Acquired a Coin I've Always Wanted

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by IdesOfMarch01, Jan 13, 2019.

  1. IdesOfMarch01

    IdesOfMarch01 Well-Known Member

    Ever since I started collecting ancient coins over a decade ago, I've admired the early Roman silver didrachm colloquially known as a quadrigatus. The artistry and history always appealed to me, having been struck initially around 225 B.C., and in large quantities around 218 B.C., the time that the Romans declared war on Carthage.

    These are large silver coins (22mm or so) showing a Janiform head that most modern literature describes as the Dioscuri portrayed in a slightly unusual manner, rather than the god Janus as in earlier coin literature. They are referred to as "didrachms" since their weight was six scruples, which corresponded to the weight of a Greek didrachm. They're also referred to as "anonymous" Roman silver. The name "quadrigatus" comes from the quadriga (four-horse chariot) on the reverse.

    I've bid on a number of these coins over the years, but until now had always been outbid on the higher quality examples. While not uncommon coins, the artistry of these coins runs the gamut from adequate to "good style." Also, I wanted a reverse that had the reverse ROMA incuse in a raised tablet, rather than the usual lettering style.


    Anonymous ca. 225 - 214 BC
    AR Didrachm - Quadrigatus 22mm, 6.65 g., 5h Rome mint
    Crawford 28/3 Sydenham 64a
    Laureate head of Janus; curved truncation. Rev. Jupiter hurling thunderbolt w. right hand, holding scepter in left hand, in quadriga r. driven by Victory; ROMA in exergue incuse on solid tablet. Ex Gasvoda collection.

    My coin illustrates (what I consider) good portrait style on the obverse and a fairly full reverse scene, with only a slight portion of Jupiter's winged thunderbolt falling off the flan.

    A decade or so after these coins started to be minted, the Roman Republic would standardize on the silver denarius, a coin of approximately half the weight, and this coin ceased to be struck.

    Feel free to post examples of Roman coinage from this pre-denarius period!
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2019
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  3. TIF

    TIF Always learning. Supporter

    It has everything you could hope for in the type: great style, centering, strike, surfaces, preservation, and toning. Congratulations!!
    Loong Siew likes this.
  4. jamesicus

    jamesicus pachydermicus Supporter

    An exquisite coin indeed!
  5. Jay GT4

    Jay GT4 Well-Known Member

  6. Pavlos

    Pavlos You pick out the big men. I'll make them brave!

    Absolutely amazing, great coin in mint condition, congratulations.
    I have always find the Rome republican coins equally artistic as the classical Greek coins.
  7. furryfrog02

    furryfrog02 Well-Known Member

    Wow. That is absolutely stunning.
  8. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    I always wanted one of those but they are out of my bracket. If I were shopping for something pre-denarius, it would be aes grave. I am happy to see it and thank you for sharing.
    rrdenarius likes this.
  9. frankjg

    frankjg Well-Known Member

    What a striking coin. No pun intended. Beautiful.
    TIF likes this.
  10. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Supporter! Supporter

    IdesOfMarch01, Nice score! I agree, your example is definitely a "high-end" for the type. These coins are not rare but the best examples sell in the 5K to 10K range. I believe the bulk of these were used to pay Roman soldiers & mercenaries who were fighting Hannibal in the 2nd Punic War.
  11. Lawtoad

    Lawtoad Well-Known Member

    Very, very nice.
  12. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Redditor Lucis Aeternae

    Great coin @IdesOfMarch01 - visually it looks to be almost perfect.
  13. Cucumbor

    Cucumbor Dombes collector Supporter

    That's a great great example @IdesOfMarch01 !
    Not sure I'll dare posting mine, which yours puts to shame

    Republic, Didrachm (Quadrigatus) Rome or other italian mint, c 215-211 BC
    Laureate janiform head of Dioscuri
    ROMA in relief in linear frame at exergue, Jupiter, holding thunderbolt in right hand and scepter in left, in fast quadriga driven right by Victory.
    6,69 gr - 20-21 mm
    Ref : RCV #33, RSC # 24

    My only other pre denarius is more on the good style side :

    Republic, Didrachm Rome mint c. 269-266 BC
    No legend, Diademed head of young Hercules right, with club and lion's skin over shoulder
    ROMANO, She wolf right, suckling Romulus and Remus
    7.29 gr
    Ref : RCV # 24, RSC # 8

    dlhill132, VDB, Sulla80 and 16 others like this.
  14. AncientJoe

    AncientJoe Supporter! Supporter

    Congratulations for finding such a nice example of an iconic type! It fits impeccably well alongside the rest of your collection.
  15. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

  16. Alegandron

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

    Very Nice @IdesOfMarch01 !

    I believe we have the same Crawford #. I agree, I wanted the incused ROMA on tablet also.

    RR Anon AR Heavy Denarius Quadrigatus Didrachm 225-215 BCE Cr 28-3 S 31
    Early-issue during 2nd Punic War (purer silver)

    And here is a HALF-Quadrigatus

    RR Anon AR Heavy Quinarius Quadrigatus Drachm 216-214 BCE Janus ROMA Jupiter Victory Quadriga LEFT Cr 29-4 S 35
    dlhill132, Larry E, VDB and 15 others like this.
  17. Aethelred

    Aethelred The Old Dead King Supporter

    Like you, I have always wanted one of these, yours is an absolutely stunning example!
  18. Alegandron

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

    Very Nice @IdesOfMarch01 !

    I believe we have the same Crawford #. I agree, I wanted the incused ROMA on tablet also.

    View attachment 875889
    RR Anon AR Heavy Denarius Quadrigatus Didrachm 225-215 BCE Cr 28-3 S 31
    Early-issue during 2nd Punic War (purer silver)

    And here is a HALF-Quadrigatus

    View attachment 875894
    TypeCoin971793 likes this.
  19. AussieCollector

    AussieCollector Moderator Moderator

  20. Carausius

    Carausius Brother, can you spare a sestertius?

    @IdesOfMarch01 it is a excellwnt example, well struck, fairly well centered and in good style. The surfaces are also uniformly excellent, and that's often the hardest box to check on these I saw multiple examples at NYINC last weekend and nearly all had some surface issues - corrosion spots, porosity, etc.

    Below are examples of three other series of Quadrigati, Crawford 29, Crawford 30 and the rarest of all, Crawford 42:


    dlhill132, Ed Snible, VDB and 15 others like this.
  21. panzerman

    panzerman Well-Known Member

    Beautifull coin, great new addition to your collection. Great way to start off 2019! Money well spent:happy:
    Larry E and coinsareus10 like this.
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