My First RR Anonymous Denarius - Beer & Bidding & Attribution Help, Please

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Marsyas Mike, Sep 21, 2017.

  1. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    So after an evening of drinking beer and generally relaxing on a Friday night, I came home, checked eBay and found a "Buy it Now" deal that seemed too good to pass up. I try not to drink and bid because it is dangerous - a friend of mine wound up with a '94 Cadillac convertible recently. But, judgment clouded, I pulled the trigger...

    Anyway, here it is, what turns out to be my very first Roman Republic "anonymous" denarius, for $23.96 (the odd amount is Canadian-US conversion). My photos are exceptionally bad tonight - sorry - the pretty toning got washed out:

    Roman Republic - Anonymous 53 2 Sep 2017xx.jpg

    It is pretty worn and off-center, but it has nice surfaces and a truly lovely old tone. It came with a very elaborate printed attribution that was totally wrong - Crawford 197/1, Sydenham 376 (c. 157 B.C., a coin which features a biga, not the Dioscuri).

    So I got to digging around for attribution. Steve Brinkman's wonderful website came up in my searches and I spent happy, somewhat confusing hours working on figuring out what this was exactly. I also found some very helpful Coin Talk posts with some wonderful examples RR - you guys have some great coins.

    Anyway, here is my best guess as to what it is (corrections welcome):

    Roman Republic Denarius Anonymous Issue
    (after 211 B.C.)

    Helmeted head of Roma rt; with "peaked visor," X to left / The Dioscuri on horseback with "flag cape," ROMA under nearly exergual line.
    Crawford 53/2; Brinkman Group 5
    (3.63 grams / 19 mm)

    Funny, after 30 years of intermittent Roman Republic collecting, this is my first anonymous issue. I always preferred the later, more varied types. But once in hand, I found myself really interested - a shout out, by the way, to Curtisimo's recent (July 26) post on the origins and historical background of this type.

    I feel this all worked out okay for me, not that I'd normally recommend drinking beer and bidding, of course.
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  3. Youngcoin

    Youngcoin Everything Collector

    Wow only 23$! For that price it's great! This is one iconic coin from that age it's one of my favorites too!

    Deacon Ray and Marsyas Mike like this.
  4. red_spork

    red_spork Triumvir monetalis Supporter

    Yup, Crawford 53/2, Brinkman Group 5 is correct. Nice example for the price! For some additional context I can tell you that Crawford and thus, most major auction houses date these as "after 211 B.C." which is technically correct but more recent hoard evidence suggests these issues with "peaked" visor are in fact a bit later than that. There have been a few early hoards found that included many early denarii but none or only a few with "peaked" visors. Some of these hoards contain coins that appear to have around a decade of circulation but the peaked visor denarii are almost mint state, so many RR numismatists currently consider the earliest peaked denarii to date to circa 206-195 B.C. as opposed to the earlier dating suggested by Crawford.
  5. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    Thank you red_spork for that information - I was a little confused about the dating of these. The research that is going on post-Crawford's book is really astonishing (and for me a bit confusing, but I am enjoying the learning process).
  6. Sallent

    Sallent Supporter! Supporter

    Only $23? Great coin at that price. I didn't even know one could find an RR Denarius for that price. Congratulations, you did quite well there.

    I don't have that type, but the theme was very popular and used by many moneyers. My M. Junius Silanus is of the same theme (but around 7 decades younger than your coin), plus it has a cool ass's head to boot.

    M. Jumius Silanus denarius (1).jpg
  7. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    Lately I have seen an increasing number of worn Republicans but I wonder if this is more bringing out lesser coins now that there are so many people interested in this specialty.
    My sober assessment: I don't always buy worn denarii but, when I do, there is nothing better than "nice surfaces and a truly lovely old tone." The off centering losing a rider will take longer to love.
    r27595fd3288.jpg r27480bb0405.jpg
  8. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

  9. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    Nice coins Doug - I'd grab 'em in a NY minute!

    As for off-center, I know it's weird, but I really find off-center coins very attractive sometimes - something about that empty planchet and signs of the coin-striking tools? I don't know. I can't defend it.

    Here is a ghastly example - ghastly, but it's one of my favorites:

    Junia - Silanus Mask of Silenus 90 BC zz.jpg

    Roman Republic Denarius
    D. Junius L. f. Silanus (90 B.C.)

    Mask of bearded Silenus right, plough right below, all within torque / Victory in biga right, with whip and palm, carnyx beneath, D SILANVS L F in exergue.
    Cr. 337/1a; Junia 19; Sear 222.
    RAGNAROK, Mikey Zee, GerardV and 12 others like this.
  10. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    I agree about liking those things but I prefer them on large flans.
    RAGNAROK, Mikey Zee, GerardV and 9 others like this.
  11. Alegandron

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

    I have the Crawford 53/1 version, or the Victoriatus of that same period:

    RR Victoriatus after 211 BCE Jupiter Victory Trophy VF Craw 53-1 Syd 83.jpg
    RR Victoriatus after 211 BCE Jupiter Victory Trophy VF Craw 53-1 Syd 83

    and, yeah, a LARGE FLAN Victoriatus too...

    RR Anon AR Victoriatus 211-206 BC Jupiter Dioscuri S 49 Cr 44-1.jpg
    RR Anon AR Victoriatus 211-206 BC Jupiter Dioscuri Sear 49 Cr 44-1
    RAGNAROK, Mikey Zee, GerardV and 9 others like this.
  12. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    I LOOVVEE that coin Doug. I have nothing to compare, although I do have the one off-center giant flan Illyria drachm. Most of them are off-center to some extent. Ugly!

    Illyria offcenter drachm (2).JPG
  13. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

  14. red_spork

    red_spork Triumvir monetalis Supporter

    It depends on the type. Generally the earlier ones come rather well struck on large flans:

    Later ones tend to come on tighter flans, less well struck and generally very worn and of less fine style as well:
  15. rrdenarius

    rrdenarius non omnibus dormio Supporter

    nice coin and use of "Steve Brinkman's wonderful website"
    attributing a coin that is not all there is interesting / fun
    most of my well worn RR coins are bronze -
    anon as obv tin 2.25.17.jpg anon as rev tin 2.25.17.jpg
    anonymous struck as

    but not all
    LPAPIVS Cr 472.1 obv.JPG L.PAPIVS Cr 472.1 rev.JPG
    L.PAPIVS Cr472/1
    Marsyas Mike, Ajax, RAGNAROK and 9 others like this.
  16. randygeki

    randygeki Coin Collector

    Nice score!
    Marsyas Mike likes this.
  17. Jwt708

    Jwt708 Well-Known Member

    $23 - you did great!
    Marsyas Mike likes this.
  18. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

    As a collector, this is actually what annoys me the most about Republican denarii. I do think you did great with the OP coin, though. I would have grabbed it at that price, too.

    That L. Papius is impressively worn... I love it!
    Marsyas Mike likes this.
  19. Mikey Zee

    Mikey Zee Delenda Est Carthago

    That's a great buy for less than $24.00!!!:woot::woot:

    Sometimes you 'luck-out' on coins...I guess that evens out the times we all spend more than we should have.

    Probably the best of my 'worn' denarii cost me $57.50 shipped. Ordinarily I would only be interested in a denarius this worn and 'flawed' for about $40.00 but the reverse just made me chuckle. Not only is it a reverse that I was lacking but it also seems to have 'Cupid' shouting ...."WHOA!! WHOA!!!" while digging in his heels and pulling up on the reins before the dolphin swims completely off the flan ;):D. And it was struck in 46 BC, a lifetime historical issue connected to Julius Caesar.

    RR rufu dolphin obverse.JPG RR rufus dolphin reverse.JPG
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2017
  20. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum

    My first RR denarius which set me on a path was this one which only set me back $28:
    AR Denarius
    OBVERSE: Laureate head of Apollo right, thunderbolt below
    REVERSE: Jupiter in quadriga right
    Struck at Rome 86 BC
    3.86g, 19mm
  21. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

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