My Top 10 for 2020

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Al Kowsky, Dec 3, 2020.

  1. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Supporter! Supporter

    Last year I vowed to hide my credit cards & stop adding to my disorganized collection. That's like a drunk stumbling into a bar & asking for a bottle of spring water, it just doesn't happen :smuggrin:. It looks like I'm a hopeless addict :meh:. Anyway, I'll try not to be long winded with this thread.

    Magnesia ad Maeandrum, c. 155-145 BC.jpg
    #1. Ionia, Magnesia ad Maeandrum, 155-145 BC. Obverse: Artemis diademed, with bow & quiver over her shoulder. Reverse: Apollo leaning on tripod censer & holding a branch with tied fillet. AR Tetradrachm: 16.89 gm, 31 mm, 12 h. SNG von Aulock 7921. Roma XX, lot 178, 2020, CNG Triton VI, lot 357, 2003. Previously in a NGC slab, Ch AU*, Strike 5/5, Surface 5/5

    I won this coin at Roma XX auction that featured the famous Brutus Aureus, & wanted a souvenir from that historic auction. The beauty of this coin mesmerized me & I snagged it for less than estimate :D.

    VA 350-1, AK Collection.jpg 2. Celtic Britain, Atrebates & Regni, Commius, Circa 50-25 BC, Southern mint (struck c. 30-25 BC). Obverse: Devolved head of Apollo. Reverse: horse with chariot wheel below & arm above. AV Stater: 5.42 gm, 17 mm, 7 h. Van Arsdell 350-1, Bean COM 1-3. NGC AU, Strike 5/5, Surface 4/5. Ex Chris Rudd 2014, Ex Chris Rudd 2006.

    For a long time, I wanted a Celtic gold coin from Britain that was affordable, well struck, in choice condition, & wasn't over-cleaned. Since these coins are easy to fake & alter, it had to be slabbed by NGC. I snagged this coin at a CNG auction & it came with the two sale tickets from Chris Rudd's auctions.

    Roma XX, lot 292 (2).jpg
    3. Seleukis & Pieria, Seleukeia, Dated year 18 (92-91 BC). Obverse turreted head of Tyche with veil. Reverse: Thunderbolt on a stool. AR Tetradrachm: 15.00 gm, 34 mm, 12 h. Roma XX Auction, lot 292.

    This was the 2nd coin I won from Roma XX Auction. I won this coin in frenzied bidding & paid 3 times estimate for it :eek:! Admittedly I over-paid for the coin, but really didn't care after having the coin in hand :p.

    CNG 115, lot 322 (2).jpg
    #4. Seleukid Empire, Antioch on the Orontes, Antiochos VIII Epiphanes (Grypos), Third reign, circa 109-96 BC. Obverse: Diademed head of Antiochos VIII. Reverse: Zeus Nikephoros seated on throne. AR Tetradrachm: 16.24 gm, 28 mm, 1 h. HGC 9, 1200. Ex Numismatic Fine Arts XVII, lot 439, June 1986.

    These coins are fairly common, however, rarely does an example of this quality come up for sale. The coin has a handsome high relief portrait, & deep cabinet tone. A 34 year old provenance urged me to bid on the coin too :happy:.

    Philip I, McAlee 959, Prieur 451.jpg
    #5. Syria, Roman Antioch, Philip I, AD 244-249, Obverse: Philip with radiate crown & dressed in battle dress, holding a shield. Reverse: Eagle with laurel wreath in beak. Billon Tetradrachm: 27 mm, 1 h. McAlee 959, Ex.Rare, Prieur 451, only 1 example cited. NGC AU.

    I considered this Tet of Philip I, an important addition to my collection because of the unusual portrait, high grade, as found patina, & rarity.

    McAlee 1165c (2).jpg
    #6. Syria, Roman Antioch, Herennia Etruscilla, wife of Trajan Decius, AD 249-251, 3rd Officina. Obverse: Draped bust of Etruscilla on a crescent, wearing a stephane, & hair braided in ridges & tucked in back in a chignon. Reverse: Eagle on palm frond with a laurel wreath in his beak. Billon Tetradrachm: 27 mm, 11.37 gm, 11 h. McAlee 1165c, Rare. NGC MS, Strike 4/5, Surface 4/5.

    This coin was an important upgrade. I had a similar Tet of Etruscilla that made her look like an old frump. Unhappy with that coin, I ended up selling it in a Heritage auction. This coin has a finely engraved portrait, is a razor sharp strike, & has an as found patina :D.

    Roma 72, lot 1403.jpg
    #7. Diocletian, circa AD 303-305, London Mint. Obverse: Laureate & cuirassed bust right. Reverse: Genius with patera & cornucopia. AE Follis: 10.17 gm, 28 mm, 6 h. RIC 28a, C & T 3.03.005. Ex Brian Henry Grover Collection.

    I have a number of folles of Diocletian, but was lacking an example from the London Mint until I saw this coin. This coin has a handsome, forceful portrait of Diocletian, is struck from fresh dies, & has an attractive dark patina.

    Max. Her. follis, Aquileia Mint.jpg #8. Maximian Hercules, AD 286-310 (struck AD 305), Aquileia Mint, 1st Officina. Obverse: Bust of Maximian facing left, with helmet, decorated shield, & spear over shoulder. Reverse: Fides Militum holding two standards. AE Follis: 11.98 gm, 28 mm, 12 h. Rare. RIC VI 61b.

    I was thrilled to score this rare follis at a Heritage auction for a bargain price :).

    Roma E-Sale 72, lot 1453.jpg
    #9. Galerius as Caesar, AD 303-305, London Mint. Obverse: Laureate, draped, & cuirassed bust. Reverse: Genius with patera & cornucopia. AE Follis: 29 mm, 10.46 gm, 6 h. RIC 33, C & T 3.01.031. Ex Brian Henry Grover Collection.

    An important goal of mine this year was to complete a set of the original members of the Tetrarchy from the London Mint. This coin has an outstanding portrait & is in choice condition despite the light porosity on the reverse.

    CNG 477, lot 638 image, obv. & rev..jpg
    #10. Constantine I as Caesar, AD 306-307 (struck summer of AD 307), Trier Mint, 1st Officina. Obverse: Laureate bust with cuirass & slight drapery. Reverse: Genius with turreted crown, holding patera & cornucopia. AE Follis: 8.73 gm, 29 mm, 8 h. RIC 719b. Ex CNG Inventory 774824, July 2006.

    This coin is an upgrade from an example I bought many years ago :D. The portrait is excellent, & the coin is struck from fresh dies. The reverse on this coin has unusually fine detail.

    All comments are welcome on the coins posted in this thread :D.

    Last edited: Dec 3, 2020
    pprp, NLL, Pavlos and 51 others like this.
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  3. Quant.Geek

    Quant.Geek Well-Known Member

    :wideyed::jawdrop:...that says it all! I can't even pick a favorite as I like them all....
  4. Claudius_Gothicus

    Claudius_Gothicus Well-Known Member

    Great selection! All of them are impressive, but I especially like the Late Romans - you don't see them that nice every day.
  5. happy_collector

    happy_collector Well-Known Member

    Impressive coins! The obverse portraits are so beautiful. :)
  6. Seated J

    Seated J Supporter! Supporter

    Really beautiful group and in such great condition!
    Carl Wilmont likes this.
  7. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

    Top notch stuff! And that Magnesia ad Maeandrum tet is some souvenir! Great strike, excellent style, lovely toning... what else could you want? I also love the tubby Maximianus military bust and that immaculate Constantine I follis.
  8. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    While all are excellent, the style of the portrait on #8 Maximianus makes it stand out to me. I lost a similar coin in a sale a couple years ago and now wish I had bid more.
  9. Caesar_Augustus

    Caesar_Augustus Well-Known Member

    I prefer #9. Very nice coins, Al Kowsky! :D

    That is indeed a lovely portrait of Maximianus. You can really tell how much of a large warrior he was. Must have really loved those western sweets.
  10. kazuma78

    kazuma78 Supporter! Supporter

    That stephanophoric is my favorite of the bunch, though they are all nice coins. That ones a beauty!
  11. Cucumbor

    Cucumbor Dombes collector Supporter

    You won't be surprised that my preference goes to the two Syro-phoenician tets. I like very much your #8 Maximianus Hercules ; that massive portrait is outstanding

  12. FrizzyAntoine

    FrizzyAntoine Active Member

    Great selection! I'm biased towards the greeks, but the romans are all very nice for their respective types. Happy hunting next year!
  13. Ryro

    Ryro They call me the 13th Caesar Supporter

    Excellent #1!!! I've always crushed on Artemis and yours portrait is a showstopper:jawdrop::pompous::troll:
    Though I'm also VERY partial to celtics.
    Just received this bubble blower last week:
    (though, I have no gold of my own) aaand could easily see your #2 in the #1 spot as well.
  14. 1934 Wreath Crown

    1934 Wreath Crown Well-Known Member

    Great coins. I love the Diocletian follis. Such perfect centering and you can almost count every hair on his head and in his beard:)
  15. benhur767

    benhur767 Sapere aude

    @Al Kowsky Great quality coins, I enjoyed reading your explanations for each one.
    Carl Wilmont likes this.
  16. Alegandron

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

  17. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member

    ..all very fine coins Al....i find the Celtic coin to be most mesmerizing meself..:)
  18. Only a Poor Old Man

    Only a Poor Old Man Well-Known Member

    Beautiful coins! The Magnesia tet really stands out :happy:
  19. Ancient Aussie

    Ancient Aussie Supporter! Supporter

    All great coins but your number one is an absolute beauty with it's strong detail.
  20. gogili1977

    gogili1977 Well-Known Member

    Great coins, my favorites are 1, 8 and 10.
  21. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    While all of your coins posted are excellent examples, #1 is a standout, an example of the epitome of Hellenistic medallic art.
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