Roman Republican Denarius 46: Desultor

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by DonnaML, Feb 13, 2021.

  1. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    I've wanted a Roman Republican coin with a desultor on the reverse ever since I first saw an example, probably here on Coin Talk. I recently saw one that I found extremely appealing because it's well-centered and all the major design elements are preserved -- even though it certainly isn't in the "best" condition -- so I decided to buy it.

    Roman Republic, C. Marcius Censorinus, AR Denarius, Rome 88 BCE. Obv. Jugate diademed heads, right, of kings Numa Pompilius, bearded [legendary second king of Rome], and Ancus Marcius, beardless [his grandson, the legendary fourth king of Rome], no control-mark / Rev. Desultor on horseback galloping right, wearing pileus [conical cap], with second horse at his side, holding whip with right hand and holding reins for both horses with left hand; in exergue, C•CENSO; no control-mark. Crawford 346/1i [no control-marks], RSC I Marcia 18a [no control marks], BMCR 2367 [no control-marks], see also id. 2368-2393 [various control-marks], Sydenham 713, Sear RCV I 256 [illustration has control-mark]. 17 mm., 3.72 g. [Purchased from Munthandel G. Henzen, Netherlands, Feb. 2021; ex. Dutch private collection.]*

    C. Marcius Censorinus - desultor on horseback on reverse - jpg version.jpg

    *The moneyer, as was traditional for the gens Marcia, belonged to the populares faction, and was “one of the leading men of the Marian party; he was the accuser of Sulla for malversation upon his return from Asia in BC 91. He entered Rome with Marius and Cinna in BC 87, and took a leading part in the massacres which ensued.” BMCRR p. 301 n. 1. In 87, as a military tribune or prefect for Marius, he famously commanded the cavalry that attacked and killed the consul Gnaeius Octavius, and then brought his head to Marius’s ally Cinna (who then controlled Rome) before nailing it to the Rostra -- according to the historian Appian, the first time the head of a consul was displayed on the Rostra, but unfortunately not the last. Censorinus died in 82 BCE in the course of the final struggle against Sulla, when he was taken prisoner in the defeat at the Battle of the Colline Gate and was put to death. See id.; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcius_Censorinus; Crawford p. 361.

    The obverse design “records the descent of the gens Marcia from Ancus Marcius [citing Plutarch, Suetonius, and Ovid] and hence also from [Ancus Marcius's] grandfather Numa Pompilius, a piece of genealogical fiction.” Crawford p. 361; accord BMCRR p. 301 n. 2. The reverse types on all of the denarii issued by this moneyer “commemorate the foundation of the Ludi Apollinares, which were instituted in BC 212 in virtue of a prophecy of the soothsayer Marcius.” Id; accord Crawford p. 361. This particular type “represents the race in which a rider (desultor) was provided with two horses, from one to the other of which he sprang during the race.” BMCRR p. 301 n. 2. See also Jones, John Melville, A Dictionary of Ancient Roman Coins (Seaby, London, 1990), entry for “Desultor,” at p. 94, defining the term as follows:

    “One who leaps down or dismounts, the name given to a competitor in games at Rome who, in a manner not now clearly understood, took part in a horse race using more than one horse. It may be assumed that he had to change horses at least once during the race. In a collection of myths by the Roman writer Hyginus the statement occurs that a desultor wore a pileus because his actions symbolized the alternate immortality of Castor and Pollux [i.e., as he switched from one horse to the other]. This may be true but when a rider with two horses appears on Republican coins, the type should be regarded as agonistic rather than religious.”

    At p. 361, Crawford describes 9 different subtypes of this issue, differing in whether and where control-letters, numerals, symbols, and “fractional signs” appear, i.e., on the obverse and/or the reverse. This type, with no control-mark of any kind on either side of the coin -- and it seems unlikely that any such mark would have worn off completely but left all the other major features of the design, including the whip in the rider’s hand, still clearly visible -- is the ninth subtype, denominated Crawford 345/1i. Taking all subtypes together, there are a total of 102 obverse dies and 113 reverse dies. Id. Thus, the number of dies with no control-marks is quite scarce when compared to the total number of dies with one or more control-marks of any kind, but is no more scarce, when compared on a one-to-one basis, than the number of dies with any given individual control mark or marks.

    ***

    In my Top 10 list for 2020 (all Roman Republican), I recall that four or five were issued by supporters of Sulla, celebrating or anticipating his victories. This, I believe, is my first coin issued by a supporter of Marius. So I'm pleased to have it for that reason -- a little ancient political balance can't hurt my collection! -- as well as because I love the portrayal of the desultor.

    Please post your coins issued by Marius supporters, your coins issued by other members of the gens Marcia (especially those bearing the cognomen Censorinus), your coins depicting one or more Kings of Rome, and/or your coins showing desultors -- I know there are others.

    To start, here's my one coin from another Marcius Censorinus:

    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 bonu 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
    Here's a coin with another depiction of Ancus Marcius, the 4th king of Rome, by still another member of the gens Marcia:

    Roman Republic, L. Marcius Philippus, AR Denarius, 56 BCE, Rome Mint. Obv. Diademed head of Ancus Marcius [fourth King of Rome] right, lituus behind, ANCVS below / Rev. The Aqua Marcia aqueduct, represented as an arcade of five arches surmounted by an equestrian statue right [portraying Quintus Marcius Rex, builder of that aqueduct], with horse rearing; flower below horse; PHILIPPVS on left, AQVAMAR [MAR in monogram] within the arches. Crawford 425/1, RSC I Marcia 28, Sydenham 919, Sear RCV I 382 (ill.), Harlan, Michael, Roman Republican Moneyers and their Coins 63 BCE - 49 BCE (2d ed. 2015) (“RRM II”), Ch. 15 at pp. 122-128. 18 mm., 3.92 mm., 7 h.*

    Marcius Philippus Horseman on Aqueduct COMBINED 1.jpg

    * The moneyer, Lucius Marcius Philippus (triumvir in 56 BCE, praetor in 44, suffect consul in 38 BCE) was the stepbrother of Gaius Octavius [later Augustus] (age seven at the time of this issue). The moneyer’s father, also named Lucius Marcius Philippus (consul in 56 BCE), was Octavius's stepfather by virtue of marrying the widow Atia, who was the mother of Octavius and Julius Caesar's niece (the daughter of Caesar’s sister Julia and her husband M. Atius Balbus). See Sear RCV I at p.145, Harlan, RRM II at pp. 122, 127-128.

    The gens Marcia, to which the moneyer belonged, was named after Ancus Marcius, depicted on the obverse -- the legendary fourth king of Rome, who was the founder of that gens, and, therefore, the moneyer’s ancestor. (The lituus probably represents the king's augurship.) Quintus Marcius Rex, the horseman depicted by the equestrian statue atop the Aqua Marcia aqueduct on the reverse, and the builder of that aqueduct in 144 BCE when he was praetor, was a distant cousin of the moneyer. However, he was not actually the moneyer’s ancestor, because Quintus belonged to the Reges branch of the gens Marcia, rather than the moneyer's Philippi branch of that gens. The two branches had separated by the end of the third century. Harlan, RRM II at pp.122-126. See id. for details on the size of the aqueduct and its reputation (according to Pliny) of having the coolest and most healthful waters of all Roman aqueducts. See Pliny, Naturalis Historia, 31.41. [Remainder of footnote omitted.]

    Finally, another depiction of the second king of Rome, Numa Pompilius:

    Roman Republic, L. Pomponius Molo, AR Denarius, 97 BCE. Obv. Laureate head of Apollo right, L•POMPON• MOLO / Rev. Numa Pompilius [legendary second king of Rome after Romulus], holding lituus in left hand, standing right before a lighted altar, at which he is about to sacrifice a goat, which is led by a victimarius standing left, NVMA•POMPIL in exergue (MA and MP in monogram). Crawford 334/1, RSC I Pomponia 6 (ill.), BMCRR Italy 733, Sydenham 607, Sear RCV I 214 (ill.). 19.7 mm., 3.86 g.[Double die match to CNG E-Auction 157, Jan. 2007, Lot 149?]*

    Pomponius Molo jpg version.jpg

    *See RSC I at p. 77: “This type is an allusion to the supposed descent of the gens [Pomponia] from Pompo, one of the sons of Numa Pompilius, who is here represented as sacrificing to Apollo.” Crawford’s interpretation is the same; see Crawford Vol. I at p. 333.

    Note that on the last two coins, as on the first, Ancus Marcius is beardless and Numa Pompilius is (or at least appears to be) bearded. Presumably, that was the tradition.

    To repeat myself -- if anyone's gotten this far! -- please post your coins issued by Marius supporters or members of the gens Marcia (especially with the cognomen Censorinus), and coins showing Roman Kings or desultors.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2021
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  3. rrdenarius

    rrdenarius non omnibus dormio Supporter

    great coin & write-up
    I have one from Spain too.
    DSCN2299.JPG
    DSCN2296.JPG
     
  4. Scipio

    Scipio Well-Known Member

    Here are my Censorinus denarii: 962544B2-1715-4807-81AC-7C113B9BB5A6.jpeg 1FB3135A-1F45-41D0-810C-5EABE91F89B9.jpeg 1A515A69-DED7-454E-BA35-576F69C59856.jpeg AED7CD10-094B-473B-838F-2CDDE27724C8.jpeg B572CAA2-F507-42E1-BD7E-49ACA7EFD5C5.jpeg AE387151-6AFD-4583-A567-4D8A74DD546F.jpeg
     
  5. Sulla80

    Sulla80 one coin at a time Supporter

    Another nice addition, @DonnaML, with a well centered C. Marcius Censorinus - often poorly executed coins. I will add this denarius with equestrian statue reverse over the aqueduct built by Quintus Marcius Rex, Aqua Marcia. This also adds to the Marius theme of the post, as a coin from the lifetime of Marius, near the time he was a year in Spain as praetor. Returning from Spain he married Julius Caesar's Aunt, Julia, ~113 BC.

    "After his praetorship, however, the province of Farther Spain was allotted to him, and here he is said to have cleared away the robbers, although the province was still uncivilized in its customs and in a savage state, and robbery was at that time still considered a most honorable occupation by the Spaniards."
    -Plutarch, Lives, Marius 6
    Mn Aemilius Lepidus 114.jpg
    Mn. Aemilius Lepidus, 114-113 BC, AR Denarius, Rome mint
    Obv: Laureate, diademed, and draped bust of Roma right; mark of value to left
    Rev: Equestrian statue right on three arches
    Ref: Crawford 291/1; Sydenham 554; Aemilia 7; RBW 1124

    Marius' first of seven consulships was in 107 BC and the moneyer responsible for this coin was the co-consul in 100 BC with Marius. At the time he was so aligned with Marius that this disparaging comment is shared by Plutarch:

    "Then, according to Rutilius, who is generally a lover of truth and an honest man, but had a private quarrel with Marius, he actually got his sixth consulship by paying down large sums of money among the tribes, and by buying votes made Metellus lose his election to the office, and obtained as his colleague in the consulship, Valerius Flaccus, who was more a servant than a colleague"
    -Plutarch, Lives, Marius 28.5

    His political alignment moved, perhaps after his cousin was murdered by pro-Marian factions in Asia in 85 BC and he was responsible for introducing the bill to make Sulla dictator in 82 BC.
    L Valerius Flaccus 108.jpg
    L. Valerius Flaccus, 108-107 BC, AR Denarius, Rome mint
    Obv: Winged and draped bust of Victory right; mark of value below chin
    Rev: Mars advancing left, holding spear and trophy; apex to left, stalk of grain to right
    Ref: Crawford 306/1; Sydenham 565; Valeria 11; RBW 1147
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2021
  6. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Lovely coin, @DonnaML, and now one on my want list, too. Your write-up was very informative and got me thinking about the etymology of desultory. So, I went to Merriam-Webster's web page and this is what the lexicographers had to say:

    Did You Know?
    The Latin adjective desultorius, the parent of desultory, was used by the ancients to refer to a circus performer (called a desultor) whose trick was to leap from horse to horse without stopping. It makes sense, therefore, that someone or something desultory "jumps" from one thing to another. (Desultor and desultorius, by the way, are derived from the Latin verb salire, which means "to leap.") A desultory conversation leaps from one topic to another and doesn't have a distinct point or direction. A desultory student skips from one subject to another without applying serious effort to any one. A desultory comment is a digressive one that jumps away from the topic at hand. And a desultory performance is one resulting from an implied lack of steady, focused effort.​
     
  7. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    L. Philippus 1.jpg
    L PHILIPPUS ROMAN REPUBLIC; GENS MARCIA
    AR Denarius
    OBVERSE: Head of Philip V of Macedon right, wearing diademed royal Macedonian helmet with goat horns; Roma in monogram behind, Φ below chin
    REVERSE: L. PHILIPPVS on tablet below statue of equestrian, carrying laurel-branch; flower below horse; mark of value (XVI in monogram) in exergue
    Rome 113-112 BC
    3.8g, 20mm
    Crawford 293/1; Sydenham 551
    L Censorinus a.jpg
    L CENSORINUS ROMAN REPUBLIC; GENS MARCIA
    AR Denarius
    OBVERSE: Laureate head of Apollo right
    REVERSE: L CENSOR, the satyr, Marsyas, standing left with wineskin over shoulder; behind him, column surmounted by draped figure (Minerva?)
    Rome 82 BC
    3.66g, 17mm
    Cr363/1d, Marcia 24
    L Marcus Philippus.jpg
    L MARCUS PHILIPPUS ROMAN REPUBLIC; GENS MARCIA
    AR Denarius
    OBVERSE: Diademed head of Ancus Marcius right, lituus hehind, ANCVS below
    REVERSE: Equestrian statue right on an arcade of five arches; flower below horse, AQVA MAR between arches, PHILLIVS behind
    Rome 56 BC
    3.06g
    Cr425/1, Marcia 28, Syd 919
     
  8. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    Great coins and write-up, as always, Donna. I have a couple of the Marsyas issues by Censorinus. Here are some:

    This one has a die-clash:

    RR - Censorinus - Marsyas Den. die clash Nov. 2017 (3).JPG RR - Censorinus - Marsyas Den. die clash Nov. 2017 (4a).jpg
    Roman Republic Denarius
    Lucius Marcius Censorinus
    (82 B.C.) - Rome Mint

    Laureate head of Apollo right / L CENSOR Satyr Marsyas, bearded, nude & drunk holding wineskin before column bearing statue (Minerva?).
    Crawford 363/1d; Marcia 24; Sydenham 737.
    (3.47 grams / 17 mm)


    This one is a bit underweight - when I posted it on CT a few years back it was dubbed a fake. Although I have bought a couple of RR denarii fakes, I am still a bit unsure about this one:
    RR - Censorinus Marsyas Jun 2016 (0).jpg
    Roman Republic Denarius
    Lucius Marcius Censorinus
    (82 B.C.) - Rome Mint

    Laureate head of Apollo right / L CENSOR Satyr Marsyas, bearded, nude & drunk holding wineskin before column bearing statue (Minerva?).
    Crawford 363/1d; Marcia 24; Sydenham 737.
    (2.95 g. / 17 mm) (Spain)

    Here's my low-grade avatar with COVID mask:
    _Marcia - Censorinus Marsyas Avatar MASK July 2020.jpg
    RR - Marcia Marsyas den. Dec 2016 (0).jpg
    Roman Republic Denarius
    Lucius Marcius Censorinus
    (82 B.C.) - Rome Mint

    Laureate head of Apollo right / L CENSOR Satyr Marsyas, bearded, nude & drunk holding wineskin before column bearing statue (Minerva?).
    Crawford 363/1d; Marcia 24; Sydenham 737.
    (3.34 g. / 16 mm)
     
  9. Alegandron

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

    Very nice coins, and super pickup on that Censorinus, @DonnaML . Very nice, explanatory, and concise writeup. Thank you!

    I regret you "stumped the band" for my contribution, until you threw out your Molo! I got one :)

    upload_2021-2-13_8-31-16.png
    RR AR Denarius 3.88g L Pomponius Molo 97 BCE Rome Apollo Numa Pompilius stdng Lituus alter sacrifice goat Cr 334-1 Syd 607 NUMA
     
  10. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

    Learnt something new today! Here's my non-desultory contribution... :D

    RR - T Quinctius New 219.jpg ROMAN REPUBLIC. Ti. Quinctius
    AR Denarius. 3.83g, 20mm. Rome mint, 112-111 BC. Crawford 297/1b; Sydenham 563; Quinctia 6. O: Laureate bust of Hercules left, seen from behind, wearing lion skin across shoulders, club over right shoulder. R: Two horses galloping left; a desultor riding the nearest one; •/X above, rat below; TI and Q; D•S•S incuse on tablet in exergue.
    Ex Demetrios Armounta Collection, acquired from Seaby on 12 Sep 1963
     
  11. kevin McGonigal

    kevin McGonigal Well-Known Member

    Thanks for that etymology. before today's postings I had no idea what a desultator did or why he was so named. I was also somewhat shaky on its use in English as desultory.
     
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  12. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Basileus Megalos

    Cool coin and nice write-up Donna.
     
    DonnaML likes this.
  13. Scipio

    Scipio Well-Known Member

    @Roman Collector I have learned a new English word, as I’ve never heard before the term desultory! Amazing how after millennia terms that are dead in neo-latin languages are still alive in English.
     
  14. Ryro

    Ryro They call me the 13th Caesar Supporter

    Great new coin and writeup Donna:bookworm::artist:
    I'll happily add my latest and greatest RR Philipus:
    1571400_1607291685.l-removebg-preview.png

    And here's that fool Flaccus! This image captures zero of the old cabinet toning that the coin has gained in the few years its been in my collection and needs a reshoot:
    20190326_105421_F227EC6F-2A90-4383-A1A0-38BAE9C90C1D-406-0000007FA13E44C1.png
     
  15. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    Thanks, everyone, for posting all your wonderful coins. (I always try to think of as many options as possible for getting people involved!)

    And thanks for the etymological lesson connecting "desultory" to "desultor," @Roman Collector. Desultory has always been one of those fairly obscure adjectives that I often see but can never quite remember its exact meaning (probably because I didn't learn it as a child). I don't think I'll ever forget it now!

    By the way, has anyone ever seen a performer riding two horses at a circus and jumping back and forth between them? I have, and I wonder how many of them know how old the tradition is. For all I know it goes back at least to the days of ancient Crete and the bull-leaping portrayed in Minoan art. (I vividly remember the wonderful chapters in Mary Renault's "The King Must Die" about young Theseus's experiences in the bull ring in Crete.)

    As for coins portraying the legendary Kings of Rome, we know there are multiple coins portraying #1 (Romulus, at least as an infant), #2 (Numa Pompilius), and #4 (Ancus Marcius). Does anyone know if there are any coins portraying #3 (Tullus Hostilius), #5 (Lucius Tarquinius Priscus), #6 (Servius Tullius), or #7 (Lucius Tarquinius Superbus)? I'm aware, of course, that the last one at least was viewed as a "bad guy" by the later Romans.

    Separately, what is the current historical consensus as to whether there's definitive evidence of the historicity of any of the named Kings -- i.e., whether any of them actually existed? We know that a monarchy existed (although, from reading Mary Beard and other sources, the details of its structure are murky, for example, whether the early ones were anything more than warlord types). And I do remember reading that there were probably many more Kings than the named seven (given that it's rather unlikely that they could have actually reigned an average of 30+ years apiece). But did any of those seven named Kings exist?
     
  16. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    And now some more surprising news. I received a PM from another member here (whom I won't name), informing me that Henzen, the dealer from whom I purchased the OP (Numa Pompilius & Ancus Marcius/Desultor) has a reputation for repatinating ancient silver coins like the one I bought. There's certainly no disclosure of any such practice on his website (www.henzen.org) or at his MA-Shops store, but looking at his other Roman Republican coins, a number of them do seem to have a similar gray or bluish-gray toning in the fields. My correspondent didn't answer a question about whether he knows if this allegedly artificial effect is obtained by a chemical process or otherwise.

    I know that there's a wide variety of opinion on the ethics of repatination (as long as it doesn't involve actual tooling or other recarving), and how much is "allowed" -- from chemicals (viz. Athena Numismatics) to artificial desert patina (Zurqieh) to actual paint. (FontanilleCoins.com had a couple of long essays on the subject that I read only a month or so ago, but they've now disappeared, and I can't even find them on the Wayback Machine.)

    If the allegation is true, it's disappointing that the dealer didn't disclose what he did. However, as long as there's no indication of recarving, I still like the coin and the way it looks -- a lot more than I like Athena's ridiculous blue artificial patina! -- and I'm strongly inclined to keep the coin nonetheless.

    Does anyone have any thoughts as to whether my coin looks repatinated, and, if so, how the result might have been achieved? Should I try to reverse the process? I'm reluctant to engage in amateur chemistry; I nearly flunked the subject in high school because I was so bored I never paid attention to our extremely elderly teacher droning away. (Supposedly, he lived with his mother.)
     
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  17. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member

    nice coin & write up @DonnaML ...kool info @Roman Collector , you surely are an educator! :)..idk about the patina redo..the seller might be a candidate for the 'A to Z' club(authentic coin, fake patina sellers).. but i wouldn't let that influence me too much on a coin i liked..i'll show me king & aqueduct coin L. Phillipus Marcius Equestrian on Aquaduct 003.JPG L. Phillipus Marcius Equestrian on Aquaduct 002.JPG
     
  18. Nemo

    Nemo Well-Known Member

    I think the toning looks great on your coin @DonnaML. I do not care how a silver coin received its toning, all I care about is how it looks.

    There is a lot of discussion about "real" vs "fake" toning. The coins near my fireplace tone completely different than the coins I keep in a cabinet and still different than the coins kept on my table. While I can't really control it, I intentionally choose where I store my coins for the desired results, and with a fair degree of accuracy. Is that real or fake?

    Here's a before and after:

    Titus Eagle.jpg

    Titus Left Eagle.jpg
    I love this toning! If I told you I did it by putting it by the fireplace or in a container with a scrambled egg or in a special paper holder for 200 years, who cares?

    This is very different than retoning a bronze coin with a finish that is coated on or a sand that is applied. All silver coins are going to tone one way or another.

    Just my 2 cents.
     
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  19. Nemo

    Nemo Well-Known Member

    Well, if i told you i put it in an envelope for 200 years, that would be pretty cool because then I would be more than 200 years old. Just saying....
     
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  20. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    Nemo makes some good points - I've had some silver coins that had been cleaned white develop a pleasant toning after a few years if not left in a holder. There is nothing artificial or even intentional about it.

    The word "patina" makes me uncomfortable in regards to silver coins. To me patina is what happens to bronze/copper/brass. Genuine AE patina takes centuries to develop. A fake patina on a bronze coin came about from a definite chemical "faking" process. Maybe "tone" for silver and "patina" for AE is a good distinction to make?

    I think your coin looks fine, Donna. But I agree sellers shouldn't be cooking coins (or whatever) to perk up the color. You could clean it back to white and let nature take its course (not what I would do, however).
     
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  21. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    I agree that if what I was told is true, doing that kind of thing without disclosure isn't really kosher. On the other hand, I like the way my coin looks, and have no intention of trying to reverse whatever was done to it. Even though I'm still curious about what the dealer did to achieve that effect. Here's another example from the same dealer of a Roman Republican denarius (by L. Rubrienus Dossenus), which I tried to buy a couple of months ago but was told it had just been sold. (I loved the wolf's head coming off the back on the reverse -- the only example of the type I've ever seen on which it's clear that that's what it's supposed to be.) It has a very similar look to me to my coin, if that helps anyone figure out what was done:

    Rubrienus Dossenus - sold example from Henzen.jpg
     
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