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Warning: this lifetime Faustina I sestertius has been extensively tooled


Roman Collector
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Sorry for the last-minute warning, but I only just noticed this coin now. Do not bid on it without understanding it has been extensively tooled. This is not noted in the item description.

Capture.JPG.d6680e6f63fd811cd795de01b4464a0a.JPG

That is NOT how the empress's hair is rendered on genuine examples. The tooling is extensive, including drapery on the empress and on Juno on the reverse. The tooler has added feathers to the peacock. There is also smoothing around the portrait and between and around the legend on the reverse.  Compare this genuine example from the British Museum Collection.

canvas.png.2b59eeea1db57b0fb71e288052f06e1c.png

See also the example at Münzkabinett der Universität Göttingen

800706164_FaustinaSrIVNONIREGINAESClifetimesestertiusGottingen.jpg.8b9d84138925fd8658ae56cbbacedcd3.jpg

Edited by Roman Collector
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54 minutes ago, Roman Collector said:

I hope whoever paid 130 CHF + 15% + shipping + currency exchange/transfer fees knew they were buying a tooled coin.

I would bet a tooled aureus that they did not. 

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I bought a heavily tooled Aurelian double Sestertius (described as tooled), back in the 90's, but one hardly sees them outside of auctions.  I think that's my only knowingly tooled coin. I'm not a huge fan of tooling.

I wonder what the original coin's grade was before tooling?  Perhaps it still could have been one of the finest known, without the chisel.

Egregiously applied desert patinas are almost as bad as tooling, in my opinion.  Does that crud even come off?

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I don't see extensive tooling on this Faustina bronze: virtually none on the reverse, possibly a little on the hair behind the empress' eye  and maybe also to the left of her ear on the obverse.  Unfortunately I don't find in CoinArchives another example from one or both of the same dies for purposes of comparison .

I'm a little confused about the denomination: you call the coin a sestertius, but Savoca, in the link you provide, describes it as a middle bronze, 28 mm, 11.03 g?

It's interesting that on a couple of the coins you show the peacock fans its tail, a detail usually omitted when the bird is shown standing before Juno. I made a note of another example of this sestertius with fanned tail some years ago, in Titano 45, 28 June 2014, lot 224.

 

 

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Ooooooh....I Don't know about others but I'm really confused on how to spot tooling...I really like the big bronzes but always hesitant if there's too much detail...Another thread is running related to a Trajan Sestertius for 5 bucks which I didn't feel had been tooled but this one I would've questioned...Could someone maybe put up some photos of tooled versus not?...It would be very helpful.

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1 hour ago, curtislclay said:

Looking again, I see that Roman Collectors's title "sestertius" was just a typo; both of the dealers call the coin an As with weight 11.03 g.

Not really a typo, but a brain fart and all of the examples I posted were of sestertii, too! Thanks for catching the error. I, however, still maintain there has been a lot of work done on the empress's hair.

It doesn't photograph well because of the nearly black bottle-green patina, but here's mine. Admittedly not high-grade:

160591077_FaustinaSrIVNONIREGINAESClifetimeas.jpg.e6db4a13e884fdbb980815de78f28552.jpg
Faustina II, AD 138-140.
Roman Æ as or dupondius, 10.10 g, 27.1 mm, 11 h.
Rome, AD 139-140.
Obv: FAVSTINA AVG AN-TONINI AVG PII P P, bare-headed and draped bust, right.
Rev: IVNONI REGINAE S C, Juno standing left, holding patera and scepter; peacock at her feet, standing left, head right.
Refs: RIC 1091; BMCRE 1129-1130; Cohen --; RCV --; Strack 1218.

Compare:

Capture.JPG.d6680e6f63fd811cd795de01b4464a0a.JPG

Edited by Roman Collector
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12 hours ago, Roman Collector said:

Sorry for the last-minute warning, but I only just noticed this coin now. Do not bid on it without understanding it has been extensively tooled. This is not noted in the item description.

Capture.JPG.d6680e6f63fd811cd795de01b4464a0a.JPG

That is NOT how the empress's hair is rendered on genuine examples. The tooling is extensive, including drapery on the empress and on Juno on the reverse. The tooler has added feathers to the peacock. There is also smoothing around the portrait and between and around the legend on the reverse.  Compare this genuine example from the British Museum Collection.

 

I think this is the same coin in 2019 - https://www.acsearch.info/search.html?id=5631202

what bothers me about the hair?  it seems to be made by adding lots of little chisel marks instead of the pointed dots as shown on these two coins of Faustina I:

image.png.f20919b1a027532ff9f7a6cad7033d58.pngimage.png.3ed4089757741b55c656fb8910cb6256.png

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4 minutes ago, Sulla80 said:

I think this is the same coin in 2019 - https://www.acsearch.info/search.html?id=5631202

what bothers me about the hair?  it seems to be made by adding lots of little chisel marks instead of the pointed dots as shown on these two coins of Faustina I:

image.png.f20919b1a027532ff9f7a6cad7033d58.pngimage.png.3ed4089757741b55c656fb8910cb6256.png

Exactly! I've never once seen her hair rendered as a series of vertical beads between the horizontal braids. Your high-grade photos show how her hair is supposed to look.

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3 hours ago, Nerosmyfavorite68 said:

I bought a heavily tooled Aurelian double Sestertius (described as tooled), back in the 90's, but one hardly sees them outside of auctions.  I think that's my only knowingly tooled coin. I'm not a huge fan of tooling.

I wonder what the original coin's grade was before tooling?  Perhaps it still could have been one of the finest known, without the chisel.

Egregiously applied desert patinas are almost as bad as tooling, in my opinion.  Does that crud even come off?

I personally think tooling is much worse, because it's permanent and irreversible -- and, for me, often difficult to recognize. From what I've heard, that artificial desert patina, despite being equally deceptive, is supposed to be fairly simple to remove.

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