Countermark on Hadrian As

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Factor, Sep 16, 2020 at 3:23 PM.

  1. Factor

    Factor Well-Known Member

    Got this in a group lot I purchased to get a completely different coin. My focus is on city coins and I don't know much about imperial, but I think it is unusual for imperial coin of that period to be countermarked. Any idea when, where and under which circumstances it was applied? 20200916_132849.jpg 20200916_132812.jpg
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    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    No clue, but the profile looks more like Antoninus Pius to me. Cool, regardless. Good luck with somebody here knowing something. You at least came to the right place!
  4. NOS

    NOS Former Coin Hoarder

    Whomever did it or for what purpose may not be known but what is clear is the countermarker did not take reverence nor care that they stamped over the emperor's face. Perhaps some deductions can be drawn from this observation as to when or why it was done, or by whom.
    +VGO.DVCKS likes this.
  5. curtislclay

    curtislclay Well-Known Member

    Yes, Antoninus Pius, rev. probably TR POT XIX COS IIII S - C, Providentia standing, extending r. hand over globe at feet and holding scepter in left.

    I have two Antonine asses with a similar countermark, one of Pius with the Annona standing rev. type of 140-4, one of Faustina II late in Pius' reign with Venus standing on the reverse. On my coins there is however a clear O attached to the top of the Δ in the countermark, so this OΔ may be interpreted as Odessus, a Greek city on the coast of the Black Sea, and the Γ can be read as a mark of value, 3 assaria.

    Howgego 626 records a similar countermark, but with a second Δ replacing the Γ, so valued at 4 rather than 3 assaria. This countermark is found on various Greek city coins of Thrace, Moesia Inferior, and Bithynia, of emperors from Commodus to Severus Alexander, and two such countermarked coins are now in the collection of the Odessa Museum, so supporting the interpretation of the OΔ in the countermark as Odessus. It's not surprising that Howgego didn't find any of our 3-assaria countermarks on Roman imperial asses of the reign of Pius, since he was not expecting to find Greek imperial countermarks on Roman imperial as well as Greek imperial coins, and probably wouldn't have had the time anyway to check the Roman imperial collections too of all of the museums he visited!
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  6. Pishpash

    Pishpash Supporter! Supporter

    I like counterarks.

    I got this AP for the countermarks,


    Antoninus Pius
    Coin: Bronze As
    Unreadable - Laureate head right countermarks dolphin and head
    Unreadable - Genius standing left, holding cornucopiae and a patera over a burning altar. (Possibly)
    Wt./Size/Axis: 13.80g / 30mm / -
    • Similar to RIC 568c
    Notes: Nov 21, 14 - I keep this because I like the countermarks. Dolphin and head.
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    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    ...Well, at least opening inductions...
    Not to get too far into the Baconian woods, but....
  8. Factor

    Factor Well-Known Member

    Thank you @curtislclay , it makes perfect sense. The two countermarks are very similar in style, size and position (in front of the emperor's head), the only difference is gamma versus delta. Maybe worth publishing, as a short note? Application of provincial countermark on imperial coin is quite unusual, and in this case definitely intentional, given three known specimens.
    Bing, seth77 and Orielensis like this.
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