Featured In Appreciation of Large Lots - Not just crusty LRBs

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Finn235, Feb 16, 2021.

  1. Finn235

    Finn235 Well-Known Member

    This will be a random and sporadically updated thread- so apologies in advance!

    But, in the past few months I have bought up quite a few large lots of coins, ranging from $2 per coin to nearly $50 per coin. Obviously most lots will have plenty of ugly/cull coins, but I felt the need to start a thread for the keepers and cream of the crop as I work through imaging them. Apologies in advance for the lack of verbose write-ups; short on time and sleep these days :)

    That some of these were deemed unworthy of individual listings baffles me!

    First up, some Romans
    Tiberius, "Livia as Salus" AE dupondius - pretty worn, but still a highly coveted type!
    Livia AE As SALVS AVGVSTA by Tiberius.jpg

    Caligula for Germanicus, AE Dupondius, SIGNIS RECEPTIS type, also rough, and desirable in pretty much any grade!
    Germanicus AE by Caligula SIGNIS RECEPTIS.jpg

    Vespasian Dupondius / Roma - this is IMO the definition of honest wear - and I had already been feeling the itch for some nice Flavian AE anyway! Vespasian dupondius roma.jpg

    Fast forward to some really exceptional Crisis ants -

    Quintillus / AETERNIT AVG, not the best condition, but a much more realistic portrait than is usually encountered on his bronzes
    Quintillus AETERNIT AVG.jpg

    Tacitus, MARS VICTOR - fully silvered, with a nice thick coat of silver wash Tacitus MARS VICTOR.jpg

    Probus / ADVENTVS PROBI AVG, a lovely martial bust Probus military bust ADVENTVS PROBI.jpg

    Also Probus / IOVI CONS PROBI AVG, brilliant, full coat of silvering
    Probus IOVI CONS PROBI AVG Rome.jpg

    Carausius, for Diocletian from London / PAX AVGGG
    Carausius for Diocletian PAX AVGGG London.jpg

    An abdication follis of Maximian, a type I have been hunting for well over two years now
    Maximian AE abdication follis Ticinium.jpg

    That's all for now but stay tuned!

    Got any recent lot grabs? Let's see them!
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  3. Ocatarinetabellatchitchix

    Ocatarinetabellatchitchix Supporter! Supporter

    Bought 2 small lots 1 1/2 years ago for about 5$ per coins: found an extra rare Honorius, 2 scarce Licinius, sold the rest of the batch and finally made a profit of 100$...


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  4. Herodotus

    Herodotus Well-Known Member

    I’d like to go with the “ignorance is bliss” route when it comes to the absolute reality that we here on the ancients’ board may at times be in direct competition w/ each other @auction(s).

    I’d also have to be pretty naive in failing to acknowledge that there are others here that have a taste (like myself) for ‘large lots’ scavenging.

    I guess that’s the price that we pay in enjoying the company of fellow collectors w/ shared tastes/targets. We anonymously bid each other up, and then we can congratulate each other on nice scores.


    To the thread...

    While I enjoy bidding on ‘large lots’ where the coins are spread out — All being fairly easy to identify in the pics provided by the auction house — I get a bigger thrill out of discovering what might be hidden below; inside a jumbled mix-pile of unattributed coins.

    It’s like an Easter egg hunt.

    The thinking behind the decision-making of what sorts of coin find their way into mixed lots interests me.

    Of course, some fall into the category of ‘dealer lots’. Often they are multiples of the same type(s) of coin in relatively comparative conditions. — IE. 30 Imperial denarii or ATG drachms etc.

    As for the types of lots that might garner more interest with collectors...

    Generally, one might presume that most in large lots might be considered ‘problem coins’ — W/ enough condition issues to not be able to stand alone @auction.

    Many may be coins that failed to earn any bids in previous auctions at the AH’s lowest starting price. So they are later bundled with the hope for easier liquidation.

    However, gems(in my level of rough) can still be found among these types of lots. Are they intentionally planted ‘seeds’/‘eye-candy’ to encourage more interest and help the entire lot sell?

    I suspect some auction houses like to make sure that the nicest coins in a lot are placed conspicuously; if displayed in a loose pile.

    As a bidder, figuring a reasonable entire value for such lots can be a challenge, especially if the auction house unscrupulously buries a bunch of slugs underneath to fill out the pile.

    Certain auction houses definitely offer juicier ‘large lots’ than others.

    Some of my favorite ‘large lots’ are those that look to have been parts of collections. Sometimes, they are a mixed variety bag; other times more focused. I’ve found some real gems in those types of lots.

    I would post some pics ITT of my fav. ‘large lot’ finds, but my laptop took a nasty fall a month back, and it broke behind repair. As such, I lost my meager catalog of coin pics.

    So, apologies for no pics. My new laptop ought to be arriving any day now; so I can get back to contributing images in addition to text.

    Nice scores OP!
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2021
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  5. Harry G

    Harry G Well-Known Member

    Interesting topic!

    I recently bought these 2 lots, containing 30 coins in total, on eBay for less than £1 per coin. They were buy it now listings from the same seller that were only about 30 minutes old, so I snapped them up. Yes, a lot of them are horrible bronze diseased discs, but there a few gems in there, including a nice follis of Maximinus, 4 damaged denarii, and a Byzantine pentanummium! Will try and resell most of them on eBay

    (Also, anyone know what the one right of the sestertius of the first picture is? I think it's probably a Tiberius as, but I'm not sure of a more specific ID)

    lot 1.png

    lot 2.png

    I also bought 2 pretty big lots of 50 various antoninianii each, at £2.60 per coin. Have kept the ones I like most, and am reselling the rest :)

    lot 3.jpg

    lot 4.jpg
  6. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    This bothers me when I see large lots of coin in the several hundred $$$ per coin group. The recent flood on the market of early electrum has produced wonderful individual coins and piles of coins considered to undesirable to sell separately but made expensive by their metal. The king of large lots IMHO was the AK collection groups sold by CNG in several Triton sales.
    This is a matter of opinion. Many collectors ignore any coin under mint state as if it did not exist. Some of us are happy when small dealers buy up large lots and separate them out for those of us who did not want the whole group. I have no 'recent' coins to show but some of my favorite coins over the years have come from groups of 30 or more sold by people who did not see what I saw in terms of the desirability of the coins. That is why I mourn the demise of the thousands of small dealers leaving us nowhere to get coins except the large numismatic Wal-mart style auction houses. My last hope was coin shows now on long term hold or gone forever. Which(?) remains to be seen.
    Finn235 likes this.
  7. Jay GT4

    Jay GT4 Well-Known Member

    Looks like Domitian from Judaea, Victory and a Roman trophy of arms.
    Harry G likes this.
  8. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Basileus Megalos

    Interesting grabs and you stayed away from large lots of crusty AE3s and AE4s for the most part.
    Finn235 and Harry G like this.
  9. The Trachy Enjoyer

    The Trachy Enjoyer Well-Known Member

    Crusty AE4s are the best! Barbaric and late roman Nummus for all!
  10. Finn235

    Finn235 Well-Known Member

    Thanks all, and nice examples!

    Next up are some coins from a Ptolemaic lot from Nomos; I still don't understand how these are attributable to specific Ptolemies, but for now, I'm trusting the online resources.

    Ptolemy II AR tetradrachm, Tyre Mint (club) Year 8 (H) 275 BC
    Ptolemy II AR tetradrachm Tyre.jpg

    Sicilian series, Hieron II (Imitating? In alliance with?) Ptolemy II
    Sicily Hieron II for Ptolemy II AE26.jpg

    Ptolemy III AE19 hemiobol? Beautiful patina with Chi Rho between legs of the eagle. Not sure if this is a rare denomination or just unpopular compared to the massive larger denominations in this series?
    Egypt Ptolemy III AE19 hemiobol chi rho.jpg

    Ptolemy IV AE43 drachm, a whopping 72.62g - this was honestly the "draw" for me to bid to win the lot
    Egypt Ptolemy V AE drachm.jpg

    Ptolemy VI "Isis Bust" AE28 - a particularly refined portrait with clear flan smoothing concentric circles on both sides
    Ptolemy VI - VIII AE28 Isis bust.jpg

    Ptolemy VIII AE 31
    ZomboDroid 13022021154040.jpg

    Ptolemy XII AR Tetradrachm, Year 21 (KA), Paphos mint? 60 BC Ptolemy XII tetradrachm paphos RY21 60bc.jpg

    Cleopatra VII with Ptolemy XII AR light tetradrachm (8.5g) "Feminized bust" series, Year 30 of Ptolemy XII / Year 1 of Cleopatra, 51 BC
    Ptolemy XII and Cleopatra VII ltwt tet RY30 50 BC Paphos 8 61g.jpg

    Another one, for good measure
    Ptolemy XII and Cleopatra VII light tetradrachm Paphos 50BC.jpg
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2021
  11. thejewk

    thejewk Well-Known Member

    Gosh Finn, I'm jealous of that double struck Diocletian under Carausius. Great coin.
    Severus Alexander and Finn235 like this.
  12. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    Where do you people find such good lots? Every large lot I’ve bought is almost entirely junk
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  13. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    Oh snap. You know my name is on this thread. Actually my latest are stuck in another state, its two group lots of Greek bronze, about 200 total, gF to VF. I was just pawing through again a group of Greek I got a while ago from Album and noticed a very nice gVF carthaginian bronze that was interesting, made via casting the planchets like Ptolemaic pieces, (one side noticeably smaller than the other), but no sign of center divot.

    Anyway, I could talk all day. However, I try to stick to a rule of thumb, I must be able to justify the price of the lot based on half the coins. If I am willing to pay for half the coins the price, the rest are "free". This let's you feel ok about the few pieces of dreck that can come with some lots, just ignore them. I have a big baggie of ancient coins I give to kids because I don't want them I got this way. I bought one lot of lead Sasanians knowing half the lot didn't hold much interest to me, but the ones that did, WOW. I now own the only known lead Vahran II I have ever seen. None are published.

    I totally agree also about those lots appearing to be someone's collection. Tons of great pickups in those. That is why I am excited to get those 200 bronzes, it appears it was someone's collection. OTOH, buying hoards can be good too. Another lot stuck in another state is two 25 coin lots of VF-XF mid periods Sassanian, Yazdigerd and Vahran V i am anxious to see.

    Yeah, I see some of us competing for them, and I see many group lots posted here that I was the underbidder on, but there is always another coin, something else to spend my money on. I never get upset to lose a lot, I am happier to see them here with a happy owner than never see it again.

    Edit: Here is a pic of the lot I was referring finding a really nice Carthginian in:
    greek lot album.jpg
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2021
  14. Ryan McVay

    Ryan McVay Supporter! Supporter

    All that I have to say is this...if he asks you to help move him from his house to a condo or something say no! Those boxes aren't full dishes they are full of ancient metal! Heavy! :)
    Theodosius likes this.
  15. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    Well, at least I offer to my coin club to sell off duplicates from the groups I buy..... yeah, I don't do that. Isn't Axle still mad I wouldn't sell him a Augustus from one lot I brought in one time? Oh well, yeah I might get attached to stuff I buy.....

    I still contend if you ever wanted that Elagabalus with the face mask I would sell it to you, (well, if and when I could find it that is, which may or may not be intentional). :) It would be like finding a needle in a haystack, since not all of my boxes in the sdb are that organized, there are three sdb's, etc. More stuff for me to rediscover whenever I retire.
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  16. ambr0zie

    ambr0zie Dacian Taraboste

    Lots are fun. When I decided to start collecting ancient coins, I bought a lot of 35 coins from an auction house (35 coins, actually 34 + 1, as one was something impossible to be identified, probably something from 19th century in a horrible state)

    All this was 100 EUR but it was DELICIOUS (some pretty rare items there) and it helped me develop this huge passion - I learned how to identify coins.
    Of course nothing truly spectacular but the price was a bargain.
    Many coins look much better in hand than in this pic (there were no details about the coins in the description, just "lot of Roman bronze" but this is not accurate.

    After a month I risked again, on a different auction house


    Also 100 EUR hammer price but I wasn't too happy to be honest. However, it wasn't a disaster ...

    It's great when you find a lot that hasn't been cherry picked and you find a rare coin or one in a decent condition. Identifying these 2 lots, especially the first, was the greatest fun I had in my 10 years numismatic "career" and, definitely, the most educational activity from my 6 months ancient coins collecting "career".
  17. mrweaseluv

    mrweaseluv Supporter! Supporter

    I can't say i've done this with ancients (only have a few) but many times I've bought larger lots of large cents just for 1 or 2 dates. I have little doubt that those dates were purposely shown by the dealer to help push the price up. On the other hand, I've gotten quite a few good deals by buying in lots. I would expect similar from ancients :D
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  18. Herodotus

    Herodotus Well-Known Member

    Heh, I recognize that pic from a S. Album auction a few months back. I had a couple of those mixed lots on my radar as well. I failed to secure any of them.

    I too employ a strategy of comfortably undervaluing large lots, as to how much I set for a max bid. As such, I lose out on >95% of the lots that I bid on. That is probably a good thing for my wallet.

    Being a bargain hunter. I’d like to believe that I’m acquiring coins @(or below) wholesale, rather than at retail prices.

    However, when I was still only months into the hobby(w/ limited-to-none valuation experience), there were a few large lots that I later regretted getting away from me. I wish I had bid more at the time; making a better effort at securing some of them — later realizing the hammer price was still comfortably below what the lots were likely worth.

    What’s crazy, is that in the year or so that I’ve been collecting, prices have noticeably inflated significantly in that short time. It almost has the feel of a ‘bubble’ of panic-buying emerging.

    It has made pricing and securing quality large lots more of a challenge of late.

    I’ve learned a lot over the months by simply researching unattributed lots on offer, and identifying visible coins that I didn’t eventually end up acquiring.

    Here’s a mini lot of RRs scheduled to be dropped in my box a little later, after making its way across the pond from the UK.


    Actually, I just heard the mailman make the drop as I pasted the pic.

  19. Obone

    Obone Well-Known Member

    Some of my best finds have been through group lots.
    For example this lot, for only $1000 Lot1.jpg

    In fact, I have this lot coming tomorrow, at an average of $20 a coin.
  20. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander Blame my mother. Supporter

    Some fantastic finds in those group lots, @Finn235! Were you the one who picked up the 5th century LRB lot from Roma recently? I saw that just before it came on the block and (if I'm remembering correctly it was you) you're lucky I didn't have more time to review it. :D

    Here are a couple of neat rarities I got in groups within the last year or so:
    diocletian harpokrates.jpg
    Egypt, Alexandria: Diocletian tetradrachm / Harpokrates reverse

    I was really floored about this one:
    max lon follis.jpg
    Maximianus follis, London mint, LON mark, draped loins. LMCC supplement 2, 1.01.002A (unique?)

    A few years ago I turned a lot into a CT game... we had fun, and there was some cool stuff in there.
  21. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    I've discovered the pleasure of large lots, in particular Byzantine. In the past I have found some really nice and interesting coins, as well as coins that motivate research efforts (for me, I need all the motivation I can get).

    The cost per coin, on the average, is between $10 and $15 or so.

    Here are a couple of examples some large lot coins that I have posted in the past:

    Justin II and Sophia follis, Constantinople, RY 3. Former BD patient

    D-Camera JustinII and Sophia follis.1, 565-578 AD year 3,   third officina,  13.6 g  2-2-21.jpg
    Heraclius follis, circa 610 AD, Constantinople, RY 3, Officina B

    D-Camera Heraclius Follis, double struck, CON, officina B, Roma,, 11-30-20.jpg

    Heraclius, as The Caped Crusader, follis, overstrike

    D-Camera  Heraclius follis, 6.8 grams, Roma, 9-23-20.jpg

    Basil II and Constantine VIII, anonymous follis, Class A2

    D-Camera Byzantine Anonymous Follis, Class A2,  Roma Large Lot, 6-29-20.jpg

    Basil II and Constantine VIII, anonymous follis, Class A3

    D-Camera Byzantine Anonymous Follis, Basil II and Constantine VIII, Roma, A3,, 6-21-20.jpg

    I have more that I need to photograph, along with Arab imitations.
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