In Honor of an Iconic Scowl, Please Post your Ugliest Mugs!

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Curtisimo, Dec 12, 2020.

  1. Curtisimo

    Curtisimo the Great(ish) Supporter

    PHOENICIA, Berytus.
    Caracalla, 197-217 AD.
    AR Tetradrachm, Berytus mint, struck AD 215-217.
    Dia.: 28 mm
    Wt.: 13.0 g
    Obv.: AVT KAI ANTWNINOC CЄB; Laureate bust right.
    Rev.: ΔHMAPΧ EΞ YΠATO Δ; Eagle with spread wings standing facing, head left wreath in beak; between legs, prow left.
    Reference: Prieur 1292

    Ex DePew Collection.

    I don’t think I have ever seen a person with a more consistently sour look on his face on his coins and statues than Caracalla. I picked this coin up recently because I was delighted by how dour Caracalla looks on this portrait. The bulbous over-sized head also adds something to the scrunched up angry expression in my opinion.

    Here is a photo I took of a bust of Caracalla in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence in 2018. Caracalla looks as ill-tempered as ever. Whenever I come across an ancient statue of a Roman Emperor in a museum I always try to get a good profile shot to better compare to coin in my collection.

    I also didn’t have any coins from Berytus (modern Beirut) in my collection and I always love a good excuse to add a one of these tetradrachms with their nice heft and large flans. Berytus at the time this coin was minted was a Roman colony of considerable size. It was almost entirely a Latin speaking community and remained so well into the Byzantine era. Several of Augustus’s legions were settled in the city in the early imperial period and over then next few centuries the imperial family would patronize the city with a number of notable buildings and institutions such as an amphitheater and a famous and important school.

    Please post your coins with the ugliest portraits!
    This could include anything from poorly executed engraving, to ugly from the ravages of time to just a downright unpleasant expression or any combination of the above.
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  3. gogili1977

    gogili1977 Well-Known Member

    Serious, thoughtful Caracalla.
    One ugly Commodus and not so pretty Domna:
  4. Andres2

    Andres2 Well-Known Member

    both an ugly nose and unpleasant expression Nerva :

  5. Ryro

    Ryro They call me the 13th Caesar Supporter

    Fantastic coin and idea! It's just so ironic that a guy who looks like he's taking a dump on his later life coinage would die taking a dump by the roadside! Rest in pieces Caracalla.
    Galba's tough guy scowl is taken to another level with the facial scars added to by some damning ancient:

    Old "hand on hilt" doesn't appear to be playing games on this provincial:
    And Magnentius was serious, killing off one of Constantine's sons and aiming for another:
  6. Cucumbor

    Cucumbor Dombes collector Supporter

    What about that one portrait of Trajan ?

    Trajan, Bronze - Laodicaea, c. AD 114-115
    AUTOKR NER TRAIANOC ARICT(KAIC CEB), laureate head of Trajan right
    IOULIEWN TWN KAI LAODIKEWN BXR, Turreted bust of Tychee right, IOU in field
    9.97 gr
    Ref : Sear #1080

  7. 7Calbrey

    7Calbrey Well-Known Member

    Antiochus XII- Tyche. Damascus.

    Antiochi12   Damascus.JPG Antiochi12Tych   SC 2473.JPG
  8. Orielensis

    Orielensis Supporter! Supporter

    On many denarii, Julia Mamaea looks really pretty. Not on this one, though:
    Rom – Julia Mamaea, denar, Fecunditas.png
    Julia Mamaea, Roman Empire, AR denarius, 232 AD, Rome mint. Obv: IVLIA MAMAEA AVG; bust of Julia Mamaea, diademed, draped, r. Rev: FECVND AVGVSTAE; Fecunditas, draped, standing l., holding cornucopia and raising r hand over child. 18mm, 2.49g. Ref: RIC IV Severus Alexander 331.

    Who needs a mouth or cheeks if you've got such a nose? (And before you ask: All of his coins look like this!)
    MA – Spanien, James I v. Aragon, Dinero 1.png
    Kingdom of Aragon, under James I “the Conqueror”, BI dinero, 1213-1276 AD, Jaca mint. Obv: ARAGON; crowned bust of James I l. Rev: +IACOBVS : REX; patriarchal cross. 18mm, 0.85g. Ref: Crusafont i Sabater 1992, 318.
  9. Spaniard

    Spaniard Well-Known Member

    This Valkash isn't that pretty but still a tough one to pick up...
    Sassanian Drachm of Valkash 484 - 488 C.E.
    Obverse: Bust of King Valkash to right, wearing mural crown with korymbos set on crescent, ribbon on left shoulder, flames on right
    Reverse: Fire altar with ribbons and head of Valkash to right on shaft, flanked by two attendants, star and crescent flanking flames.
    Mint LYH Rev-Ardashir Khuzistan.
    sas val.jpg
  10. ancientone

    ancientone Well-Known Member

    Not so sure it's as ugly as it is wrong.
    comHad.jpg Thrace, Hadrianopolis. Commodus Æ18.
    Obv: Laureate head right.
    Rev: Apollo advancing right, drawing bow.
    Youroukova 151, Varbanov 3253.
  11. YoloBagels

    YoloBagels Well-Known Member

    Here's my ugliest mug

    PO Mug
    1991-1997 AD
    Spaceship with US flag
    Mint: China
    Obv: USA
    Rev: FRANK

    And my second ugliest mug:


    AR Denarius (70 AD)
    Aequitas standing left with scales
  12. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    Julia Maesa 1.jpg
    AR Denarius
    OBVERSE: IVLIA MAESA AVG - Draped bust right
    REVERSE: PVDICITIA - Pudicitia seated left, pulling veil and holding scepter
    Struck at Rome, 218-222 AD
    2.6g, 19mm
    RIC 268, BMC 76 (Elagabalus), S 7756, C 36
  13. Alegandron

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

    It is not IVLIA's fault...

    RI Julia Domna 194-217 Fouree AR Plated Denarius Isis Horus
  14. IdesOfMarch01

    IdesOfMarch01 Well-Known Member

    I don't think I've ever seen a Caesar whose coin portraits showed less joy and more sternness than Galba.

    7 - Galba mint set.jpg

    Anyone have a Galba that they think DOESN'T look dour?
  15. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Well-Known Member

  16. Shea19

    Shea19 Supporter! Supporter

    One of my favorite coins and definitely the best scowl in my collection:


    Caracalla, Phoenicia (Tyre), AR Tetradrachm (27mm, 15.23 g, 12h). Struck AD 213-215. Laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right / Eagle standing facing on club right, head and tail left, with wings spread, holding wreath in beak; murex shell between legs. Prieur 1550.
    From the Michel Prieur Collection.
  17. ambr0zie

    ambr0zie Dacian Taraboste

    Aurelian disapproves:
  18. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    The biggest scowl in my collection is from Caracalla as well:

    Caracalla - adult.jpg
    But the ugliest I've seen has to be this provincial portrait of Neanderthal Trajan -- I don't own the coin, but when I saw the photo I felt that I had to save it for posterity!

    Bad Trajan portrait -Syria.jpg
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2020
  19. ambr0zie

    ambr0zie Dacian Taraboste

    The engraver for the Trajan coin must have been Picasso's ancestor.

    Vespasian, another emperor who couldn't win a beauty contest
  20. Alegandron

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


    RI Agrippa AE As 28mm 11g Neptune-S-C Left
  21. Ancient Aussie

    Ancient Aussie Supporter! Supporter

    They don't come more ugly than my Octavian and Julius Caesar from Macedon. Julius Caes.jpg Macedon Thessalonica. Augustus, with Divus Julius Caesar 27 BC-AD 14. under Roman rule,ΘΕΟΣ, head of Julius Caesar right / ΘΕΣΣΑΛΟΝΙΚΕΩΝ, Δ, bare head of Augustus right. 28/7 BC (AE 20mm, 10.8 gm) RPC 1554.
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