My first top ten

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Nerva, Dec 17, 2018.

  1. Nerva

    Nerva Well-Known Member

    I've loved reading 'top tens' for the past couple of years, but this is my first contribution. I think I'll always be a generalist, but this year I've started to focus more on the Severans. Overall I've had a low win-rate this year, particularly in the first half. I didn't win any Republicans at all, and lost out on quite a few provincials that I really wanted. But I'm delighted with the coins I have won, even if I paid a couple of steep prices. I've got a few coherent themes now, and next year I should be able to complete some 'sets'. My wish-list is now out of control, but more than half of my purchases have been things that have just caught my eye. Comments and criticism would be greatly appreciated. I've learned a lot here, but mainly I've learned how little I still know!

    These are the coins I have 'in hand', but I have a couple of other wins that I'm very excited about, but doubt they'll arrive this year. And in any case, I had more than enough for a top ten.
    One of the appealing aspects of Severan coinage is the variety of female portraits (and fantastic female characters). I love the portrait on this Julia Soaemias, and the Juno reverse is also well-preserved.
    I only have a few later Roman coins, but I saw this Severina on a dealer's tray and had to have it. It's a really fine portrait. Next year I want to expand my collection of later Roman coins, to give poor Severina some company.
    This is the probably the worst-looking coin I bought, but it's a fascinating type that I first heard about here. It's an ancient Indian imitation of a Tiberius Tribute Penny. It's not very pretty, but I love the history, the record of ancient trade routes and cultural exchange.

    Annia Faustina is the rarest of the Severans. There's a single type of sestertius and one type of denarius from the Rome mint, both very rare and costly. Alexandrians are more attainable. This billon tet with Serapis gives me the rarest Severan portrait.
    Antoninus Pius AE19 Nicopolis ad Istrum Moesia Inferior.jpg
    This Antoninus Pius Ae19 Necopolis ad Istrum appealed to me because of the excellent depiction of the Apollo Sauroktonos ('Lizard Slayer'), a celebrated ancient Greek sculpture. This one deserves a fuller write-up and its own post, to follow...
    This coin really cried out to me when I saw it in an auction listing, and I thought I'd have to pay much more for it. Caracalla with Asclepius facing forward and his little helper Telesphorus. Really nice, unusual reverse.
    Here's something to inspire envy. How many of you have a depiction of Herakles Slaying the Nemean Bunny Rabbit? A rare scene. This ticks all the boxes for me. I've been looking for attractive and unusual provincials. I like animals on coins. And it's a Severan emperor. It's an Ae32 of Caracalla from Blaundos.
    This is one of the most interesting Severan reverse types: Elegabalus bringing the holy stone of Emesa to Rome. The stone was probably a meteorite. The coin looks better in hand. Some day I'll buy an upgrade in gold!

    A centrepiece for my Severan collection: Septimius Severus with kids, the rival siblings Geta and Caracalla. It's a scarce type in nice condition, and it's the one coin that best represents the dynasty. I can't imagine a coin like this being anything other than number one in any other year, but in 2018 it was upstaged by.........
    One of the greatest Greek coins: a Corinthian stater with the Mask of Silenus. It's a magnificent artist achievement, a wonderful contrast in characterisation between Athena, goddess of wisdom and courage, and Silenus the drunken follower of Dionysus. I've always been torn between those two myself!
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2018
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  3. Pavlos

    Pavlos You pick out the big men. I'll make them brave!

    Great coins @Nerva A lot of beauties. And wow the Mask of Silenus looks amazing on that beautiful stater. My top 3 of your coins are equal to your top 3.
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  4. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    Nice coins all. My favorite is your #2 with Geta and Caracalla reverse, but it's very close to your #1, the Corinthian stater with Silenus and #. Good year for you. Congrats.
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  5. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

    Terrific list! I can't argue at all with your Top 3. I have a weakness for Colts, and the Mask of Silenus control symbol is surely the best one to have for Corinth. My number 2 last year was the Domna version of your dynastic type, and I'd love to have a matching Septimius some day... yours is excellent! Number 3 is on my perpetual want list, and likewise a coin of Annia Faustina and a Apollo Sauroktonos reverse. It looks like you had a great coin year.
    Nerva likes this.
  6. TypeCoin971793

    TypeCoin971793 Just a random nobody...

    The artistic style of the reverse die is simply amazing.
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  7. Gavin Richardson

    Gavin Richardson Well-Known Member

    It’s hard to prefer a coin over that magnificent stater, but the Stone of Emesa is a pretty fascinating type and one I’d love to add to my collection someday.
    Nerva likes this.
  8. TIF

    TIF Always learning. Supporter

    WOW, what a fantastic year!

    Your Julia Soaemias portrait is outstanding, as is the coin overall. Pretty darn good for spot #10 :D.

    The Annia Faustina... I'm trying to be happy for you but mostly I'm just jealous :sorry::shy:.

    The A-Pi Lizard Slayer... nice!!

    The facing Asclepius, the Nemean Bunny, the Sacred Stone, the dynastic Severan... all winners.

    Your #1 pick was my first ancient coin, or rather the first ancient coin purchase that wasn't an "uncleaned" coin or wasn't purchased with the intention of giving it to someone else. This variety with Silenus control mark was selected by HJB as the representative type in his book, 100 Greatest Ancient Coins. Corinth stater are #23 in the book.

    CORINTHIA, Corinth
    345-307 BCE
    AR stater, 8.65 gm
    Obv Pegasus flying left, qoppa below
    Rev: helmeted head of Athena left wearing necklace; mask of Silenus behind
    Ref: Ravel 1046. Calciati 408. Scarce variety.
    from Heritage Auctions, June 2013
  9. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Roma Invicta

    I'd also like to add an Elagabalus with the black stone of Emesa, great stater there @Nerva
    Nerva likes this.
  10. rrdenarius

    rrdenarius non omnibus dormio Supporter

    Me too!
    Great ten for 2018. I like your facing Asclepius and rock in a cart best.
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  11. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander Blame my mother. Supporter

    What a wonderful list! I am actively pursuing some of those (Annia Faustina, Indo-Roman Tiberius, stone of Emesa, nice style Corinth stater - you sure nailed it with that one!), while others are now added to my list or make me yearn for an upgrade... particularly that Soaemias portrait, wow! I'm so glad you decided to do a top 10 this year! :)
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  12. Multatuli

    Multatuli Homo numismaticus Supporter

    Wow, man...! Speechless!
    This Septimius denarius is fabulous, but the Corinthian stater have an amazing eye appeal!
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  13. benhur767

    benhur767 Sapere aude

    I love them all. I'm partial to Severans for the reason you describe. It's very difficult to find a good portrait of Soaemias, and even more difficult to find it paired with a well-preserved reverse. Yours is one of the best I've seen.
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  14. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Magnificent coins -- all of them enviable! That Severina, though, is outstanding for the issue.
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  15. Ancient Aussie

    Ancient Aussie Supporter! Supporter

    All great coins Nerva, but your number 1 Corinth stater is exceptional.
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  16. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic

    Hard to argue with your top 5! The Corinthian stater, the Severan dynastic denarius, and the Elagabalus 'stone' denarius are my top picks.

    It looks like you had a very good year!
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  17. Mike Margolis

    Mike Margolis Well-Known Member

    That stater is a beauty and what a contrast to the Romans. The killer bunny slayer is from that Monte Python movie- Life of Bryan I think? Great coins
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  18. randygeki

    randygeki Coin Collector

    Very nice!
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  19. Nerva

    Nerva Well-Known Member

    Great way to start! My first was an Athenian owl.
    TIF likes this.
  20. Nerva

    Nerva Well-Known Member

    The Holy Grail - but yes, that one. The Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog.
    Mike Margolis likes this.
  21. Cucumbor

    Cucumbor Dombes collector Supporter

    Wow, glad you participated this year, we would heve missed something !

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