First auction win of the year - my favorite triumvir.

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Michael Stolt, Jan 14, 2020.

  1. Michael Stolt

    Michael Stolt Well-Known Member

    One thing I've been wanting to get for a good while is a high quality denarius bearing the portrait my favorite triumvir, Mark Antony.

    And I finally won an amazing Antony denarius at the Heritage signature sale over at the New York International the other day. One could argue that the reverse has little appeal only mentioning his titles, but the amazingly stylized portrait very much makes up for this.

    The type itself isn't rare, but very difficult to find with a pleasing strike / surface.


    Mark Antony. Summer 32 BC. AR Denarius (20mm, 3.83 g, 5h). Athens mint.

    Obverse: Bare head right; small P (signature) in hair below ear; ANTON • AVG IMP III COS DES III • III V R P C around.

    Reverse: ANTONIVS/AVG • IMP • III in two lines.

    Reference: Crawford 542/2.

    "The carefully concealed letter "P" behind the ear of Antony's portrait represents the only known example of an artist's signature on a Roman Republican coin. The letter went unnoticed by numismatists for centuries before it was recognized in the early decades of the twentieth century."

    It will be an excellent addition to the Antonian coins I already have in my collection :)

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  3. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    Unlike your great coin, my reverse is by far the better part of the coin. It bears the inscription of Antony's ally Marcus Junius Silanus, step-brother of the assassin. The portrait on this fourree makes this one of the ugliest coins in my collection. Do I imagine too much to see the P?

    Convince me this one is not also fourree despite the seller not mentioning it. The P is clear so we need to realize that it was on several types of the 'Athens mint' coins.
    157, Lot: 266. Estimate $200.
    Sold for $334. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

    Mark Antony. 32 BC. AR Denarius (20mm, 3.38 g). Athens mint. M. Junius Silanus, proconsul. Bare head of Antony right; small P. in hair below ear / Legend in two lines across field. Crawford 542/1; Sear, CRI 346; Sydenham 1208; RSC 71. VF, porous, flan crack.
  4. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Michael Stolt likes this.
  5. Spargrodan

    Spargrodan Member

    Congratz! You don't happen to be part of Numismatiska Klubben Uppsala? I think I saw a post from you with a nice collection of roman republic coins. I was looking at their FB page the other week as I'm new to ancient coins and looking for colabs and people to learn from in Uppsala where i live.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2020
  6. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    Excellent example @Michael Stolt. I've been looking for one as well. My only coin with a portrait of MA is:
    Marcus Antonius  2.jpg
    Ionia Silver Cistophoric Tetradrachm
    OBVERSE: M ANTONIVS IMP COS DESIG ITER ET TERT, head of Antony right, wreathed in ivy, lituus below, all within wreath of ivy and grapes
    REVERSE: III VIR R P C, bust of Octavia right on cista flanked by snakes
    Ephesus 39 BC
    11.8gm, 26mm
    RPC I 2201, Sydenham 1197, Sear 262
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  7. Michael Stolt

    Michael Stolt Well-Known Member

    Thank you Doug! The "P" will indeed be a bit difficult to find on the first one :)

    What makes you think the other one is a fourrée by the way? Weight doesn't seem to be very abnormal for a specimen with that kind of wear / porosity.
  8. Michael Stolt

    Michael Stolt Well-Known Member

    Thank you :)
  9. Michael Stolt

    Michael Stolt Well-Known Member

    Nice Cistophoros! :) great portrait of Antony on your specimen.
    A type that is also high on my list.
  10. Michael Stolt

    Michael Stolt Well-Known Member

    Thank's. And welcome to cointalk. Yes that was my post you saw. The Facebook group has not been active at all since it was created sadly. Most likely explained by the fact that the average age of the members in the club is very high with a lot of older members not having a Facebook account to start with. So the monthly meeting the club has is the best way to get in contact with people. There's a few in the club apart from me that collects ancients.
  11. Limes

    Limes Supporter! Supporter

    A very nice example @Michael Stolt! I did not know about the carefully concealed letter "P" behind the ear. Acutally, it is that well concealed that I cant see it. Could you help me out?

    Here is my example. It is a type with a not so pleasing strike... But nevertheless, the portrait is there, which for me is great!

    Marcus Antonius bare head.png
  12. panzerman

    panzerman Well-Known Member

    Congratulations on your fantastic first auction win! Beautifull piece, great portrait:happy: It will find a nice home in your collection.
    Michael Stolt likes this.
  13. Gary R. Wilson


    I have only one Antony portrait coin. It was broken and repaired. It is a former CNG coin.


    Mark Antony (Triumvir)
    Gens: Antonia
    Moneyer: M. Barbatius Pollio
    Coin: Silver Denarius
    M ANT IMP AVG III VIR R P C M BARBAT Q P, - Bare head of Mark Antony right
    CAESAR IMP PONT III VIR R P C - Bare head of Octavian right.
    Mint: Ephesus (Spring 41 BC)
    Wt./Size/Axis: 3.00g / 19mm / 12h
    RSC 8
    Crawford 517/2
    CRI 243
    Sydenham 1181
    Sear 5 #1504
    Classical Numismatic Group, Inc.
    Acquisition/Sale: imperatorcoins-and-estatesales eBay 424 #352 $0.00 07/19
    Notes: Nov 20, 19 - The Gary R. Wilson Collection
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  14. Michael Stolt

    Michael Stolt Well-Known Member

    Thank you :)

    Here is a photo with the "P" circled:
  15. Michael Stolt

    Michael Stolt Well-Known Member

    Thank you very much! :)
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  16. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander Blame my mother. Supporter

    WOW!! What a beauty. I don't think I've ever seen a better one.

    Screen Shot 2020-01-14 at 4.47.04 PM.jpg

    @dougsmit, I will take up the challenge to convince you that CNG example isn't a fourrée: 1) the flan crack doesn't show core (not just going by the photo here... if it showed core, CNG would surely have noticed!) 2) The islands of lost silver on the obverse just look like lamination defects (as on mine - but maybe you think mine might be fourrée too!).

    The silver quality on these is perhaps not typically the greatest... yet another reason why Michael's coin is so stellar.
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  17. Spargrodan

    Spargrodan Member

    Cool good to know! Yeah seems like it is a "dying" hobby good that we are some younger to bring down the average age and keep the hobby alive. It was the same when I collected as a kid lots of older people so guess unfortunately not much has changed in that aspect. No offense to older collectors but it's nice when younger joining the hobby.
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2020
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  18. Michael Stolt

    Michael Stolt Well-Known Member

    Thank's! :) Yes it stands out quite nicely among other specimens of the same type.

    As four Doug's coin I cant really see anything on the CNG photo that would give it away as a fourrée. Plus Antony debased his coins a lot which often explains the poor metal quality on many of his types.
    Severus Alexander likes this.
  19. Michael Stolt

    Michael Stolt Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't call it dying. And I think we'll see more younger collectors as the presence of auction houses and dealers keep increasing online. Big difference today already compared to when I started collecting little over 3 years ago. But the average age in coin clubs will probably remain pretty high.
  20. Spargrodan

    Spargrodan Member

    Clympsy of me to call it dying, I guess I have no idea as I just got back. Was mainly thinking back of how I felt it was when I was collecting as a kid. But good that I'm wrong.
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