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Vesta Takes a Seat

David Atherton

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I love the coins struck by Titus as Augustus, even the worn ones. I happily found a home for this honestly worn Vesta.





Æ Dupondius, 13.42g
Rome mint, 80-81 AD
Obv: IMP T CAES VESP AVG P M TR P COS VIII; Head of Titus, radiate, bearded, l.
Rev: VESTA in exergue; S C in field; Vesta std. l., with palladium and sceptre
RIC 213 (C). BMC 201. BNC 204.
Acquired from Carthago Numismatics, August 2022.

This seated Vesta type is quite common on Titus's bronze coinage, much more so than on Vespasian's earlier issues where she is more commonly represented as standing. Vesta, the goddess of home and hearth, is seen here holding a palladium - a wooden cult image of Pallas Athena which oversees the safety and well being of Rome. Her cult was maintained by the Vestal Virgins. The reverse has a calm and reassuring tone, a most befitting one for a new emperor.

Feel free to share your worn treasures.

Thanks for looking!

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This worn coin with a Vesta reverse was the first sestertius I ever purchased -- from a brick and mortar coin shop perhaps thirty years ago. I lost its provenance when my computer crashed c. 2006.

Faustina Senior, AD 138-141.
Roman orichalcum sestertius, 24.57 g, 32.0 mm.
Rome, AD 145-147.
Obv: DIVA FAVSTINA, bare-headed and draped bust, right.
Rev: AVGVSTA S C, Vesta veiled, standing left, holding palladium and scepter.
Refs: RIC 1124; BMCRE 1519-20; Cohen 110 = 122 corr.; Strack 1294; RCV 4617.
Notes: Cohen 122 (Wiczay): "Concordia? standing l., holding statuette and wand," (La Concorde? debout à gauche, tenant une statuette et une baguette) is almost certainly a badly described specimen of this type.

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I guess I post this one kinduva lot ... But I love seeing the scowly Vespasian and the toning and Vesta's sheer veil whenever I get the opportunity:



Roman Imperial Coinage. Vespasian (Emperor, 69-79 CE) AR Denarius (17mm, 3.50 g, 6h). Rome mint, struck July-December 71.
Obv: IMP CAES VESP AVG P M. Laureate head right.
Rev: TRI POT. Vesta seated left, draped, holding simpulum.
Ref: RIC II.1 46; RSC / Cohen 561.

Prov: Archer M. Huntington (1870-1955) Collection; American Numismatic Society (1001.22363), et al.


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As of Caius Caligula 37-38 AD Obv Head right left bare. Rv Vesta seated left holding patera and scepter. RIC 38 10.70 grms 30 mm Photo by W. Hansencaiusas1.jpeg.f49c520a891977e996d325ea420991f8.jpegThis coin was part of a massive well thought out interdenominational message issued from the mint of Rome. The part played by this coin was to reassure the population of Rome that the traditional virtues of the Roman state are being maintained by this young but otherwise untested new Princeps. 

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Vespasian, AD 69-79. AR Denarius (18mm, 3.39g, 6h). Rome mint, struck AD 71. Obv: IMP CAES VES-P ΛVG PM; Laureate head right. Rev: TRI-POT; Vesta, veiled and draped, seated left, holding simpulum in extended right hand and resting left hand at side. Ref: RIC II 46; RSC 561; BMCRE 57-8; BN 39-40. Very Fine, lightly toned. Ex-Amphora Coins, Dec 2011.


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Here's a worn Vesta that I like very much nonetheless:

Julia Titi Flavia (daughter of Titus), AE Dupondius 80-81 AD, Rome Mint. Obv. Draped bust right with hair bundled high in front and coiled in chignon high in back, IVLIA IMP T AVG F AVGVSTA/ Rev. Vesta seated left, holding palladium in right hand and long transverse scepter in left arm, VESTA below, S C across fields. RIC II.1 398 at. p. 223 (Titus) (2007 ed.), old RIC II 180 (Titus) (1926 ed.), Sear RCV I 2617 (ill.), BMCRE Titus 257. 26 mm., 12.23 g., 6 h.


And another, perhaps not quite so worn:

Caligula, AE As, 37-38 AD, Rome Mint. Obv. Bare head left, C CAESAR AVG GERMANICVS PON M TR POT/ Rev. Vesta seated left, holding patera and scepter, VESTA above, S - C across field. RIC I 38, Sear RCV I 1803, Cohen 27, BMCRE 46.  30x28 mm., 10.32 g.


Vesta No. 3, on the obverse for a change:

Roman Republic, P. [Publius] Sulpicius Galba, AR Denarius, 69 BCE. Obv. Veiled head of Vesta right, S•C• [Senatus consulto] downwards behind / Rev. Sacrificial implements (Long knife [secespita], short-handled simpulum or culullus,* and single-bladed axe [securis] ornamented with lion’s head, left to right), AE in left field, CVR in right field [together = Aedilis Curulis]; in exergue, P•GALB.** Crawford 406/1, RSC I [Babelon] Sulpicia 7, Sear RCV I 345, BMCRR 3517, Harlan, RRM I Ch. 28 at pp. 160-163 [Harlan, Michael, Roman Republican Moneyers and their Coins, 81 BCE-64 BCE (2012)], Sydenham 839, RBW Collection 1454.*** 18 mm., 3.97 g. Purchased from Kölner Münzkabinett, April 2021; ex Fritz Rudolf Künker GmbH & Co. KG, Auction 347, Lot 918, March 22, 2021. (With 19th-Century handwritten French-language coin ticket, citing Babelon Sulpicia 6[bearing the reverse legend AED-CVR] on one side, and Babelon Sulpicia 7 [this coin, bearing the reverse legend AE-CVR] on the other.)[Double die match to http://numismatics.org/archives/ark:/53695/schaefer.rrdp.b06#schaefer.rrdp.b06_0214 , Binder 06, p. 165.1, Col. 3, Row 4, No. 444.] [Footnotes omitted.]


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Hi All,

This was one of three gift denari added to an order I placed for an Alexandrian AE Drachma. The 3 included free of charge were: Faustina with reverses - Vesta, Ceres, and Fecunditas.



Size: 17x20 mm
Weight: 3.19 g
Die Axis: 12:30

■ Obv: Faustina the Younger draped bust facing right, bare-headed, hair waved and fastened in a bun on back of head. Legend: [FA]VSTINA - AVGVSTA.
Dotted border.
■ Rev: Vesta, veiled, seated facing left on low seat, holding palladium in right hand and sceptre cradled in left arm. Legend: V - ES - TA. Dotted border.
■ Refs: RIC III-0737 (under Marcus Aurelius) OCRE; BMC-0175 (under Marcus Aurelius); RSC-286; Sear Greek Coins: SR-5270
■ Broucheion Collection: ROM-2015-11-13.001a (ex-Ebay #171990578174 from INQUISITOR604 - Colin Lambe, BC, Canada).

- Broucheion

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