YeeHAH, giddyup seahorsey!

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by TIF, Nov 2, 2016.

  1. TIF

    TIF Well that didn't last long :D Supporter

    Wow, this is my second fantastic score from a HJB Buy/Bid Sale. In their last sale I nabbed a Julia Domna Fecunditas denarius from high atop my wishlist. When their current BBS posted I didn't imagine finding yet another great deal but there it was: in first position on my "Alternate Modes of Transportation" wishlist, a Crepereius denarius with good centering. I'd seen this particular coin before and didn't imagine it would be available to me after selling only two years ago in an NAC auction. I put it in my cart and checked out as quickly as possible and as usual, HJB mailed it immediately :).

    Moneyer Q. Crepereius M.f. Rocus

    69 BCE (revised from Crawford's 72 BCE)
    AR serrate denarius; 3.99 gm
    Obv: draped bust of Amphitrite seen from behind, with head turned r.; behind, sea anemone; horizontal I to right of right shoulder (only partly visible on this coin)
    Rev: Neptune in biga of hippocamps right, holding reins and brandishing trident; above, I and below, Q·CREPER·M·F / ROCVS
    Ref: Crawford 399/1b; Babelon Crepereia 1. Sydenham 796a. Rare.
    from HJB BBS 200, October 2016
    ex NAC 78 lot 1828, from the JD Collection of Roman Republican Coins

    I see that @Volodya was on the job and fixed a mistake from the prior NAC listing, which called the obverse control mark a squid. It's a sea anemone.

    This coin has two Crawford subtypes. 1a has the reverse legend Q. CREPEREI / ROCVS. Additionally, there are Latin letters from A to K, the same letter on obverse and reverse, and each letter is associated with a different sea creature. Crawford reported a total of 24 obverse dies and 27 reverse dies (total for both subtypes).


    Roma has a nice blurb about the type:

    There is barely anything known about the gens Crepereia, which makes it difficult to explain the marine imagery present on this type. Eckhel regards this coin as referring to the colony of Corinth, but Caesar did not annexe the region as a province until 44 BC, which is in disagreement with the dating of the coin. There were, however, cults at Corinth dedicated to both Neptune and Venus well into the Roman age. There are inscriptions which confirm that the gens maintained a trading presence throughout the Mediterranean, being recorded as active in the East and North Africa; it is possible the moneyer’s family also had a presence at or connection to Corinth which was significant to them, but is now lost to history.

    The female bust on the obverse is often described as the sea-goddess Amphitrite, but in his analysis of the coin, Andrew McCabe argues that Venus is the more likely candidate to accompany Neptune. While we cannot be certain as to why the moneyer chose this particular imagery, Tacitus does relate how Neptune was less than propitious towards his descendent Crepereius Gallus who was killed in an assassination attempt against Agrippina when he boarded the self-sinking boat Nero had commissioned.


    Feel free to show off your hippocamp bigas, other non-horse transports, or anything else you feel fits! :)
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2016
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  3. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    I'm jealous. Wonderful coin.
    Okidoki and TIF like this.
  4. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

    I think I've said a couple of times already, but will say it again... JEALOUS!! That is without doubt a fantastic score. Congrats on the steal!

    That control mark chart is very cool, btw. My octopus version:

    Ryro, maridvnvm, Ajax and 16 others like this.
  5. TIF

    TIF Well that didn't last long :D Supporter

    I wonder why there are no "J" control marks for this coin.

    Hmm... Julius Caesar was appointed quaestor the year this coin was struck. Among other duties, quaestors oversaw the treasury. Maybe this Crepereius had a beef with Caesar and didn't want his initial on the coin?

    EDIT: There was no "J" in the Latin alphabet at the time this coin was struck. Worse yet, I made this same mistake on another Republican coin, calling a control mark a retrograde J. :oops:
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2016
    Smojo, ancientcoinguru and Alegandron like this.
  6. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    The hair on the obverse certainly looks wet and makes sense for Amphitrite. This is a beautiful coin and one you should collect one per minor type. Of the group, the heron is different as a sea creature only when it comes to diet.

    Great coin!
    stevex6, zumbly and TIF like this.
  7. dadams

    dadams Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the write up. You have a swell looking coin!
    TIF likes this.
  8. Ancientnoob

    Ancientnoob Money Changer

    Ha- thats an awesome coin @TIF

    Jwt708, Aidan_(), chrsmat71 and 9 others like this.
  9. TIF

    TIF Well that didn't last long :D Supporter

    Thanks, Doug and everyone! Zumbly, I was pretty jealous when you nabbed one before I did :D

    I have to 'fess up that Doug pointed out an error in my second post. He thought I was joking but I was just stupid. J wasn't a control mark because the letter J wasn't part of the the Latin alphabet at the time. :oops:

    This means I've made a mistake on another coin too, having logged it as having a J control mark. It's a retrograde C (the issue is known for having backwards letters, although not all of the dies had retrograde letters).

    That coin also fits the thread and I like to show it as often as possible, so here it is :D

    Roman Republic, L. Julius L. f. Caesar
    103 BC

    AR denarius, 17mm, 3.9 gm
    Obv: Helmeted head of Mars left; CAESAR; ・J above
    Rev: Venus Genetrix in chariot left, drawn by two Cupids; lyre to left; dot retrograde C above
    Ref: Crawford 320/1.
    Jencek E-auction 26, lot 58, 14 October 2014. Ex CNG XXXI lot 699, September 1994; ex RBW Collection

    Last edited: Nov 2, 2016
  10. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    Now I have one of thos (just poorer condition)
    AR Denarius
    OBVERSE: CAESAR Head of Mars left in crested helmet
    REVERSE: Venus Genettris with scepter, in chariot drawn by two Cupids left, lyre in field, contolmark above, L IVLI L F in ex.
    Struck at Rome, 103BC
    3.85g, 17mm
    Cr320/1, Syd 593a.

    and one with lions

    M VOLTEIUS M F.jpg
    AR Fouree Denarius
    OBVERSE: Laureate & helmeted bust of Attis right; shield behind
    REVERSE: Cybele seated right in chariot drawn by two lions; OQ above
    Rome 78BC
    2.9g, 18mm
    Cr385/4; Syd 777, Volteia 4
    Ryro, Brian Bucklan, Ajax and 13 others like this.
  11. TIF

    TIF Well that didn't last long :D Supporter

    Nice! The Volteius lion biga has eluded me so far. There are so many weird Roman Republican bigas. Someday I hope to have one of each. As for Doug's suggestion to collect the Crepereius control marks... uhm, yeah... that would take my coin budget for the next several years, although it might take longer than that to find all of them!
    Alegandron likes this.
  12. Alegandron

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

    Wasn't "J" a letter that came LATER in the Roman alphabet? That the contemporary spelling during the time that Caesar was living: CAIUS IULIUS CAESAR?

    I do NOT know Latin, nor am I a linguist... perhaps other folks have expertise to answer this...

    *edit* AH! I see you answered in a post as I was writing this...
    Mikey Zee, stevex6 and TIF like this.
  13. TJC

    TJC Well-Known Member

    Fantastic coin and write up TIF! Very attractive!
    TIF likes this.
  14. Carthago

    Carthago Does this look infected to you?

    Congratulations on your new coin TIF. That's hard to find well centered and I really like the anemone control mark. Also, thanks for the lesson on the issue. I'm still looking for mine... :D
    TIF likes this.
  15. Hispanicus

    Hispanicus Stand Fast!

    Your OP coin is nothing short of awesome! I to am jealous.
    TIF likes this.
  16. Ancient Aussie

    Ancient Aussie Supporter! Supporter

    Great pick-up TIF, a very interesting and well struck coin, love the toning and serrations.
    TIF likes this.
  17. stevex6

    stevex6 Random Mayhem

    Wow, Granger => as I stated in one of our PMs => that coin is amazing!!
    Ummm, I wish I had a seahorse like you and Z-Bro (*sigh*)

    Non-horse transports, eh?

    => well, I may have a few of those babies?

    Antoninus Pius Group big b.jpg Valerian II.jpg Augustus Elephant Sestertius.jpg Caracalla bulls.jpg Diva Julia Titit.jpg goat boy.jpg

    rufus.jpg Calabria Tarentum.jpg Lucius Axius.jpg

    Again => TIF, that's a fricken amazing OP-addition (congrats)
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2016
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  18. Eduard

    Eduard Supporter**

    Beautiful coin, TIF.

    I really feel sorely tempted when I see the R.R denarii you and the other members post...but alas, I am busy enough with my imperials.

    Exactly how do you do those animations - they are hilarious!

    PS-you all would have really enjoyed the H. Lückger Collection of Roman Coinage auctioned by Peus in Frankfurt yesterday. 850 coins spanning all periods of Roman coinage. This was truly an old time collection put together started in 1894. Some beautiful R.R denarii in that collection, and of course some very special imperial coins.
    Mikey Zee, TIF and zumbly like this.
  19. randygeki

    randygeki Coin Collector

    Oh cool. An awesome coin Tif.
    TIF likes this.
  20. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

    That was one amazing collection. If online live bidding had been available for that auction... well, let's just say my wallet is thankful that online live bidding wasn't available.
    Mikey Zee, Pishpash and TIF like this.
  21. Eduard

    Eduard Supporter**

    I was planning to attend, as I always do, but I hurt my leg and am not able to drive.
    Fortunately, I was able to bid by phone, and managed to obtain a sestertius of Lucius Verus which looks very nice.

    The nice thing about the Lückger collection is that the collector was also a passionate historian, and assembled his collection 100 years ago, obtaining many
    original and beautiful examples a number of which were found in excavations in his native city, Cologne. That really adds to the attractiveness of his collection.
    Orfew, Mikey Zee and TIF like this.
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