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Two pocket piece Antonine sestertii


ambr0zie
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Yay! after almost 3 weeks of waiting the coins I won from the last auction and endless discussions with DPD (congratulations, you are now the absolute champion of delayed deliveries, FedEx worked hard to win this battle but you are simply impossible to beat) I finally received a phone call that the courier reached my block!

As some of you know, 2nd century coins are one of my main points of interest. I love the variety of reverses, the artistry - for me, from the artistic point of view, 2nd century is better than 1st.

I managed to win 2 sestertii that might not be the best out there, but I am very pleased with these additions.

First is an Antoninus Pius (I just love his portraits, they always inspire serenity, dignity and intelligence, at least this is how I see them) but what made me bid on this coin was the reverse.

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ANTONINUS PIUS.(138-161). Sestertius. Rome. AD 158-159 28 mm, 17.2 g
ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P, laureate bust right / [TEMPL DIVI AVG] REST COS IIII SC, octastyle temple, with figure of Divus Augustus between two reclining figures on pediment, quadriga at top of roofline, acroteria (Romulus on left, Aeneas bearing Anchises on right) at bottom of roofline, and containing cult images of Divus Augustus and Diva Livia. Restored under Antoninus Pius in AD 158, the Temple of Divus Augustus housed seated statues of Augustus and Livia and was octastyle in the Corinthian order. RIC III Antoninus Pius 787

Quite an activity happening there on the reverse, I think this is the most crowded reverse from my collection. It's a pity the coin is quite worn, but probably it would have been out of my price range in a better condition. It was a litle difficult to attrbute because there are a few sestertii with similar designs, but I think I attributed it correctly.

 

Second one is quite dull, but it ticked enough boxes for me to want it and get it. An empress, very good and expressive portrait, nice toning and, last but not least, affordable price.

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LUCILLA (Augusta, 164-182). Rome. Sestertius. AD 164-169. 30 mm, 20.6 g
LVCILLA AVGVSTA, draped bust right / IVNO, Juno seated left, holding patera and sceptre, S C across fields. RIC III Marcus Aurelius 1746

Lucilla did not have a good fate. Of royal blood (daughter of Marcus Aurelius, wife of Lucius Verus, sister of Commodus) she participated in a plot to murder Commodus in 182. The plot failed and Commodus exiled her to the island of Capri, where he had her executed later in the same year.

Her son, Pompeianus, was killed by Caracalla in 211/212:

Is it just me or Juno looks exactly like Lucius Verus on this coin?

 

Please post Antinonine sestertii, sestertii of empresses, coins depicting temples or anything you feel relevant.

 

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Nice coins with beautiful patina !!

 

Here are some Faustina II Sestertii:

 

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Faustina II
Sestertius, AD 161-175
Obv.: FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, draped bust right.
Rev.: MATRI MAGNAE / S - C, Cybele, holding drum, seated right between two lions.
AE, 26.24g, 32 mm
Ref.: RIC 1663

 

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Faustina II
Sestertius, Rome, AD 175-176
Obv.: DIVA FAVSTINA PIA, draped bust right
Rev.: SIDERIBVS RECEPTA, Faustina as Diana, standing right, with crescent at shoulders, holding long torch in both hands; S-C across fields
AR, 30mm, 24.1g
Ref.: RIC 1715 (Aurelius) [S]

 

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Faustina II
Sestertius, AD 161-175
Obv.: FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, draped bust right.
Rev.: TEMPOR FELIC, Faustina standing left, holding two infants, between four girls at her feet. In field, S – C.
AE, 28.05g, 33.4 mm
Ref.: RIC 1673

 

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Faustina II
Sestertius
Obv.: FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, Draped bust right, wearing stephane, hair in chignon at the back of the head.
Rev.: SAECVLI FELICIT / S - C, The twins T. Aurelius Fulvus Antoninus and Commodus facing on throne
AE, 23.94g, 32.2mm
Ref.: RIC 1665, C 193

 

Edited by shanxi
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I love the Antonine period! And Romans who lived during the Antonine period loved it, too. It was a prosperous time and coinage kept its value. Coins circulated for decades, particularly the bronze coins involved in everyday transactions. Worn bronzes are the rule, not the exception, and if you come across an Antonine bronze in "EF," it's probably been tooled.

Here's one of my favorite Antoninus Pius sestertii.

[IMG]
Antoninus Pius, AD 138-161.
Roman orichalcum sestertius, 23.16 g, 29 mm.
Rome, AD 142.
Obv: ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P COS III, laureate head right.
Rev: ANNONA AVG S C, Annona standing right, between modius and prow, holding corn ears and out-turned cornucopiae.
Refs: RIC 597; BMCRE 1228; Cohen 37; RCV 4147; UCR 502.
 
And here's a Juno sestertius of his granddaughter.
 
[IMG] Lucilla, AD 161-182.
Roman orichalcum sestertius, 24.10 g, 30.7 mm, 1 h.
Rome, AD 163-164.
Obv: LVCILLAE AVG ANTONINI AVG F, bust of Lucilla, draped, right.
Rev: IVNONI LVCINAE S C, Juno, seated left on throne, holding flower on extended right hand and swaddled infant in left hand.
Refs: RIC 1747; BMCRE 1154-1160; Cohen 37; RCV 5504; MIR 9.
 
 
 
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@ambr0zie I like the Pius portrait. I agree. He looks serene and dignified.

I'm curious, about your definition of "pocket piece", in the title of this thread. I thought, that a "pocket piece", was a coin, that someone carried in his/her pocket, often loose, not in a container, as a good luck charm, or for some similar purpose. Will you be carrying these coins, loose, in your pocket? Or, am I mistaken, on the definition of "pocket piece"?

Edited by sand
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I am not a native English speaker so I wouldn't be surprised if I used the term incorrectly.

I have first seen the term "pocket" piece for worn coins, as a metaphor (not in the primary sense of a coin carried in pocket for decades).

I am not using it in a bad way - I find coins that were naturally worn and circulated for a long time very attractive, as long as attribution is possible without doubts. I like coins in good condition too. But there is something special, in my eyes, for coins like these.

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1 hour ago, ambr0zie said:

I am not a native English speaker so I wouldn't be surprised if I used the term incorrectly.

I have first seen the term "pocket" piece for worn coins, as a metaphor (not in the primary sense of a coin carried in pocket for decades).

I am not using it in a bad way - I find coins that were naturally worn and circulated for a long time very attractive, as long as attribution is possible without doubts. I like coins in good condition too. But there is something special, in my eyes, for coins like these.

That's good. I'm glad, that you are not planning, to carry the coins loose in your pocket.

I've seen a few threads, on coin forums, in which some people have talked about carrying coins, loose in their pockets, and they call them "pocket pieces". Usually, it's worn, very common coins. If I remember correctly, it's often US coins.

I admit that, when I was a lot younger, I once had a US silver eagle, which is a large bullion coin, year 1998 or so, in which someone had painted the devices red, white, and blue. I used to carry that coin, loose in my pocket, because I liked the feel of it, in my pocket, and I liked to look at it, sometimes. However, that was a common, bullion coin. However, perhaps someday, official US bullion coins will be collected as much as the US non-bullion coins, because official US bullion coins are as real as the non-bullion coins, to me.

Edited by sand
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I have very few sestertii, but one Antonine...

Commodus VICT BRIT Commemorative Sestertius, 184image.png.56e8f6914c839b1a4d4c2ca023858c0e.pngRome. Bronze, 29.5mm, 22.61g. Laureate head right; M COMMODVS ANTON AVG PIVS BRIT. Victory, winged, draped, seated right on shields, cradling palm frond in right arm, inscribing shield set on knee and held in place by left hand, two shields on ground to left; P M TR P VIIII IMP VII COS IIII P P S C; VICT BRIT in exergue (RIC III, 440). A serious revolt erupted in Britain in 184, but was quickly put down and commemorated with coins.

18 minutes ago, ambr0zie said:

I have first seen the term "pocket" piece for worn coins, as a metaphor (not in the primary sense of a coin carried in pocket for decades).

I have seen this too. I think, though, that although the people that use this term are not carrying them around in their pockets, the wear on these coins is such - perhaps unnaturally severe - that they believe someone (perhaps a previous collector) had literally carried them around in their pockets as pocket pieces.

Edited by John Conduitt
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Posted (edited)

To be honest, I don't think these coins are bad. At all! I was expecting something worse when I bought them but in the hand the toning, the quality of the portraits AND my great joy (as I was very afraid this parcel was lost in transit) made me like them more. Especially the Lucilla sestertius, I bought it just as a snack seeing the coin remains low in auction. But I really like it it hand. So the term "pocket piece" or what I intended to express - very worn coins - might be inaccurate.

Edited by ambr0zie
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52 minutes ago, Roman Collector said:

Worn bronzes are the rule, not the exception, and if you come across an Antonine bronze in "EF," it's probably been tooled.

 

I know I’ll probably get run outta town for this comment, lol, but this is the only reason why I like the NGC encapsulations for sestertii. When I was at the ANA, there were quite a number of wonderful sestertii for sale but nearly all of them said tooling or smoothing in the NGC description space. As someone who isn’t trained enough to spot tooling/smoothing easily, this was helpful. But with that said, I definitely would have broken the coin out of the encapsulation right then and there had I bought one of them 😂

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Very nice! I've heard of a couple ancient collectors with "pocket pieces" that they would carry in their pocket (probably not with their keys or other change) or wallet as a way to share their passion and hobby with others they meet. Wait... Isn't that what that little fifth pocket is for on jeans?? A perfect size for a worn sestertius?

I too enjoy some nice, honest wear on coins...

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Antoninus Pius, Ruled 138-161 AD
AE Sestertius, Struck 140-144 AD, Rome
Obverse: ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P COS III, Laureate head right.
Reverse: Spes, draped, advancing left, holding dress and gathering up fold of skirt, S-C across fields.
References: RIC III 626

 

CollageMaker_20180821_231115888

Divus Antoninus Pius, Died 161
AE Sestertius, Struck 161+, Rome Mint
Obverse: DIVVS ANTONINVS Bare-headed bust of Antoninus Pius to right.
Reverse: CONSECRATIO, four-tiered funeral pyre, decorated with garlands and surmounted by a quadriga; SC below.
References: RIC Marcus Aurelius 1266
Size: 31mm, 25g
Ex: Bing Collection

 

CollageMaker_20190122_172536401

Lucilla, Wife of Verus, Daughter of Aurelius
AE Sestertius, Struck 164-169 AD, Rome
Obverse: LVCILLA AVGVSTA, Bust of Lucilla, hair waved and fastened in a low chignon at back of head, draped, right.
Reverse: FECVNDITAS, Lucilla as Fecunditas, draped, seated right on low seat, nursing infant; before her, a girl standing; behind her, a boy standing; SC in exergue.
References: RIC III 1738
Size: 32mm, 24.4g

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I agree on the sometimes very attractive nature of worn coins, sestertii in particular. The only ones that I have used as "pocket pieces" were extremely worn George III Cartwheels. Sometimes it's nice to have a big, hefty bit of metal in your pocket rather than a credit card. And in a pinch, it can be used as a defensive weapon!

Marcus Aurelius, as Caesar, AD 139-161. Æ Sestertius (31mm, 23.01g, 12h). Rome mint. Struck under Antoninus Pius, AD 145. Obv: AVRELIVS CAESAR-AVG PII F COS II; Bare head right. Rev: S-C; Minerva advancing right, brandishing javelin and holding shield. Ref: RIC III 1243a (Pius); Banti 291.

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@ambr0zie...That's a couple of "nice" coins with super looking patinas...

I love worn Sestertius too and what I like most is when they're held in hand they feel like they have "value" in their size and weight..

I have a couple...........

Actually they were a couple...normal_1-Pq3EL2XdbJ9QF5pkPxE6f89ZTY4gn7.jpg.c4aaa635abb5f68dabdcd533f0087700.jpg

ANTONINUS PIUS. 138-161 AD. Æ Sestertius (33mm, 26.75 g.)
Struck 159/160 AD.
Obverse..ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P XXIII, laureate head right
Rev. PIETATI AVG COS IIII SC, Pietas standing left holding globe, Faustina Junior as Pietas standing left, between Faustina Minima, Lucilla & holding baby Fadilla.
RIC III #1031

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Diva Faustina Senior. Æ Sestertius (32mm, 21.19 g.)
Rome mint, struck under Antoninus Pius, circa AD 146-161.
Obv. DIVA FAVSTINA draped bust right.
Rev. AETERNITAS S-C seated left, holding scepter and globe surmounted by phoenix....RICIII #1103 (Antoninus Pius)
Reddish-brown patina.

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Antoninus Pius Ae Sestertius 141-143 AD Obv bust right laureate and draped seen lightly from the back Rv Italia seated on globe left holding scepter and cornucopia RIC 746a 27,14 grms 33 mm Photo by W. Hansen

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I have always wondered if this coin was a response to the massive honoring all the provinces of the Roman Empire that was struck by Hadrian. The viewer is being told hat he is fortunate (the mural crown) that Italia rules (the scepter) the universe (starry globe) as she brings prosperity (cornucopia) to all. This an unusual and powerful statement and it would be interesting to know the context in which it belongs. 

 

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