Auction pictures do not do justice to this coin

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Factor, May 5, 2022.

  1. Factor

    Factor Well-Known Member

    Usually CNG is very good at taking pictures of the coins they list, particularly recently when they started using gray background and taking videos of some coins. The coins typically look as nice as they could be, or at least close to that. So, when I saw this coin in one of their recent auctions I thought wow, this one is really bad, why did the list it? Pitted surfaces, dull gray color with pretty much no highlights, interesting but not a particularly rare type.
    caesarea decius.jpg

    But then, it comes from Jay Galst collection, and it should be a reason why he kept it. So ended up winning it, with very modest bid (10% above estimate is pretty much free nowadays) and was very pleasantly surprised when I got it. In hand, literally, see below, it looks great! No obvious pitting, nice black patina, well accented and bold legend, pretty much as good as you can ask from a provincial coin.
    20220503_224757.jpg 20220503_224934.jpg
    JUDAEA, Caesarea Maritima. Trajan Decius. AD 249-251. Æ (28mm, 17.42 g, 1h). Laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from the front / COL / PA FL / AVG F C / CAES ME / TR P S in five lines within laurel wreath. Kadman, Caesarea 159-60; Rosenberger –; RPC IX 2073; Sofaer 127. Brown and green surfaces, minor pitting. Fine.

    From the Dr. Jay M. Galst Collection

    Post your coins that look better than auction pictures!
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  3. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander find me at NumisForums

    That's a stark difference, well done!

    I was pretty pleased with this Faustina II portrait when I got it in hand. Here's the auction photo:
    And my photo:
    young faustina ii.jpg
  4. ambr0zie

    ambr0zie Dacian Taraboste

    That is indeed a major change in hand. Congratulations.
    Usually I am very happy with how coins actually look in hand as opposed to auction pics. But not this kind of dramatic difference.
    The first example that came in my mind is this Tomis pseudo-autonomous (I was very interested in getting a coin from Tomis)

    Auction pics showed that the coin had an uneven coloring, with those white highlights that I wasn't a big fan of.
    Actually, the coin toning is homogeneous
  5. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Well-Known Member

    Factor, Congrats on scoring an impressive coin from an important collection :happy:. The difference in photos is indeed shocking :jawdrop:, but any of us who have made many auction purchases have undoubtedly experienced the same thing :smuggrin:. Sometimes the difference works in our favor :), & sometimes it doesn't :(. In your case you struck a homerun :D. Often when auction houses are pressed for time to meet deadlines they will settle for inferior photos that are out of focus or the color is wrong. The difference in lighting can make a big difference too. I photograph my coins in natural indirect sunlight versus artificial lighting that most of the auction houses use. I had a happy experience with the Valerian bronze pictured below :happy:. The first two photos are from CNG, & the third one is mine.

    CNG Triton XXV, lot 6393_1, photo.jpg

    CNG Triton XXV, lot 6393_2, photo.jpg

    1319-3 & 1326-3 (5).jpg
    CILICIA, Corycus. Valerian I, AD 253-260. AE Octassarion: 23.48 gm, 35 mm, 6 h. Obverse: Valerian radiate, draped, & cuirassed, seen from the front. Reverse: Dionysus wearing nebris, holding thyrus & wine skin over panther; to left, large agnostic prize crown containing caduceus, palm branch, & aplustre, & set on a three-legged table. SNG BN 1122 (same dies); SNG Levante 819 (same dies); SNG von Aulock 5686. Dark brown patina with tan highlights. VF.
    Ex CNG Triton XXV, lot 6393, Jan. 2022; Ex CNG 112, lot 128, April 2005.
  6. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Well-Known Member

    Leu photo:

    Mamaea VESTA S C patera and scepter sestertius Leu.jpg

    My photo:

    Mamaea VESTA S C patera and scepter sestertius.jpg
  7. 1865King

    1865King Well-Known Member

    The opposite can be said about PCGS True View images. They make the coins look fantastic but in hand they don't look that great. They make the toning (color)look amazing but when you see the coin in hand the toning could be gray or dark with almost no color. Very deceiving when an auction house only posts the True View image. If someone bids and wins a coin based on the True View image, they may think the coin received isn't the same coin. I posted a picture of coin I own on a different site and then someone posted it's True View image which I never saw but also never looked for. They looked like two different coins. When the person first posted it, I thought they were posting a coin they owned. Nope same coin but didn't look the same.
    Edessa, Chris Winkler and Factor like this.
  8. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Well-Known Member

    Reference book photo (Lindgren I):

    Annia Faustina Lindgren plate small.jpg

    Auction firm (Busso Peus) photo:

    Annia Faustina Isinda Peus.jpg

    My photo:

    Annia Faustina Isinda.jpg
    Annia Faustina, 3rd wife of Elagabalus, Augusta, 221 CE.
    Roman provincial Æ 25.0 mm, 8.56 g, 6 h.
    Pisidia, Isinda.
    Obv: ANNIAN FAVCTEINAN, bare-headed and draped bust of Annia Faustina, right.
    Rev: Confronted heads of Serapis and Isis, Ι(CI)Ν-ΔΕΩΝ.
    Refs: Ex Lindgren I A1322A (Plate coin); von Aulock, Pisidia I 833.
    Notes: Busso Peus, Auction 366, lot 888, 29 Oct 2000; ex- Marcel Burstein (Nevada) collection; ex- Lindgren collection.
  9. DonnaML

    DonnaML Well-Known Member

    Why do so many auction houses post black-and-white photos of ancient coins? Because it takes more time to get decent color photos?
  10. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Well-Known Member

    Cost of printing a paper catalog, I imagine.
    Iepto likes this.
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