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Thoughts on this Hadrian Galley Sestertius?


alemmo
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I recently took a flyer on this Hadrian Sestertius on eBay.  It was sold in an Ibercoin auction in late 2020, I won it at a lower price on eBay. https://www.numisbids.com/n.php?p=lot&sid=4389&lot=1324

It seems to be a RIC 706 variant.  Nearest match I can find is from the Kunst museum  https://www.ikmk.at/object?lang=en&id=ID61728&view=vs

It does seem a bit too good to be true to me, It has sort of a pebbly textured patina, I believe it may have been repatinated maybe with the sandy texture added.  What do you all think?  

image01324.jpeg

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13 minutes ago, Roman Collector said:

It is RIC II, Part 3 (second edition) Hadrian 1321. There are no examples posted of the type at OCRE, unfortunately. I offer no opinion about the authenticity of the item, only that it is known to the numismatic community.

Is the ship facing right? Or is it more like 1298 (= RIC II Hadrian 706l)? Although none of the examples seem to be 1298 i.e. Hadrian draped and cuirassed, left, from side/behind; ship left

Edited by John Conduitt
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20 minutes ago, alemmo said:

I recently took a flyer on this Hadrian Sestertius on eBay.  It was sold in an Ibercoin auction in late 2020, I won it at a lower price on eBay. https://www.numisbids.com/n.php?p=lot&sid=4389&lot=1324

It seems to be a RIC 706 variant.  Nearest match I can find is from the Kunst museum  https://www.ikmk.at/object?lang=en&id=ID61728&view=vs

It does seem a bit too good to be true to me, It has sort of a pebbly textured patina, I believe it may have been repatinated maybe with the sandy texture added.  What do you all think?  

I don't quite understand it. Sorry.

You bought THIS former IBERCOIN coin on Ebay? So exactly this one? The picture you post here is from Ibercoin. And this is the coin you have now?

Or do you mean that you bought a similar coin on Ebay?

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1 minute ago, Prieure de Sion said:

I don't quite understand it. Sorry.

You bought THIS former IBERCOIN coin on Ebay? So exactly this one? The picture you post here is from Ibercoin. And this is the coin you have now?

Or do you mean that you bought a similar coin on Ebay?

Yes, I bought the coin last week on eBay, it is the exact coin that was sold on the Ibercoin Auction in December 2020 that I have linked, it came with the Ibercoin Auction flip.  

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2 minutes ago, alemmo said:

Yes, I bought the coin last week on eBay, it is the exact coin that was sold on the Ibercoin Auction in December 2020 that I have linked, it came with the Ibercoin Auction flip.  

Ok. May I ask what you paid for it on Ebay - approximately? Did the Ebay seller send you the original invoice (copy) of the Ibercoin auction? 

 

PS: You know that this is not one of the 12 Caesars? 😉 

Edited by Prieure de Sion
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6 minutes ago, Prieure de Sion said:

S: You know that this is not one of the 12 Caesars? 😉 

this is another A :classic_cool:

 

It's not 1298 , which is laureate, and not 1321 ship right

Edited by shanxi
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3 minutes ago, Prieure de Sion said:

Ok. May I ask what you paid for it on Ebay - approximately? Did the Ebay seller send you the original invoice (copy) of the Ibercoin auction? 

 

PS: You know that this is not one of the 12 Caesars? 😉 

I paid a little over $300 on eBay, it sold for $440 Euro from the Ibercoin auction.  I think the ebay auction started at $100 with no reserve.  I do not have the original invoice but it is the exact coin https://www.ebay.com/itm/325330816175?nma=true&si=6zC5Q1rOjY5oEqYrsBD4CpAscQY%3D&orig_cvip=true&nordt=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557

Hopefully that eBay link works, if not I can take some of my own photos for you.  

Not sure I understand your comment on the 12 Caesars?  Did I post in the wrong forum?  I'm new here but I am aware Hadrian was not one of the 12 Caesars, but was adoptive successor of Trajan and one of the "five good emperors"

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6 minutes ago, shanxi said:

this is another A :classic_cool:

Oh... to much A on Sunday - my mistake! 

Mea culpa! Mea culpa mea maxima culpa!

image.png.d8003979bc983c5d6eeb2050491a2e88.png

 

14 minutes ago, alemmo said:

Yes, I bought the coin last week on eBay, it is the exact coin that was sold on the Ibercoin Auction in December 2020 that I have linked, it came with the Ibercoin Auction flip.  

What surprises me is that the sestertius has already brought "only" 440 EUR at Ibercoin. Some other interested parties must have had doubts about the coin (whatever they were) - otherwise the price would have been much higher. My opinion.

 

Edited by Prieure de Sion
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1 minute ago, alemmo said:

Not sure I understand your comment on the 12 Caesars?  Did I post in the wrong forum?  I'm new here but I am aware Hadrian was not one of the 12 Caesars, but was adoptive successor of Trajan and one of the "five good emperors"

No all fine - thats my mistake 🙂 .. sorry...

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After about 30 minutes of searching my copy of RIC II.3, I have been completely unable to locate a sestertius of this type in any of the plates.  The problem is that none of the sestertii's obverse busts exhibit the feature I've circle below:

image.jpeg.cc1776c381d44713e17c1bce66d82ca7.jpeg

The closest I can find is actually a dupondius (RIC 1303) that MIGHT have this feature on the front bust but the plate is too dark and not detailed enough to confirm this, although the written description is accurate: "... laureate, draped bust viewed from back or side... Bare heads noted with +; left facing with /L (dp no longer radiate)."  However, at 23 g., the OP coin seems too heavy to be a dupondius although it would be quite light for a sestertius.

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Since the RIC update on Hadrian, these can be tough to attribute, given there are so many variations.  That "RIC 706" sounds like an old number from the earlier editions.  The new numbers are on OCRE; the listings for Hadrian have been expanded so much, I've found there often isn't a direct correlation between old-new numbering.  Poking around on OCRE, I came up with a close possibility:  how about RIC II, Part 3, 2nd Ed., Hadrian 1338?

http://numismatics.org/ocre/id/ric.2_3(2).hdn.1338

This has the bare-headed draped bust left, and the ship is heading right - but the bust is not cuirassed, which the OP seems to be.  That big thing on the prow of the ship is a figurehead, described in OCRE as "Neptune or Triton" - other similar examples are more clear (you can see the trident). 

Unfortunately there are no illustrated examples on OCRE of RIC 1338 (not all the Hadrian types have illustrations, as @idesofmarch01notes above)  None on acsearch either, as far as I can tell.  As for my very inexpert opinion, I think the OP coin looks very suspicious - and as @Prieure de Sion pointed out, the (original, non-eBay) auction sale price is too low for a genuine coin like this.  That it turned up on eBay is probably not a good sign (I buy almost all my coins on eBay, so I am a fan, but I shy away from bargain-priced, fully-attributed "prestige" coins, such as the OP).   

As for what it is, I doubt anybody would bother to add a "sandy texture" patina to a genuine coin unless they were covering up serious flaws.  Otherwise, they look like casting "pimples."  Also, the style looks more Bulgarian to me than Imperial Rome, especially the bust.  That being said, a quick search of Forgery Network didn't turn up any like the OP, which is a good thing.  Again, this is a very, very inexpert opinion, but since you asked...  

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10 minutes ago, Marsyas Mike said:

Poking around on OCRE, I came up with a close possibility:  how about RIC II, Part 3, 2nd Ed., Hadrian 1338?

 

1338 is a sailing ship. It is illustrated on plate 117.    (The plates of the new RIC are bad, too dark, without contrast).

Edited by shanxi
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10 minutes ago, shanxi said:

 

1338 is a sailing ship. It is illustrated on plate 117.    (The plates of the new RIC are bad, too dark, without contrast).

Ah - rather than a galley?  But the OP does have a sail, at the stern, and another mast behind the figurehead? 

I'm no sailor, and these Hadrian variations get me every time!  ☺️

Below is a link to an OCRE search I did for "ship"  "FELICITATI" "Hadrian" and sestertius - 11 hits, but dozens of variations within each of the 11.  Bewildering:  

 

http://numismatics.org/ocre/results?q=fulltext%3Aship+AND+fulltext%3AFELICITATI++AND+denomination_facet%3A"Sestertius"+AND+(material_facet%3A"Bronze"+OR+material_facet%3A"Orichalcum")+AND+portrait_facet%3A"Hadrian"

 

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I had an eye on the Mercury/Prow R.R. Sextans that the seller was also offering.  It went for more than I was willing to spend.

Something about the 'style' of the O.P.'s coin didn't/doesn't sit right for me.  I get a 'Paduan' vibe from it.  Since I trust my gut, I decided to not give it further interest.

That stated, my 'Spidey-Sense' is not infallible.  If the only loss is potentially missing out on a coin I'm unsure about; I don't fret too much about it.

What I don't like is the style of the hair.  It's 'brain-like' structure(for lack of a better descriptor) looks more akin to what one would see on a Julio-Claudian Sestertius than an Adoptive Emperors Sestertius.  Could it by a sign of 'tooling' on a genuine coin?  I dunno.

The small (circular)moon craters on the reverse also lend me to take pause.  They look like popped air-bubbles.

This is RIC 706j.  Notice the the 'thicker locks' hairstyle which is what I am more accustomed to expecting on Hadrian portraits.

4141328l.jpg?md5=B0m7jYO5iiSlaEOxJEFVtQ&expires=1663542366

 

I'm certainly far from being expert enough to be able to condemn or confirm the OP coin's authenticity, I'm simply expressing the concerns that I had in leading my decision to pass on any further interest for it.

Edited by Herodotus
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5 minutes ago, Herodotus said:

I had an eye on the Mercury/Prow R.R. Sextans that the seller was also offering.  It went for more than I was willing to spend.

Something about the 'style' of the O.P.'s coin didn't/doesn't sit right for me.  I get a 'Paduan' vibe from it.  Since I trust my gut, I decided to not give it further interest.

That stated, my 'Spidey-Sense' is not infallible.  If the only loss is potentially missing out on a coin I'm unsure about; I don't fret too much about it.

What I don't like is the style of the hair.  It's 'brain-like' structure(for lack of a better descriptor) looks more akin to what one would see on a Julio-Claudian Sestertius than an Adoptive Emperors Sestertius.  Could it by a sign of 'tooling' on a genuine coin?  I dunno.

The small (circular)moon craters on the reverse also lend me to take pause.  They look like popped air-bubbles.

This is RIC 706j.  Notice the the 'thicker locks' hairstyle which is what I am more accustomed to expecting on Hadrian portraits.

4141328l.jpg?md5=B0m7jYO5iiSlaEOxJEFVtQ&expires=1663542366

 

I'm certainly far from being expert enough to be able to condemn or confirm the OP coin's authenticity, I'm simply expressing the concerns that I had in leading my decision to pass on any further interest for it.

This post mirrors my thoughts about the OP coin as well.  I collect Hadrian travel series, and I have yet to see a bust on any of his denominations where the hair looks similar to the OP coin.  My knowledge isn't exhaustive, of course, but this coin's obverse doesn't inspire confidence about its authenticity.

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13 minutes ago, Herodotus said:

I had an eye on the Mercury/Prow R.R. Sextans that the seller was also offering.  It went for more than I was willing to spend.

Something about the 'style' of the O.P.'s coin didn't/doesn't sit right for me.  I get a 'Paduan' vibe from it.  Since I trust my gut, I decided to not give it further interest.

That stated, my 'Spidey-Sense' is not infallible.  If the only loss is potentially missing out on a coin I'm unsure about; I don't fret too much about it.

What I don't like is the style of the hair.  It's 'brain-like' structure(for lack of a better descriptor) looks more akin to what one would see on a Julio-Claudian Sestertius than an Adoptive Emperors Sestertius.  Could it by a sign of 'tooling' on a genuine coin?  I dunno.

The small (circular)moon craters on the reverse also lend me to take pause.  They look like popped air-bubbles.

This is RIC 706j.  Notice the the 'thicker locks' hairstyle which is what I am more accustomed to expecting on Hadrian portraits.

4141328l.jpg?md5=B0m7jYO5iiSlaEOxJEFVtQ&expires=1663542366

 

I'm certainly far from being expert enough to be able to condemn or confirm the OP coin's authenticity, I'm simply expressing the concerns that I had in leading my decision to pass on any further interest for it.

Thank you for your insight.   It certainly seems a bit off to me as well.  I also have been examining the reverse area you mentions, there are circular pock marks in the black area at 12 o'clock above the galley.  If you notice this area of the coin is a blackish color unlike the rest of the coin, i believe this to be the original "finish" of the coin.  I think the patina on the rest of the coin to not be natural and perhaps coving up this pock mock surface.  I'm fairly certain I will be returning this coin through eBay.  

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3wrGEF7cmLW264Wkee8AS9dwgN5RRF.jpg.a1abb8764abf1f9d19a31715bd8cd732.jpg

My Justinian has a similar 'oreo' patina, which may or may not be a faux patina.  However, the oreo patina's kind of what attracted me to this particular one, and I also didn't have a decent large Antioch.  I do hate the egregiously fake patinas of the 'orange twins', especially the North American one, though.

The OP Hadrian bust kind of looked strange to me as well.

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Agree with all the comments about the hair - it certainly looks very different to what Hadrian's hair usually looks like (it's usually wavier). I'm also not sure about the lack of wear on the hair on the obverse despite the toga folds below the neckline looking fairly worn. Usually you would expect more wear on the highest parts of the coin, typically around the hair and the ear. Style looks close, but a bit off to me as well. The moonlike pock marks on the reverse also seem suspicious to me.  

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