Please help me choose the last three for my top 10

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


Which 3 of these 9 should go in my Top 10?

Poll closed Dec 10, 2020.
  1. # 1 : C. Servilius M.F., Roma/Dioscuri

  2. # 2: C. Mamilius Limetanus, Mercury/Ulysses

  3. # 3: L. Marcius Censorinus, Apollo/Marsyas the Satyr

  4. # 4: A. Postumius A.f. Sp.n. Albinus , Hispania/Togate Roman with eagle & fasces

  5. # 5: Q. Caecilius Metullus, Pietas/Elephant

  6. # 6: L. Procilius L.f., Juno Sospita/Juno Sospita in biga

  7. # 7 : P. Satrienus, Mars/She-Wolf

  8. # 8: Cn. Plancuis, Macedonia/Cretan Goat

  9. # 9: C. Vibius C. f. C. n. Pansa , Mask of Pan/Jupiter Axurus

Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    As I've mentioned already, I've decided that my top 10 list for 2020 will be comprised entirely of Roman Republican coins. (I've already posted my 30 favorite non-Republican ancient coins purchased this year.) I am already pretty sure of seven coins I'm putting on my top 10 list, in no particular order. (Assuming that the two coins I'm still expecting end up arriving before the end of the month, and that I'm not disappointed in them!)

    But deciding on the last three has been difficult; I've "narrowed" things down to 9 candidates for those three spots. It's not as if I think of these as inferior to the seven I'm pretty sure of, but for whatever reason -- in some cases, because one side is great and the other isn't quite as good -- I haven't yet gotten the same feeling of certainty about them. So I'm asking for your help in picking the final three, with this poll. Although I won't consider it binding, I'll definitely give a lot of weight to what people think! In fact, for all I know I'll take four or more instead of three, and knock one or more off the list of seven.

    The nine are in chronological order, rather than in any order of preference. And, to avoid making this post a mile long, I'm going to omit all or most of the lengthy footnotes I have a penchant for adding to my descriptions, to try to explain the political, historical, and/or mythological background and meaning of the coins. If anyone's interested, they should be easy to find.

    1. Roman Republic, C. Servilius M.f., AR Denarius 136 BCE. Obv. Head of Roma right wearing winged helmet, wreath behind neck, ROMA beneath with * [XVI monogram] to left / Rev. Dioscuri on horseback galloping in opposite directions, heads turned back to face each other, both twins holding their spears downwards behind horses, C. SERVEILI M F in exergue. RSC I Servilia 1, Crawford 239/1, Sydenham 525, Sear RCV I 116 (ill.), BMCRR Italy 540. 19.35 mm., 3.89 g. [Sear says that this is the first Republican denarius with “ROMA” legend on obverse, and the second to use the monogram * for XVI .]

    Servilius - Dioscuri denarius jpg version.jpg

    2. Roman Republic, C. Mamilius Limetanus, AR Serrate Denarius, 82 BCE Rome Mint. Obv. Draped bust of Mercury right, wearing petasus with two wings, caduceus over left shoulder, control letter “F” behind* / Rev. Ulysses walking right, wearing mariner’s clothing and pileus, holding staff in left hand and extending right hand towards his dog, Argus, who stands left at Ulysses’ feet with his head raised towards him; C•MAMIL downwards in left field, LIMETAN [TA ligate] upwards in right field. Crawford 362/1. RSC I Mamilia 6, Sear RCV I 282 (ill.), BMCRR 2717 and 2720-2721 [two examples of control letter “F”]. 21 mm., 4.04 g., 9 h. [The only known control-letters for this issue are the 11 letters of the alphabet necessary to spell out a version of the moneyer’s name, C LIMETANVS C.F.]

    Mamilius Limetanus (Mercury - Ulysses & dog) jpg version.jpg

    3. Roman Republic, Lucius Marcius Censorinus, AR Denarius, 82 BCE. Obv. Laureate head of Apollo right, traces of control mark (unidentifiable) behind / Rev. The satyr Marsyas standing left, gazing upwards, raising right hand and holding wineskin over left shoulder; tall column behind him, surmounted by statue of draped figure (Minerva [RSC] or Victory [Crawford]); L. CENSOR downwards before him. Crawford 363/1d, RSC I Marcia 24d, Sear RCV I 281 (ill.), BMCRR 2657. 18 mm, 3.80 g, 5 h. [The coin refers to the legend of the satyr Marsyas challenging Apollo to a flute-playing contest. As the winner, Apollo got to choose the punishment for the loser -- namely, skinning Marsyas alive. Traditionally, the gens Marcia was descended from Marsyas; hence the reference.]

    Censorinus (Apollo - Marsyas) jpg version Crawford 363-1a.jpg

    4. Roman Republic, A. Postumius A.f. Sp.n. Albinus (Aulus Postumius Albinus, son of Aulus [mint magistrate ca. 96 BCE], and grandson of Spurius [Consul 110 BCE]), AR Serrate Denarius, 81 BCE, Rome mint. Obv. Veiled head of Hispania right, with disheveled hair; HISPAN behind / Rev. Togate figure standing left, raising right hand towards legionary eagle to left; fasces with ax to right; A •/ ALBIN/ N • S [AL in monogram] across fields; POST • A • F in exergue. Crawford 372/2, RSC I Postumia 8 (ill.), Sydenham 746, Sear RCV I 297 (ill.), BMCRR Rome 2839-42, Harlan RRM I Ch. 1 at pp. 6-7 [Harlan, Michael, Roman Republican Moneyers and their Coins, 81 BCE-64 BCE (2012)]. 19 mm., 3.92 g., 6 h. (Purchased from Brad Bowlin; Ex.“old French collection in Paris.” ) [According to Harlan, the reverse symbolizes the anticipated defeat of the last bastion of Marian resistance to Roman imperium, in Spain.]

    A. Postumius A.f. Sp.n. Albinus. 81 BC. AR Serrate Denarius.jpg

    5. Roman Republic, AR Denarius, 81 BCE. Obv. Head of Pietas right, wearing diadem; below chin, stork standing right / Rev. Elephant standing left, wearing bell around neck; in exergue, Q•C•M•P•I [Q. Caecilius Metellus Imperator]. Crawford 374/1, RSC I Caecilia 43, Sear RCV I 301 (ill.), Sydenham 750, BMCRR Spain 43. 18 mm., 3.9 g. [See Sear RCV I at p. 128: “The issuer strikes as imperator in Northern Italy where he was campaigning on behalf of Sulla. The following year he was to be the dictator’s colleague in the consulship.” See also Crawford Vol. I p. 390: This issue was produced by Q. Caecilius Metellus Pius, serving as a Sullan commander in the fight against Carrinas, Norbanus and Carbo. The obverse type [of Pietas] . . . alludes to his cognomen, acquired for his part in securing the restoration from exile of his father Q. Caecilius Metullus Numidicus.”]

    Q. Cec. Metullus denarius (Pietas-elephant) jpg version.jpg

    6. Roman Republic, L. Procilius L.f., AR Serrate Denarius, 80 BCE. Obv. Head of Juno Sospita right, wearing goatskin headdress; behind, S•C downwards / Juno Sospita wearing goatskin headdress, standing in biga right with galloping horses, holding figure-eight style shield [prob. an allusion to the mythological Shield of the Salii priests, or ancilia] in left hand and brandishing spear in right hand; coiled serpent below horses; in exergue, L•PROCILI•F. Crawford 379/2, RSC I Procilia 2 (ill.), Sear RCV I 307 (ill.), BMCRR Rome 3150, Sydenham 772, Harlan, RRM I Ch. 4 at pp. 19-22 [Michael Harlan, Roman Republican Moneyers and their Coins, 81 BCE-64 BCE (2012)]. 20.05 mm., 3.97 g. (Purchased from Marc Breitsprecher, Oct. 2020.)

    L. Procilius (Juno Sospita - Juno Sospita in biga) jpg version.jpg

    7. Roman Republic, P. Satrienus, AR Denarius, 77 BCE. Obv. Helmeted head of Mars right, control-number (L[in archaic form of upside-down T]XXXVIIII = 89) behind/ Rev. She-wolf standing left with right front paw raised, ROMA above, P. SATRIE-NVS in two lines below. RSC I Satriena 1, Crawford 388/1b, Sear RCV I 319 (ill.), Harlan, RRM I Ch. 15 at pp. 92-97, BMCRR Rome 3209-3237 [no entry for control no. 89; cf. 3236 (no. 99)]. 18 mm., 3.87 g., 3 hr.

    NEW Satrienus - Mars-She-Wolf Denarius  COMBINED.jpg

    8. Roman Republic, Cn. Plancius, AR Denarius, 55 BCE, Rome mint. Obv. Female head (Macedonia [RCV, Crawford, & RRM II] or Diana Planciana [BMCRR & RSC]) right, wearing causia, CN. PLANCIVS before, AED. CVR. S. C. behind/ Rev. Cretan goat standing right, bow and quiver to left. RSC I Plancia 1, Crawford 432/1, Sydenham 933, Sear RCV I 396 (ill.), Harlan, RRM II Ch. 17 at pp. 141-144, BMCRR Rome 3920. 18 mm, 3.82 gm, 5h. Purchased from Eukratides Ancient Numismatics [Bradley J. Bowlin], Feb. 18, 2020. Ex. Davis & Clark, Paris, France, Jan. 27, 1975 (with “Certificat de Garantie” from Dr. Cahn, agreed expert, Basel.)

    USE Cn. Plancius - Cretan goat - jpg version.jpg

    Roman Republic, C. Vibius C. f. C. n. Pansa Caetronianus, AR Denarius 48 BCE, Rome mint. Obv. Mask of bearded Pan right; below, PANSA / Rev. Jupiter A[n]xurus, laureate, barechested, seated left on throne, holding patera in right hand and long scepter in left hand; on right, C•VIBIVS•C•F•C•N curving downwards; on left, IOVIS • AXVR curving upwards. Crawford 449/1a, RSC I Vibia 18 (ill.), Sear RCV I 420 (ill.), BMCRR 3978, Sydenham 947. 19 mm., 3.75 g. (Purchased from Silbury Coins, UK, Sep. 2020.)*
    NEW Vibius Pansa Pan-Jupiter COMBINED.jpg *
    The mask of Pan on the obverse is a pun on the moneyer's cognomen, Pansa. (Crawford p. 465.) The figure of Jupiter A[n]xurus on the reverse (see the reverse legend) refers to an association of the moneyer’s gens, Vibia, with the town of Anxur (now Terracina). (See id.) The town is in Latium on the Tyrrhenian sea, about 98 km. southeast of Rome. See BMCRR at p. 510 at n. 1, stating that in Anxur “there was a special cult of Jupiter, whose temple was situated on the highest point of the city, and who was represented as a youth, handsome in features, and of perfect form; a representation suggested by the type of the coin.” See also John Melville Jones, A Dictionary of Ancient Roman Coins (Seaby, London 1990) at p. 153, under entry for Jupiter.

    Thanks for your help!

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  3. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member

    ...idk Donna...i can see why it'd be hard to choose :)
    DonnaML likes this.
  4. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    All are nice examples. I voted for numbers 1, 2, and 5. Some of the others could just as easily garnered a vote.
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  5. Ancient Aussie

    Ancient Aussie Supporter! Supporter

    3, 5 and 9 for me, but I can see why your not sure, I think it boils down to individual taste. All very nice coins.
    DonnaML likes this.
  6. happy_collector

    happy_collector Well-Known Member

    All beautiful denarii, Donna. I voted for #1, 5 and 7. They all share dynamic reverse designs. :)
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  7. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    The elephant takes the very early lead. Let's see if it holds up.
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  8. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

    1, 2 and 8 for me. I like the Limetanus and Plancius types and those are just great examples. I really the style and composition of the Servilius too.
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  9. Ryro

    Ryro They call me the 13th Caesar Supporter

    Clearly it's 8,6,5 & 2:cigar: :troll: but that's 4. And breaking it down to three may simply be impossible
    Dazzling coins:artist:
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  10. Alegandron

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

    I enjoy them all. Kinda like Kids. You cannot choose between them, cuz you lovem all!
    DonnaML likes this.
  11. cmezner

    cmezner do ut des Supporter

    Very difficult to choose - I was for 5, 6, 7, 8 but we only can choose three, so I left out the elephant because it is a bit off center and the Pietas looks as she would be crying. The she-wolf on number 7 and the blue toning are a beauty.
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  12. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & avid numismatist Moderator

    3, 5, and 8 for me, though they all have their appeal.
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  13. spirityoda

    spirityoda Coin Junky Supporter

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  14. Clavdivs

    Clavdivs Supporter! Supporter

    Lots of lists... 1,2,7 would be my selection
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  15. OutsiderSubtype

    OutsiderSubtype Well-Known Member

    Those are all pretty awesome. I voted for 2, 4, and 8 because I like the reverses. I think people are sleeping on #4 with the great little scene of the magistrate sending off the legionary eagle.
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  16. thomas mozzillo

    thomas mozzillo Supporter! Supporter

    I like 4, 7, and 9 for the list. Honorable mention for the rest.
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  17. Cucumbor

    Cucumbor Dombes collector Supporter

    3, 7 ans 8 in no particular order.
    All of them would have a room in my top 10 though.

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  18. Spaniard

    Spaniard Well-Known Member

    Donna that's a really nice group!....What a lovely dilemna to have, but a very difficult choice..
    I decided to not look at the descriptions and made a choice purely on how appealing to me they looked and came up with...#5, #8 and #4......
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  19. Robert Ransom

    Robert Ransom Well-Known Member

    2, 7, 9 because I like the look of the coins, just personal preference.
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  20. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Supporter! Supporter

    Donna, No doubt, #5 the elephant-stork denarius deserves a special place. #8 should have recognition too for its interesting composition & artwork. #3 Apollo & the satyr is my favorite. The detail on the reverse is remarkable :D.
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  21. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    Marsyas has to make the cut, of course. I mean, I'll take it personally otherwise :)

    But seriously, those are all very, very nice coins.
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