When You Come Across a Lefty Domitian, You really have Something!

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by David Atherton, Jun 14, 2018.

  1. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic

    While waiting on the arrival of a coin to continue part 2 of this story https://www.cointalk.com/threads/second-chances-part-one.317718/ , another little beauty arrived.

    Left facing portraits are very scarce for Domitian, whether struck for him as Caesar or as Augustus. If you come across one, snatch it up!

    Domitian as Caesar
    AR Denarius, 3.08g
    Rome Mint, 79 AD
    RIC V1085 (R2). BMC p. 47 note. RSC 385.
    Obv: CAESAR AVG F DOMITIANVS COS VI; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, l.
    Rev: PRINCEPS IVVENTVTIS; Salus, stg. r., resting on column, feeding snake out of patera
    Acquired from eBay, 10 June 2018.

    An extremely rare left portrait variant of the common Salus feeding snake type struck for Domitian Caesar under Vespasian. The reverse may be an illusion to Vespasian's ill health preceeding his death on 24 June 79. No specimens in the BM's collection, citing the Paris collection. A double die match with the RIC plate coin.

    This is a coin I would accept in almost any condition ... it will be a long wait for a better one!

    Hopefully the postal gods will be more cooperative next week for my ongoing Pegasus story!
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2018
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  3. Orfew

    Orfew Supporter! Supporter

    Wonderful acquisition David. I have been looking for a left facing Domitian denarius for a while. Rest assured as soon as I see one I will make every effort to grab it. In the meantime, you have made another excellent addition to that great collection of yours.
    David Atherton likes this.
  4. Justin Lee

    Justin Lee I learn by doing

    Way to go, David! Nice coin! Is it just left facing denarius that are rare or are other denominations too? Or provincial?
    David Atherton likes this.
  5. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic

    Thanks Justin. Yes, left facing portraits on Domitian's denarii are rare. They are more common on his bronze and provincial issues.
    galba68 likes this.
  6. Justin Lee

    Justin Lee I learn by doing

    Very interesting and good to know. Thanks !
    David Atherton likes this.
  7. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

    Very nice addition, Dave, congrats!
    David Atherton likes this.
  8. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Redditor Lucis Aeternae

    I've got a sinister provincial....


    Andres2, Ryro, Deacon Ray and 9 others like this.
  9. Alegandron

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

    Super-congrats @David Atherton ! That is cool that you found hard-to-find South Paw Domitians! I enjoy finding tough to find coins.

    WOW, an amazing thing!

    With the simple press of a button, I NOW have ULTRA-RARE Domitians! (Too bad they don't flip in my Saflips!)

    RI Domitian AR Denarius 81-96 CE Minerva FLIPPED-JOKE.jpg
    RI Domitian AR Denarius 81-96 CE Minerva FLIPPED-JOKE

    RI Domitian AR Denarius 81-96 CE Minerva spear shield VIC GENS FLIPPED-Joke.jpg
    RI Domitian AR Denarius 81-96 CE Minerva spear shield VIC GENS FLIPPED-Joke

    NOW they are "SINISTER" by MODERN terms! Even RETROGRADE legends! :D

    Just jokes...
  10. Smojo

    Smojo dreamliner

    Think I've shown this one in the past but its purty sweet bronze.
  11. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic

    If it was only that easy!
    Alegandron likes this.
  12. randygeki

    randygeki Coin Collector

  13. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member

    I agree that left facing Domitians are scarce but i seems especially strange since both his father Vespasian and brother Titus are strongly represented by lefty portrait coins. Why? I can not say. Further we might ask why there are so many emperors whose left facing portraits are many times more rare than their right facing portraits. It might be easier for us to understand zero than a number as small as we see. There are a few, of course, where lefties outnumber righties. These statistics have been well recorded and perhaps even studied but "why" is never an easy question. We are left to wonder if there ever was an answer why we are so unable to discover it.
  14. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic

    That is so true. Much of what we know about these issues don't answer the 'why'. Even the reason why this particular Salus reverse type was chosen to be struck in the first half of 79 is a mystery - a best guess is never a sure answer.
    philologus_1 likes this.
  15. ruud1301

    ruud1301 Well-Known Member

  16. ruud1301

    ruud1301 Well-Known Member

    Here's my left Domitian Antoich as!
    ancient coin hunter likes this.
  17. Zlaja21

    Zlaja21 New Member

    I have found this one on roman site with metal detector.

    Attached Files:

    Jay GT4, Bing, Curtisimo and 4 others like this.
  18. harley bissell

    harley bissell Well-Known Member

    Has anyone ever looked at a chronological chart of each ruler's coins to see if succeeding rulers alternated facing? That could just be an easy way for the
    minters to tell production apart. Color posters exist in many museum gift shops
    but I don't have one handy to look at thus I ask if it has been done already.
    ancient coin hunter likes this.
  19. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Redditor Lucis Aeternae

    It's pretty interesting looking at lefty-righty coins of the same emperor. One that has as lot of distinctive types is Probus.
    harley bissell likes this.
  20. harley bissell

    harley bissell Well-Known Member

    Perhaps I should have specified comparing the last coin of one emperor with the first coin of the succeeding emperor.
  21. Kentucky

    Kentucky Supporter! Supporter

    Welcome to CT
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