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Constantine II with odd sidecurl hairstyle


Heliodromus
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This coin just sold in Kuenker 377 (# 6050).

It's an unlisted siliqua of Constantine II from Rome 337-340 AD (weight 2.87g).

What jumps out is the sidecurl hairstyle - I've never seen anything like it on a roman coin!

Can anyone put this in context - have you seen or heard of this before ? It brings to mind Orthodox Jewish Payot, but that can't be the reason here.

Is it even ancient (it appears pretty convincing to me) ?

image.png.89c3877b76a62b0961781173a2254fe9.png

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This coin looks rather odd 🤪, maybe the engraver at the Rome mint had no model to work with. Never the less, the portrait is finely engraved in "the eyes to God" style ☺️. Pictured below is a typical portrait of Constantine II on a LRB.

125025022_NGC5767882-158EpfigHoardAlKowskyCollection.jpg.44abf07533d3783b2d9b3f511d35b734.jpg

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The siliqua with the sideburns is spectacular. I think this type of facial hairstyle was meant to signify adolescent age. 

Here is a common coin of Crispus, which, rather unusually for Crispus also shows these sideburns.

FL IVL CRISPVS NOB CAES   // PROVIDEN-TIAE CAESS
 
Mint: Rome
weight: 3.1g

5496.png

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Just now, Tejas said:

The siliqua with the sideburns is spectacular. I think this type of facial hairstyle was meant to signify adolescent age. 

 

You think it's just (oddly depicted) sideburns? Possible, I suppose, and would make more sense if that is what the engraver was going for, but it really has the appearance to me of something loose hanging with a twisted top portion.

 

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I think it is an elaborate artistic interpretation of sideburns. Something like a pre-beard which appears on coins depicted adolescent emperors, aged 15 to 20 years. I'm quite certain the coin is genuine.

Edited by Tejas
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@kapphnwn and I discussed this coin as I was debating whether I’d go after it. I didn’t and wouldn’t have won it anyways. I believe that a die match is plated in RIC. It is definitely a unique variety, but I wouldn’t question its authenticity for this reason.

Edited by Romancollector
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27 minutes ago, Romancollector said:

I believe that a die match is plated in RIC

Ah, yes! I was sloppy and was going by the auction description which said it's unlisted, but it is in fact RIC VIII Rome 1 (R5), and as you say die-linked to the RIC plate coin from Oxford Ashmolean.

 

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