No Bull, I Won a Plate Coin!

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by David Atherton, Jul 9, 2021.

  1. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic

    Although I collect all coins Flavian, I systematically collect the silver issues. So, I was quite thrilled to win several long sought after denarius 'white whales' at the recent NAC auction. The following coin was by far the most important of them all: A personal grail/white whale with the additional benefits of being a RIC plate coin and one of the finest specimens of the type known and previously owned by the renowned Flavian collector Harry Sneh. I'm simply overjoyed!

    Titus as Caesar [Vespasian]
    AR Denarius, 3.33g
    Ephesus (?) mint, 76 AD
    Obv: T CAESAR IMP VESP CENS; Head of Titus, laureate, bearded, r. 'o' mint mark below neck off flan
    Rev: COS V; Bull, stg. r.
    RIC 1483n (R2, this coin). BMC 486. RSC 56. RPC 1458 (3 spec.). BNC 374.
    Ex NAC 125, 24 June 2021, lot 583. Ex Harry N Sneh Collection.

    The infamous 'o' mint denarii (the 'o' is often not visible but is quite bold on this specimen!) struck for Vespasian, Titus Caesar, and Domitian Caesar are thought to have been minted at Ephesus due to a similar 'o' mint mark previously used at that mint. The types are the same as those struck somewhat contemporaneously at Rome. Mules are a hallmark of the series, perhaps indicating a lack of care in their production. This bull reverse copies a much more common Rome mint 'Cow of Myron' proto-type. The exact sex of the bovine is in doubt - some catalogues call it a cow, others a bull. RIC also makes a distinction between 'humped' and 'non-humped' bulls and uses the above coin in the plates to illustrate the 'non-humped' variant. Very rare, only a handful of specimens known. @dougsmit has one, I hope he shares it here.

    A plate comparison.


    Needless to say I'm quite thrilled with this new addition! Easily it will make my Top Ten List for the year. And the other coins I won in the NAC auction are no slouches either. Stay tuned ...

    Please feel free to share your plate coins, bull/cows, or anything you feel is relevant.
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2021
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  3. Curtisimo

    Curtisimo the Great(ish) Supporter

    Absolutely wonderful David! A top 10 coin for anyone’s year for sure. Thanks for sharing.

    I don’t have any relevant Flavians to share but in true pile on style here is a bull...
    Crete, Gortyna
    AR stater, struck ca. 330-270 BC
    Dia.: 27.5 mm
    Wt.: 11.58 g
    Obv.: Europa seated right in lefeless plane-tree, holding branches of tree with both hands
    Rev.: Bull standing right, head turned back, scratching muzzle with hoof.
    Ex Karl Kress (before 1969)

    ...and here is a plate coin.
    Egypt, Alexandria
    Antoninus Pius
    BI Tetradrachm, Alexandria mint, RY 11 = AD 147/8.
    Dia.: 24 mm
    Wt.: 13.81 g
    Obv.: ANTωNEINOC CEB EYCEB, Laureate bust right
    Rev.: L ENΔEKATOV, Elpis standing left, lifting hem of skirt and holding flower
    Ref.: Dattari-Savio pl. 111, 8160 (this coin illustrated); Emmett 1383.11; RPC Online IV temp #13607 (this coin cited).
    Ex Robert L. Grover Collection of Roman-Egyptian Coinage, previously held by the Art Institute of Chicago (1981.511); ex Giovanni Dattari Collection (1853-1923)
  4. Theoderic

    Theoderic Active Member

    Congrats on the pick-up. Flavian rarity and plate coin aside, I always like to see specimens that are crisp enough to see the die-maker's inscribed circular guide line.
    David Atherton likes this.
  5. Kentucky

    Kentucky Supporter! Supporter

  6. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Gorgeous!!! Look at the detail on that bull's head! And a plate coin, to boot! No wonder you're thrilled!

    Here's a plate coin from Lindgren. It is, of course, a Faustina. ;)

    Faustina II, AD 147-175.
    Roman provincial Æ 20.1 mm, 5.09 gm, 12 h.
    Bithynia, Nicomedia, c. AD 148-150.
    Obv: ΦΑVСΤΕΙΝΑ ΝΕΑ СΕΒΑ, bare-headed and draped bust, right.
    Rev: ΝΕΩΚΟΡOV ΝΙΚΟΜΗΔEI, lighted torch entwined by serpent, surmounted by two ears of corn and decorated with two poppies.
    Refs: RPC IV, 6091,(temporary); RG 107, pl. XCI 24; Lindgren 166 (this coin).
    zumbly, octavius, ominus1 and 11 others like this.
  7. Herodotus

    Herodotus Well-Known Member

    Absolutely beautiful coin! That toning is fantastic.

    I've been on a long long search for a first Titus for my collection, and with how it's been going, it may be some time before I find the right one.

    I'm envious.

    It looks as if the Bovine has a case of flatulence.. If I must regress into making a 'fart joke'.:cigar:
  8. Sulla80

    Sulla80 one coin at a time Supporter

    Stunning! .... as a coin with interesting history, as a coin in excellent condition, as a coin with impressive provenance, as a coin from an interesting mint, as a coin with amazing portrait, as a rare coin, but wait there's more: an RIC plate coin. Stunning, congratulations! Here's a favorite bovine coin:
    C M Capito Plowman.jpg
    C. Marius C. f. Capito, 81 BC, AR Denarius
    Obv: CAPIT. behind, draped bust of Ceres right, wearing grain-ear wreath and earring; LXXXXVIII above, ring? control mark below chin
    Rev: C. MARI. C. F. / S. C in two lines in exergue, husbandman plowing left with a yoke of oxen; LXXXXVIII above
    Ref: Crawford 378/1c
  9. Arcane76

    Arcane76 Well-Known Member

    Congratulations! Stunning coin! Very satisfying to get a personal “grail”!
    David Atherton likes this.
  10. Ricardo123

    Ricardo123 Well-Known Member

    Very unique. Happy you won the battle for it. Are you sure « bearded » ? And curious, do you have the pedigree before 2011 ?
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2021
    David Atherton likes this.
  11. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

    It's an amazing coin. It's even got a die guide on it. Great addition, David.
    David Atherton likes this.
  12. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic

    Yes. Almost without exception, all of Titus's denarii are 'bearded'. You can see traces of it under the chin on the OP coin.

    Yes. Harry Sneh and I discussed this coin prior to him selling it in 2011. The G&M sale Harry acquired the coin from is referenced in the RIC footnote on p. 170.
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2021
  13. Alegandron

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

    Huge congrats, @David Atherton . That is a fantastic find.

    Livia plate coin beside Dattari Rubbings of same coin.

    R Alexandria Livia, w Augustus Diobol CE 1-2 Æ 23.5mm 7.46g. Rev. Athena holding Nike Sheild ex Dattari-Savio Pl. 3 60-this coin RPC pag. 692-5-this coin R
  14. AussieCollector

    AussieCollector Moderator Moderator

    David Atherton likes this.
  15. Fugio1

    Fugio1 Supporter! Supporter

    Very lovely example.
    David Atherton likes this.
  16. AncientJoe

    AncientJoe Supporter! Supporter

    Wow, both sides are absolutely stunning. The reverse style is superb, as evidenced in the effort placed via the die guide lines. Congratulations!
    David Atherton likes this.
  17. IdesOfMarch01

    IdesOfMarch01 Well-Known Member

    Agree -- the quality of the reverse art is superb.

    Interestingly, I have a similar aureus of this type:

    Bd - Titus AV aureus.jpg

    TITUS 69 - 79 A.D.
    AV Aureus (7.39 g.) Rome mint 73 A.D. RIC Vespasian 857
    T CAESAR - IMP VESPASIAN Laureate head r. Rev. COS V Cow standing r.
  18. Ricardo123

    Ricardo123 Well-Known Member

    I checked other Tito on acsearch and i can some some hair i think. By the way thanks for showing here. Saw an anti Cointalk coalition on Forvm: moderators are stubborn, members are not academic and only a show-off place. 38 views on forvm and 450 here for your coin. I appreciate when people expose their treasure for us, who are a gang of ignorant !
    Meander, Orfew and David Atherton like this.
  19. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    I like that poster and am sorry he got banned. I hope it gets fixed. I understand that he feels bitter. But shame on the people who jumped in to bash CT, to a certain extent with criticisms that don't even apply to the ancients forum. Or are otherwise grossly unfair to the members here.

    But it's probably the longest thread they've had over there in years, so I guess they're happy.
    Meander and David Atherton like this.
  20. Aleph

    Aleph Well-Known Member

    Be fair, everyone! There is nothing wrong with CT and there is nothing wrong with Forvm. Both are great sites with somewhat different cultures. I visit both and tremendously appreciate both for what they are.

    David, outstanding coin! Few things match that high when landing a prize like this!
  21. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    I hope you realize that my final comment was a joke! There are many things I admire about FORVM, even though I've never posted there. And, as I said, I understand the OP's bitterness. But the cheap shots in some of the subsequent comments were unnecessary, and serve only to embarrass the people who posted them.
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