical, see the gap between PROC and I in exergue.
    (3) The depiction on the reverse of both coins is very similar.

    I do not believe that the die cutter cut the rev. legend so accurately a second time. This leaves only the possibility that the image on the reverse has been altered. Be it a forgery or a new type.

    The question that then arises is: which depiction was first?
    If we look at #2, we see that the right leg is missing. It is easy to remove it. After that, the left leg has become the right leg and the underlay of Herakles has become the left leg. So Herakles now looks like little Eros in a kind of embryonic position. After that, coin #1 would be the original one and coin #2 would be the imitated one.
    But the torch at his side, which is amazingly well done, does not fit. Material would have had to be added to it. And that is not so easy.

    And what is the object in the right hand of the figures that caused the gap between PROC and I?

    What do you think about these two coins? Any answer welcome!

    With thanks in advance
    Jochen
     
    eparch, ancientone, ominus1 and 12 others like this.
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  3. furryfrog02

    furryfrog02 Well-Known Member

    You said that any answer is welcome....so this is my answer. I think that Burt Reynolds got the idea for his famous picture from this coin.

    _59944325_br_cosmo624.jpg
     
    ominus1 and Penny Luster like this.
  4. Jochen1

    Jochen1 Well-Known Member

    Thank you very much for the likes and the picture. But actually my question is which coin is the original and which is the imitation. Does anyone have any ideas about this?

    With thanks in advance
    Jochen
     
  5. Ryan McVay

    Ryan McVay Supporter! Supporter

    Here's the ultimate guide to the Eros on Providential! By Mr. Jarman. I almost hate to divulge this site because it is my de facto site for my Eros collection!

    Look for the Eros asleep link way down at the bottom with the huge list of other types!
     
    furryfrog02 likes this.
  6. Ryan McVay

    Ryan McVay Supporter! Supporter

    It could be Eros' torch you are seeing. Or it could actually be Herakles and that is the club.
     
  7. Jochen1

    Jochen1 Well-Known Member

    Thank you!

    And indeed, Jarman's "Eros on Roman Provincial Coinage" is the ultimate guide!
    My coin #1 is discussed under Type 16: Eros asleep. There the rev. was called Herakles.

    Jochen
     
    furryfrog02 likes this.
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