Shea19's Top 10 for 2019

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Shea19, Dec 8, 2019.

  1. Shea19

    Shea19 Supporter! Supporter

    I've enjoyed everyone’s Top 10 lists, so I figured it was about time to do one myself.

    It’s been an excellent year of collecting for me, not just for the coins, but mostly because I finally started posting here on Cointalk this year. The amount of knowledge on this site is absolutely unbelievable, I’ve learned so much in a short time. This board has also got me in to some new collecting areas this year...I've added some Alexandria tets after seeing some of the wonderful posts from @TIF , @zumbly , and many others, and I've also picked up some nice provincial tetradrachms from the Eastern mints after seeing some of the beauties posted by @Al Kowsky and @dougsmit . So thank you all for being so welcoming, and I'm very happy to be a (small) part of this community.

    And now on to the coins...

    10. Trajan Decius Antoninianus
    I love this portrait of Decius...he looks older and a little-more battle tested, and some nice toning as well. Although they paired this with the oldest, most worn-out reverse die that they could find lying around the mint, the portrait alone put this one in my top 10.
    Trajan Decius, AR antoninianus (22 mm, 4.05 g). Rome, A.D. 250. IMP C M Q TRAIANVS DECIVS AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust of Trajan Decius right / ADVENTVS AVG, emperor on horseback left, extending arm in salute and holding scepter. RIC 11b.

    9. Hadrian Tetradrachm- Alexandria
    Just a nice, big, bold portrait of Hadrian, and one of my first coins from Alexandria.
    C0EAF8BD-4506-4BB2-B78B-434E52A8B9A3.jpeg Hadrian, Egypt, Alexandria, BI Tetradrachm, circa 136-137 (year 21), (24.5mm., 13.20g). Laureate head of Hadrian, right/ Rev. Demeter wearing peplos standing left; holding corn-ears and sceptre.

    8. Ptolemy VIII Euergretes II (Physcon) bronze
    This is a recent acquisition from CNG that I haven't posted here yet. I really like the portrait of Zeus-Ammon, and although this is somehow considered only "medium-sized" for a Ptolemaic bronze, it's a nice-sized piece at 29 mm, 22g. I'll eventually have to get me one of the large hockey-puck style bronzes, but I'm very happy with this one for now.
    Ptolemy VIII Euergetes II (Physcon). 145-116 BC, (AE 29mm, 22.09g), Alexandria Mint. Series 7. Diademed head of Zeus-Ammon right/Two eagles with their wings closed standing left on thunderbolt; cornucopia to left. Svoronos 1424B (Joint reign of Ptolemy VI and VIII)
    Purchased from CNG E-Auction 456.

    7. Commodus Tetradrachm- Dattari Collection
    I'm usually more of a "portrait" guy, but I bought this one for the reverse. I love the image of Commodus sacrificing to Serapis...I liked the idea of seeing Commodus worship anyone other than, uh, himself. Also, happy to get something with a Dattari provenance.
    Commodus, Alexandria, BI Tetradrachm,(24.2mm., 10.19g), circa 183-185 (RY 24 of Marcus Aurelius), Laureate head of Commodus, right/ Rev. Commodus, in priestly attire, standing left before bust of Serapis set on low cippus, sacrificing and dropping incense over lighted altar, L-K-Δ. RPC Online 16005, Dattari-Savio Pl. 207, 9553 (this coin)
    (From the Dattari Collection.)

    6. Trajan Dupondius
    Nothing too exciting about this one, just a nice big bronze of one of my favorite emperors. It has a dark green patina which doesn't photograph very well, but I love this one in hand. I also like that it has one of his unnecessarily long legends to fit in all of his titles.
    FF540978-C24E-4D41-9B51-520A106740D1.jpeg Trajan, AE Dupondius, circa 105-111, (28mm., 13.22g.) Radiate head right/ Rev. Trophy of arms, two shields at base; S-C across fields. RIC 586.

    5. Constantine Follis
    One of the least expensive coins I bought this year, but one of my all-time favorites. It looks like Constantine really let himself go in this one, and also decided to grow out some horrible long skinny sideburns. Not sure what happened at the mint here, but I always get a good laugh whenever I see Fat Constantine in my tray.
    Constantine I, AE Follis, Cyzicus circa 313, (22mm., 3.61g.) Laureate head right/ Rev. Jupiter standing left, holding Victory, and eagle standing left with wreath. RIC 3.

    4. Trajan Denarius (with some Nerva-like features)
    I've always been fascinated by these "transitional" issues. This is an early denarius of Trajan which still has some features of his predecessor, Nerva. My theory is that this portrait started off as a Nerva, but that after Nerva died, some features of Trajan were added in. Some interesting discussion on this coin in this thread.
    Trajan, AR Denarius. Rome, 98-99 A.D., (17mm, 3.22g),
    Obv: IMP NERVA CAES TRAIAN AVG GERM P M., Laureate head right./ Rev: TR P COS II PP., Pax seated left on throne, holding branch and caduceus, RIC 30.

    3. Wrestlers of Aspendos stater
    This was a type I've always wanted, and was so happy to finally get this one earlier this year. The surfaces look much less rough in hand, and I actually like that it has a little circulation wear.
    Pamphylia, Aspendos. AR Stater (22 mm, 10.65g). Circa 380-325 BC.
    Two nude wrestlers, standing and grappling with each other; between them, AK./ Rev[ΕΣΤ]FΕΔΙΙ[ΥΣ] Slinger standing right; to right, triskeles running left; all within dotted square border. SNG Paris 84. Tekin Series 4.

    2. Caracalla Tetradrachm- Phoenicia (Tyre)
    Although I'm a generalist collector, my top 2 coins of the year are both of the same emperor (and same mint), but they are very different. This coin has a more natural, realistic portrait of Caracalla, and doesn't have his signature angry scowl. He looks more like a chubby, spoiled brat in this one than the monster he became.
    Caracalla, Tetradrachm, circa 208-212, Phoenicia (Tyre) mint, (27mm., 13.70g)
    Laureate head of Caracalla right/Rev. Eagle standing facing on club right, head and tail left, with wings spread, holding wreath in beak; between legs, murex shell. Prieur 1535.

    1. Caracalla Tetradrachm- Prieur Collection
    And finally, my number one for this year is one the favorites of my whole collection. I love the caricature-like portrayal of Caracalla and his angry scowl...just a perfect portrayal of a murderous tyrant.

    Caracalla, Phoenicia (Tyre), AR Tetradrachm (27mm, 15.23 g, 12h). Struck AD 213-215. Laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right / Eagle standing facing on club right, head and tail left, with wings spread, holding wreath in beak; murex shell between legs. Prieur 1550.
    CNG E-Auction 453, From the Michel Prieur Collection.

    Hope you all enjoyed the list, interested to see your favorites of this group.
    dlhill132, Sulla80, Edessa and 34 others like this.
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  3. Valentinian

    Valentinian Supporter! Supporter

    I, too, like the extreme portraits of #5, Constantine, and #1, Caracalla.
    Shea19 likes this.
  4. Parthicus Maximus

    Parthicus Maximus Well-Known Member

    Nice top 10 @Shea19. My favorites are the Trajan Dupondius and the two Tetradrachmes from Caracalla. I like the Dupondius simply because all the bronze from Trajan are beautiful. The Caracalla Tetradrachmes both have a nice appealing portrait.
    Shea19 likes this.
  5. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter I dig ancient coins...

    Some great coins there @Shea19 - I am going to go out on a limb and say the best one is the Caracalla with the scowl. Kind of makes the skin on the back of my neck crawl. A dude that you didn't want to cross, that is if you wanted to keep your head.
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  6. Spaniard

    Spaniard Well-Known Member

    Lovely pick ups this year....
    My favourites, although I like them all, are 1, 2, 8 and 6.....Congrats on a good year.
    Shea19 likes this.
  7. panzerman

    panzerman Well-Known Member

    Shea19....great additions, all of them are beautifull. Thanks for sharing:happy:
    Shea19 likes this.
  8. Yorkshire

    Yorkshire Well-Known Member

    #2 is my favourite because of that eagles wings they look so good
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  9. Alegandron

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

    Nice captures! I am attracted to the PtolVIII and the Trajan Dup.
    Shea19 likes this.
  10. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    A very nice top 10. Not sure which is my favorite. There are several I like more than the others, but I will pick two. The Trajan denarius and the Caracalla, Phoenicia (Tyre) Tet. But like I said, all are nice and could make it into my collection.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2019
    Shea19 likes this.
  11. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Supporter! Supporter

    Shea19, You got some great picks this year :D! Of course my favorites are the two Tets of Caracalla :woot:. The 1st one because of the exquisite engraving on both sides & the immaculate condition :jawdrop:, & the 2nd one because it's charming in its ugliness :p.
    Shea19 likes this.
  12. Bob L.

    Bob L. Well-Known Member

    Great group. That Ptolemy VIII obverse is magnificent.
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  13. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Great additions to your collection! My favorites are the Trajan Decius, the Trajan dupondius and the scowling Caracalla.
    Shea19 likes this.
  14. Orielensis

    Orielensis Well-Known Member

    That's a group full of interesting portraits, some of them especially well done (the Decius, Trajan, and the Ptolemaic bronze), some fascinatingly unusual (the Nerva-like Trajan), and others outrightly funny (the Constantine and the Caracalla tets.)

    If I had to name favorites, I'd say the Trajan dupondius and the Ptolemaic AE29.

    A great 2019 haul!
    Shea19 likes this.
  15. Parthicus

    Parthicus Well-Known Member

    A nice haul for the year, I think my favorites are #6 (Trajan dupondius), #5 (fat Constantine), and #1 (mean Caracalla).
    Shea19 likes this.
  16. Limes

    Limes Supporter! Supporter

    Great coins @Shea19! The fat constantine made me laugh a bit. Someone at the mint lost his glasses? Wonder if constantine had him executed, or would he enjoy his new image?
    #2 is my favorite. Especially the reverse, that eagle is beautiful!
    Shea19 likes this.
  17. chrsmat71

    chrsmat71 I LIKE TURTLES!

    Sweet group man, that Trajan that totally looks like Nerva is very interesting!
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  18. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

    Fat Constantine is my favorite as well. :) I'm generally speaking more of a reverse type collector, so those Provincial silver eagles don't tend to excite me much. That said, I have to admit the series has some really nice portraits, including those on your two Caracallas. I like 'em both!
    Shea19 likes this.
  19. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander Blame my mother. Supporter

    I am totally a portrait guy and I love each and every one of the portraits you singled out this year for special attention. (The typical Alexandria style on the Commodus tet is also pretty swell IMO.) That Constantine is just hilarious! :hilarious:

    Here's a coin I bought this year that you might appreciate, as a fellow portrait guy:
    Screen Shot 2019-12-08 at 11.55.54 PM.jpg

    And my funniest portrait (if it can even be called one) this year, allegedly depicting Phocas:
    Screen Shot 2019-12-08 at 11.59.53 PM.jpg
    [edit: yep, I know the reverse is upside down. Seller's photo. ;))
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2019
    Edessa, Shea19, Johndakerftw and 2 others like this.
  20. Ancient Aussie

    Ancient Aussie Supporter! Supporter

    WOW great set of coins, all nice but that Aspendos stater is terrific, and those two Caracalla Tets are superb, congrats on a 2019 of great collecting.
    Shea19 likes this.
  21. TIF

    TIF Always learning. Supporter

    Of course I like the Alexandrians but they're all interesting. I love the Trajan with Nerva features and other similar coins for which the engravers were just guessing about what the new guy looked like.

    I'm not sure which of the Phoenician Caracalla tets I like better. Both are fantastic.
    Shea19 likes this.
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