Ancient imitations

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Tejas, Apr 2, 2020.

  1. Tejas

    Tejas Well-Known Member

    I bought an interesting barbaric imitation of a Roman denarius. The coin was found in Chernovitskaya Oblast in Ukraine. Weight 3.46 gr, 18mm.
    A lot of imitations in gold and silver were produced in this region, far beyond the Roman borders, most likely by East Germanic people like the Goths.
    I like the fact that the horse has eight legs, just like Sleipnir the horse of Wodan/Odin.

    Screenshot 2020-04-02 at 21.38.58.png
    Orange Julius, singig, Egry and 32 others like this.
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  3. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Basileus Megalos

    That's a very interesting coin. Almost better than an "original" for its historical/cultural value.
    galba68 and Gary R. Wilson like this.
  4. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    That's a very interesting coin.

    The Romans, upon seeing this coin likely exclaimed "Oh my Goth!"

    Could the engraver's intention be to suggest another horse (a strange looking one at that) next to the one in front?
    Stanw891, galba68 and NewStyleKing like this.
  5. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    Is that near Chernobyl? We knew there would be problems from the radiation but we did not know it would time travel. :banghead:

    I wonder if the extra legs were to indicate the blur of running indicating the horse was not standing still.
  6. Julius Germanicus

    Julius Germanicus Well-Known Member

    Hallo Dirk, das ist ein feines Stück!!!

    I think that the 8-legged horse type had it´s origin in two horses next to each other. The germanic delators left away the second head and the biga that they found on the roman original because that only distracted from the character of Sleipnir that they wanted to see.

    Any suggestion which Emperor / reverse type might have inspired your coin?

    Here is my imitation of an Aureus, found in the adjacent Ternopil oblast:

    Bildschirmfoto 2020-04-02 um 22.46.30.png

    IIII-IT — IIIIII - laureate and cuirassed bust of Diocletian or Maximian left.
    II — IISIII (the S reversed) - helmeted Roma seated left on throne with X beneath seat, holding Victory on extended right hand and resting on sceptre held in left.
    Aureus (gold plated over base metal core), irregular mint in western Ukraine, Chernvyakhov culture, Ternopil region, ca. 300-310 aD
    19,83 mm / 2,56 gr. / pierced in antiquity
    Oleg Anohin "Counterfeiting among barbarian tribes in the territory of modern Ukraine and Moldova. Catalog of barbaric imitations" (2015), Nr.87 (this coin illustrated)
    ex Savoca Numismatik 17th Blue auction (01.03.2019), lot 1894
  7. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    The portrait sort of looks like an attempt to copy one of Caracalla.
    galba68 likes this.
  8. red_spork

    red_spork Triumvir monetalis Supporter

    I used to be very interested in collecting good silver imitations of Roman Republic denarii. I recently either sold or listed for sale all my silver imitations, but here are a few of my old favorites, probably both minted by Geto-Dacians in modern-day Romania. There were multiple groups minting these RR denarius imitations in the last half or maybe quarter of the first century BC so there is a lot of variation in style:
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  9. Justin Lee

    Justin Lee I learn by doing Supporter

    That is a VERY cool barbarous coin!
    I'm thinking Hadrian.
  10. Alegandron

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

    Just an alternative thought: perhaps it is a single galloping horse, and the multiple legs represents motion.

    Here are Celtic Imitations:

    Imitating Octavian-M. Porcius Cato AR quinarius 13.89 mm 1.29g imitating Octavian r blundered legend - Victory seated r patera Cr 343-462 R

    RR Anon AE Semis 211-207 BC Saturn S Prow ROMA Sear 766 Craw 56/3

    Makedon Philip II
    Celt Imit Philip II 2nd C BCE AR Drachm Zeus Horse pellet-in-annulet above Kugelwangel type- Danube Valley - Kostial 508 OTA 204
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2020
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  11. Sulla80

    Sulla80 one coin at a time Supporter

    An interesting looking coin @Tejas. Sleipnir an 8-legged horse, who knew? Here's another Dacian imitation (left coin) - although it was sold to me as a T. Carisius imitation - I think it could be imitating Cn. Lentulus AR denarius (right coin) 76-75 BC (which, like this coin, has a rudder and not a cornucopia)
    Dacian imitation .jpg
    Dacian Imitative denarius on the left
    Cn. Lentulus; 76-75 BC, Denarius, on the right
    Obv: Genius of the Roman people right, GPR above
    Rev: EX SC divided by globe, rudder and scepter, CN LEN Q below
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2020
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  12. red_spork

    red_spork Triumvir monetalis Supporter

    This is actually an imitation from the Eravisci Celts rather than the Dacians. Because the Eravisci signed some of their coins and there are several published hoards from Hungary, they are some of the most well documented imitations of this period.
    galba68, +VGO.DVCKS, Hrefn and 4 others like this.
  13. Sulla80

    Sulla80 one coin at a time Supporter

    Thanks good to know and also for your post on the subject that I just looked up too.
    galba68 and +VGO.DVCKS like this.
  14. Broucheion

    Broucheion Supporter! Supporter

    Reverse looks like a witch on a broom. A Halloween coin.

    - Broucheion
    +VGO.DVCKS and Ed Snible like this.
  15. Tejas

    Tejas Well-Known Member

    That is probably true. I have a gold imitation with an 8-legged horse, where a stylized biga is still visible. Of course, we will never know what the people who made and used the coin saw in the horse. Still, I think this piece is remarkable, because the celator apparently consciously decided to keep the 8 legs, despite omitting all traces of the biga and the second horse. So it may have meant something.
    +VGO.DVCKS, Valentinian and red_spork like this.
  16. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Supporter! Supporter

    Tejas, That's a great find :D! The floppy ears of the 8 leg creature make it look more like a donkey :p. We can see the humorous side of these coins today, however, I'm sure that was not the intention of the artist-engraver. The inscriptions are humorous too. Apparently the engraver didn't have many different letters in his tool kit so he used what letters he did have repetitiously to increase the length of the inscriptions. The coin pictured below is my favorite Germanic imitation. The engraver struggled with the portrait but did an excellent job with the reverse. The reverse on this coin is as good as most of the solidi of Zeno I've seen from the Constantinople Mint.

    Germanic Solidus of Zeno, late 5th cen..jpg
  17. Tejas

    Tejas Well-Known Member

    This is a very attractive imitative solidus. I wish it could be attributed to a specific kingdom or tribe. I don't think it is the product of an Italian mint (i.e. not Odovacer or Theoderic).

    My (wild) guess would be that this imitation originates from what is now southern France, making it a Frankish-Merovingian imitation. But again, without find spot evidence that is pure speculation.
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2021
    galba68 likes this.
  18. Theodosius

    Theodosius Fine Style Seeker Supporter

    That is a super interesting coin! Great find.

    Of course it is from good old emperor IIHEHEH, one of my favorites. :) There have been threads on his illustrious reign before here.

    +VGO.DVCKS likes this.
  19. BenSi

    BenSi Supporter! Supporter


    Here is an interesting one, the top is an official issue Manuel Comnenus and the bottom one is a Germanic tribe imitation.
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  20. Hrefn

    Hrefn Well-Known Member

    Love these barbarian coins. Thanks to all for listing them. Here are two of mine.

    The first is a heavyweight 4.59 gram gold Solidus in high relief in the fashion of an aureus, modeled on a coin of Lugdunum. Cf. RIC 226 (Lyon). Purchased by private treaty from Freeman and Sear, at the NY Int’l Coin show.

    Reverse legend is VIRTUS EXERC CALI the last word meant to be GALL in praise of Julian’s army in Gaul.

    Ex: Dr. E. Poncet collection,(Bourgey, 15 March 1926, lot #71), then Triton III lot #1224 “unusual and extremely rare”; and Leu 72, 12 May 1998 lot#542. “One of only two specimens known” per Freeman and Sear, published in their mail bid list #9 on 7/16/2003.

    #82 Another high quality Germanic coin, this a tremisses of 1.45 grams. On the obverse, the N of Dominus Noster is retrograde. On the reverse, the entire legend is retrograde, Victory faces left versus right, and the wreath and cross are opposite to normal.

    Jon. Kern sold this coin to Glenn Woods in 1998, and it was subsequently featured as Glenn Woods’ Coin of the Month in December 1999. Initially he felt it was an official issue but came to believe it was Germanic. Later it came into the possession of Harlan Berk, from whom I purchased it in 2000.

    It is highly unlikely an imperial mint would have allowed the release of such an error-filled strike, and the style is charming but barbarous.
  21. Hrefn

    Hrefn Well-Known Member

    Pics did not post, sorry.
    upload_2021-4-20_12-46-56.jpeg upload_2021-4-20_12-47-28.jpeg
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