I Love Bad Pictures and Poor Descriptions!

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by furryfrog02, Jun 10, 2021.

  1. furryfrog02

    furryfrog02 Well-Known Member

    Bumbling around on ebay and I found a seller who had some generically listed "Roman Coins" at low prices. No identifications and you can clearly see that several aren't even Roman! The seller normally doesn't deal in coins based on their name and all the other things they sell.

    The pictures were very dark and blurry. The only one I could really clearly make out was Victorinus and based off him, I decided to buy a few and try my luck.
    The coins averaged out at $8.75 a piece so I think I did pretty well.

    I've been able to identify all but 2; one is the Alexandrian Tet. I always have a really hard time with the legends. If anyone wants to help out, I'd appreciate it :). The other looks to be a barbarous imitation of one of the Roman Gallic usurpers. What do you think?

    Group Shot
    IMG-2104.JPG IMG-2105.JPG


    INDIA, Kushan Empire
    Vima Takto (Soter Megas)
    Circa 80-100 AD
    Æ Tetradrachm
    Obverse: Radiate and diademed bust right, holding scepter, tamgha to left
    Reverse: Vima Takto on horseback right, holding axe, tamgha to lower right
    Vima Takto (Soter Megas), Tetradrachm.png

    Samanta Deva
    Kabul Shahis / Hindu Shahi King
    AR Jital
    900-950 AD
    Obverse: Horseman right, holding banner, a in Nagari to left, symbol to right
    Reverse: Recumbent bull: Brahmi inscription “His Excellence Samanta, the God”
    Samanta Deva, AR Jital.png

    Latin Rulers of Constantinople, 1204-1261 AD
    Large module
    Obverse: IC-XC to left and right of Christ seated facing
    Reverse: MANOVHL.., Emperor standing on left, being crowned by Mary on right
    Latin Rules of Constantinople, Trachy.png

    Unidentified Alexandrian Billon Tetradrachm
    slazzer-edit-image (3).png

    Roman and maybe barbarous

    AE antoninianus
    Obverse: IMP C VICTORINVS P F AVG, radiate, draped & cuirassed bust right
    Reverse: PAX AVG, Pax standing left, holding branch and sceptre. V-star across fields
    Victorinus AE antoninianus.png

    Tetricus II
    Bi. antoninianus
    Hybrid with reverse of Tetricus I
    Obverse: C PIV ESV TETRICVS CAES, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right
    Reverse: COMES AVG, Victory standing left, holding wreath and palm
    Tetricus II.png

    Probable Barbarous Imitation.
    I'm basing this off of the bad portrait and the reverse legend with the backwards/bumbled letters
    slazzer-edit-image (9).png

    Thanks for looking and feel free to post anything you feel is relevant!
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  3. Andres2

    Andres2 Well-Known Member

    Nice lot , furry , I especialy like the Victorinus

    Your last one looks like a barbaric Tetricus

    Tetricus lot of 4 a (2).JPG
  4. Yorkshire

    Yorkshire Well-Known Member

    Nice one, I have a Delmatius on the way from ebay that cost me £12 its the DALMATIVS spelling as well, not in hand yet though.
    +VGO.DVCKS and furryfrog02 like this.
  5. furryfrog02

    furryfrog02 Well-Known Member

  6. furryfrog02

    furryfrog02 Well-Known Member

    Nice! I don't yet have a coin of his.
  7. Herodotus

    Herodotus Well-Known Member

    For some reason the BI Tet's portrait speaks to me as Aurelian. It's really a stab in the dark as a rough guess though.

    I think I can imagine an 'AVPHΛ' in the legend above the bust.
  8. Valentinian

    Valentinian Supporter! Supporter

    That's right, it is Aurelian, a tetradrachm of Alexandria, Egypt.
    Broucheion, TIF, furryfrog02 and 2 others like this.
  9. Orange Julius

    Orange Julius Well-Known Member

    I agree… I see AVPHΛIANOC along the top. The PH is somewhat rubbed out but the rest is visible.
    furryfrog02 and +VGO.DVCKS like this.
  10. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Basileus Megalos

    Good pick-up for the price. The Kushan piece is nice.
  11. Spaniard

    Spaniard Well-Known Member

    furryfrog02 likes this.
  12. +VGO.DVCKS

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    @furryfrog02, your Victorinus is really exceptional. All the usual suspects; flan, strike, and even the engraving on the reverse --given that for official Gallic issues, the obverses are already better than typical Roman ones.
    ...Which had a lot to do with why your tet initially took me all the way back to late Severans. I wasn't making the allowances @Herodotus and @Valentinian did for the quality of celating in Alexandria, relative to what was happening to the west of the provincial issues.
    Antonius Britannia likes this.
  13. furryfrog02

    furryfrog02 Well-Known Member

    Thanks @Herodotus and @Valentinian for the confirmation on the tet! I thought he had an Aurelian look to him but wasn't sure. Those later busts all start to blend together.
    @+VGO.DVCKS The Victorinus was what really made me decide to take the gamble on the rest. I only have one other Victorinus and he is...rough to say the least. I love the Salus though :)
    Victorinus AE Antoninianus 268-270AD.jpg
  14. TIF

    TIF Always learning. Supporter

    An excellent group for that price!
    furryfrog02 likes this.
  15. +VGO.DVCKS

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    @furryfrog02, your point is very well taken. I have to have a soft spot for Victorinus; my very first ancient was one of his. I was 6, on a summer vacation, and my uncle loaned me most of the $6.50 it cost. Yeah, crazily overprized, but who knew? Wish I still had it.
    furryfrog02 likes this.
  16. furryfrog02

    furryfrog02 Well-Known Member

    Thanks! I have another group that I bought from the same seller. They were also listed as "Roman" but were most definitely NOT Roman :p Hopefully I will have them by Saturday.
    The crazy thing is that the seller has some other coins, basic Constantine and other LRB stuff but they are listed at crazy high prices. I think it was name recognition on their part.
    +VGO.DVCKS likes this.
  17. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    Did we not have another one of these posted here within a couple weeks? ID of this series requires learning not only the Greek alphabet but learning which letters are often made in a way other than the way you prefer. For example, P often has a small top loop and can be mistaken for an I. On this coin the I has more top than the P which I'm sure you know is an R. H is a vowel. A and Λ can gain or lose that crossbar. We must never forget that a coin clearly dated year 5 (LE) must belong to someone who lasted that long. When it comes to cheap coins, later period Alexandrians can be a lot of fun. Of course, the expensive, earlier ones can be more fun but that is just the fact of life in this hobby. When you have the coin in hand, you should start by evaluating the size. This coin is too small to be a Philip. How many other later Alexandrians do you have? Place them in order of size and see how close that comes to being the right date order. Certainly this does not work all the time but it tells you where to start. Make a list of the possible obverse legends even where that ruler used several and learn the most common ones with regard to where certain letters tend to fall. These points do not ID coins but it helps rule out things they can not be. Finally, there is the negative method of coin ID. Start with the most common (Diocletian, Maximianus) and show how the letter bumps just do not fit. Move on to the next most common and keep going until you can not talk yourself out of eliminating that possibility.
  18. +VGO.DVCKS

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    @furryfrog)@, it's truly great how, on ebay, to this very day, you can sometimes capitalize on the ignorance of some dealers. Whether relative, or willful, as if they just think they have better things to do with their time.
    ...For instance, in the context of individual coins, some people will list a raft of them, all overpriced ...but including something that's of a completely different order of scarcity, (wait for it: ) at the Same Price!
    This is already starting to feel like I'm giving away collecting 'trade secrets.' But between collectors, who really cares?
    furryfrog02 likes this.
  19. furryfrog02

    furryfrog02 Well-Known Member

    I need to make a list of legends. I downloaded the Datari PDF and the BMC Alexandria PDF but they are both so large that my computer nearly strokes out trying to open them. Perhaps a simple word doc will do better.
    This guy is larger for sure, than say a Diocletian or Maximianus.

    The thread you linked to was a good learning lesson too. I didn't add mine to that thread because I still want to work on them. I'm sure I will get them eventually.
  20. furryfrog02

    furryfrog02 Well-Known Member

    Just takes a lot of patience, a smidge of skill, and of course a bunch of luck!
  21. Herodotus

    Herodotus Well-Known Member

    As @dougsmit has alluded to above.

    Using methods of logic and deduction can be effective ways to attribute coins. When it comes to attempting to decipher (broken) legends. It may be akin to how similar techniques apply when one is doing a crossword puzzle.

    Often it can be discovered through a method of elimination to determine what a letter/character may be, or in the case of other clues (such as dates); what rulers it can't be.

    For example (on Imperial Coinage) if I see an I*P, there's a high probability that * is likely an 'M'; C*ES - likely an 'A'; T* P - likely an 'R' and so on, and so on.

    With Provincial Tets, many start with AVT and KAI/KAICAP (Greek abbreviations of IMP and CAE/CAESAR). Sometimes that is shortened to simply A K. Often, the end of the obverse legends end with (NAME)OC CEB -- Which translates to 'US' as in Carin'us' & Prob'us' or Maximian'us' & Gallien'us' --- CEB being the abbr. for SEBASTOS(or the Greek variation of AVGVSTVS).

    So by knowing (and potentially being able to recognize) these common legend parts, it can then help to be able to center in on the name of the ruler. For example if the legend ends in NOC CEB, it is mostly safe to presume that the ruler's (common) name being represented ends in the letter 'N'. That eliminates those that might end in 'tus', 'bus' or 'rus' for example.

    If I can make out a Δ in the name part of the legend. Well, of course I'm going to be eliminating rulers that don't have a name such as Diocletian, Decius, Claudius etc. Likewise, with 'P' I will be looking for Aurelian, Valerian, Probus, Carus etc.

    Even only being able to (clearly) discern 'AV' in the OP's coin significantly narrows down the possibilities of what ruler that it could be.

    I'm sure one gets the picture that I'm trying to convey here.
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2021
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