Boy, Did I Make a Mistake!

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by David Atherton, Jan 18, 2020.

  1. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic Supporter

    Yesterday I posted a new Diva Julia Titi sestertius.

    After closely examining the coin this evening I realised the reverse legend actually reads COS XVI not XV, making this a later rarer issue of the type! All previous auction houses and dealers had missed this small detail too, but as a specialist I should know better!

    Here is the correct attribution.

    Diva Julia Titi
    Æ Sestertius, 24.33g
    Rome mint, 92-94 AD (Domitian)
    Obv: DIVAE IVLIAE AVG DIVI TITI F above; S P Q R in exergue; Carpentum drawn r. by two mules
    Rev: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM COS XVI CENS PER P P; S C, large, in centre
    RIC 760 (R). BMC 471. BNC 502.
    Acquired from Ken Dorney, January 2020. Ex Agora Auctions Sale 84, 4 September 2019, lot 187. Ex CNG E314, 6 November 2013, lot 364.

    I have two main rules I follow when attributing a coin: only cite reference books I have in hand (never copy and paste attributions!) and closely examine the coin in minute detail. At least I got around to the second one a day later! Following both rules turned a 'common' coin into something much rarer.

    Has something similar happened to you? I would like to know.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2020
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  3. Jay GT4

    Jay GT4 Well-Known Member

    Good eye David, I can see how that could be missed. It could look like the space between XV and CENS is corrosion and not an I

    David Atherton and Clavdivs like this.
  4. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic Supporter

    Yes, initially I thought it was a space. After examining the reverse under magnification it became clear it was actually a numeral 'I'. I was sheepishly overjoyed! LOL
    Orfew and Roman Collector like this.
  5. Cucumbor

    Cucumbor Dombes collector Supporter

    It proves what a specialist you are : you're the one who could spot that. Well done David.

    Very interesting coin, with or without the extra "I", even better with, though.

    -jeffB, David Atherton and Orfew like this.
  6. thejewk

    thejewk Well-Known Member

    It's a nice mistake to make when you realise that the item is more of a rarity than you initially though.
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  7. jb10000lakes

    jb10000lakes Member

    Do you have a comparison photo of the other type? Just seems like the spacing would be tighter than all the other letters if an I was in there. Certainly not doubting you, but as a newbie it would be interesting to see the differences and how you picked them up/could discern them.
  8. Ocatarinetabellatchitchix

    Ocatarinetabellatchitchix Supporter! Supporter

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  9. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic Supporter

    COS XV and XVI are exactly the same type, the only difference being the consular date. You can see both on asearch for comparison.

    Several (including mine) are misattributed.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2020
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  10. dadams

    dadams Well-Known Member

    Seems like a nice mistake to have made! I like both your rules and seems like good advise to follow.
    David Atherton likes this.
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