Trouble with Antioch AE Elagabalus

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Ryan McVay, Mar 31, 2021.


Is this a McAlee 790?

  1. Yes

    1 vote(s)
  2. No

    0 vote(s)
  3. I don't know. Ask someone else.

    1 vote(s)
  1. Ryan McVay

    Ryan McVay Supporter! Supporter

    I recently purchased a couple left facing Elagabalus AE Antioch S*C coins. One dealer has the ticket as McAlee 796. It's clearly not 796 because that is a right-facing bust and laureate . So, I am having a hard time attributing this coin. I have it next to the second left facing 790.
    But as you can see the flan is a bit chunkier on the to-be-identified coin (left)) and it weighs a full gram higher than my 790 (right). Any help is appreciated in attributing the coin.
    I might call it a 790 but the legends are spaced differently- it's full and uninterrupted. I'm not up to speed on Roman weights yet. So I am not certain if the nearly 1g difference is enough to make it a different denomination. That's why I am here chatting with you!
    Please share your thoughts, facts and opinions!

    Elagabalus 790 what.PNG
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2021
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  3. Ryan McVay

    Ryan McVay Supporter! Supporter

    My 790(b) @ 4.90g and 20mm is my account photo image. That is one of the best young portraits I've been able to afford- so far.
    Theodosius likes this.
  4. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    Can you post McAlee's description of 790? Or the corresponding description of that type in any other reference work?
  5. Ryan McVay

    Ryan McVay Supporter! Supporter

    Unfortunately, no I can't. I have NOT purchased the book yet! It is on sale though. I pulled this off CoinProject for 790(b) @ 6.75g. The only difference is supposed to be the drapery on the shoulder. See my account image for the drapery curl.
    This is all I have to go on. The Supplement to McAlee doesn't have much either.

    Obverse Legend: AVT KA MACE ANTΩNEINOC
    Obverse Description: Radiate head left
    Reverse Legend: SC / ΔΣ
    Reverse Description: large SC, Delta Epsilon above, eagle below, all within wreath fastened with star

    I wish had more info.
    DonnaML likes this.
  6. Ryan McVay

    Ryan McVay Supporter! Supporter

    The McAlee supplemental I & II are free downloads from CNG. I like these because you can really zoom up for details. The printed book...not so much!
    DonnaML likes this.
  7. philologus_1

    philologus_1 Supporter! Supporter

    Both coins are within McAlee's "Group 2", on page 296. The catalogue numbers in this group are 782-790 only. 782, 783, 786, 788, & 789 can be ruled out because they are right-facing. That leaves the possibility for both of your coins to just these: 784, 785, 787, & 790. The first three are laureate; only 790 is radiate.

    In your photo, the coin on the left looks radiate to me. Is it? If so it is 790.

    Sorry for the slight blurriness, but . . .
    McAlee pg. 296.jpg
    Ryan McVay and DonnaML like this.
  8. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Supporter! Supporter

  9. Ryan McVay

    Ryan McVay Supporter! Supporter

    Thank you, everyone.
    So what I have concluded is that I am actually comparing two coins that are both classified as 790(a)/1 with a star. Drats two of the "same". But the weights are different so I can assume the heavier one was produced first- because of debasing over time. The obverse portraits are the same but the legends are different. So no die matches on either side. I'm still flabbergasted that these portraits are nearly identical..I did the overlay trick. I'd really like to understand how they did that back then.
    So, now I am going to throw the third coin at you- my portrait image. This according to the McAlee and Sup II would be a new variant for 790A. The Supplemental only calls for the star clasp. Mine has clasp/garland. So to make things worse 790 calls out an (a)=garland and (b)=star. 790A doesn't. The one pictured in the supplemental would be considered (a) which is a star..yes opposite of 790! Confused...look at the photo.
    New 790A-b.PNG
  10. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Supporter! Supporter

    R.M., So you may have identified a new variant with your portrait coin, never the less it should probably be grouped with McAlee 790. I wouldn't get consumed with confusion about it. New discoveries in provincial coinage are popping up all the time because this area has been neglected by scholars for a long time :D.
    DonnaML, Ryan McVay and philologus_1 like this.
  11. Ryan McVay

    Ryan McVay Supporter! Supporter

    I totally agree it is 790 variant. I also agree about this being a neglected area. I'm really looking forward to more study in the provincial coinage. I want to get a couple of Elagabalus types and then move on.
    DonnaML likes this.
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