Newp: Beautifully toned L. Calpurnius Piso Frugi denarius

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by red_spork, Nov 14, 2015.

  1. red_spork

    red_spork Triumvir monetalis Supporter

    One of the first Republican denarii that I picked up was a cheap, bent denarius of Lucius Calpurnius Piso Frugi from 90 BC. I really liked that denarius but after seeing this one I decided it was definitely time for an upgrade. The type is probably the largest issue of the Roman Republic, or at least one of the largest with Crawford estimating over 850 obverse dies and over 1000 reverse dies, each with unique control marks. The obverse and reverse of this coin relate to the Ludi Apollinares, games held in honor of the god Apollo which were made permanent by the moneyer's ancestor during his term as Praetor in 211 BC.

    On to this particular coin itself, I believe it to be an overstrike, which while not unheard of, is not terribly common with Republican denarii either, though there are other overstruck issues of this example known. You can see evidence of this most clearly below the chin, in front of the forehead and on the right edge of the reverse, though there are small signs all over the coin. This denarius also has some beautiful toning as well, probably at least in part from the previous collector storing it in an envelope for decades. The envelope also reveals some great provenance: Ex. Joel Malter, March 29, 1970. I unfortunately began collecting far too late to meet Malter, but from what @dougsmit has shared it sounds like he was a good person and a great dealer.

    AR Denarius(19.62mm, 3.9g), L. Calpurnius Piso Frugi, 90 BC, Rome Mint. Laureate head of Apollo right; "VIII" behind / L PISO FRVGI, Horseman, holding palm frond and reins, on horse galloping right; VI above, ROMA monogram below. Crawford 340/1, Sydenham 661, Calpurnia 12



    Anyone else got any examples of this type to share? I'd love to see them!
    PeteB, cmezner, lordmarcovan and 14 others like this.
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  3. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

    Thats a beauty. Mine is a budget example.

    L. Calpurnius Piso Frugi (90 B.C.)
    AR Denarius
    O: Laureate Head of Apollo right; symbol behind.
    R: L PISO FRVGI, horseman, holding palm frond and reins, on horse galloping right; symbol below.
    Rome Mint
    Crawford 340/1
  4. stevex6

    stevex6 Random Mayhem

    Fantastic addition => sweet!! (congrats)

    Yah, I don't have that exact type, but I do have his relative ...

    => ummm, is this baby allowed to join-in?

    C. Piso L.F. Frugi
    61 BC
    Apollo & Horseman w. whip

    c piso lf frugi.jpg C Piso lf frugi side a.jpg

    ... my dude is sportin' a whip!!
  5. red_spork

    red_spork Triumvir monetalis Supporter

    I actually almost purchased yours a while back from the person who sold it to you. The following 3 were part of a group lot sold by CNG with my previous one being the one in the middle.
  6. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    Love this coin and all the different symbols on these.
    AR Denarius
    OBVERSE: Laureate head of Apollo r., behind, point control, front, check letter
    REVERSE: Horseman galloping towards r., holding a palm branch, above, symbol, and below Piso Frvgi / check letter
    Struck at Rome 90 BC
    4.0g, 18mm
    Cr340/1, Sydenham 670d. bb/Calpurnia 11
    AR Denarius
    OBVERSE: Laureate head of Apollo right, number LV behind
    REVERSE: Horseman galloping right, holding palm L PISO FRVGI below, ROMA monogram, number LXXII above
    Struck at Rome 90 BC
    3.75g, 18.4mm
    Cr340/1, Calpurnia 12
  7. red_spork

    red_spork Triumvir monetalis Supporter

    Of course he can join in!
    Daniel Maxwell and stevex6 like this.
  8. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter
    I recently moved my page on these to my secondary pages because I simply don't know enough about them to have a page. In 2000, I was trying to make the point that there were a lot of minor variations of these but that turned out to be a gross understatement of a complex series. This image is from that page.
  9. red_spork

    red_spork Triumvir monetalis Supporter


    I enjoyed reading your page. I'll share a bit of what I know about these and some of the theories I have read about these. On your first coin(and on my new one), the monogram is "ROMA". On a small number of dies, ROMA is spelled out fully in the area where the monogram is, and on a small subset of these, Apollo faces left. On the majority of dies, however, there is neither ROMA nor the monogram and Apollo faces right. One theory I have read is that this issue was initially planned to be a relatively small well-made issue with both right and left-facing Apollos and "ROMA" on all dies. As the social war began it became apparent that the issue would need to be mass produced, so first they began minting all with right-facing Apollos, then compacted ROMA into a monogram, then did away with it altogether. I've also noticed that it seems the size of Apollo's head shrinks during this transition as well but I haven't taken the time to look at a large enough number of coins to see if this holds past the handful of examples I researched before purchasing this one.
    Daniel Maxwell and Bing like this.
  10. chrsmat71

    chrsmat71 I LIKE TURTLES!

    VERY nice frugi RS!

    man, i knew there were quite a few of these but didn't know there were THAT many

    here's my example...

  11. Carthago

    Carthago Does this look infected to you? Supporter

    My Dad started buying coins from Joel Malter in the 1960's, who used to send them to him on approval. He's got a bunch of Joel's coins in his collection today. My Dad credits Joel with developing his passion for ancients and can't speak highly enough about him.

    Here's my 340/1:

    L. Calpurnius Piso Frugi. 90 BC. AR Denarius. Rome mint. Laureate head of Apollo right; XVI behind / Horseman galloping right, holding palm frond and reins; XXI above, RA below. Crawford 340/1; Sydenham 660; RSC 12.

    Nicolas Collection, Leu 17, May 1977, lot 307

    L. Calpurnius Piso Frugi 340-1 Hirsch 2015.jpg
    PeteB, Alegandron, akeady and 9 others like this.
  12. Volodya

    Volodya Junior Member

    Not really my favorite of the issue, but the best one I have a photo of:

    Phil (54).JPG
    Alegandron, akeady, Carausius and 7 others like this.
  13. Ancientnoob

    Ancientnoob Money Changer

    Well since everyone has one of these I feel like I need one.
    cmezner likes this.
  14. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    Of course you do. Maybe two or three.
    Ancientnoob likes this.
  15. I just bought this one. I had no idea there were such a large number of variations.
    Title: 90 BC - Roman Republic. L. Calpurnius Piso Frugi AR Denarius / Apollo / Horseman
    Crawford 340/1; Calpurnia 11; Sydenham 664b
    Date: 90 BC
    Obverse: Laureate head of Apollo right, five pellets behind
    Reverse: Horseman racing right, holding palm branch and reins; •I• above; L PISO FRVGI in exergue
    Size: 17.94mm
    Weight: 3.79 grams aYi75jZqdXg26x8Jf6NpTe3W4WCtyH.jpg
  16. akeady

    akeady Well-Known Member

    I think I've got 10 of Cr. 340/1 - only another couple of hundred to go.


    The latest arrival:

    The later Cr. 408/1 issue of ~67BC by C. Piso L.f. Frugi is similar in design, but of generally better style and execution:

    This coin is struck in very high relief - bad photos below, but maybe give some idea:

    I like these Piso Frugis! :D

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