My first dupondius -- I couldn't resist the crocodile

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by DonnaML, Jun 3, 2020.

  1. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    I am not an active collector of the bronzes of the Empire's first couple of hundred years -- I've never bought a sestertius, or a dupondius before now, and have only a small handful of bronze asses (one from Augustus, one from Caligula, and two from Claudius; I bought the Caligula and the Claudius coins because I can't afford to buy denarii for either of them.) In general, the ones I like are too expensive for me, and it seems to be a lot easier to find nice-looking denarii within my price range with good images and complete legends.

    But I made an exception for this coin: even though it's not in great condition by any means, the price was right and it plays directly into my fondness for coins with animals, and for Ancient Egypt. (As shown by my antiquities collection!)

    Augustus AE (Brass) Dupondius, 9-3 BCE, Colonia Augusta Nemausus [Nîmes] (Galla Narbonensis province) Mint. Obv. Heads of Agrippa left and Augustus right, back to back, with Agrippa wearing combined laurel wreath and rostral crown, and Augustus wearing oak wreath, IMP above heads and DIVIF below / Rev. Crocodile right standing on two palm branches, chained to palm-shoot standing behind it, with tip of shoot leaning to right; wreath above and to left of palm-shoot, with long ties extending behind shoot to right, COL - NEM to left and right of palm-shoot. “Type III” of Augustus & Agrippa/Crocodile coin*: RIC I 158 (p. 52), RPC I 524 (see, Sear RCV I 1730 (ill.). [See Sear RCV I at p. 337: Commemorates conquest of Egypt in 30 BCE; influenced by Augustus’s settlement of veterans of Egyptian campaign in Nemausus after colony was founded in 27 BCE.] 28 mm., 12.09 g.

    Seller's image:

    Augustus-Agrippa Dupondius.jpg

    * The various "types" are as described by @Alwin in his post at The coin was actually sold to me as a Type IV, issued beginning ca. 10 A.D., but it clearly isn't one, because it doesn't have the "P - P" letters on the obverse, and the tip of the palm shoot in mine leans to the right instead of the left. And it's clearly not a Type II, in which Augustus is bareheaded, whereas in mine he has a crown of oak leaves. So it has to be a Type III, from ca. 9-3 BCE.

    The seller suggested to me when I bought the coin that some of the darker deposits might be removed, and the coin's appearance might be improved, if I let it soak in distilled water for a few days, changing the water each day, and doing nothing else to the coin besides gently rubbing it with my thumbs on occasion. So I tried that. At the end of the process, the obverse looked basically the same. Here are a couple of photos I took of the reverse.

    Augustus-Agrippa COL NEM Rev 3.jpg
    Augustus-Agrippa COL NEM Rev 1.jpg

    The good news is that the crocodile's snout does appear to be a little more distinct, and I can actually see a couple of teeth in there. The bad news is that the pit at the top of and above the crocodile's back, directly to the right of the palm shoot -- which was obviously already present, as you can see in the seller's photo -- seems more obvious to me now, because most of the schmutz that was inside it came out. I still really like the coin, but I'm feeling about 50-50 as to whether or not there was a net benefit to its overall appearance from what I did.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2020
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  3. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    That's awesome! Really love the iconography on that.
    Did you know that Egyptians purportedly "mastered the art of ... congress with the crocodile...This [was] believed to bring prosperity and restore the potency of men"

    I only have one dupondius that has no relation to yours. But, nonetheless.
  4. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    I bet @dougsmit regrets posting his here years ago. Seems like most of the group has jumped on board with how cool they are. I don't have one (yet). :)
    ominus1 likes this.
  5. Ocatarinetabellatchitchix

    Ocatarinetabellatchitchix Supporter! Supporter

    Nice one @DonnaML . And it is in one piece. Here are my two half :


    And this in an interesting site about this series ( sorry it's in French), but I learned a lot about these Dupondius.
    Broucheion, TIF, Cucumbor and 11 others like this.
  6. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    That's OK; I can read French pretty well!
  7. Cucumbor

    Cucumbor Dombes collector Supporter

    Excellent @DonnaML and the cameo effect is terrific

    Here's one of mine

    Augustus & Agrippa, AE Dupondius - Nemausus mint, after AD 10
    4th type
    IMP DIVI F PP, Laureate heads of Augustus looking right and Agrippa looking left, back to back
    COL NEM, Crocodile chained to palm tree
    13,52 gr
    Ref : RCV #1731, Cohen #8

    Broucheion, TIF, Agricantus and 11 others like this.
  8. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    So does anyone have an opinion on whether the coin looks better, worse, or not really different from when I bought it?
  9. Alegandron

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

    Net effect: none that I perceive. :)

    Croc Rock

    RI Augustus oak crown Agrippa rostral crown L AE Dupondius 26mm 12.6g 10-14CE Nemausus chained Croc snake wreaths RIC I 158

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  10. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    Very nice coin, @Alegandron -- quite similar to mine. You have it dated wrong, though: like mine, it's a Type III (no P - P on the obverse, and the palm shoot leans to the right), from ca. 9-3 BCE. Also, is it my imagination, or is there a small pit on the reverse of yours in exactly the same place as on mine -- namely, directly to the right of the palm shoot and directly above the crocodile's back? If so, an interesting coincidence.
    Alegandron likes this.
  11. Ryro

    Ryro You'll never be lovelier than you are now... Supporter

    Crickey! I love your crockey!!! Really like the Auguy portrait:artist:
    Here's my full and half thoughts on the matter:
    20190327_131125_3583B951-6AD6-4870-9B79-328F5BBDA908-469-0000006A5CA46CEA.png 20190610_145011_403C6D12-9EB9-4AD3-BBDA-D997E890386A-2352-000002BE473A5937.png
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  12. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    Broucheion, TIF, Johndakerftw and 7 others like this.
  13. Alegandron

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

    Interesting. I will have to pull mine and see. Thanks for the updated attribution. Got it at FUN a couple years ago. I cannot spit his name out, and not near my coin or data. He is pretty well known, i have purchased from him a few times, see his face when were talking. He had an incredible AES GRAVE collection at the show.
    DonnaML likes this.
  14. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

    Some nimrod did the reverse die for mine and got the name of the city wrong. :facepalm:

    Augustus Agrippa - Crocodile Col Nim.jpg
    AE As. 12.0g, 26.4mm. GAUL, Nemausus, circa 20-10 BC. RIC I 156. O: IMP/DIVI•F•, head of Agrippa left, wearing combined rostral crown and laurel wreath, bare head of Augustus right. R: COL-NIM, crocodile right chained to palm branch, wreath above, palm fronds below.

    J/k about the nimrod. :D For RIC 156, the reverse legend actually is COL-NIM rather than COL-NEM.
    Broucheion, TIF, Alegandron and 8 others like this.
  15. Only a Poor Old Man

    Only a Poor Old Man Well-Known Member

    I love animals on coins.. I collect Greeks, so I don't think I will find a crocodile on one of those unless the Ptolemies were kind enough to put one on their coins! My next animal goal is an elephant or a bee, if I find examples that don't cost an arm and a leg.
    DonnaML likes this.
  16. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    There are quite a few Roman Provincial coins minted in Alexandria under Hadrian (and maybe others for all I know), with Greek legends, showing Nilus with a crocodile on the reverse.
    Only a Poor Old Man likes this.
  17. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Khnum-Hotep

    Hadrian, AE drachm, Nilos reclining.

    Egypt, Alexandria - Hadrian. (117-138)
    Year 127-128

    Type: AE Drachm, 32mm 24.42 grams

    Obverse: AVT KAI TPAI AAPIA CEB, Laureate draped and cuirassed bust right

    Reverse: LDW (delta) EK in exergue, Nilos reclining left upon a crocodile, holding cornucopia and reed, Genius emerging from the cornucopia and pointing at letters IS in upper field

    Reference: Milne 1269


  18. Marsman

    Marsman Well-Known Member

    Beautiful coins.

    My croc again....


    Agrippa & Augustus
    Agrippa & Augustus, dupondius.
    Mint Gaul Nemausus, ca 10-14 AD.
    Obv. Back-to-back heads, Agrippa left, wearing rostral crown and Augustus right, laureate; IMP above, P P across fields, DIVI F below.
    Rev. Crocodile right, chained to palm branch with long vertical fronds; above, wreath with long ties, palms below; COL NEM.
    27 mm 13,12 g.
    RIC I 160 RPC 525
  19. rrdenarius

    rrdenarius non omnibus dormio Supporter

    Nice Crocodile and thanks for sharing your cleaning results. My Nimes are halves. I did post a large dupondius today.
    six cut croc coins CGB 11.20.17.jpg DSCN4495.JPG
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