Roman Collector's Top 10 of 2021

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Roman Collector, Nov 27, 2021.


Which is your favorite?

  1. Lucius Verus 3 nymphs

    11 vote(s)
  2. Roman Republican goat biga

    13 vote(s)
  3. Apotheosis of Diva Faustina II sestertius

    15 vote(s)
  4. Antoninus Pius and the Apis Bull

    12 vote(s)
  5. Caracalla with Glykon and Asklepios

    25 vote(s)
  6. Volusian featuring Athena killing a serpent-legged monster

    18 vote(s)
  7. Faustina II with a dative case obverse inscription

    3 vote(s)
  8. Veiled bust as of Faustina I owned only by me and Orielensis

    4 vote(s)
  9. Faustina II mule

    2 vote(s)
  10. Julia Mamaea-Severus Alexander hybrid

    9 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Perhaps I’m getting a little ahead of myself, and I know it's not even December, but several other members have posted theirs and I am pretty sure I've already acquired my top ten for the year. I reserve the right to amend this list, though. I bought a lot of coins this year and narrowing the list down to ten was not easy. I indulged my Faustina fetish this year, to be sure; nonetheless, I hope you find these ten to be enjoyable and interesting.

    10. I find coins depicting the Three Graces and three nymphs types interesting. This Æ assarion of Lucius Verus from Augusta Trajana in Thrace was very interesting because the identity of the objects associated with the nymphs is unclear and has puzzled numerous numismatists over the years. @Ryro's identification of the objects as bongs notwithstanding, I think they are thymiateria -- incense burners. Read more about it here.

    Lucius Verus Augusta Traiana Three Nymphs.jpg

    9. Ever since @TIF posted about this Republican denarius featuring Juno driving a biga of goats, I've wanted one, especially because it reminded me of Michelle Pfeiffer in the movie "Stardust." It made for an interesting thread, with others sharing their examples of this fun coin and an academic discussion of whether Juno was portrayed in her avatar of Sospita or Caprotina.

    C Renius denarius Juno Caprotina driving biga of goats LAC.jpg

    8. This sestertius of Faustina II depicts the apotheosis of the deified empress. What's not to like about the coin? It has a lovely polished leather patina and it's the last Roman coin to depict the apotheosis of an empress by the eagle of Zeus before the peacock of Juno became the standard iconography thereafter.

    Faustina Jr CONSECRATIO S C Eagle flying left sestertius.jpg

    7. I love Antonine coins. I love provincials. I love coins that depict the iconography of paganism. I had to get this one! The description of the coin's reverse in RPC notwithstanding, I believe I convincingly demonstrate it depicts the Apis Bull. The thread was very interesting, especially because @DonnaML showed one of the items in her magnificent collection of Egyptian artifacts that depicted the Apis Bull with similar iconography.

    Antoninus Pius Nicaea Apis bull.jpg

    6. When I saw this big provincial of Caracalla for sale at @PeteB's website, Akropolis Ancient Coins, I knew I had to purchase it for my collection. Its reverse features a very interesting representation of Glykon flying through the air carrying Asklepios on his back. That my article was chosen to be featured was icing on the cake!

    Caracalla Pautalia Asklepios riding Glykon.jpg

    5. Ever since @TIF posted a fascinating thread about the Gigantomachy some five years ago, I've wanted one of these coins from Seleucia ad Calycadnum which depicts the mythological battle. One from Volusian fit the bill and I wrote about it in an installment of T-Bone Tuesday. What's not to love about Athena stabbing a monster with snakes for legs?

    Volusian Seleuceia ad Calycadnum Gigantomachy.jpg

    4. This beat up sestertius doesn't look like much, but it had been previously unattested with a dative case obverse inscription. This made for a very interesting thread, especially as @Marsyas Mike turned out to have an example in his collection, too. A few more examples from auction and sale databases turned up, all of which were obverse die matches.

    Faustina Jr DIANA LVCIFERA S C sestertius dative case inscription.jpg

    3. This as of Faustina I doesn't look like much, but it has a veiled bust, is unlisted in the major references, and it may be one of only two known specimens (which are die-matches to each other). @Orielensis owns the other one. You may read more about it here.

    Faustina Sr AVGVSTA S C Vesta standing As veiled.jpg

    2. I love this as of Faustina II, especially as it was a gift from @curtislclay. At first glance, it looks like a run-of-the-mill anepigraphic Diana middle bronze. But a careful examination reveals it's a mule with an obverse inscription that was used somewhat later, establishing not only a relative chronology for the two issues, but a fairly precise date, too! You may read more about it here.

    Faustina Jr S C Diana as mule with FAVSTINA AVGVSTA obv.jpg

    1. My favorite coin of the year was a generous gift from @Brian Bucklan, who discovered the coin. He and I puzzled over it and it turned out to be a hybrid between an obverse of Julia Mamaea issued for the Thracian city of Deultum and a reverse of Severus Alexander issued for the Moesian city of Marcianopolis!! This was a significant find and contributed to the body of evidence that there was a centralized mint along the Black Sea coast in the third century that struck coins for the cities in the region. To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time that a hybrid has been described between Deultum and Marcianopolis.

    Mamaea Deultum-Marcianopolis hybrid.jpg

    2021 -- like 2020 -- was hard on all of us in many different ways. I am grateful to all of my friends here at CT for providing fellowship and a place of refuge to de-stress from the year's events. I want to thank you all. I hope you have a wonderful 2022, filled with amazing acquisitions and, above all, good health.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2021
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  3. Ryro

    Ryro The last of the Diadochi Supporter

    Excellent year my friend:wideyed: Thoroughly enjoy all your Faustina rarities and provincials:artist:
    Well, of course yours aren't. They still have their clothes on:kiss:;)
    Mine on the other hand don't mind turning the other cheek (and showing it) while having a good time:cigar::cigar::cigar::

    VERY jealous of that gigantomachy:shy::singing:
    Though I do have the father of your coin flying Asklepios around on those snakes:

    Ps, I dropped a ithyphalic satyr in your last cornucopiae thread and nobody noticed. I think they all thought "it" was a cornucopiae:hilarious:
  4. TIF

    TIF Always learning. Supporter

    Wow, RC-- there is more diversity here than I thought there would be. Between this list and the oodles of specialist Faustina coins you acquired, it seem to be a banner year for your collection!

    I love your #1 and #2 choices for the reasons they were given that slot. Later in this thread (after retrieving some coins from the SDB), I'll add a few gift coins that are special to me.

    Of course I love #s 9, 6, and 5... which is why I bought them :D

    Roman Republic fourree mule denarius
    L. Antestius Gragulus, 136 BCE, and C. Renius, 138 BCE

    ancient forgery, 3.18 gm
    Obv: Roma helmeted head right, * below chin, GRAG behind
    Rev: Juno Caprotina in a biga of goats, C・RENI below, ROMA in exergue
    Ref: Obverse S.115, Cr.238/1, Syd.451, RSC Antestia 9; Reverse S.108, Cr.231/1, Syd.432, RSc Renia 1ée-denarius.270214/

    THRACE, Pautalia. Caracalla
    CE 198-217
    AE29, 16.4 gm
    Obv: AYT K M AY CEY ANTΩNEINOC; Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right
    Rev: OYΛΠIAC ΠAYTAΛIAC; Asklepios seated right on back of winged serpent
    Ref: Varbanov 5007

    CILICIA, Seleucia ad Calycadnum. Gordian III
    238-244 CE
    Æ 27 mm, 11 gm
    Obv: ...ΓOPΔIANO radiate and draped bust right; C/M dot within triangle (Howgego 670?)
    Rev: CEΛEVKEΩN; Athena advancing right, holding her shield with her extended left arm & preparing to hurl a spear at an anguipede giant (Enceladus?) who is throwing stones at her.
    Ref: c.f. SNG Levante 763

    Your #8 (Faustina II sestertius) is beautiful-- the type of look that begs to be touched. If that were my coin, I'd probably keep it out where I could fondle it regularly :D.
  5. happy_collector

    happy_collector Well-Known Member

    Great selections, @Roman Collector!

    I also like your three nymphs and the Caracalla provincial. As one of the Faustina Jr fans, I surely like your #1,2,3 and 4. :)

    Here is a biga of goats I picked up this year.

    Three graces
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2021
  6. ambr0zie

    ambr0zie Dacian Taraboste

    The goat biga, Antoninus Pius with bull and Faustina II with dative case are my choices.

    I was expecting the Faustina II Venus Victrix to be in the top and also that Faustina green as with Ceres seated.
  7. Deacon Ray

    Deacon Ray Ancient Kingdoms Supporter

    I like the action imagery on several of the reverses.

  8. kirispupis

    kirispupis Supporter! Supporter

    It's tough to choose between all of these well-researched coins. I love the design of the Three Graces coin, though the goat biga was a close second.
    Roman Collector likes this.
  9. Ancient Aussie

    Ancient Aussie Supporter! Supporter

    Great ten RC, I especially like your three graces with a great Lucius Verus portrait, congrats on a great year.
  10. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    You had a great year, @Roman Collector! It was hard to narrow it down to three favorites, but I ended up picking the C. Renius goat biga, the Antoninus Pius Apis bull, and the Caracalla Glykon. I had no doubt when you posted the bull originally that it was an Apis bull, and I'm still surprised that anyone would think otherwise. The solar disk and uraeus seem rather obvious to me!

    Here's my goat biga:

    C. Renius (biga with goats) jpg version.jpg
  11. ominus1

    ominus1 ...BE SEEING YOU! Supporter

    ..great selection RC...:)
    Roman Collector likes this.
  12. Spaniard

    Spaniard Supporter! Supporter

    Excellent group @Roman Collector!.....Some very interesting coins...
    Sooo difficult to make any decision but eventually picked out 9, 5 and of course that lovely FII flying eagle reverse Sestertius....Congrats on a great collecting year.
    Here's my flying eagle..
    ap drachm.jpg
  13. akeady

    akeady Well-Known Member

    Nice selection for the year! I voted for Lucius Verus and his backing group mostly because I found a decent Three Graces in an uncleaned lot quite a few years ago.

    Roman Collector likes this.
  14. cmezner

    cmezner do ut des Supporter

    Awesome coins @Roman Collector, some reverses I had not seen before; all of them very interesting. Voted for 5, 6 and 8
    Roman Collector likes this.
  15. Limes

    Limes Supporter! Supporter

    Sweet group! I really like the two coins with the mythical reverses, with the image of the gigantomachy on the Volusian being my favorite. I voted for the Antoninus Pius too, because of the interesteing and appealing reverse with bull. Wish you the best for 2022!
    Roman Collector likes this.
  16. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Supporter! Supporter

    R.C., A fascinating group of coins :happy:! My Favorite is #6, the Caracalla bronze, followed by #9, the Republican goat-biga, & 3rd place goes to #1, the Julia Mamaea hybrid.
    Roman Collector likes this.
  17. gogili1977

    gogili1977 Well-Known Member

    Great coins. My favorite are #6 and #10.
    Roman Collector likes this.
  18. Ignoramus Maximus

    Ignoramus Maximus Nomen non est omen.

    A great selection, @Roman Collector! Thank you for showing.

    Since I have a weak spot for mythological creatures I voted for the Caracalla reverse with Glykon and Asklepios and the Volusian with a scene of the Gigantomachy.
    And, although it's way out of my comfort zone in collecting, I really liked the story behind the Julia Mamea/Severus Alexander hybrid. The sleuthing must have been an exciting adventure.

    All the best in '22 and happy coin hunting!:)
    Roman Collector likes this.
  19. GinoLR

    GinoLR Well-Known Member

    My favourite is the Diva Faustina II sestertius. Just because of the elegance of the much-circulated coin and its smooth patina.
    The last one I bought was for the same reasons...

    27 29 mm 20 56 g.jpg
  20. Shea19

    Shea19 Supporter! Supporter

    Very nice group, RC. My favorites are the Caracalla/Glycon bronze, the Gigantomachy bronze, and the Faustina apotheosis sestertius. And thanks for another year of so many excellent articles!
    Roman Collector likes this.
  21. Curtisimo

    Curtisimo the Great(ish) Supporter

    Great list @Roman Collector ! My favorites;
    • #5 - What an interesting subject. I like mythological coins.
    • #6 - This is a fascinating coin and an enjoyable read from your original thread.
    • #7 - The Apis bull. Sweeeeet! Your example is pretty definitive with the uraeus crown. My favorite bull may or may not be the Apis but I think is still relevant to add on here.

    I am also a fan of your Faustina apotheosis. Great coin! Congrats on another great year RC. :)
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