First Otho!

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by The Meat man, Jun 30, 2022.

  1. The Meat man

    The Meat man Supporter! Supporter

    I have a Galba denarius, and Vitellius isn't too hard to get. But Otho seems to be the most expensive of the A.D. 69 emperors.

    I wanted to get an Otho coin eventually, but I wasn't sure when I'd ever buy one since they seem to start at around $500, and I've only spent that much money on a single coin twice. Most of my collection is sub-$300. Also for $500 there are a lot of other coins I'd rather have!

    When I saw this rather poor Otho denarius in the recent Savoca auction, I thought just maybe this could be an affordable Otho for my collection. I placed a bid, and ended up winning!

    Yes, it's very worn and corroded, but hey this guy isn't complaining...not only is Otho's portrait distinctly recognizable, but there is also left visible his name (barely). The reverse I don't care as much about, which is good since it's even worse; but even so there is still plenty of detail left to be able to identify the type.

    Overall I am stoked that I was able to fill this difficult and expensive spot at what I consider a very reasonable price! Somewhat unexpectedly, too, since I wasn't sure I would win with my bid.

    What do you think of the coin? It's a bit lightweight, but I figure that's from the wear and the corrosion (it's a fairly thin flan too). I don't think it's a fouree or anything. (And I'm sure Savoca would have caught it if it was.)
    Oh, and please post up your Otho coins!
    galba68, ominus1, Topcat7 and 7 others like this.
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  3. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

    He's been through a lot.

    Otho (69 A.D.)
    Egypt, Alexandria
    Billon Tetradrachm
    O: ΑΥΤΟΚ ΜΑΡΚ ΟΘΩΝΟΣ ΚΑΙΣ ΣΕΒ, laureate head right; L A (date) to right.
    R:ΡΩΜΗ, helmeted and cuirassed bust of Roma right, holding shield and spear.
    Dattari (Savio) 330; K&G 18.9; RPC I 5362; Emmett 186.1

    Published on Wildwinds!

    Otho (69 A.D.)
    Egypt, Alexandria
    Billon Tetradrachm
    O: AYTOK MAPK OΘΩNOΣ KAIΣ ΣEB, laureate head right, LA (year 1) lower right.
    R: EΛEY-ΘEPIA, Eleutheria (Liberty) standing left, wreath in extended right hand, scepter in left hand, leaning with left elbow on column, simpulum (ladle used for tasting and pouring sacrificial libations) left in lower left field.
    Milne 359; RPC I 5354 (5 spec.); Dattari 327; BMC Alexandria p. 25, 208; Curtis 238; Kampmann 18.6; Emmett 184

    Ex. Jyrki Muona Collection

    This variety with a simpulum on the reverse is much rarer than the same type without this control symbol. RPC reports only 5 specimens with the simpulum and 17 specimens without it. This variety is missing from the important collections in Cologne, Paris, and Milan, and we know of only one example offered at auction in the past two decades (CNG 76, 12 Sep 2007, lot 3152, VF, $430 plus fees).

    Published on Wildwinds!
    Curtis, galba68, ominus1 and 7 others like this.
  4. cmezner

    cmezner do ut des Supporter

    Nice coins of Otho, they definitely have character. I like those just imagining what stories they could tell us.

    Because I think that one has to have in one's collection at least one coin for each of the twelve Caesars, I have just one coin of Otho and it took me a while to get it:cool:
    Not sure about the mint.
    The tetradrachms of Otho have eagles of virtually identical style to those on Galba’s tetradrachms.
    The coinage with a ruler portrait on the obverse and an eagle and palm branch reverse often including other attributes (thunderbolt, club, animal thigh, etc.) ultimately derives from the late Seleucid silver coinage struck for Phoenicia and Coele Syria. On the Seleucid series (modeled after a Ptolemaic prototype), the region (Phoenicia) was indicated by the palm branch, while the symbols identified the mint of issue (i.e., ship’s ram at Tyre, trident at Berytus, etc.).

    AR Tetradrachm, Seleucis and Pieria, Antiochia ad Orontem or Berytos, January - April 69 AD, Regnal Year 1 = 68/69 AD
    RPC 4199; McAlee 316; Prieur 101; BMC 215;
    14.697 g; 26 mm, 1 h

    Ob.: AYTOKPATωP M ΟΘWΝ KAICAP ϹƐΒΑϹΤΟϹ (Commander Marcus Otho Caesar Augustus), laureate head of Otho to right
    Rev.: Eagle with wreath in beak standing left on laurel branches, with wings spread; palm frond to left, crescent between legs, ЄTOY[C A] (date RY 1) in exergue.

    Picture courtesy from CNG eAuction 469:
  5. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    Rough but recognizable.
    Otho 1a.jpg
  6. Topcat7

    Topcat7 Still Learning

    OTHO - Securitas 69 AD RIC 1 Rome 8

    (2) OTHO - Securitas 69 AD RIC 1 Rome 8.jpg

    (Given to me by a CT member. I have already paid it forward.)
    galba68, Johndakerftw, Bing and 2 others like this.
  7. Terence Cheesman

    Terence Cheesman Well-Known Member

    Otho Ar Denarius 69 AD Obv Head right bare Rv Victory advancing left holding wreath and palm RIC 16 3.34 grms 19 mm Photo by W. Hansen otho2.jpg
    Viewing this image it is clear that we can see what his famous wig may have looked like. It appears to be in four parallel waves running across his forehead contrasting with the rest of his hair which is combed forward. Given my recent experience wearing masks due to Covid it seems likely that the supports were fixed around his ears.
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