Unusual left-facing Sabina denarius

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

  1. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    I was the high bidder at auction this morning on this denarius of Sabina. The die-engraver was very skilled. Post anything you feel is relevant!

    Sabina IVNONI REGINAE left-facing denarius.jpg
    Sabina, AD 117-137.
    Roman AR denarius, 3.29 g, 20 mm, 7 h.
    Rome, AD 128-134.
    Obv: SABINA AVGVSTA HADRIANI AVG P P, diademed and draped bust, left.
    Rev: IVNONI REGINAE, Juno standing left, holding patera and scepter.
    Refs: RIC 401b; BMCRE 909 note; RSC 37a; RCV --; Strack 370; CRE 56.
    Notes: Ex Emporium Hamburg, Auction 72, lot 499, November 13, 2014; hammer 250 Euro.

    It's not the rarity that Temeryazev and Makarenko would lead one to believe, but it is scarce and available only a few times a year at auction. The coin with the left-facing bust comes in several minor varieties. The bust may depict the empress with a diadem (as mine), or wearing a wreath of corn ears (as BMCRE 909 and CRE 57). Here's the British Museum specimen, but which has a wreath of corn-ears instead of a diadem:

    Sabina IVNONI REGINAE left-facing denarius BMC.jpg

    There are other variations which are poorly attested in the literature. The obverse inscription may lack P P (RIC 403a, Cohen 44). Mattingly (note 909, p. 355) reports minor variations in the reverse figure, such as with a spear instead of a scepter, or an open right hand instead of a patera. The existence of these obverse inscription and reverse variants is questionable, and I suspect they represent mischaracterization of coins with unclear legends or devices. Here's the note on 909 in BMCRE, p. 355:

    My coin is a double-die match to this example sold at Rauch Auction 89, lot 1571, December 5, 2011:

    Sabina IVNONI REGINAE left-facing denarius Rauch.jpg

    It's also a double-die match to this specimen at the coin collection of the Professorship for Ancient History at the University of Eichstaett-Ingolstadt.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2019
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  3. Yorkshire

    Yorkshire Well-Known Member

    Very nice, I'm still watching this auction as theres something I want later on.
    I don't have anything relevant to yours but I do have 1 lady of Rome;
    Faustina II denarius under Marcus Aurelius
    Rome mint
    Obv: FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, bust right
    Rev: VE–NVS, Venus stg. l. holding dove and sceptre.
    RIC 730
    Scarcer than the variety in which Venus holds an apple
    From the Doug Smith collection
  4. shanxi

    shanxi Well-Known Member

    Congratiultaions for winning this nice example. Here's mine:

    AR Denarius, AD 128-136
    Obv: SABINA AVGVSTA HADRIANI AVG P P, Diademed and draped bust left.
    Rev: IVNONI REGINAE, Juno standing left, holding patera and sceptre.
    Ag, 3.5g, 18mm
    Ref.: RIC 401b, CRE 56
  5. Shea19

    Shea19 Supporter! Supporter

    Nice pickup RC. I was the underbidder on this one. Happy to see it went to a good home. :)
    Roman Collector likes this.
  6. thejewk

    thejewk Well-Known Member

    That's a nice example RC, a lot less severe looking than she often appears. Also interesting to see the corn ears variant. I've never knowingly seen that on a Sabina coin, so I'll look out for it in the future.
    Roman Collector likes this.
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