Just thought I would share

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by C-B-D, Sep 28, 2022.

  1. C-B-D

    C-B-D Well-Known Member

    From the Stacks sale in August. Wow! :eek::wideyed:
    9B71F0ED-F582-4BF1-8E58-232511FBCA32.jpeg 6B47F8F6-172C-45A2-8EDA-A99CD048F26C.jpeg
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  3. Cherd

    Cherd Junior Member Supporter

    Wow, that's a real beauty! Considering my budgetary constraints, I've been shopping for one that has just enough hair detail left to indicate the cornrows :shy:

    How do you feel about the "TWELVE CAESARS" label though? (Instead of "ROMAN EMPIRE")

    I'm a stickler for consistency in my collection, so I've actually dodged coins that had oddball labels. It's somewhat inexpensive to have coins re-slabbed, but I didn't want to go through the trouble. This coin, however, at the right price, would be an example where it'd be worth the trouble ;)
  4. Paddy54

    Paddy54 Hey brother can you spare a half dime?

    What was the hammer?
  5. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

    Great looking Otho, one of the better ones i've seen posted here.
  6. Curtis

    Curtis Supporter! Supporter

    Congratulations, that's a very nice portrait of Nero... with a great looking wig!

    Actually, not everyone agrees it's a wig (does that look like Otho's natural hair?!), and I don't think the great Otho expert, Jyrki Muona, has taken a strong position either way. But Suetonius (Otho 12) made reference to the wig, and some have interpreted the unusual hairstyles on his busts as illustrating the hairpiece. (Perhaps he even had different styles of toupees.)

    I'm interested to hear what others think of the "wig hypothesis."

    I think yours would be a Muona "Portrait Type D."
    Here are the portrait types as illustrated on page 295 of:
    Butcher, K., M. Ponting & J. Muona. 2009. "The denarii of Otho: a stylistic and compositional study." La Rivista Italiana di Numismatica 110: 291 - 310.
    Avail. online from authors: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/259934817/


    My example, Ex-Jyrki Muona Collection, seems like it'd be "Portrait Type B." Photos below both before-and-after being sacrificed to science (Muona allowed the above-mentioned Butcher & Ponting to cut & drill & micro-photograph & subject it to electron beams for a metallurgy study):

    Otho Denarius Ex Jyrki Muona Before After.jpg
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2022
    Oldhoopster, Struck7, Bing and 2 others like this.
  7. C-B-D

    C-B-D Well-Known Member

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  8. savitale

    savitale Well-Known Member

    A very nice Otho indeed.
  9. Gavin Richardson

    Gavin Richardson Well-Known Member

    Lovely. Trade ya!

    Bing and Johndakerftw like this.
  10. sand

    sand Well-Known Member

    @C-B-D Wow. 18K hammer. Is that your coin? If so, then, what were your reasons, for buying this coin? Are you building a 12 Caesars denarii collection? I'm not very knowledgeable, about Otho denarii. I wonder, why this particular coin, had such a high hammer price. I'm guessing, that some of the reasons, are the condition and nice appearance ("eye appeal") of the coin, and the rarity, and the demand, and of course the NGC slab. Does it have good provenance? Also, I have read, that, Otho is one of the most difficult denarii to obtain, for a 12 Caesars denarii set. Are you a coin dealer? Do you hope to sell the coin, for a profit, in the near future? By the way, what does "C-B-D" (your user name) mean?
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2022
  11. Clavdivs

    Clavdivs Well-Known Member

    I understand the reason for it - but metallurgy studies that destroy coins are really disappointing.
  12. Curtis

    Curtis Supporter! Supporter

    Yes, it is unfortunate any time you damage something ancient. It is definitely a sacrifice. We wouldn't want to do this often, but in this case, the payoff in scientific and historical knowledge about the Romans was enormous, so the cost was quite minute in comparison.

    Part of what Butcher & Ponting found was that the previous surface-analyses were badly mistaken, and everyone had been believing things about Roman coins -- and about Roman history and the Roman world more generally -- that were wrong.

    Their research immediately revised our understanding of Roman coinage (kind of dramatically), which benefits everyone with an interest in coins, or in related fields that use numismatic data. (First - second century Roman history, the Roman economy, it's relationship to the Provinces, to the army, and many other topics.)

    For anyone interested, here are a few pieces of their research based on those coins (there are others, and many others citing the research):

    Butcher & Ponting. 2014/2015. Metallurgy of Roman Silver Coinage, from the Reform of Nero to the Reforms of Trajan. Cambridge U. Press.
    Google Scholar: Cited by 92

    Ponting & Butcher. 2005/2015. “Analysis of Roman Silver coins, Augustus to the reform of Trajan (27 BC - AD 100)” Project. Archaeology Data Service, UK.

    Butcher, K., M. Ponting & J. Muona. 2009. "The denarii of Otho: a stylistic and compositional study." La Rivista Italiana di Numismatica 110: 291 - 310.
    Avail. online from authors: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/259934817/
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  13. C-B-D

    C-B-D Well-Known Member

    Lots of questions here. I did not buy it. But I work for David Lawrence Rare Coins and we will be auctioning it soon on our site.

    C-B-D…. Will remain a mystery!:shame:
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  14. Cherd

    Cherd Junior Member Supporter

    Even Otho busts have this strange hairdo:


    I'd say that he either spent a LOOOOTTTTT of time on his hair, or it was a wig. I'm leaning towards wig.

    But, he has some provincial coins that show him with more conventional looking hair (and not bald):

    So, that would either be a different wig, he opted for the highly stylized doo only for special occasions (denarius/bust modeling), or the people in the provinces just carved him up in Augustus' likeness and called it a day.

    Attached Files:

  15. Curtis

    Curtis Supporter! Supporter

    That's interesting, I'd temporarily forgotten about his Provincial portraits. Seeing how briefly he was in power (c. 3 months), I think there's a pretty good chance the engravers in the provinces had very little idea what he looked like. A lot of times, early in a reign, they would have little choice but to make the new ruler look a lot like the old. In this case, I would say they made him look a bit like a young de-individualized Nero.

    Galba was in between Nero and Otho, but interestingly, despite a fairly short reign, there are pretty accurate Provincials of him at some mints. Alexandria less so than in Syria, but even on the Alexandrian you can tell it's him.

    I don't know if you can ever say the same about Provincial Otho's.
    None of them look very distinctively Otho-y:

    Oh, hey, there's the coin you just shared, @Cherd (TRISKELES AUCTIONS, SALE 28, LOT 160): https://www.acsearch.info/search.html?id=6073208

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  16. Barry Murphy

    Barry Murphy Well-Known Member


    don’t not buy a coin because you don’t like the label. You can always send it back in for a small reholder fee and get the label you prefer.

    Barry Murphy
  17. Clavdivs

    Clavdivs Well-Known Member

    Awesome!!.. but I really prefer if posters identify ownership when posting.:)
    But what the heck does my preference mean = nothing.

    I loved seeing this amazing coin on this forum.. we are all better for it...thank you!
  18. The Meat man

    The Meat man Supporter! Supporter

  19. Cherd

    Cherd Junior Member Supporter

    Ya, I actually just sent a couple in through a dealer for re-holdering . One had a chunk busted out of the edge during shipping (Thanks USPS!) and the other was in a thick holder for some reason (it was a thin As?). I didn't realize that the slab was fat until it arrived in the mail, and it wouldn't fit in my slab case.

    The price for re-holdering is pretty reasonable, but once the shipping, handling, and service charge per invoice fees get tacked on, the cost becomes considerable (In the price range where I shop anyway). Besides, I don't want to maintain membership fees just for that purpose.

    I've had bad experiences with buying raw coins and sending them in for grading myself, as I apparently have a good eye for picking out "Tooled" coins :inpain:. That being the case, I prefer to let other people deal with that process, and then buy the coins after the job is done.
    sand likes this.
  20. Cherd

    Cherd Junior Member Supporter

    Ya, I should have mentioned, this provincial Otho that I posted isn't mine. I just googled it and grabbed the first photo that popped up. :shy:

    I'm sure this is true, but I've kinda developed a theory that some of the early rulers tended to want their coins to make them look like the "Idealized" Augustus. Even Augustus himself was guilty of this: (None are my coins)

    What Augustus looked like///The idealized Augustus
    upload_2022-10-1_1-6-56.png upload_2022-10-1_1-10-58.png
    What Tiberius looked like///As idealized Augustus
    upload_2022-10-1_1-18-0.png upload_2022-10-1_1-16-33.png
    What Claudius looked like///As idealized Augustus
    upload_2022-10-1_1-27-58.png upload_2022-10-1_1-26-4.png
    What Nero looked like///As idealized Augustus
    upload_2022-10-1_1-32-33.png upload_2022-10-1_1-31-16.png

    Like I said, it's just a theory that I happened upon based on casual observations, not claiming that it's actually accurate. Might just be differences in age, or maybe they're all shooting for the "idealized Roman", or maybe I'm just crazy! :rolleyes:

    Just figured that if an emperor wanted the populace to believe that they looked a certain way, then why not Augustus?
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  21. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

    Otho Alexandrians show no fancy hair at all or even look like him.

    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!

    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!
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