Who's ready for Roma?

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by savitale, Mar 23, 2021.

  1. Scipio

    Scipio Well-Known Member

    IMHO high estimates and some market inflation in this category...plenty of relatively common coins are being sold for thousands while they were in the hundreds a couple of years ago.
     
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  3. jdmKY

    jdmKY Well-Known Member

    Well, just call me lucky(?) but I bought 4 imperatorials that were definitely NOT under estimate!
     
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  4. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    Ah well, this is where human adaptation and know-how can be useful.

    The bottom feeder approach to these auctions might be useful, if one has flexibility and an interest in a wider range of ancients. Those are prerequisites.

    Sometimes good buys are available in post auction sales. True, most of these lots are coins that did not appeal, for a variety of reasons, to any bidders and thus did not garner a single bid. Knowledge and opportunity are the key ingredients.

    In 2020, a Parthenian tetradrachm of Orodes II was a post-auction sale lot in a Roma auction. It is crude, cleaned and not terribly attractive, due in large part to the overstrike, but it is a historically important and rare coin.

    Now, the coinage of Parthia is not everyone's cup of tea, but, if one is open to picking up a coin outside one's sphere of interests, the possibilities of still buying coins whose prices do not require a home equity loan greatly increase, even in this hyper market.

    Lot 686, Roma E-Sale 68
    Post auction sale price: £74.40, approximately $98 at the time.

    D-Camera Parthia, Orodes tetradrachm Seleukia on the Tigris, 55-54 BC, 13.10 grams, 11-28 -20.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2021
  5. coin_nut

    coin_nut Supporter! Supporter

    I have been buying ancient coins for some years now, mostly from South Asia. I notice in the past year, while the plague has raged, that prices are now 2 to 3 times higher than before. And they are selling briskly! I keep buying, and hope that I am not paying too much, so as to keep some resale value for the future. I still don't know what to do with my collection after I drop dead.
     
  6. Mrktstrtmyhm

    Mrktstrtmyhm Member

    So before the pandemic, prices were mostly stable?
     
  7. coin_nut

    coin_nut Supporter! Supporter

    It seemed that way to me. I am a bargain hunter, or cheap charlie? I used to get Gadhaiya Paisas for $3 to $5. Now they are going for $15-$20. Same for Western Satraps, Mauryan and Gupta Empire. I try to not post my new acquisitions on CT anymore, as that might spark interest and create bidding competition for me on ebay. I am doing good lately on Mughal dams, and still want a lot more of them. Got to love a big, fat, 20+ gram hunk of copper. You got your ancient Greek and Romans, and also your South Asia and Silk Roads ancients
     
  8. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    We all will have an opinion. I see this coin as appropriate to go unsold. The listing identified it correctly as not attributable to Sellwood since it lacks the month date at reverse bottom. The surfaces have a harshly treated look. Is it smoothed, tooled or just scrubbed? I suppose it would be a good coin for someone who wanted a single big silver Parthian but had no interest in it as a specialty. Apparently such a bidder was not present or those that were agreed with me that the coin, as is, was not worth the starting price. Compare to the one below with date:
    https://www.acsearch.info/search.html?id=4853587
     
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  9. coin_nut

    coin_nut Supporter! Supporter

    Doug, you have the whiskers (meaning seniority and expertise), so your words carry weight. Pardon me for getting offsides talking about South Asia coins. I have a few Parthians too, and love them dearly. I see they are becoming more pricey here of late...aren't they all?
     
  10. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    Good points, Doug.

    As far as the surfaces are concerned, the coin has definitely been cleaned, but not scrubbed. There are no signs of abrasion, or tooling/smoothing.

    The surfaces are rough and uneven. The roughness is probably due to burial and the uneven appearance is due to the presence of the under-coin.

    The coin does lack a date, no doubt, and it is crude.

    You might be right about the price and the lack of any bidding. The photos can only display so much of a coin's attributes and liabilities. I feel that it was a good purchase.

    Here's another example, sold by Goldberg Auctions in 2015 with a pretty big write-up. It is from the Sellwood Collection, so it must have attracted much interest. Both the obverse and reverse dies differ from the coin purchased from Roma in 2020.

    Orodes II Goldberg tetradrachm 2015.jpg

    Orodes II (57-38 BC), Silver Tetradrachm, 13.01g, 12h. Orodes II (57-38 BC), Silver Tetradrachm, 13.01g, 12h. Overstruck on S41.1 Tetradrachm of Mithradates IV (58/7-55 BC) in 55/4 BC at Seleucia on the Tigris. Diademed and lightly bearded bust left, wearing griffin ended spiral torque, dotted border. Rev. King enthroned right, before him, Tyche kneeling left with sceptre in left hand, extending to king her right hand in submission, monogram above her head, seven-line inscription ??S???OS ??S???O? ??S???Y ?Y??G???Y ??????Y ???F???YS F????????S (S 45.6). Good fine. Very rare. This is an historically important coin, minted at the end of the Arsacid fraternal wars, involving the two brothers Mithradates IV and Orodes II. The S 45 output marks the capture of Seleucia on the Tigris after Surena, the valiant Parthian general and conqueror of Crassus at Carrhae in May 53 BC, led the forces loyal to Orodes and stormed the city in late 55 BC. After this victory, Orodes appears to have seized the entire type S 41 Tetradrachms of his brother and had them overstruck with his own dies. The coin in this lot has retained from the undertype, the Greek TOY (meaning, "who is") at the lower right edge of the flan on the reverse. This corresponds with the inscription on S 41.1 Tetradrachms which unprecedentedly include the personal name of the reigning monarch: ??S???OS ??S???Y ??Y ???KA?OYMENOY MITPA?ATOY F????????S (the coin of) King Arsaces, who is called Mithradates, Philhellene.
    Estimated Value $3,200-UP.

    Goldberg Auction, Sale # 83, January 2015
    The New York Sale
    The David Sellwood Collection of Parthian Coins

    Realized
    $3,803

    It appears that the Bertolami coin was struck on an original flan, not overstruck. Both the Goldberg and Roma coins show obvious sign of an under coin. On the Roma example, there appears to be a "ghost" image of the original coin on the obverse.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2021
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