Name that Roman

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Sulla80, Apr 27, 2019.

  1. Sulla80

    Sulla80 one coin at a time Supporter

    I picked up, on EBay, this plaster 5.5x4.5cm Grand Tour souvenir. Other than what you can find in the wikipedia, I know little about this cameo (with a "30" scratched on the back) or about the 17th and 18th century tradition of Grand Tours. With this post, perhaps the CT community can fill in some blanks or name that Roman. I was attracted to the sharp portrait (a draped and curaissed bust, not unlike what we find on Roman Imperial coins), the patina of age, and the price was right.

    A Grand Tour was a tradition of European travel for continuing education of the new graduate, and the small plaster souvenirs were a way of documenting the travels in an era when photographs, and facebook posts had not yet been imagined. These could be mounted with notes in books as a record of travels and sights.

    Grand Tour sm.jpg

    I thought maybe a portrait of Caligula? I don't have a coin of Caligula, but it also reminded me of this As of Claudius:
    Claudius As.jpg Æ As of Claudius, AD 41-54
    Mint: Rome Struck AD 41-43
    Obv: TI CLAVDIVS CAESAR AV[G P M TR P IMP PP] Bare head left
    Rev: Minerva advancing right, brandishing spear and holding shield, between S - C
    Size: 9.04g 26.1mm
    Ref: RCV 1861-1862

    Share anything related to Grand Tour souvenirs, the identity of the unknown Roman above, or coins (as this is CoinTalk).
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  3. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Looks more like Caracalla to me.
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  4. 7Calbrey

    7Calbrey Well-Known Member

    Historical and educational tours. I think the nose and eye are the key to name that Emperor.
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  5. tenbobbit

    tenbobbit Supporter! Supporter

    My minds eye keeps saying Hadrian.
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  6. Justin Lee

    Justin Lee I learn by doing Supporter

    It reminds me of this Alexandrian tet of Valerian that I had that find a new home in the last AMCC1 auction:
  7. Ryro

    Ryro They call me the 13th Caesar Supporter

    Very cool cameo!
    Before venturing my assumption I would need to know if that is a beard on his jaw line or just wear?
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  8. Sulla80

    Sulla80 one coin at a time Supporter

    It is a question I have also - I think it is just wear, there is a slight ridge and as you can see not perfectly smooth on the jaw line but not really a beard.
    Jaw Line.jpg
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  9. 7Calbrey

    7Calbrey Well-Known Member

    Otho ??
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  10. Ryro

    Ryro They call me the 13th Caesar Supporter

    Lacking chin hair and sideburns I'm in agreement. And clearly this is a man and not a youth. So there goes Caracalla and Hadrian.
    If not for the curly hair coming out of the wreath on the front of his head I might even venture a guess to it being JC himself...
    That said, with all available evidence I am leaning towards Caligula as well. 4F463F06-B675-47B5-A8D7-BC7E12B99A3A.jpeg
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  11. Alegandron

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

    I am gonna go with FRED...just an average guy, nuttin special.
  12. Archeocultura

    Archeocultura Well-Known Member

    Caracalla as was suggested before.

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  13. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    Perhaps a non-emperor prince like Germanicus or Drusus? The artwork is modern so it could just be 'Roman'.
  14. Valentinian

    Valentinian Supporter! Supporter

    I don't think it is a good image of any emperor. Only Nerva is depicted on coins with a nose like that and rest of the portrait is unlike Nerva.

    As usual, @dougsmit is perceptive. I agree with him.
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  15. Sallent

    Sallent Live long and prosper

    Uhm, not even close.
  16. 7Calbrey

    7Calbrey Well-Known Member

    He could be a famous Roman general.
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  17. Ryro

    Ryro They call me the 13th Caesar Supporter

    My reservation that it is just some guy is the laurel crown. Even if it's not an honest representation of some Julio/Claudian or just a generic image of am emperor, it is representative of an emperor. Not even a Caesar would be depicted wearing the laurel.
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  18. 7Calbrey

    7Calbrey Well-Known Member

    If he had a small beard, I won't hesitate to say "Gallienus".
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  19. Sulla80

    Sulla80 one coin at a time Supporter

    Thanks all for the guesses and points of view, the diverse answers give me some comfort that it isn't readily identifiable (not a good portrait of any specific emperor, or just 'Roman').

    I can see the connection to young Caracalla suggested by @Roman Collector and @Archeocultura (coin below), and nose and mouth do look a lot like @Justin Lee 's Sylvester Stallone-like Valerian.

    Here's an interesting article describing Caligula's signature haircut, which maybe says it well:
    Those who have studied Julio-Claudian portraiture know well that there are many problems in identifying the various members of this complex imperial family, whose portraits show a strong resemblance to one another not only physiognomically but also with respect to their iconographic hairstyles.
  20. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & avid numismatist Moderator

    I think he's just a generic "Roman". At first glance I wondered if perhaps this wasn't just another neoclassical rendering of Napoleon, but no, I do think he's Roman enough. Not sure we'll ever pin it down definitively, but it will be fun to see the comparisons made.

    It's a handsome object, in any event.
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  21. Sulla80

    Sulla80 one coin at a time Supporter

    LOL, I like the Napoleon thought!
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