Artistic Portrait in Miniature

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by David Atherton, Oct 21, 2021.

  1. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic

    I love quinarii, especially ones that are stylistically pleasing and rare. My latest acquisition I believe fits that criteria.

    V796.jpg Vespasian
    AR Quinarius, 1.53g
    Rome mint, 75(?) AD
    Obv: IMP CAESAR VESPASIAN AVG; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.
    Rev: VICTORIA AVGVSTI; Victory adv. r., with wreath and palm
    RIC 796 (R). BMC -. RSC 614 var. BNC -.
    Acquired from NumisCorner, October 2021.

    Vespasian's moneyer's struck a great issue of undated quinarii in 75, possibly in conjunction with the opening of his Temple of Peace. Two standard Victory types (seated and advancing) were employed along with various variant legend spellings and orientations. The variations are: obverse legend - VESPASIANVS or less commonly VESPASIAN; reverse legend - AVGVSTI or less commonly AVGVST. The reverse legend can also either be oriented from low r. or high l. This coin is considered one of the less common variants with VESPASIAN in the obverse legend and AVGVSTI in the reverse, oriented from low r. All quinarii struck during the Flavian era are exceedingly rare compared to the denarii. Vespasian's largest issue of quinarii is this undated issue which most likely dates to 75. The quinarii struck before 75 have AVGVSTI in the reverse legend, while those struck after 75 use the shorter AVGVST. This undated issue employs both forms and therefore fits neatly with a 75 production date. The portrait is quite stylish for such a small flan.

    Feel free to show off your tiny treasures!
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2021
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  3. ambr0zie

    ambr0zie Dacian Taraboste

    Another Flavian treasure for a Flavian fanatic :)

    I always admire small coins and I was surprised when I found out about them.
    Before collecting ancient coins, I used to think all of them are 20-25 mm. I was aware about the Sestertius being a large coin but I thought all of them are very rare. As for small coins - I didn't know they existed.

    Here are my favorite small portraits. The coin is not well centered but this doesn't make the portraits less beautiful. I always liked facing busts, as on most of the coins we see profiles.

    CILICIA, Nagidos(ca 400-380 BC) AR Obol
    Head of Aphrodite facing slightly right; [N] to left
    Rev: Wreathed head of young Dionysos facing slightly left; [N] to left.
    Göktürk 2; SNG France –; SNG Levante 6.
    0,56 g, 11 mm
  4. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    Mysia, Adramyteion SNG France 2.JPG
    This thing is 14mm and incredibly detailed, especially on the bust
    David Atherton, Jay GT4, Bing and 3 others like this.
  5. Jay GT4

    Jay GT4 Well-Known Member

    Tough denomination to find! Congrats David.
    David Atherton likes this.
  6. akeady

    akeady Well-Known Member

    I've got the same coin - bought it for the Zeus portrait.

    Mysia, Adramytion
    Coin: Bronze AE12
    Obv.: Laureate head of Zeus facing slightly right
    Rev.: ΑΔΡΑ - Eagle standing left on altar
    Mint: Adramytion (ca 4th Century BC)
    Wt./Size/Axis: 1.40g / 12mm / -
    • SNG France 2
    Acquisition: Naville Numismatics Online Auction NN Auction 11 #49 30-Nov-2014
  7. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic

    And to find them in good condition!
  8. Jay GT4

    Jay GT4 Well-Known Member

    That's the truth Ruth!
  9. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    My most artistic tiny.

    Troas, Sigeion, c. 335 BC.
    Greek Æ 12.2 mm, 2.37 g, 5 h.
    Obv: Head of Athena facing slightly right, wearing triple crested helmet and necklace.
    Rev: ΣΙΓΕ, owl standing right, head facing; crescent to left.
    Refs: BMC 17.86,7-10; SNG von Aulock 7637; SNG Ashmolean 1214–6; SNG Copenhagen 496–8; Sear 4145.
  10. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    12mm from Corinth. No portrait, but a nice pegasus. I'm saddened by the high strike quality but awful surface quality.
    Corinth AE12.JPG
  11. Orfew

    Orfew Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus Supporter

    Wow, that is a very nice example David. I only have one quinarius. It is of course Domitian featured on this small silver coin.
    D560_Inumis-removebg-preview copy.png
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  12. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    I remeasured and yes, mine is also 12mm. Yours has much better surfaces. These Adrymytion issues are NOT easy to find.
    akeady likes this.
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