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Taras, Calabria

272-240/35 BC (Period VIII - The Roman Alliance I)
AR Didrachm (19mm, 6.18g, 2h).
O: Youth on horseback left, crowning horse; cornucopia in field to right, |-AΠEAC (magistrate) below.
R: Taras riding dolphin left, holding kantharos in extended right hand and upright trident in left; POΛY behind, ΤΑΡΑΣ below.
D'Andrea XLIV, 1352; Vlasto 822; Evans VIII, A4; Cote 456; SNG ANS 1160; SNG Cop 910; HN Italy 997; cf Sear 374
From the W. H. Guertin Collection; ex CNG

The symbolism of the cornucopia has many origins in ancient lore, from the story of Zeus and Amaltheia to that of Herakles and the river-god Acheloos. Dionysus is also associated with the “horn of plenty”.
All of these deities were venerated at Taras, so the appearance of the cornucopia on this coin may be connected to any of the three, although the kantharos in Taras‘ extended right hand on the reverse makes the cult of Dionysus quite compelling.
George Brauer Jr. (‘Taras: Its History and Coinage’) suggests that the cornucopia can represent “the fruits of war”, and while the city of Taras was constantly fighting one battle or another during its long history, I believe the commonly seen Nike would be a more appropriate symbol of a military victory, and the passive nature of this particular type, with Taras holding his trident in a decidedly non-threatening posture, also seems to argue against this idea. In addition the fact that the city had just been subdued by Rome would apparently put Brauer’s theory to rest, at least in this case.
Of course the answer may be as simple as a local celebration of a particularly prosperous year, or a thank you to Demeter for an abundant harvest. We may never know for certain, but this kind of speculation can be half the fun of collecting!

Next: eagle

Vlasto_822.jpeg~2.jpg

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image.png.42b0c44a3de3a83d8890d2128c0a43ee.png

17 mm, 3,13 g.
Faustina II 147-175. AR denarius. Rome. After 31st of August 161 AD.
FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, bare-headed and draped bust, right / TEMPOR FELIC, female figure, standing left, holding an infant in each arm; at either side, two children standing.
RIC 719; BMC 156-157; RSC 221; RCV 5263; CRE 179; MIR 31-4/10a.

Next - same theme 

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Postumus 260-269 antoninianus

IMP C POSTVMVS P F AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right / PIETAS AVG, Pietas standing left, holding two children, two others below.

1424antoninienPostumePostumusPIETA-SAVGb.jpg.9c92db3ad751637bddc15d9cfb638aac.jpg

Next - same theme

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Posted · Benefactor

The largest number of children on any ancient coin I have is six:

Faustina II (wife of Marcus Aurelius & daughter of Antoninus Pius), AE Sestertius, ca. 161 AD, Rome Mint. Obv. Draped bust right, low chignon at back of head, FAVSTINA AVGVSTA / Rev. Felicitas (or Faustina as Fecunditas) standing left, between four girls (two standing at each side), holding two infants in her arms, each with a star over its head (representing the Dioscuri), TEMPOR FELIC [-IC almost entirely worn off], S - C across fields. RIC III 1673 (at p. 147), var. [no stars above infants’ heads]; BMCRE MA 949 var [same]; Cohen 222; Dinsdale 006760 & n. 1 [Dinsdale, Paul H., The Imperial Coinage of the Middle Antonines: Marcus Aurelius with Lucius Verus and Commodus, Ch. 4, Faustina II - Undated, 158-176 (http://romanpaulus.x10host.com/Marcus/04 - Faustina II - Undated, 158-176 (med_res).pdf) at p. 70] (“Minor rev. variation: sometimes each infant held in arms has star above head”). 31 mm., 24 gm. Purchased from Victor’s Imperial Coins, March 2021. Ex. CNG E-Auction 476, 9/09/2020, part of Lot 762; ex. BLS Collection.*

 image.jpeg.6348b94c71c2704e3c4829dcf99d267e.jpeg

*This variation of RIC III 1673 (with stars above the two infants’ heads) is unlisted in RIC or BMCRE, and appears to be mentioned only in the footnote to Dinsdale 006760. (RIC III 1677 does have stars above the infants’ heads, but is an as, not a sestertius.)  Of the 14 other examples found on acsearch of RIC 1673 and 1674 (the same design as 1673 but with a diadem on Faustina’s head; see Sear RCV II 5284), only one other example (of RIC 1673) has the stars above the infants’ heads. See https://www.acsearch.info/image.html?id=6215913 (Numismatik Naumann, Auction 80, Lot 568, 4 Aug 2019). 

The four girls standing on either side of Felicitas on the reverse of this type have been identified as Marcus Aurelius’s and Faustina II’s daughters Annia Faustina (a/k/a Faustina III), Lucilla, Fadilla, and Cornificia -- the last of whom was born in 160 AD. The two infants held in her arms have been identified as Faustina II’s twin sons b. 31 Aug 161 AD: Titus Aurelius Fulvus Antoninus (the older twin, d. 165 AD) and Commodus, the ninth and tenth children of the royal couple. See Foss, Roman Historical Coins.

Next, another sestertius depicting an Empress.

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[IMG]
Julia Maesa, Augusta 218-225 CE.
Roman Orichalcum Sestertius, 21.28 gm, 29.2 mm.
Rome mint, 218-220 CE.
Obv: IVLIA MAESA AVGVSTA, diademed and draped bust, right.
Rev: PIETAS AVG SC, Pietas standing left, sacrificing over altar and holding incense box.
Refs: RIC 414; Cohen 31; BMCRE 389; Sear 7763; Thirion 408.

Next: Pietas. 

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IMG_8741.jpeg.647584f6fe332bcc71f0edf080318262.jpeg

22.3 g, 34 mm 40-41 AD, RIC I (second edition) Gaius/Caligula 51.

Obv: C CAESAR DIVI AVG PRON AVG P M TR P IIII P P PIETAS. Pietas, veiled, draped, seated left, holding patera in right hand and resting left arm on a small draped figure, standing on a basis, facing.

Rev: DIVO AVG S C. Front view of hexastyle garlanded temple surmounted by quadriga. In front, Caligula, veiled and togate, sacrifices with patera over garlanded altar right; one attendant leads bull to altar right; a second holds Patera.

Next- a much desired coin you bought without planning or waiting after you saw the coin. 

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8 hours ago, JayAg47 said:

Next- a much desired coin you bought without planning or waiting after you saw the coin. 

I had been looking for one of these first issue denarii with Corcordia standing for years. I purchased it instantly when I saw it at HJB's B/B sale. Astonishingly, @curtislclay had two specimens in his collection and both were on sale at HJB. The only decision I had to make was which of the two specimens to purchase. I went with this one because it was more clear on this one that the obverse inscription lacked "P P" (Pater Patriae) than on the other one. 

 

FaustinaSrCONCORDIAAVGnoPPstandingdenarius.jpg.b442af7bcbb497c85fed8da7c318a2a6.jpg

Faustina I, 138-140 CE.
Roman AR denarius, 3.24 g, 19.1 mm, 5 h.
Rome, 
first issue, 11 July 138 – 28 February 139 CE.
Obv: FAVSTINA AVG ANTONINI AVG, bare-headed and draped bust of Faustina, right.
Rev: CONCORDIA AVG, Concordia standing left, holding patera and double cornucopiae and resting left arm on column.
Refs: RIC –; BMCRE 36; Cohen –; RSC 153a; Strack 392; RCV –; CRE 91.

Next: A coin you purchased because it of a variant inscription. 

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Here is a coin only a specialist would care about the inscription difference:

1467Romaine-Postume-Antoninien-Trves-DianaeLuciferae-RAREa.jpg.0749e063145dca7dfcd5dc1725439d28.jpg

Postumus 260-269 antoninianus

Obverse: IMP C POSTVMVS PF AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right

Reverse: DIANAE LVCIFERE, Diana Lucifera advancing right, quiver over shoulder, holding lighted torch with both hands

Reference: AGK11X

Rare variety with reverse inscription ending LVCIFERE (only on two dies?) versus the more common LVCIFERAE.

Next - similar, coin only specialist would care about the variety

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Posted · Supporter

Again, as far as the variety goes, it pales into insignificance against the fact that it was a gift from my wife.

Diocletian AD 284-305. Potin Tetradrachm (19.5mm, 7.38 g.)

Egypt, Alexandria mint, dated RY 6 (AD 290/1).

Obv. A K G OYA ΔIOKΛHTIANOC CEB, laureate, cuirassed bust right

Rev. Eirene looking left, holding branch and scepter, SL (date) across field. No reverse legend.

Scarce variety with unusual date order,SL instead of LS

diocletian.jpg.4a80ec29261c48e5588871d158609b2e.jpg

NEXT: Alexandrian Diocletian

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Alright folks, let's move along...

Taras, Calabria

385-380 BC.
AR Obol (9mm, 0.48g).
O: Head of nymph Satyra right.
R: Three crescents facing outward around central pellet.
D'Andrea XXII, 405; Vlasto ----; HN Italy 924v (head left)
Very Rare
ex Savoca Coins

A rare and previously unpublished variety with the nymph facing right. Vlasto knew of only the left-facing type, and his specimen may have been unique.

Next: Greek silver

Vlasto_1139v.jpeg~2.jpg

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34_2.jpg?maxwidth=1600&maxheight=1600

KINGS of MACEDON. Alexander III ‘the Great’. 336-323 BC. AR Didrachm (19mm, 7.52 g, 3h). Uncertain mint(likely Amphipolis). Head of Herakles right, wearing lion skin / Zeus Aëtophoros seated left; control marks obscured. Cf. HGC 3, 913

 

Next;  Your rarest coin

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Posted (edited)

The one posted just above would be one of my rarest coins. This would be another...

Taras, Calabria

375/70-370-65 BC
AR Diobol (11.5mm, 1.15g, 2h)
O: Head of Athena right, wearing crested Attic helmet decorated with hippocamp.
R: Naked Herakles seated half-left on dead lion left, holding cup in right hand and club in left.
D'Andrea XXIV, 450 (this coin); D'Andrea Diobols D, 14d (this coin); Vlasto 1235 (this coin); SNG Cop 968 (same dies); HGC I, 829; HN Italy 910
Very Rare
From the AG Collection. ex Michel Pandely Vlasto Collection; ex Vecchi 17; ex CNG

Vlasto plate coin, #1235.
D'Andrea plate coin, Series XXIV, 450.
D'Andrea Diobols plate coin, Series D, Type 14.

Yet another reverse featuring Herakles‘ first labor. Here we see the final scene with our Hero, having slain the Nemean lion, now resting on the dead carcass and raising his cup. One can easily imagine him wondering how he is going to skin this impenetrable beast.
This coin is extremely rare, and Vlasto cites only this single die combination. I have found only three other specimens of this type listed.

Next: let's see more rarities 

V_1235.jpeg~2.jpg

Edited by Phil Anthos
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I believe this sestertius is unique with a stephaned bust. 

FaustinaJrCERESSClongverticaltorchsestertiusstephanedbust.jpg.2358f039b183657a9c3505b8c18461aa.jpg

Faustina II, 147-175 CE.
Roman orichalcum sestertius, 23.09 g, 32.1 mm, 6 h.
Rome, 170-171 CE.
FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, draped bust, right, wearing stephane (Beckmann Type 10 hairstyle).
Rev: 
CERES S C, Ceres seated left on cista, holding corn-ears in right hand and long, vertical torch in left hand.
Refs: Unlisted; cf. RIC 1621; cf. BMC 894; cf. Cohen 36.

Next: Stephane. 

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Posted · Supporter

6Hr

Not stephaned but diademed

Faustina II AE As, 26mm, 12.85gr.

RIC 1671, Cohen 201, Sear 5303

 Obverse Legend: FAVSTINA AVGVSTA

  Type: Bust of Faustina II, draped, diademed, hair elaborately waved in nearly vertical lines and fastened in a low chignon at back of head round head, down cheek, curls, right

.  Reverse Legend: SALVTI AVGVSTAE S C

  Type: Salus, draped, seated left on low seat, feeding from patera in right hand snake coiled round altar

7nfLrSE4Ab8a8Bo6g2MXCt9HWzc53p.jpg.c6e12feda09c6b15ee72190fbc11a078.jpg

NEXT: Serpent on altar

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Marcus Aurelius / Salus

168-169 AD
AR Denarius (17.5mm, 3.07g)
O: Laureate head right; M ANTONINVS AVG TR P XXIII.
R: Salus standing left, feeding snake rising from altar from patera in right hand, long scepter vertical in left hand; SALVTI AVG COS III.
Minted 168-169
RIC III 207; RSC II 543; BMCRE IV 495; Hunter II 47; cf.SRCV II 4927 (TR P XXIIII)
ex Forvm Ancient Coins

“The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.”

Next: Magna Graecia 

Marcus_Aurelius_Denarius.jpeg~2.jpg

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Posted · Supporter

Sicily, Syracuse. Timoleon or the Third Democracy, 344-317 BC. Æ23mm (13.56g, 6h). Struck circa 344-339/8 BC. Obv: ZΕΥΣ ΕΛ-ΕΥ-ΘΕΡΙΟΣ; laureate head of Zeus Eleutherios right. Rev: ΣΥΡΑΚ-ΟΣΙΩΝ; thunderbolt; eagle to right. Ref: Calciati II 72; HGC 2, 1440.

image.jpeg.b06f73c799ce1ed688c3be8df5545957.jpeg

Next: A coin from the mother city of Syracuse.

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Corinth...

Corinth, Corinthia

345-307 BC
AR Stater (21mm, 8.15g)
O: Pegasos with pointed wing flying left; koppa below.
R: Head of Athena left, wearing Corinthian helmet; chimaera behind.
Ravel 1010v; Calciati 1, 262; Sear 2630v (Nike behind)
ex Harlan J. Berk

Next: a Pegasus not from Corinth 

Corinth_Stater.jpeg~2.jpg

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Posted · Supporter

Here's a Roman Pegasus.

Gens: Cossutia
Moneyer: L. Cossutius C.f. S.
Coin: Silver Denarius
SABVLA - Head of Medusa left, winged and entwined with serpents
L. COSSVTI. C.F / XXXVI - Bellerophon, hurling spear, on Pegasus
Mint: Rome (74 BC)
Wt./Size/Axis: 3.88g / 18mm / 6h
References:
  • RSC 1 (Cossutia)
  • Sydenham 790
  • Crawford 395/1
Acquisition/Sale: Tinia Numismatica Online Auction Asta Cesare #332 7-Apr-2018

Cr395_1_Obv.JPG.990e7cacf765fdaa4378d45200cfb5e0.JPGCr395_1_Rev.JPG.3d876497702323c7c5b3b3bb273f9a8a.JPG

Next - Roman Republican Denarius without Roma or the Dioscuri

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P. Clodius M.f. Turrinus

42 BC
AR Denarius (18mm, 3.86g)
O: Laureate head of Apollo right; lyre behind.
R: Diana Lucifera standing facing, holding two long torches, bow and quiver on her shoulder; M.F - CLODIVS flanking.
RSC Claudia 15; Crawford 424-23; Sydenham 1117; CRI 184; RSC Claudia 15; BMC 4290
ex Sayles & Lavender

Next: water nymph

_1ClodiusDenarius.jpeg~2.jpg

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6 hours ago, Ryro said:

Next: serrated denarius 

e2d360e289e549b88ca507572f57cce1.jpg

Q. Antonius Balbus, Denarius, Rome mint, 83-82 BCE
Laureate head of Jupiter to right; behind, S•C; to right, B•
Q•ANTO•BALB / PR Victory in fast quadriga to right, holding wreath in her right hand and palm frond and reins in her left

3,80 gr - 19 mm - 6h

Ref : RCV # 279, RSC (Antonia) # 1, Crawford # 364/1c, Sydenham # 742a, RBW -

Next : Victory holding palm

Q

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[IMG]
Marcus Aurelius, AD 161-180.
Roman orichalcum sestertius, 24.15 g, 31.0 mm, 11 h.
Rome, AD 166-167.
Obv: M ANTONINVS AVG ARM PARTH MAX, head of Marcus Aurelius, laureate, right.
Rev: TR POT XXI IMP IIII COS III S C, Victory advancing left, holding wreath in right hand and palm in left hand over left shoulder.
Refs: RIC 948; BMCRE 1318-20; Cohen 815; RCV 5011; MIR 151-6/30.

Next: squarish flan. 

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Posted · Supporter
Gaius Vibius Trebonianus Gallus. AE Sestertius, Rome, AD 251-252

 

IMP CAES C VIBIVS TREBONIANVS GALLVS AVG, laureate, draped bust right / PIETAS AVGG, S-C, Pietas standing facing before lit altar, raising both hands.

RIC 117a; Cohen 86; Sear 9676.

23.15g. 28x31mm

ij7LG9opaN2m3wbDH63znCA4Jt5e8Q.jpg.a077f770fe8c5365ec93a48f5e6351c1.jpg

NEXT: Another irregular shaped flan

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