Fin's Top 10 For 2020 - Year Of The Biga

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by finny, Dec 20, 2020.

  1. finny

    finny Active Member

    These are in no particular order, it's too hard to rank them. It was hard enough limiting this to 10 coins since this was a rather prolific coin year for me. For the sake of this i also chose screenshots from the vendor instead of doing my own with the cell phone camera. Coins 5 - 10 you will notice why i titled this "Year of the Biga". Here goes:

    Screen Shot 2020-12-20 at 11.11.41 AM.png
    PTOLEMAIC KINGS of EGYPT. Ptolemy I Soter. As satrap, 323-305/4 BC. AR Tetradrachm (26.5mm, 17.00 g, 11h). In the name and types of Alexander III of Macedon. Arados mint. Struck circa 320/19-315 BC. Head of Herakles right, wearing lion skin / Zeus Aëtophoros seated left, legs crossed; AP (civic) monogram in left field. Price 3426 (Byblos). Toned, slightly off center on reverse. VF.
    * Ex. CNG 479 Lot 68
    * Ex. El Medina Collection, purchased in 1993.

    I included this one because it was my first Alexander Tet. It is way more amazing in hand - i love the feel of it and the detail is amazing.

    Screen Shot 2020-12-20 at 11.17.18 AM.png
    Otacilla Severa. RIC IV Rome 200a

    A.D. 248
    Æ Sestertius (27x30mm 17.3g)
    MARCIA OTACIL SEVERA AVG; diademed and draped bust right.
    SAECVLARES AVGG; hippopotamus standing right, S C in exergue.
    Provenance: Ex. Victor Clark (Victor's Imperial Coins).

    Because HIPPO!!!! I didn't have an Otacilla yet for my collection. My broadest collection type is one of each ruler for Rome + bust coins of their family. Another collection type i am working on is animals. So this one filled a slot for both, but it's just one of my overall favorite coins because it's big, heavy, and the hippo is so cute!
    Screen Shot 2020-12-20 at 11.14.57 AM.png
    Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D., Antiocheia, Pisidia

    RP92553. Bronze AE 34, Krzyzanowska p. 175, X/-; SNG BnF 1186; SNG Cop 55; SNGvA 4948; SNG Pfalz 81; SNG Leypold 2002; BMC Lycia p. 186, 63, F, well centered, obverse legend weak / part unstruck, highlighting earthen deposits on the reverse, Antioch in Pisidia (Yalvac, Turkey) mint, weight 23.03g, maximum diameter 33.5mm, die axis 180o, 222 - 235 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES SEVER ALEXANDER, laureate head right; reverse COL CAES ANTIOCH, she-wolf right suckling the twins Romulus and Remus, fig tree behind, S R (Senatus Romanum) in exergue;
    * Ex. Forum
    * Ex. Errett Bishop Collection

    I liked the city commemorative coins featuring the wolf and twins, but those are rather small. This one fills my spot for Severus Alexander AND it's a large chunky bronze with the wolf and twins. I liked the wolf stylized in this coin. I like the wolf and twins coins also because of the origin mythology.

    Screen Shot 2020-12-20 at 11.12.45 AM.png
    THRACE, Mesambria. 4th century BC. AR Diobol (11mm, 1.28 g). Helmet facing / Ethnic within spokes of wheel; rays around. Karayotov I 37–94; HGC 3, 1560. Toned, slightly off center on obverse. VF.

    * Ex. CNG 480, Lot 92
    * Ex. Raintree Collection

    This one is not really in a particular category of my collection, but it just caught my eye. The facing helmet is haunting, almost hypnotic. It's like history is reaching out directly to you when you look at it. Also, this is from 4th century BC so it's quite old and this year i've watched a few documentaries on the search for Atlantis. In those were some interesting information about the significance of the circular patterns, including city layouts. So this one having the wheel on the back split into 4 was also interesting to me because of that. This is one i want to learn more about.

    Screen Shot 2020-12-20 at 11.12.01 AM.png
    Man. Aquillius. 109-108 BC. AR Denarius (20.5mm, 3.49 g, 5h). Rome mint. Radiate head of Sol right; X (mark of value) below chin / Luna driving galloping biga right, holding reins in both hands; crescent moon and three stars above, one star below. Crawford 303/1; Sydenham 557; Aquillia 1; RBW –. Toned, a few light marks. VF.

    * Ex. CNG 479, Lot 118
    * Ex. El Medina Collection

    You'll notice the biga variety theme. That was a sub-theme to my animals (mythical and/or real) collection. This one in particular was due to the level of detail in the coin in hand and because of the stars - it's just a super eye-appealing coin for me given the plain old horse biga ;)

    Screen Shot 2020-12-20 at 11.13.23 AM.png
    Q. Creperius M.f. Rocus. 69 BC. AR Serrate Denarius (18.5mm, 3.87 g, 12h). Rome mint. Draped bust of Amphitrite right, seen from behind; squid to left, F to right / Neptune, holding reins and brandishing trident, driving sea-chariot drawn by two hippocamps right; F above. Crawford 399/1a; Sydenham 796; Crepereia 1; RBW 1440 var. (control symbol and letter). Lightly toned, a few bankers’ marks, light marks and scratches. Fine.

    * Ex. CNG 481, Lot 455
    * Ex. Raintree Collection.

    Because hippocamps + the squid.

    Screen Shot 2020-12-20 at 11.13.38 AM.png
    M. Aurelius Cotta. 139 BC. AR Denarius (17mm, 3.70 g, 6h). Rome mint. Helmeted head of Roma right, wearing necklace of beads; X (mark of value) to left / Hercules driving biga of centaurs right; centaurs each carrying a branch. Crawford 229/1a; Sydenham 429; Aurelia 16; RBW 958. Lightly toned with light deposits in the devices, a few marks. VF.

    * Ex. CNG 481, Lot 306
    * Ex. Raintree Collection.

    Because centaurs.

    Screen Shot 2020-12-20 at 11.14.35 AM.png
    Roman Republic, C. Caecilius Metellus, 125 B.C.
    RR90087. Silver denarius, Crawford 269/1, Sydenham 485, RSC I Caecilia 14, Russo RBW 1085, SRCV I 145, F, toned, banker's marks, scratches, Rome mint, weight 3.833g, maximum diameter 17.5mm, die axis 90o, 125 B.C.; obverse head of Roma right in winged Phrygian helmet, ROMA behind, X (XVI monogram) below chin; reverse Jupiter in biga of elephants left, reins in right hand, thunderbolt in left hand, Victory flying right above crowning Jupiter with wreath, C METELLVS (ME in monogram) in exergue;

    * Ex. Forum (2011)

    Because elephants.

    Screen Shot 2020-12-20 at 11.20.40 AM.png
    78 BC - Roman Republic. M. Volteius M.f. AR Denarius / Ceres in Serpent Biga
    Crawford 385/3; Volteia 3; Sydenham 776
    Head of Liber right, wreathed in ivy
    [M.]VOLTEI•M[•F]; Ceres holding two torches right, in biga drawn by two serpents; scorpion in left field
    18.14 mm, 3.78 grams

    * Ex. Marc Breitsprecher
    * Ex. Schaefer Die Study (die #34, last example coin):

    Because snakes & scorpion. And the provenance of being part of a die study was a sweet sweet bonus.

    Screen Shot 2020-12-20 at 11.22.36 AM.png
    103 BC - Roman Republic. L. Julius L. F. Caesar AR Denarius / Venus in Biga of Cupids
    Crawford 320/1; Julia 4; Sydenham 593
    Obverse: CAESAR behind head of Mars in crested helmet
    Reverse: Venus Genetrix right, holding scepter, in biga drawn by two Cupids, lyre before; L•IVLI•L•F in exergue
    15.81mm, 3.93 grams
    Description: XF with light red hues on the obverse. This is an example of the first Roman coin type on which the name CAESAR appeared.

    Provenance: Ex. Marc Breitsprecher

    Because cupids, first CAESAR, and the toning is really nice.
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  3. Gavin Richardson

    Gavin Richardson Well-Known Member

    It’s Ceres and Snakes for me.

    Looks like you had a BIG-a year.

    OK, I’ll let myself out now.
    finny and furryfrog02 like this.
  4. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter

    I am jones’n on those coins, @finny ! Those are great!
    finny likes this.
  5. Spargrodan

    Spargrodan Well-Known Member

    I like the Otacilla hippopotamus.
    finny likes this.
  6. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    Wonderful coins, and I am seriously envious! I don't have the cupids, the snakes, the centaurs, or the hippocamps, and I want them all!
    finny likes this.
  7. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    I like them all, but the Man. Aquillius is my favorite.
    finny likes this.
  8. furryfrog02

    furryfrog02 Well-Known Member

    Nice group!
    I love the hippo but I also like the scorpion...oh and the cupids...and the centaurs!
    They are all great. Thanks for sharing!
    Etcherman and finny like this.
  9. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Well-Known Member

    finny, You scored some great coins this year :D! The Otacillia / Hippo sestertius is my favorite :happy:. Your Republican denarii are outstanding, especially the Caesar one with a biga of Cupids, & the Cota denarius with a biga of centaurs :cool:.
    finny likes this.
  10. Ryro

    Ryro They call me the 13th Caesar Supporter

    Wonderful year of RRs:cigar:
    I had wanted one for a couple years and also purchased a Rocus this year:
  11. Pishpash

    Pishpash Supporter! Supporter

    Gotta love a hippo.
    finny likes this.
  12. Julius Germanicus

    Julius Germanicus Well-Known Member

    Pishpash and finny like this.
  13. happy_collector

    happy_collector Well-Known Member

    The hippocamps and centaurs are very nice! Great coins. :)
    finny likes this.
  14. 7Calbrey

    7Calbrey Well-Known Member

    They all look very interesting and even particular. Congrats..
    finny likes this.
  15. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    Am I correct that this moneyer was an uncle of "the" Julius Caesar?

    I looked this coin up in RSC and Crawford, because I definitely want to buy one -- along with several of the other types you've posted! -- whenever I find an example in decent condition. Interestingly, although you're technically correct that this was the first coin on which the name CAESAR appeared, it seems that about 25 years earlier, in 129 BCE, another relative, named Sextus Julius Caesar, issued a coin (Crawford 258) on which the name CAISAR appeared. Different spelling, but the same name and I suspect the same pronunciation. So perhaps this coin is really No. 2!
    dougsmit and finny like this.
  16. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    I'm not sure that saying "Ex." the Schaefer Die Study is really the correct way to cite a die match, or your actual coin, when you find it at CRRO. After all, Schaefer didn't actually own these coins himself. He simply saved images of all the examples of different dies of particular Roman Republic coins that he found for sale, either in auction catalogs or for direct sale on the Internet. You should be able to find on the specific image that you've matched with your coin a coded notation (often difficult to decipher) of the name and date of the auction or sale where he found it. What I usually do instead of "Ex." is to mention at the end of my description of the coin either that a die match to my coin, or my actual coin, is listed in the RRDP at such and such a page, with the link. When it's my actual coin, I also say "Ex" the name of the seller and date of the sale, if I'm able to decipher the code. Just to be clear, is what you found a double die match or your actual coin? Can you decipher what it says about where Schaefer found the image?
    finny likes this.
  17. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

    That is a sweet collection of bigas! I was quite tempted to bid on that hippocamp biga, but couldn't justify it as I already have one. That is a great example you scored. I also like your Cotta and Volteius. Both of those are still on my list.
    finny and DonnaML like this.
  18. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    Hippo here
    finny likes this.
  19. Cucumbor

    Cucumbor Dombes collector Supporter

    I like the hippo and the biga theme is most interesting.
    They all fit in the same category : "da bigga, da betta"

    I'm out with him if you like to know :D

    finny and Gavin Richardson like this.
  20. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Gorgeous coins all, but I gotta go with the hippo! One of the finest examples of that coin I've seen!
    finny likes this.
  21. Andres2

    Andres2 Well-Known Member

    amazing collection of biga's , the Alexander Severus is also im my top ten of 2020

    Romulus Remus (5).JPG
    Curtisimo, Ryro, finny and 2 others like this.
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