Lucky me! I won something in today's Roma auction and it didn't even bankrupt me......

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Ignoramus Maximus, Apr 15, 2021.

  1. Ignoramus Maximus

    Ignoramus Maximus Well-Known Member

    No long, thoughtful post here. Just happy to share my win in today's Roma auction.

    It's not a coin, but it is something that has been on my wishlist for a long time...

    Enter my newly acquired counterfeiters terracotta mold:

    11701.2.51_1 (1).jpg

    terracotta mold (2).jpg Lucky me, indeed:)

    They show up in the marketplace every now and then, but not very often. I've seen a few on Catawiki and the likes, but passed on them, since I suspect they're notoriously easy to fake (making them is probably easier than baking a cake, even I can work out the recipe). So, unless you appreciate the subtle irony of owning a possibly forged forgery, you better make sure the seller is trustworthy. Naturally, when a few turned up in Roma's auction, I couldn't resist...

    Dies are (for good reasons) very rare indeed and highly sought after, and when they do turn up, they easily sell for 4-or even 5 digit sums. Not an option for a bottom-feeder or even a collector of average means. So this probably as close as most of us will ever get to collecting something related to ancient minting, other than the coins themselves. So, more than enough historical interest to justify a purchase. Plus, for some reason, I've always felt sympathy for (ancient) couterfeiters. (probably the part of me talking that secretely wanted to be a pirate instead of becoming a model citizen with a job, a house, a car and two children). Also, I think they are simply beautiful.
    Needless to say, I'm happy to be able to add it to my collection.

    Here's a link to a short article on terracotta molds:
    Ancient Roman Coin Molds (Moulds) (

    And some nice examples from the Metropolitan Museum of Art:
    Category:Terracotta coin molds at the Department of Greek and Roman Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art - Wikimedia Commons

    I was actually lucky to get one at all (in all, there were five for sale), because I had forgotten to log on to the Roma site when the lots came up (yes, I'm that smart:blackeye:).
    I'll spare you the frenzied scrambling and %&##FF%&", but when I finally managed to log on just I managed to scoop up the last one. Some of them had both an obverse and reverse cast, but I'll happily settle for this one with the double Genio reverse.
    All in all, lucky me.

    All that remains now is to wait until it shows up on my doorstep. Meanwhile, I'll be on the lookout for a coin with a Genio reverse from ST ( Ticinum?). That should make a nice match... :)

    And were you lucky in today's auction? Do you have any terracotta molds want to share? Or anything else? I'd be happy to see it!
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2021
    Limes, Spaniard, tibor and 26 others like this.
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  3. DiomedesofArgos

    DiomedesofArgos Well-Known Member

    Congrats! Would be awesome if one day you could pick up an ancient forgery that was a die match for your die :D
  4. Ignoramus Maximus

    Ignoramus Maximus Well-Known Member

    That'd be great! The only instance where I would prefer a forgery over an original...
    +VGO.DVCKS and DiomedesofArgos like this.
  5. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

    Nothing I own but really cool. Congrats.
    Ignoramus Maximus likes this.
  6. happy_collector

    happy_collector Well-Known Member

    Congrats to your ROMA win. It's an interesting artifact.

    I lost all 6 of my ROMA bids today. Turned to Heritage and picked up an error coin instead. :)
    Ignoramus Maximus likes this.
  7. Only a Poor Old Man

    Only a Poor Old Man Well-Known Member

    I got my arse handed to me yesterday...:blackeye: I was easily defeated in all the lots I was interested in with hours to spare... The hammer prices were not even close to what I was willing to spend... If it carries on like that perhaps I should drop coins and start collecting butterflies... :(
  8. seth77

    seth77 Well-Known Member

    I have a suspicion that this a cast forgery:


    27x26mm 10.68g second coinage ca. 295

    The error on the obverse legend CAVS instead of CAES can be put in connection with the fact that the new Imperial coinage had just been introduced in 294 and for Alexandria, which used to mint Egyptian coinage in a closed monetary system, the new reform of Diocletian was something completely new, and likely confusing.

    It is very possible that the error, like a similar one noted in NotInRIC (see here) is due to the lack of familiarity by the die cutters, mostly of Greek language and script, with the Latin language and alphabet.

    Another possibility is a contemporary forgery, as Alexandria had one of the most forged coinage during the Tetrarchy, molds used to cast folles being discovered in Egypt in huge numbers. The soft details and the overall appearance could indicate a cast forgery.

    From the Tareq Hani Collection.
  9. Ignoramus Maximus

    Ignoramus Maximus Well-Known Member

    Thanks for sharing.

    That's a nice coin. I love the misspelling. Genuine or not it's definitely a keeper! Reminds me of a coin @Roman Collector's once posted, on which IUNO REGINA was mysteriously engraved as 'VINO REGINA' if I remember correctly. That one gave me quite a laugh!

    If your coin is indeed a cast forgery (and it does look soapy!) then it was most likely cast from the impression of an authentic coin, so either way, the misspelling must have come from an authentic die. Nice!

    Interestingly, all five molds sold yesterday probably came from one and the same stack. They all came from one previous owner and represented types from a single period. Interestingly, one mold with two obverses had Galerius on one side and Maximinus on the other. Another had obverses of both Diocletian and Maximinus (so there may well have been a few mules that originated from that stack). Those two were the ones I was really after, but, thanks to my clumsiness in logging in I missed out on them.:sour: Still happy with what I got though...:)
    DonnaML likes this.
  10. Ignoramus Maximus

    Ignoramus Maximus Well-Known Member

    Times are hard. Although I've only been collecting for two years, I'm already looking back nostalgically at 'the good old days'...
    It will pass, though. Eventually. I hope...
    But, amazingly, after a long and frustrating dry spell, I got two wins out of three yesterday and didn't feel that I overspent on either one. So good things can still happen...:)
    happy_collector and DonnaML like this.
  11. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Salonina VINO REGINA Antioch.jpg
  12. Ignoramus Maximus

    Ignoramus Maximus Well-Known Member

    Yup, that's the one!:) Thanks!
    Roman Collector likes this.
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