Sulla80 Top 10 for 2019

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Sulla80, Nov 17, 2019.


Pick your favorites (up to 3)

  1. C. Considius Paetus 180 Obverse Double Strike

  2. Coins of Arbia Felix: Himyarite Kingdom Starter Kit

  3. Civil War Scipio with African Elephant

  4. Hostilia with Provenance

  5. Early Cistophoric Coin with Leopard

  6. Lentulus Clodianus at the end of the Social War

  7. A Denarius of Mark Antony & Lepidus

  8. Phraatakes Shore 312 (this coin)

  9. Carisius with Bankers' Marks & Celator's tools

  10. Brutus Foreshadowing the Ides of March

Multiple votes are allowed.
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  1. Sulla80

    Sulla80 one coin at a time Supporter

    I joined CT one year ago today, Nov. 17, 2018 and I am thankful for all the amazing experts of CT who make informative posts and generously share their coins, expertise, and humor too. I have learned a lot over the last year e.g.
    • Morphing Portraits: when a new Roman emperor takes power, the coins take a while to establish a new portrait style, and the early coins often look a bit like their predecessor(s) e.g. Gordian as Balbinus, Aurelian as Claudius
    • Dealer attributions: I used to think that dealer attributions were mostly right, now that I have been looking more closely and checking, I have swung full pendulum and I assume that they are generally wrong in detail and/or out of date and require confirmation with sources and careful inspection. Calibrating on multiple dealer attributions doesn’t help much either as there is a lot of copying of misattributions, especially when it gets tricky e.g. Maximian, Maximinus II or Galerius
    • Flyspecking/See Detail: I didn’t know this word before joining CT, and several posts, especially Flavian-related have raised my apprecation for the value of subtle variants as clues to specific dates, historic events, and the minting process. I have been pleased to discover some coins that I purchased blindly have features that I see with new eyes. e.g. misattributed, breast or wreath, left-right facing.
    • Die matches: I have more experience recognizing die matches and a better appreciation for how these die matches can support and refute a hypothesis about mints, dating, and sequencing of rulers and coins. Fairly often die matches show up between coins posted on CT e.g. partian diobol, Septimius V over C, RR Quinarius
    • Provenance: thanks to advice from CT members, I am seeing things like dealer codes, hand written tags, catalog references, and other information on tickets and notes associated with coins, that I did not see before e.g. old references and codes
    I'll stop there, although one of the lessons I am still unable to learn: no one likes a long winded post. This post is my first "Top 10" post - a year end tradition that, as a newbie, I didn't participate in last year. Although there is some possibility that one more coin will show up before the end of year, these will be hard to top. Most of these have been shared before in other posts, and a couple are posted for the first time. As inevitably there is a book that goes with the coin, I've included references for several of my Top 10.

    #10 180 Obverse Double Strike
    While I don't usually seek out mis-strikes and errors, this coin was too unusual to pass up: two-coins-in-one where someone at the mint tried to fix a mistake.

    Roman Republican, AR Denarius, C. Considius Paetus, 46 BC. More info on this coin here.
    Top 3.jpg
    Book: my favorite purchase and most used printed book - a first stop for most of the coins below - M. Crawford's RRC which was reprinted this year!

    #9 Coins of Arbia Felix: Himyarite Kingdom Starter Kit
    Three coins that I would call "distractions" from primary interests made my list (non-Parthian, non-RR). This "quinarius", an under-appreciated series with many mysteries from Arabia Felix, a trading partner with Rome. Himyarite Kingdom, Amdān Bayān Yuhaqbiḍ, AR "Quinarius", 100-120 BC. More info on coins from the Himyarite Kingdom here.
    Himyar Mdn Byn Yhqbd.jpg
    Book: Coinage of Arabia Felix: The Pre-Islamic Coinage of the Yemen by Stuart Munro-Hay

    #8 Civil War Scipio with African Elephant
    A nicely toned coin from the Civil War between Caesar and Pompey. After the death of Pompeius his followers gathered in Africa and Q. Metellus Scipio struck this coin with Jupiter on the obverse and an elephant on the reverse. A coin that still deserves a write-up on its own - the elephant associated with the Metellus family from consul L. Caecilius Metellus' defeat of Carthaginian armies led by Hasdrubal at Panormus during the First Punic War (250 BC).
    Scipio Africanus bk.jpg
    Q Metellius Scipio, AR Denarius, RRC 459/1, AR Denarius, Crawford 459/1 47-46 BC

    Book: Clare Rowan, “From Caesar to Augustus (c. 49 BC-AD 14)”, 2018, Cambridge University Press

    #7 Hostilia with Provenance
    This coin is my coin with oldest provenance - dated March 28th, 1910, when it was cataloged in an undetermined collection. L. Hostilius Saserna with disheveled portrait and fierce Artemis. A favorite issue, well struck, good metal, good style, light wear and toned over many years. Gallia and Artemis referencing:
    • Caesar's Siege of Massilia in 49 BC OR
    • "Pallor, the goddess of paleness, as indicative of Fear, is represented by the countenance of a woman, with long dishevelled hair, from the Hostilia moneyer."* A reference to Tullus Hostilius, third king of Rome and the ancestor of L Hostilius Saserna OR
    • All of the above
    Hostilia Mar 1910.jpg

    #6 Early Cistophoric Coin with Leopard
    While I might have bid anyway - the leopard made this coin irresistible. Ephesus, AR Cistophoric Tetradrachm, 166-160 BC for more on this coin read here.
    Top 9.jpg
    • The Early Cistophoric Coinage by Fred S. Kleiner and Sydney P. Noe, ANS, NY, 1977
    • William E. Metcalf, The Later Republican Cistophori. Numismatic notes and monographs, 170. New York: American Numismatic Society, 2017
    #5 Lentulus Clodianus at the end of the Social War
    Another coin with the "old collection" toning that I find attractive. Well designed despite the flaw on the reverse. Roman Republic, AR Denarius, Cn. Lentulus Clodianus, 88 BC for more on this coin read here.
    Cn_Lentulus Blu.jpg

    #4 A Denarius of Mark Antony & Lepidus
    A very hard to find coin in any condition, Crawford counts <30 obverse dies. This coin was minted in Cisalpine Gaul - the land north and south of the Po River on the Italian side of the Alps. On 30-May-43 Mark Antony and M. Lepidus declared that they had joined forces and both names are on the coin - this declaration defines the earliest date for this coin.

    AR Denarius, M. Antonius with M. Lepidus , 43-42 BC for more on this coin read here.
    Mark Antony.jpg

    #3 Phraatakes Shore 312 (this coin)
    This year, I purchased two parthian coins that were plate coins Fred Shore's book "Ten Dragons" (317 and 312) in separate auctions - neither was labelled as plate coin, both referenced CNG 36. Both were candidates for the top 10, and in the end the tetradrachm won out as #3. Parthian, Phraatakes, AR Tetradrachm, 2 BC - AD 4, for more on both coins read here.
    Sellwood 312.jpg
    Book: Parthian Coins and History: Ten Dragons Against Rome, 1993, Fred B. Shore

    #2 Bankers' Marks & the Celator's tools
    T. Carisius, 46 BC, AR Denarius, Rome mint, for more on this coin read here.
    T Carisius celator.jpg

    #1 Foreshadowing the Ides of March
    This is perhaps the only coin that I own that I would call FDC - it seems to me to be a perfect example of type from an old collection. This coin from Brutus, highlighting his maternal and paternal tyrannicidal ancestors and foreshadowing his role in the murder of Caesar (10 years in advance). Roman Republican, M. Junius Brutus, 54 BC, for more on this coin read here.
    Brutus Ahala Top 1.jpg
    Book: by far my favorite and most referenced on-line book (second stop for most of the coins above), Babelon, Ernest, "Description historique et chronologique des monnaies de la République romaine vulgairement appelées monnaies consulaires", Paris, Rollin et Feuardent, 1885-86.

    Overall, a coin foreshadowing Brutus' betrayal of Caesar, a coin from Caesar's First Civil War, a coin from the eve of the Second Triumvirate, a Parthian plate coin, an interesting error coin, a coin from the end of the Social War, a coin that features the tools of the celator on the reverse, a few distractions...2019's adds have enough history to keep me entertained for a while.

    Comments on or corrections to any of the above are always appreciated. Vote for your favorites, and/or post anything you find interesting or entertaining.
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2019
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  3. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Wonderful acquisitions for your collection, @Sulla80 , and I'm glad you allowed up to three votes, because I don't think I could have picked only one!

    I'm glad you found our little community here. I find your posts to be scholarly and insightful and it's good to see you have found some value in my posts as well.

    I look forward to seeing you around here for years to come. You know what the best thing about 2020 will be? That our coins will be one year MORE ancient!
    Sulla80 likes this.
  4. AnYangMan

    AnYangMan Well-Known Member

    Wow, fantastic top 10 @Sulla80! Hard to pick a favourite, they would all deserve that top spot. I really like the exotic Himyarite unit and that Phraatakes sure isn’t ugly either ;). Love that Cistophoric, but at the end of the day my favourite has to be that Brutus! Stunning portraits, magnificent toning and an equally fascinating historic context. Here’s to a fantastic 2020!
    Roerbakmix and Sulla80 like this.
  5. Cucumbor

    Cucumbor Dombes collector Supporter

    Gee !
    What a year !
    Amazing and very well done Sir !

    spirityoda and Sulla80 like this.
  6. FitzNigel

    FitzNigel Medievalist Supporter

    Good looking coins Sulla! I’m having a hard time believing it’s Top 10 season already! But glad you started us off on a high note
    Sulla80 likes this.
  7. Sulla80

    Sulla80 one coin at a time Supporter

    Thanks, a bit early, more of a fiscal year (Nov 17-Nov 16) in review. My local stores remind that there are still many shopping days left before the end of the year...
    FitzNigel likes this.
  8. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic Supporter

    You had a great year. That #1 is simply superb!
    Nicholas Molinari and Sulla80 like this.
  9. TIF

    TIF Always learning. Supporter

    Wow, what a great year and wonderful assortment of coins! You have a discerning eye :).
    Sulla80 likes this.
  10. spirityoda

    spirityoda Coin Junky Supporter

    I like them. I do not collect ancients, but my eyes gravitate to that elephant coin.
    Sulla80 likes this.
  11. Shea19

    Shea19 Supporter! Supporter

    Great coins, @Sulla80 . That Brutus is a beauty, what a portrait and great toning too. I love the Scipio as well. Some great additions for you this year!
    Sulla80 likes this.
  12. chrsmat71

    chrsmat71 I LIKE TURTLES!

    What a great group of coins! It was kind of hard to pick just 3! I had to put that Scipio in the group but picking the other two was a difficult decision.
    Sulla80 likes this.
  13. red_spork

    red_spork Triumvir monetalis Supporter

    You've picked up a lot of great coins this year. I think the Brutus denarius is probably my favorite. You got a great deal on it too. I was bidding on it as well but had a few other coins I was watching at the time and bid too conservatively.
    Sulla80 likes this.
  14. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

    Amazing group. Congrats.

    I happen to like #10 & #1 the best.
    Sulla80 likes this.
  15. Ancient Aussie

    Ancient Aussie Supporter! Supporter

    Absolutely fantastic ten, even though the Brutus is a beautiful FDC, most of the others aren't far behind that in quality, my favorite would have to be the T. Carisius the detail of the tools is great, closely followed by the Brutus and Scipio.
    Sulla80 likes this.
  16. Alegandron

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

    Awesome coins and write-ups! Well done, and what a great year. Congrats.
    Sulla80 likes this.
  17. Svarog

    Svarog Well-Known Member

    @Sulla80 I was the underbidder by $10 on your Brutus, I think it fetched $899 (including shipping) great coin! I am surprised you haven’t posted Cassius Longinus denarius from the same seller?! Congrats again on the win!
    Sulla80 likes this.
  18. Sulla80

    Sulla80 one coin at a time Supporter

    Thanks TIF - I take that has high praise from someone who has shared several coins that are now on my list of "Most Enviable".

    Looks like there was more competition for the Brutus than I knew....
    red_spork likes this.
  19. JulesUK

    JulesUK Well-Known Member

    Wow, thanks for this. I hope i’m in the same stage as you in a years time!
    For me, No10 is my winner, The Ides of March being one of my favourite books.
    Sulla80 likes this.
  20. rrdenarius

    rrdenarius non omnibus dormio Supporter

    Plate coin, well provenanced, historic coins, well struck, nicely preserved and all around super coins. Well done. I voted 1, 7 & 3; but there was no way to go wrong here.
    red_spork and Sulla80 like this.
  21. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    Sulla80 likes this.
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