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Holed, patched, suspended and "repaired" - MARTI PROPVGNATORI festaureus


Heliodromus
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The coin below appeared for sale on the Ukrainian Violity site in early 2020, and I wrote about it on the CoinTalk site under the (supposed to be) tongue-in-cheek title "Another holed and repaired Ukrainian coin".

image.png.6276c22ca4452314595eb536df24c007.png

https://www.cointalk.com/threads/another-holed-and-repaired-ukranian-coin-constantius.385971/

The coin has now reappeared for sale in Roma XXV (lot 1080), now with the suspension loop removed and interesting ancient patch removed. I doubt Roma is aware of the repairs. I guess my CT title was sadly prescient.

image.png.81f4eae97752936c93824e38d512bce6.png

I'm not a fan of "repaired" holes in general since it's destroying the history of the coin - someone in antiquity found it interesting enough to hole and wear - but in this case it seems especially sad given the interesting ancient repair and suspension loop that have been removed.

It took me a while to realize it was in fact the same coin - I'd even been considering bidding on it - but despite some general smoothing in addition to the "repairs" there are plenty of preserved dings from the original, in addition to overall flan shape and level of wear.

image.png.943371785270c491e34ebecc21499908.png

Note that the coin isn't from Trier as suggested by Roma, but rather from Antioch, part of an unlisted festaureus tetrarchic series - see my CT post linked above.

 

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I see that the current bid is 2,200 GBP!  Obviously the description of the coin as "Unpublished and seemingly unique," from a private "North European" collection, is attracting interest. I posted a link to this thread on the Facebook ancient & medieval coins group. I'm confident that there are people there who will make sure that Roma sees what you wrote before the auction.

Edited by DonnaML
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4 hours ago, Heliodromus said:

The coin below appeared for sale on the Ukrainian Violity site in early 2020, and I wrote about it on the CoinTalk site under the (supposed to be) tongue-in-cheek title "Another holed and repaired Ukrainian coin".

image.png.6276c22ca4452314595eb536df24c007.png

https://www.cointalk.com/threads/another-holed-and-repaired-ukranian-coin-constantius.385971/

The coin has now reappeared for sale in Roma XXV (lot 1080), now with the suspension loop removed and interesting ancient patch removed. I doubt Roma is aware of the repairs. I guess my CT title was sadly prescient.

image.png.81f4eae97752936c93824e38d512bce6.png

I'm not a fan of "repaired" holes in general since it's destroying the history of the coin - someone in antiquity found it interesting enough to hole and wear - but in this case it seems especially sad given the interesting ancient repair and suspension loop that have been removed.

It took me a while to realize it was in fact the same coin - I'd even been considering bidding on it - but despite some general smoothing in addition to the "repairs" there are plenty of preserved dings from the original, in addition to overall flan shape and level of wear.

image.png.943371785270c491e34ebecc21499908.png

Note that the coin isn't from Trier as suggested by Roma, but rather from Antioch, part of an unlisted festaureus tetrarchic series - see my CT post linked above.

 

Too bad some jackass destroyed an important artifact 😒. Excellent detective work by Heliodromus ☺️.

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Really well spotted, they’ve done a lot to hide it.

It makes you wonder quite how many are missed because no-one has been looking at each sale of a particular type.

Sometimes I only check for undeclared past sales after I’ve bought a coin. This is a reminder to do that beforehand more often.

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There's also another coin from this series that has suffered the same fate of having it's history erased in this way.

Depeyrot (Monnaies D'Or) improves upon RIC in recognizing this Antioch series, and includes the Diocletian IOVI type (in the British Museum) which RIC omits and which the BM misattributes to Alexandria.

What's useful is that Depeyrot also provides an earlier provenance for the Galerius SOLI type (RIC VI Antioch 26, Depeyrot Antioch 17-4) than RIC does. RIC cites "Nav. iii" (Ars Classica - Naville & Cie 3, from 1922), while Depeyrot cites the earlier Rollin & Feuardent 1887 sale.

Both catalogs are available online - Nav. iii on the University of Heidelberg site (found thanks to Steve Moulding's rnumis site), and Rollin & Feuradent on BNF Gallica, with the above coins both appearing in the plates.

Here's Naville & Cie 3.171 from 1922

image.png.97c2cdcfe6de8168b0a529754282bd2d.png

And here's Rollin & Feuardent # 638 from 1887

image.png.97be17c67da923022cbf3acdb54a79a2.png

Despite slight differences in flan shape due to these being from plaster casts, it seems apparent that these are in fact the same coin, as can be seen from various nicks in the beaded edge (e.g. by "S" and "O" of SOLI on the reverse, by "I" and "A" of maximIA-nvs on the obverse).

In addition to the tetrarch-specific IOVI/SOLI/MARTI types (we may also assume HERCVLI for Maximianus to exist), this special issue also includes a FORTVNA REDVCI type (RIC VI Antioch 23a, 23b) known from specimens in Vienna and Budapest. The Vienna coin, below,  is on their website, and is also holed! So, we have at least 3/5 coins from this issue originally holed, with only this Vienna FORTVNAE now still in original state.

image.png.92a0a0506e2757b2c82f02f9c85df248.png

The date of this issue was presumably c.298-299 AD when all four tetrarchs had recently returned from their various campaigns, as also celebrated by the FORT RED AVGG ET CAESS bronze types issued from Trier.

 

Edited by Heliodromus
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It has been updated (not particularly clearly) on Roma's own site. This is the current description there: 

Near Very Fine; previously holed and patched (possibly in antiquity), suspended and subsequently repaired. Unpublished and seemingly unique.

It won't be updated on the auction aggregators though, unless I suppose someone does it by hand.

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There seems to be another one with a plugged hole, IMO. Lot 1072, the rare Probus Aureus. Although I don't have a before picture or a picture of a coin from the same dies, the areas between 12 and 1 o'clock on the obverse and 11 to 12 o'clock on the reverse look quite characteristic: strange looking soft letters and slightly different colored and smoothed fields. The overall look and wear is typical for Aurei comming from the Ukraine (almost all of which are holed/plugged).

Does anyone have access to a picture of the cited coin in the Hermitage Museum that appears to be from the same obverse die?

 

24202.1.1_1.jpg

Edited by SimonW
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2 hours ago, Phil Davis said:

It has been updated (not particularly clearly) on Roma's own site. This is the current description there: 

Near Very Fine; previously holed and patched (possibly in antiquity), suspended and subsequently repaired. Unpublished and seemingly unique.

It won't be updated on the auction aggregators though, unless I suppose someone does it by hand.

And it still says it's from a private North European collection. I don't think Ukraine is even arguably in North Europe, so it can't have been in that collection for more than two years. There's no disclosure of the fact that the coin was previously sold from Ukraine on the Violity site in 2020! In any event, if I were the person who had bid 2,000 GBP based on the original description, I think I would have a good case for withdrawing my bid because of even the limited new disclosure.

Edited by DonnaML
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