Rare Aes Grave in the recent BFA auction - high wow factor

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by rrdenarius, Dec 16, 2020.

  1. rrdenarius

    rrdenarius non omnibus dormio Supporter

    I watched the Bertolami Fine Arts (12/14 - 15/20) auction yesterday with more than average interest. The auction included the 111 lot HP Heavy Cast Bronze Coinage Collection. I hope that when my heirs sell / donate my collection it will deserve a fancy name too. Highlights of the auction included a Herringbone / dolphin cast bar, a 2 As coin of the Romma / Wheel series and a Hercules / horse head As that sold for 18M GBP. At times the bidding was too fast for my bid to make it through the system before the price changed. I picked up two nice coins and will show them when they make it to Texas.
    I also won what the auctioneer called the "bargain of the auction". It is a Beetle / Flower semuncia that hammered for a whopping 40 GBP.

    Cast Semuncia Beetle / 4 Petal Flower; Central Italy, ICC 318​


    Unknown mint in Central Italy, Cast AE Semuncia, 3rd century BC
    Obv - Beetle, three identifications for this coin are: Scarab, Beetle and Acorn
    Rev - Sunburst of four rays. Based on the pictures below from Haeberlin, I think the reverse is a 4 petal flower.
    aVF, irregular shape, features worn, but mostly there. Brown-green tone. Very rare.
    11 grams = 264 gram equivalent As
    23 mm
    12 H, seller said 2 as did several other vendors. This cast coin is like several others in that I do not know what the maker of the coin intended to be “up”.
    BMCG Italy pg 60 shows 3 similar coins
    #40 & #41 – Scarab / 4 leaved flower
    #42 – acorn / 4 leaved flower​
    HNItaly 397; beetle / star of 4 rays; notes this coin is probably related to BMCG-I 60.42
    ICC 318, wt range 8.0 – 20.4 grams
    TV 235, 252 – Vecchi identifies the obv as Beetle or acorn and the rev as 4 leaf flower
    Syd AG 116
    Haeberlin pg 171, 1 – 28; pl 69, 12 – 14
    Obv: Kafer von oben gesehen - Beetle seen from above
    Rev: vierblattrige blume - four-petalled flower
    Average Wt of 22 examples = 12.87 grams = 308.88 gram eq as​
    Not in: Garrucci; Historia NVMORVM by B Head; Crawford; Grueber; Kircheriano

    Head noted there many small cast coins that he and others have not identified: Uncertian Aes Grave – There are, in addition to the above-mentioned bronze coins chiefly of Central Italy, many other similar pieces described and engraved by Garrucci, the attribution of which to special districts is not yet proved.

    There were plenty of other interesting coins. If you won one, let us know.

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  3. tibor

    tibor Supporter! Supporter

    There were dozens of neat pieces in that section of the auction. One day
    I will buy a few for my collection. Considering rarity and age of the
    AES, they are bargains. The piece you show above is a beauty!!
    rrdenarius likes this.
  4. Andres2

    Andres2 Well-Known Member

    Love the Dupondius 608 gram 80 mm , but that one got over my budget with 9500 GBP incl the juice.

    I settled for this one:

    P1150665 (4) Aes grave no price.JPG
  5. Carthago

    Carthago Does this look infected to you?

    I bought this and made my competitor pay very dearly for a few others that I underbid.


    Roman Republic, Apollo/Apollo series, Cast Semis, Rome, ca. 270 BC; AE (g 161; mm 51; h 12); Pegasus flying r.; below, S, Rv. Same type l. Crawford 18/2;

    ex Sternberg sale XVII May 1986, lot 415
    ancientone, galba68, Jay GT4 and 22 others like this.
  6. rrdenarius

    rrdenarius non omnibus dormio Supporter

    Congrats! That is the best Pegasus Semis I have seen. I bid on several coins that someone wanted more, and bought two that had no other bids.
    Carthago likes this.
  7. Ignoramus Maximus

    Ignoramus Maximus Nomen non est omen.

    Great coins everyone and congratulations on your wins!

    Not surprised you followed that auction, @rrdenarius, it was right up your alley.
    Looking forward to seeing the other coins you bought when they arrive.

    Needless to say, I followed it as well.:)
    Although Roman coins aren't my real focus, I simply couldn't resist the lure of these cast beauties. The archaic look and the lovely earthen patina of some of them blew me away. And that's before considering their hefty weight and size...
    Must be a great feeling to hold half a pound of numismatic history in your hand!

    However, it was also a frustrating auction since I ended up the underbidder on 4 or 5 lots, (although, honestly, that was at least in part since I already had blown most of my limited budget on the preceding Antiquities auction half an hour before:)). If anyone on CT won one of them, then at least they went to a good home, and sorry if I pressed the price up a bit for you...

    I finally did manage to win one lot toward the end. It's no match to @Andres2 Janus (lovely patina!) or @Carthago impressive Pegasus semis, but I love the green patina and I'm looking forward to hold it in hand...


    Apulia; Luceria. Cast Quatrunx, ca. 225-217 BC.
    43 mm, 111 gr. 12h.
    Obv: thunderbolt
    Rev: club, 4 pellets to left
    HN Italy 671; ICC 339

    ( I believe the photographer got the club upside down: all other pictures I've seen place the club's handle on top and the pellets to right).
  8. rrdenarius

    rrdenarius non omnibus dormio Supporter

    great coin @Ignoramus Maximus. I am sure you coin will be good to hold. I have a thunderbolt / club coin, but it is one of the smaller series.
    club thunderbolt TV282 AA 4.30.17.jpg club thunderbolt r TV282 AA 4.30.17.jpg
    Jay GT4, +VGO.DVCKS, tibor and 7 others like this.
  9. Backtoithaka

    Backtoithaka Member

    An amazing auction indeed!

    I was lucky enough to purchase lots 88, 110, 168, and 172:


    I went out of the auction frustrated of not being as wealthy as Donald J Trump (who probably does not care for such stuff). Are we all raving mad?

    Keep safe and get the vaccine as soon as it is available to you.
  10. Archeocultura

    Archeocultura Well-Known Member

    I am happy with this big lot at $15 per coin! Bertolami lot.jpg
  11. Jay GT4

    Jay GT4 Well-Known Member

    Nice coins everyone. I've always liked these early cast types. Here's one of mine I picked up last year. Love the weight of these...
    Æ Aes Grave (cast) Quadrans
    Head of young Hercules left, wearing lion skin; ••• (mark of value) to right; all on a raised disk

    Prow of galley right; ••• (mark of value) below; all on a raised disk.

    Rome, Circa 225-217 BC.

    Libral standard

    40mm; 58.73g

    Crawford 35/4; ICC 80; HN Italy 340; RBW 88

    aVF for type, not as rough in hand
  12. rrdenarius

    rrdenarius non omnibus dormio Supporter

    Great coins! The Sickle Semis is great! The acorn sigma is really heavy!
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