Featured Ancient: Two New Denarii

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Whizb4ng, Jun 13, 2014.

  1. Whizb4ng


    I took home two new denarii in recent weeks one Republican and a Septimius Severus.

    I have want a coin with a Pegasus for awhile and I saw the opportunity for one in the most recent Frank S Robinson sale. To be honest I think I stole this one a little bit.

    Q. Titius, 90 B.C.E. AR Denarius
    Obv. Head of Bacchus
    Rev. Pegasus flying
    Ex. Boston MFA

    I am very curious about the Boston MFA provenance. The tag with the coin is from Pegasi Numismatics so I might send a quick e-mail to him to confirm it but the first thing that came to mind is the Boston Museum of Fine Arts which would be really cool.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The other coin is surprisingly my first coin of Septimius Severus. I got this in one of the recent Agora Auctions. I particularly like the detail on the reverse. Also I found the legend a little funny because it is so squished for FVNDATOR and then the PACIS is so nicely spread out. I am curious why it is like that.

    Septimius Severus, AR Denarius, Rome Mint 200/201
    Obv. SEVERVS PIVS AVG laureate bus right
    Rev. FVNDATOR PACIS, Septimius, togate and veiled, standing left holding olive branch
    RIC 265; BMCRE 330; RSC 205

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    This gives me my silver fix now though. My next coin I will be returning to beautiful bronze!

    Also in other news: Today is the last day in my term position and as of Monday I will be in a permanent position with these weird things called vacation days, health benefits, and a pension plan. :woot:
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  3. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

    Lovely additions. I like that squished legend on Sept. too.

    Congrats on the job position.

    My only Q. Titus:

    chrsmat71, stevex6 and Eng like this.
  4. Aidan_()

    Aidan_() Numismatic Contributor

    Excellent coins!
  5. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana

    Congrats on the perm position and two very nice coins. Let us know what you find out about that provenance.

    My favorite Sep Sev is awfully similar to your new one, the only difference I can see being the obverse legend. I wonder about that difference, given that they're both attributed to the same mint and same years and have the same curious reverse legend breaks.


    3.41g, 19mm
    Rome mint, 200 - 201 AD.
    RIC 160, C 203.
    O: SEVERVS AVG PART MAX, Head laureate right.
    R: FVNDATOR PACIS, Severus, togate and veiled, standing left holding branch and roll.
    stevex6, chrsmat71, TIF and 1 other person like this.
  6. Eng

    Eng Senior Eng

    Great coin's Whiz, SS details very good, awesome to hear your your a full time employee, in 35 years you can retire, i did it last summer and its great..:woot:
    zumbly likes this.
  7. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    Congratulations Whiz. I do not own a RR like this one and have had it on my want list for a while now. I own a Septimius Severus denarius like your new one.
    Septimius_Severus 7_opt.jpg
  8. Whizb4ng


    Thanks for the compliments!

    It is closer to 40 years for me. Hard to imagine at this point though since that is more than double the age I am now.
  9. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    rs4490bb0934.jpg rs4520bb0235.jpg rs4680bb0307.jpg
    Beginning Latin teachers often mention that the Romans did not break between words but in this period at Rome there was a cutter who seemed to break there where possible. Notice also that the obverses break cleanly as well. Certain it was not consistent but it happens more than randomly.
    stevex6, chrsmat71, Bing and 2 others like this.
  10. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter


    The above was linked here not long ago. Read the last two paragraphs. It is a fact that museums do not respect coins quite the way we do and would only want your collection if they are allowed to sell it an buy something that they do want. I tend to agree and would prefer coin collections be shown online. A good photo of a coin (both sides) can be as educational as the coin itself and relatively few people come to a museum hoping to see a coin. On the other hand, a photo of a locomotive hardly conveys the same feeling as standing beside a wheel taller than you are. Five year olds ask their parents to take them to see the train. When I see a museum coin exhibit, I am hoping to see coins like I have (but preferably not as nice) or catch a fake they missed. I'd rather see museums sell their coins than hide them in the basement or show them poorly.

    I like my local art museum. I'm a member. They recently posted some online photos including a couple coins. See:
    How many misspellings do you find in the label? Do they care?
  11. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    Boy they butchered the names, huh?
  12. randygeki

    randygeki Coin Collector

    Both great additions!
  13. stevex6

    stevex6 Random Mayhem

    Sweet => glad to see that you scored a couple of cool new additions (congrats, Manitoba)

    pontosd.jpg pontosc.jpg

    ... sadly, I don't have a Q.Titius to add to your awesome thread ...

    Cheers, brother
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2014
  14. AncientJoe

    AncientJoe Supporter! Supporter

    "Boston MFA" should indeed mean the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Nice acquisition!
  15. Whizb4ng


    Thanks AJ.

    I did manage to track down the listing from the Pegasi Numismatics auction. It is Auction 14 Lot 337 from April 11, 2006. However, it doesn't elaborate any further in the listing.

    Does anyone know if the museum's coins were sold in one specific auction earlier or did they send them out to dealers such as Pegasi for sale?

    That article is what made me think that it was the Boston Museum of Fine Arts in the first place. I remembered reading that they had sold off a section of their collection.

    I agree with your second point as well. My local museum has a collection Roman lamps and a couple of coins. The lamps only come out for undergraduate tours and for study by MA students. The coins are generally ignored and come out as an afterthought to show undergraduate students.
  16. DeLaFe

    DeLaFe Member

    Not sure if it was the entire collection, but many of the Boston MFA coins were sold by Gemini a few years ago.

    I was fortunate to pick up a few of the group lots.
  17. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    Must have been multiple auctions then. I thought NFA had the premiere auction for MFA coins in the late 80's/early 90's.
  18. DeLaFe

    DeLaFe Member

  19. Whizb4ng


    Thanks for the tip! Unfortunately the link just provides info on the Boston MFA and the auction listings on the side is for the current auction. I have found one other coin from Gemini I in 2005 that is ex Boston Museum of Fine Arts but I haven't been able to track down a catalog yet. Admittedly I have only been searching for about 10 minutes.

    NFA? Is that Numismatic Fine Arts?
  20. DeLaFe

    DeLaFe Member

    I checked with Curtis Clay of Harlan J. Berk and he told me that the Boston MFA most likely used various firms to sell the deaccessioned coins. The coins sold in Gemini were sold in the Gemini VI sale of January 2010. There were twelve coins in single lots and the rest in group lots. (There were lots of Republican coins in the group lots)

    The Q. Titius denarius you listed is Crawford 341/2 which was does not appear to have been part of one of the Gemini group lots.


    Agora Auctions, Inc.
  21. Whizb4ng


    Thanks Alfred! I checked as well and you are correct.

    The search continues! I haven't heard back from Pegasi yet but I think I will also reach out to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts to see if maybe they have any records of the coins sold. I assume they would since they are a museum. For all I know Pegasi was the original auction house in 2006 that sold the coin since I did notice at least one other coin that was listed as Boston MFA.
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