Unusually Well-rendered for the Type

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by arizonarobin, Mar 10, 2019.

  1. arizonarobin

    arizonarobin Well-Known Member

    Just as the title suggests- I am looking for details or even coins that are "unusually well-rendered for the type".
    Mine is a coin of Fausta, that I bought just for the reverse. I have more than a dozen in my Fausta collection and most have the Empress as Spes or Salus holding two infants. The babies are often depicted as anything from little squiggles - to tiny baby shaped blobs.
    On this coin they are beautifully rendered!

    So show your coins that had a detail or style that really caught your attention!

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  3. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Well-Known Member

    That IS an unusually well-rendered reverse! The babies actually look like babies!

    This one from the Gallienus zoo series has the most well-rendered tigress I've ever seen on this issue:

    Gallienus LIBERO P CONS AVG tiger antoninianus.jpg
    Gallienus LIBERO P CONS AVG tiger closeup.jpg
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2019
  4. Orange Julius

    Orange Julius Well-Known Member

    That Fausta is really nice! I have quite a few blob baby coins of Fausta... but here's one of mine that is pretty nice for the type. It's unlisted in RIC for the workshop (delta) and was added to the "Not in RIC" website which is fun.

    Fausta Small.JPG
    Obverse: FLAVMAX-FAVSTAAVG; bust r., head bare, waved hair, mantled.
    Reverse: SALVSREI-PVBLICAE; Empress stg. to front, looking l., head veiled; two children in her arms.
    MNΔ in exergue.
    Not in RIC, unlisted officina - Δ. RIC lists for this type officinae Α and Є (p. 621).
  5. Clavdivs

    Clavdivs Well-Known Member

    Beautiful coin with an unusually well done reverse!
    Hard for me to add anything as my coins are not of the highest quality.

    But I really do love this portrait of Nerva. Famous for the hawkish nose that actually looks quite comical on many of his coins..
    Who knows - but I think this portrait looks more realistic (at least to me).
    Far from a perfect coin but one that I enjoy owning.

    Nerva (96-8 AD), brass dupondius, Rome mint, struck Jan. - Sep. 97 AD, 28mm, 11.08g

    Obverse: Radiate head of Nerva to right, legend: IMP NERVA CAES AVG PM TR P I COS III PP

    Reverse: Fortuna standing l., holding rudder and cornucopiae, legend: FORTVNA AVGVST / S C

    Reference: Coh 69, RIC II 84

    Ex Stacks auction ("James Dines collection"), March 7-8, 1969.
  6. Ancient Aussie

    Ancient Aussie Well-Known Member

    Fantastic detail, one of the best I've seen arizonarobin. Congrats great buy.
  7. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander find me at NumisForums

    What a great idea for a thread, and an excellent example to start it with!

    I especially like unusually well-rendered portraits. Here's my newest, a Postumus struck by Aureolus:

    And a couple more:
    Screen Shot 2019-03-09 at 11.11.58 PM.jpg
    Screen Shot 2018-12-16 at 11.39.33 AM.jpg

    For reverses, I think this Mars is particularly nice (on an as of Sev Alex):
    And quite a stunning fourth century wreath:
    Screen Shot 2019-03-09 at 11.10.20 PM.jpg

    I look forward to the eye candy in the rest of the thread...
  8. Pellinore

    Pellinore Well-Known Member

    Just bought this slightly barbaric Tetricus I, but the patina makes it beautiful.

    2621 RB Tetr ct.jpg

    And this Severina tetradrachm of Alexandria has all the little details.

    3306A Severina ct706.jpg
  9. seth77

    seth77 Well-Known Member

    And it's a Sirmium coin, which is pretty scarce - during the reign of Constantine Sirmium functioned for a short period, from cca 320 to 326 and turned out very high quality coins.
  10. Cucumbor

    Cucumbor Well-Known Member

    That's a fantastic depiction of the infants Robin !

    Mine in comparison gives a "gorgonlike" look to an otherwise cute situation, as @TIF has already noticed some time ago


    I do have some coins that stand out for their impeccable style though, such as Zeus on this Severus Alexander denarius, an evanescent Diana on a Plautilla denarius you might recognize :) , or Pupienus portrait on that other one




  11. seth77

    seth77 Well-Known Member

    Jupiter holds that little Victory like a particularly toothy and clawy cat.
    Pellinore and Cucumbor like this.
  12. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

  13. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Well-Known Member

    Aesthetically speaking this is my favorite Roman coin, see photos below. It is a common gold solidus of Theodosius II, struck c. AD 408-420, Constantinople Mint, Officina 10, 21 mm, 4.48 gm. The coin is perfectly centered & the portrait exceptional with great detail on his shield. The reverse has a complex composition of the enthroned city goddess of Constantinople holding a scepter in her right hand & a globe mounted by Nike in her left hand. Her foot rests on the prow of a ship.

    arizonarobin, Your small bronze has a beautifully rendered reverse, especially considering the size of the coin & that it was struck at a branch mint.

    100_0516 (2).JPG 100_0519 (2).JPG
  14. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member

    I like this thread especially because of the way it demonstrates what I consider an important factor of ancient coins not found in modern issues. Beauty, they say, is in the eye of the beholder so each of us can see things we appreciate that are lost on most collectors. I recognize at least three levels of style in ancient coins. First is the style of the culture. Many people will appreciate Greek above Roman or First Century over Fourth but the system of multiple mints and hundreds of cities in the Greek period provides us with a second level of style differences. Since every die was an individual work of art we have coins that are better than others within their mini-style. The OP coin shows a fine style work of art from the sub group 'late' and larger culture 'Roman'. Neither of these are recognized by most people as the finer of the choices but both provide many wonderful things for eyes willing to behold them.

    There is another thing to consider. In paintings there are people who appreciate artists who are never going to be accused of having photographic style. This can be Picasso level 'modern' or even completely non-representational. Some art styles capture a mood without copying a physical object. We also have coins that offer those who have minority opinions on beauty many things to appreciate. I prefer Archaic Greek to Classical. I prefer the Eastern portraits of Septimius Severus to the Roman three point beards that most people select for their 'one per emperor set. Below is a coin that shows a horse in a way that screams "horse" to my way of beholding capturing what is needed to convey the subject and no more.
    Nasir al din Muhammad Qarlugh billon jital 1249-1259 AD

    OK, I know this is not really ancient but I did not think anyone else would show this one under a discussion of 'fine style' and the point is that there is beauty where not everyone might find it.
  15. Sulla80

    Sulla80 Supporter! Supporter

    @arizonarobin, a very attractive Fausta with unusual artistry. I'll share two coins that with detail and style that I find interesting. The first for it's detail, the reverse on this Dea Caelestis also called Juno Caelestis and Caelestis - the Romanized version of Tanit and a visual symbol of the city of Carthage.
    Obv: bust of Caracalla, laureate, draped right. ANTONINVS PIVS AVG
    Rev: Dea Caelestis, holding thunderbolt in right hand and tall scepter in left, riding a lion leaping right, over waters gushing from a pile of rocks, left. INDVLGENTIA AVGG. INCARTH in exergue.
    FAKE Caracalla.JPG
    Unfortunately this coin was determined by NGC to be a deceptive fake and the unscrupulous seller did not honor his guarantee of authenticity. Updating this post to ensure that others are not similarly deceived. In it's place, I will add a less detailed and more genuine version of this reverse from Septimius Severus:
    Severus InCarth Denarius.jpg
    The reverse inscription indicates that a favor (Indulgence of the Augusti) was granted to the city of Carthage by the Augusti. The exact nature of the favor is the subject of multiple theories:
    - the removal of tax on the aqueduct in Carthage
    - the emperor’s generous distribution of olive oil
    - a decision to grant Carthage Pythian games
    - a grant of ius Italicum (Italian law) to the city of Carthage

    The second, for its reverse style, which I find an attractive example of the school of "squiggles & blobs" - perhaps a similar thought to @dougsmit on diversity and beauty:
    Theodora v2.jpg
    bringing to mind abstract sculptures like this Henry Moore:
    Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art Henry Moore 2004 SMC
    The original uploader was SeanMack at English Wikipedia. [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2020
    Spaniard, Marsyas Mike, Ryro and 20 others like this.
  16. gsimonel

    gsimonel Well-Known Member

    Although preservation issues mar the reverse of this coin, I've always admired the portrait of Claudius II ("Gothicus") on the obverse:
    Billon Antoninianus
    Siscia mint, Issue IV
    Rev: PROVIDEN AVG - Providentia, standing left, holding baton and cornucopiae; globe at feet
    S in right field
    RIC 187
    19mm, 2.5g.
    Spaniard, Marsyas Mike, Ryro and 15 others like this.
  17. TIF

    TIF Always learning.

    @arizonarobin, that reverse scene really is more realistic than usual. Fausta really has a handful with those big bouncing babies. Looks like she doesn't have a good grip on them either...

    Oh no! No!! Fausta, hold on!!

  18. gsimonel

    gsimonel Well-Known Member


    Cruel, maybe, but still hilarious.
    arizonarobin likes this.
  19. TIF

    TIF Always learning.

    Seriously though, that OP coin really is exceptionally well rendered for the type.

    Fine style and such things are often what draw me to a coin. Some examples which fit the OP request:

    The facing portraits on these Syracusian tetras (and other facing portraits) are usually not very attractive. I've had this one for five years and am still smitten.
    Sicily, Syracuse. Dionyisos I
    c. 390 BCE
    Æ tetras, 14 mm, 1.8 gm
    Obv: head of nymph facing slightly left, wearing necklace
    Rev: octopus
    Ref: CNS 29; SNG ANS 385

    Alexandrian tetradrachms are often crude but during the reign of Claudius II there was at least one very talented engraver. Look at the detail and realism on Tyche!

    Claudius II tetradrachm, year 3, /Tyche standing left; Emmett 3896

    Similarly, this portrait is top-notch:
    Claudius II tetradrachm year 1, /eagle; Emmett 3878

    Both sides of this Lucilla are utterly charming and well-rendered (fine style):
    Empress CE 163-169, wife of Lucius Verus
    AR denarius, 19 mm, 3.25 gm
    Obv: LVCILLA AVGVSTA; draped bust right
    Rev: PVDICITIA; Pudicitia, veiled, standing left, with right hand preparing to draw a veil across her face (or had she just drawn the veil off her face?), left hand at side
    Ref: RIC III 780
  20. TIF

    TIF Always learning.

    Another Alexandrian, certainly exceptional for the type (and an amazing gift from my Secret Saturn 2018! )

    EGYPT, Alexandria. Aelius
    137 CE
    Billon tetradrachm; 23 mm, 13.16 gm
    Obv: ΛAIΛIOCKAICAP; bare head right
    Rev: ΔHM EΞOVC VΠAT B; Homonoia standing left, holding cornucopiae and patera over garlanded altar
    Ref: Köln 1271; Milne 1539; Emmett 1350.2
    Ex John A. Seeger Collection
    Gift from my CoinTalk Secret Saturn, 2018
  21. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter 3rd Century Usurper

    I like this portrait of Claudius II - seems pretty realistic for a poor quality antoninianus.


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