left-facing portraits - Trajan , Hadrian , Antoninus Pius

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by singig, Sep 25, 2020.

  1. singig

    singig Well-Known Member

    I always wanted to have an imperial coin with a left-facing portrait of Trajan, Hadrian or Antoninus Pius , unfortunately I still have to wait for a decent one that will fit in my budget. In recent years I have only seen a few on the market , all above 400$.
    Some weeks ago I found this provincial coin of Antoninus Pius and I didn't hesitate to buy it , even if some legends and details are not very visible , I liked the nice style of the two portraits.

    Antoninus Pius AE 25mm of Laodicea ad Mare , Syria. BMC 72
    AVTO KAI TI AIΛI AΔΡI ANTΩNEINOC CEB, laureate head left , countermark of a bearded male head right / IOVΛIEΩN TΩN KAI ΛAOΔIKEΩN, draped and turreted bust of Tyche(as the city goddess) left wearing bunch of grapes ; MO/ΥΚ to left, ΓP (date) to right.
    anton10 .jpg

    Please post any imperial or provincial left-facing portraits coins of these three emperors.
    Have you ever seen one of Nerva ?
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  3. singig

    singig Well-Known Member

    I tried to find on internet some nice left-facing portrait examples for each of the three emperors , I hope you will like my selection : trj-left.jpg
    had-left .jpg anto-.-left.jpg
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  4. singig

    singig Well-Known Member

  5. furryfrog02

    furryfrog02 Well-Known Member

    I remember reading way back when I started collecting ancients, that there was a reason that a portrait was either left or right facing. I can't for the life of me remember the reason or find where I read it...

    Can anyone help either confirm that I am crazy or that I did remember correctly...

    Was there a legitimate reason besides the fact that the die engraver was only good at engraving left/right facing busts? :p
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  6. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    How about one of Antoninus Pius' daughter?

    Faustina II, AD 147-175/6.
    Roman Æ as, 9.85 g, 26.0 mm, 6 h.
    Rome, AD 147-150.
    Obv: FAVSTINAE AVG PII AVG FIL, Bust of Faustina II, draped, with band of pearls, left.
    Rev: VENVS S C, Venus standing right, drawing veil from shoulder with right hand and holding up apple in left hand.
    Refs: RIC 1410b (l.); BMCRE 2165; Cohen --; Sear --.
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  7. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    I wish I knew that one. Of course there will be different answers for different reigns whith some being more common left amd some very rare. Of those mentioned here, I believe Hadrian is the easiest to find.


    I have none of the others but this Septimius Severus from 'Emesa' is extremely rare.
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  8. singig

    singig Well-Known Member

    very nice portraits @Roman Collector @dougsmit , thanks for showing them
    I really had hard time to find some nice examples for Antoninus Pius , he has many on gold , but very few on copper.
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  9. Terence Cheesman

    Terence Cheesman Supporter! Supporter

    Hadrian Ar Denarius RIC 299 (1497) Obv. Head left bare
    Rv. Africa reclining left 136 A.D. 3.40 grms 18mm Photo by W. Hansen hadriand70.png
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  10. Romancollector

    Romancollector Well-Known Member

    Here's my left facing follis of Constantius I
    RIC IV 146a
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  11. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    The only left-facing portrait I have of one of those three emperors is this provincial: a Hadrian Year 19 tetradrachm from Alexandria with a bust of Nilus (facing right) on the reverse. RPC III 5941, Milne 1449, Emmett 875.19.

    Hadrian - Nilus (Alexandria), Athena Numismatics jpg version.jpg

    Left-facing portraits seem much more common in the later Empire; I have a couple from Probus, as well as examples from Constantine II, Constantius II, Constans, and Julian II.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2020
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  12. Broucheion

    Broucheion Supporter! Supporter

    Hi All,

    Well, here's Hadrian and Pius. To quote Meatloaf: Two out of three ain't bad.



    - Broucheion
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2020
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  13. singig

    singig Well-Known Member

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  14. Julius Germanicus

    Julius Germanicus Well-Known Member

    Left facing portraits were struck on bronze Medallions for all ruling Emperors and Empresses from Trajan to Severus Alexander (with the exception of Annia Faustina).
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  15. eparch

    eparch Well-Known Member

    This is my favorite and only left facing Trajan :
    Trajan (98-117), AR Denarius, 3.37g, Rome, c. AD 110, 3.37g,
    laureate 'heroic' bust left, with slight drapery,
    rev. Arabia standing left, holding branch and bundle of cinnamon sticks; camel at feet
    (RSC 89c; RIC 142 var.),
    very rare bust type

    and one Hadrian
    Hadrian (117-138 AD), AR Denarius, 134-138, 3.02g,

    hadrianvs avg cos iii pp, bare head left,
    rev. africa, Africa wearing elephant skin head dress, reclining left, holding scorpion and cornucopiae, a basket of corn ears in front of her RIC 1497 (RSC 137)

  16. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

    Another Hadrian Travel series leftie...

    Hadrian - Travel Nilus 193.jpg
    AR Denarius. 3.33g, 18.3mm. Rome mint, AD 130-133. RIC II.3 1546; BMCRE 864; RSC 991b. O: HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P, bare head left. R: NILVS, Nilus reclining right, holding reeds in crook of right arm, cornucopia in left hand; before, hippopotamus left, below, crocodile left.

    My A-Pi leftie is a provincial as well.

    Antoninus Pius - Gemini Lot A - 5 Artemis.jpg ANTONINUS PIUS
    Billon Tetradrachm. 12.71g, 22.5mm. EGYPT, Alexandria, RY 5 = AD 141/142. Dattari-Savio pl. 108, 8094 (this coin); Emmett 1362.5; RPC Online 14246 (2 spec., this coin cited). O: Laureate head left. R: L-E, Artemis advancing right, drawing arrow from quiver at shoulder, holding bow.
    Ex Robert L. Grover Collection of Roman-Egyptian Coinage, previously held by the Art Institute of Chicago (1981.513); ex Giovanni Dattari Collection
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  17. singig

    singig Well-Known Member

    finally a Trajan :) , ..and there is an obverse die match between the two Africa denarii @Terence Cheesman and @eparch
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  18. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

  19. Alegandron

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


    Octavian as Augustus LEFT-Sinister 27 BC–14 AD Quinarius Emerita 25-23 AR 13.5mm 1.79g - P CARISI LEG Victory trophy C 387. RIC 1b SCARCE


    RI Agrippa AE As 28mm 11g Neptune-S-C Left


    RI Germanicus Caesar died 10 October 19 CE Copper As 27mm struck under Caligula- S-C RIC I 35 BMCRE I 49 Left


    RI Tiberius AE As 14-37 CE Laureate-Pont Max Globe Rudder sinister left RIC I 58

    Gaius Caligula

    RI Gaius Caligula AE As 37-41 CE Vesta seated S-C Sinister Left


    RI Vespasian 69-79 CE AE Dupondius Felicitas stdg caduceus cornucopia sinister left
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