Vespasian Mars with trophy

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Orfew, Jun 20, 2021.

  1. Orfew

    Orfew Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus Supporter

    I collected the following coins for the reverse type. I really like the Mars standing with trophy reverses. For Vespasian there are 4 types with this reverse. There is a sub-type as well; grain ear to the right or no grain ear. There are 4 coins in the series for Vespasian. 2 have the grain ear and 2 do not. Also, 2 coins have a right-facing portrait and 2 have a left-facing portrait. The right-facing portrait with no grain ear on the reverse is common. While left-facing portraits on the denarii of Domitian are excessively rare, some of these are common on the denarii of Vespasian. RIC 938 is such an example. It turns out that the 2 rare coins in this group have the grain ear on the reverse.

    The first coin below is a very common coin, but this one has an uncommon provenance. It once belonged to Fritz Reusing, a portrait painter in the early 20th century. I thought that was pretty cool so I bought the coin. RIC 938 is the left-facing version of RIC 937. I just bought this one recently and it completes my set of the 4 coins. I have been looking for these for the last couple of years and finally managed to get them all.

    Vespasian RIC 937.jpg
    Vespasian 77-78
    AR Denarius
    (17.79mm 3,19 g.)
    Obv: Laureate head r; IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG
    Rev: Mars standing l with spear and trophy; COS - VIII
    RIC 937 Cohen 125 RSC 125 BMC 200
    Ex-Paul Schürer (1890-1976);
    Ex-Fritz Reusing (1874-1956)
    Purchased from Manfred Olding Munzenhandlung June 4, 2019
    Screen Shot 2021-06-17 at 7.30.45 AM.png
    Vespasian 77-78
    AR Denarius
    (17.79mm 3,19 g.)
    Obv: Laureate head r; IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG
    Rev: Mars standing l with spear and trophy; COS - VIII
    RIC 938 Cohen 125 RSC 125 BMC 200
    Purchased from Marc Breitsprecher June 13, 2021

    I have 3 examples of the coin below which is RIC 939. The one below was bought from Jesus Vico auctions out of Spain. I have another example from Ebay and my last example was bought from Heritage auctions and was part of the 'Morris" collection.

    v939 vico.jpg
    Vespasian Denarius AR Denarius,
    Rome Mint, 77-78 AD
    RIC 939 (R). BMC 203. RSC 129.
    Obv: IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.
    Rev: COS VIII; Mars, helmeted, naked except for cloak, fastened with belt round waist, standing l., holding spear slanting upwards l. in r. hand and trophy on l. shoulder in l. Corn-ear upright in ground r.
    Purchase from Jesus Vico

    The coin below was another recent purchase. In many cases the sellers do not recognize that the grain ear makes this a a rare variant. Instead, many mistake this coin for RIC 938, the more common coin without the grain ear.


    Vespasian. AD 69-79.
    AR Denarius, 19mm, 3.3g, 6h; Rome mint. Struck AD 77-78.
    Obv.: VESPASIANVS AVG IMP CAESAR; Laureate head left.
    Rev.: COS VIII around, Mars standing left, holding spear and trophy; grain ear to right.
    Reference: RIC II 940; RSC 126.
    From the Doug Smith Collection.

    Please post any series of coins that you actively sought and collected. I love to hear the stories behind a person's collection.
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  3. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    Congratulations on completing this interesting mini-set of Vespasian/Mars, @Orfew That's a nice-looking group.

    Although I don't really actively seek much of anything by way of ancients, I did luck into that left-facing bust type with the grain ear - I say "luck" because it was part of an undescribed eBay lot and was less that three bucks. Conditionwise, it isn't very lucky at all. Is it possible this is an obverse die match to yours?
    Vespasian - den Mars w Corn Feb 2017 (0).jpg
    Vespasian Denarius
    (77-78 A.D.)
    Rome Mint

    IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG, laureate head left / COS VIII Mars standing left with spear and trophy, corn ear in ground to right.
    RSC 128; RIC 940
    (3.14 grams / 18 mm)

    I also have the common right-facing bust, no grain ear:
    Vespasian - Den. Mars Dec 2013 (0).jpg
    Vespasian Denarius
    (77-78 A.D.)
    Rome Mint

    IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG, laureate head right / [COS] VIII, Mars, helmeted,
    naked except for cloak, holding spear slanting in right hand and trophy on left shoulder in left.
    RIC 937; BMC 200.
    (3.12 grams / 17 mm)
  4. JayAg47

    JayAg47 Well-Known Member

    I actually thought this coin was Vespasian's when I bought it, turns out it shows Titus as Caesar under Vespasian.
    COS VI with Mars with spear and trophy.
    ves cos6 mars.png
  5. Alegandron

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

    Nice collection, @Orfew ! Very cool. Mars is befitting of Vespasian.

    ETRURIA[​IMG] Rasenna, Fufluna, (Etruria, Populonia) ...

    I dunno, just to do it. :D
    I would akin these to the LRB's... final coins of a dying Rasenna Empire...


    20-Asses: (Similar to a Roman AR Didrachm / Heavy Denarius)
    Etruria, Populonia
    3rd Century BC
    Silver 20-Asses
    8.1g, ovoid 16.6mm x 20mm
    Obv: Facing head of Metus, hair bound with a diadem, X:X below
    Rev: blank
    Sambon 47; HN Italy 152

    10-Asses: (Similar to a Roman AR Denarius)
    Etruria Populonia
    AR 10 Asses 20mm 4.21g
    211-206 BC
    Obv: Male Hd
    Rev: Blank
    die break

    5-Asses: (Similar to a Roman AR Quinarius)
    Etruria Populonia
    AR 5 Asses 2.0g
    3rd C BCE
    Obv: Young Head L, V (denomination) behind
    Rev: blank
    HN 173 Vecchi Rasna III 52 ex NAC 29 No 9 RARE

    AR-5 Asses, 3. Jahrhundert v. Chr.; 2.00 g. Jünglingskopf l. dahinter Wertangabe//Glatt. Rutter, Historia Numorum 173; Vecchi, The coinage of the Rasna III, 52; Vecchi, Etruscan Coinage 91.6 (dies Exemplar).

    Von großer Seltenheit. Feine Patina, winz. Kratzer, sehr schön
    Exemplar der Auktion NAC 29, Zürich 2005, Nr. 9.

    Das Stück ist abgebildet bei Christian Gliwitzky, Aus Etruskern werden Römer - Geprägte Gold- und Silbermünzen, in: Jörg Gebauer (Hrsg.) u. a. Die Etrusker - Von Villanova bis Rom, München 2015, S. 282, Abb. 6.4

    Ex: Künker Auction 295 Lot 124

    2-1/2 Asses: (Similar to a Roman AR Sestertius)
    2-½ asses , AR 0.85 g
    3rd century BC
    Obv: Radiate female head r.; behind, CII.
    Rev: Blank.
    Ref: EC 104 (misdescribed, Female head with an Attic helmet). Historia Numorum Italy 179.
    NAC Comment: Of the highest rarity, apparently only the second specimen known. Dark patina and about very fine.
    Ex: From the collection of E.E. Clain-Stefanelli

    1-As: (Similar to a Roman AR - nothing - only Bronze in Roman Currency)
    Etruria Populonia
    AR 1 As 0.60g 10.0mm
    after 211 BCE
    Obv: Male Head Left
    Rev: Plain Rev
    Ref: Vecchi 3 68-70 HN Italy 181
    Seller/Auction comment: EXTREMELY RARE

    AE Sextans:
    Etruria or Umbria
    Aes Grave
    3rd C BCE
    Sextans 23mm 25.15g
    Obv: Club
    Rev: 2 Dots
    Ref: HN 54 Vecchi-Th 172

    AE Quartuncia:
    Etruria 3rd C BCE
    AE Quartuncia 18mm 4.76g
    Head of African r
    Elephant r letter below
    SNG COP 48 HNI 69 SNG Paris 138-140 SNG Morcom 44
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2021
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