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During the Victorian Era rarity was prized over condition when it came to ancient coins. Today, by and large, most well heeled collectors esteem condition over historical value or rarity, even at the expense of tooling or smoothing. My latest purchase would have tickled a Victorian collector, but was snubbed by today's collectors - I got it cheap.

 

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Titus as Caesar [Vespasian]

Æ As, 8.13g
Rome mint, 73 AD
Obv: T CAES IMP PON TR P COS II CENS; Head of Titus, laureate, bearded, l.
Rev: PROVIDENT in exergue; S C in field; Altar
RIC 631 (R). BMC -. BNC -.
Ex Savoca Blue 145, 16 October 2022, lot 1306.

Originally, Tiberius struck the Provident altar type for Divus Augustus. The altar depicted is dedicated to Providentia, the personification of the emperor's divine providence. Although the type is commonly described as an altar, Marvin Tameanko has convincingly argued it is actually a sacellum, or small shrine. Vespasian began striking it early in his reign both at Rome and Lyon, confining the type to the as issues. Nathan T. Elkins in his Monuments in Miniature wrote the following concerning the type - 'Asses with an altar enclosure labeled PROVIDENT, combine with obverses of Vespasian or his sons, are the emperor's most common architectural type and were produced from c. 71 to 78. The Ara Providentiae, which had appeared before on coins of Tiberius, Galba, and Vitellius, celebrated the emperor's foresight in the designation of his successors. The combination of the reverse type with obverses of one of the two Caesars further underscored the dynastic message.' This PROVIDENT from 73 features the less common left facing portrait of Titus Caesar. Missing from both the BM and Paris collections.

Please feel free to share your bargain rarities!

Thanks for looking.

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I am a Victorian collector!

I would choose a coin with historical value/interesting theme even if the condition is not something to brag about. The important thing for me is to like the coin. I admire coins that are very popular with collectors - pristine condition; rare rulers but I rarely add them. This is my personal way of collecting.

Here are some coins I consider in the same category as the one you posted - historically interesting, with uncommon designs (at least for those rulers) but overlooked because of condition. For me they have enough quality to add them and admire them in my collection

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ANTONINUS PIUS.(138-161). Sestertius. Rome. AD 158-159 28 mm, 17.2 g
ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P, laureate bust right / [TEMPL DIVI AVG] REST COS IIII SC, octastyle temple, with figure of Divus Augustus between two reclining figures on pediment, quadriga at top of roofline, acroteria (Romulus on left, Aeneas bearing Anchises on right) at bottom of roofline, and containing cult images of Divus Augustus and Diva Livia. Restored under Antoninus Pius in AD 158, the Temple of Divus Augustus housed seated statues of Augustus and Livia and was octastyle in the Corinthian order. RIC III Antoninus Pius 787

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IONIA. Klazomenai. Circa 380-360 BC. Ӕ 10 mm 1.4 g
Obv : Laureate head of Apollo left. / Rev : [HΡAKΛEIΔHΣ] (?), swan standing left, below, grain ear left, wings open. BMC 46; Lindgren & Kovacs 436.

A coin nobody liked! But I didn't miss the opportunity to add a coin with an animal I didn't have - a swan.

 

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CILICIA, Tarsus. Maximinus I. 235-238 AD. AE Hexassarion 26.1 g 37mm
Obv: ΑΥΤ Κ Γ ΙΟΥ ΟΥΗ ΜΑΞΙΜƐΙΝΟϹ Π Π, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from rear / Rev: ΤΑΡϹΟΥ ΜΗΤΡΟΠΟ Α Μ Κ Γ Β,  the three Graces standing facing with arms around each other, one head l., the others head r., each holding flower.
RPC VI, 7113 (temporary); SNG Levante 1096, BMC 233–4

A big chunky Maximinus Thrax with a very interesting reverse.

All these 3 would have brought big prices in a better condition (perhaps the Klazomenai would have been still affordable, but not 10 euros). I decided they are good enough to add them and I don't regret at all. Especially the last one.

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2 hours ago, David Atherton said:

During the Victorian Era rarity was prized over condition when it came to ancient coins. Today, by and large, most well heeled collectors esteem condition over historical value or rarity, even at the expense of tooling or smoothing. My latest purchase would have tickled a Victorian collector, but was snubbed by today's collectors - I got it cheap.

 

V631sm.jpg.4e4a0d327a1f789142091fc60fe23754.jpg

Titus as Caesar [Vespasian]

Æ As, 8.13g
Rome mint, 73 AD
Obv: T CAES IMP PON TR P COS II CENS; Head of Titus, laureate, bearded, l.
Rev: PROVIDENT in exergue; S C in field; Altar
RIC 631 (R). BMC -. BNC -.
Ex Savoca Blue 145, 16 October 2022, lot 1306.

Originally, Tiberius struck the Provident altar type for Divus Augustus. The altar depicted is dedicated to Providentia, the personification of the emperor's divine providence. Although the type is commonly described as an altar, Marvin Tameanko has convincingly argued it is actually a sacellum, or small shrine. Vespasian began striking it early in his reign both at Rome and Lyon, confining the type to the as issues. Nathan T. Elkins in his Monuments in Miniature wrote the following concerning the type - 'Asses with an altar enclosure labeled PROVIDENT, combine with obverses of Vespasian or his sons, are the emperor's most common architectural type and were produced from c. 71 to 78. The Ara Providentiae, which had appeared before on coins of Tiberius, Galba, and Vitellius, celebrated the emperor's foresight in the designation of his successors. The combination of the reverse type with obverses of one of the two Caesars further underscored the dynastic message.' This PROVIDENT from 73 features the less common left facing portrait of Titus Caesar. Missing from both the BM and Paris collections.

Please feel free to share your bargain rarities!

Thanks for looking.

I don't think too many collectors today would turn their nose up at this interesting bronze as ☺️. As we all know, rarity doesn't always translate into a high market value 🤨.

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6 minutes ago, Al Kowsky said:

As we all know, rarity doesn't always translate into a high market value 🤨.

Indeed. This is perhaps the best bargain rarity in my collection. I'm not talking flyspecking, such as "rare with this hairstyle" or similar. No. A genuine rarity. There are three other examples known: 1. Paris specimen cited by Cohen and Strack, 2. Naples specimen cited by Strack, 3. Münzhandlung Basel (Auction 1), June 28, 1934, pl. 29, 1171, 4.

It was overlooked by the condition cranks at the auction. Including shipping and all fees, it was still < $100.

My specimen:

[IMG]
Faustina Senior, AD 138-141.
Roman orichalcum dupondius, 16.19 g, 26.1 mm, 10 h.
Rome, AD 140-141.
Obv: DIVA AVGVSTA FAVSTINA, bare-headed and draped bust, right.
Rev: CONSECRATIO S C, Funerary ustrinum in three stories, set on base, ornamented and garlanded, surmounted by Faustina in biga right.
Refs: RIC 1189; BMCRE p. 236 *; Cohen 187; RCV --; Strack 1238.

Here's the Münzhandlung Basel specimen, which is a reverse die match to mine (unsurprisingly):

1703991053_FaustinaSrCONSECRATIOSCfuneralpyredupondiusMnzhandlungBasel.JPG.4528b5413bce8d7ddb1ec233a2ec013d.JPG

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Nice catch David. 

Had to share this one. Best of both worlds: good portrait, lovely and interesting reverse. Not a bargain per se (well, compared to todays prices maybe yes), but I have good memories of this one. I used a description found via ACsearch: Ara Providentiae Augusti, which refers to an altar. I dont know the book by Marvin Tameanko, but sounds interesting to see if I can get a copy somewhere. Thanks. 

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