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A Rare Eastern Bronze


David Atherton
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Another auction win with little to no competition (thank you Moneta!) that hammered quite cheaply.

 

V1505.jpg.bdf30a65a5fbd237886b9a197895a707.jpg

Vespasian

Æ20, 4.07g
Ephesus (?) mint, 77-78 AD
Obv: IMP CAESAR VESPASIAN AVGVST; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.
Rev: PON MAX TR P P P COS VIII CENS; S C; Victory adv. l., holding wreath and palm
RIC 1505 (R2). BMC -. BNC -. RPC 1476 (2 spec.).
Ex Aphrodite Auction 6, 22-24 October 2022, lot 591.

Late in Vespasian's reign a rare series of orichalcum bronze coins were struck in Asia Minor at an unknown mint. Although imperial in appearance, the style, weight system, and metal used all point to a mint other than Rome. Due to their extreme rarity today, they could not have been struck for any great length of time (the date cannot be narrowed down any further than Vespasian's COS VIII, 77-78 AD). The types consist of ones variously copied from either Rome (such as this Victory type) or local provincial issues. A stylistic similarity with the earlier 'o' mint denarii possibly struck at Ephesus has been noted by both RIC and RPC.

My assumption is that a piece like this did not have wide circulation beyond the region of mintage. Orichalcum was not used for such small bronze denominations at Rome and would have been a baffling coin to your average Roman pleb.

Feel free to share your Latin provincials.

As always thanks for looking!

 

Edited by David Atherton
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Nice catch, David.  I think I have one from that "eastern" series - it was an eBay pickup from Europe.  I had a tough time attributing it, as my notes indicate (corrections always appreciated 😁

955169857_Vespasian-EphesusasCeresJun2022(0).jpg.7678499f4c1249e38f8670a855e358a9.jpg

Vespasian    Æ Large (As?) (77-78 A.D.) Ephesus / Asia Minor Mint  [IMP CAESAR VESPA]SIAN  AVGVS[TVS], laureate head right / [PONT MAX TR PO]T P P · COS · VIII [CENS], [S] C in fields, Ceres seated left, holding two corn-ears and torch. RPC II 1472; RIC II 1498/1499. (11.99 grams / 28 x 26 mm) eBay June 2022  Notes:  OCRE list RIC 1498 and RIC 1499 with identical descriptions but no examples for either; RPC Online references RIC 1498 only and Kraay 3.  RPC has single example with SC in exergue; this one has it in the fields (C is behind Ceres; S not visible).  Dots and line over VIII reverse not noted in references but visible here.

 

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Nice pick-up David!

Here is one of my nicer Latin colonials.

gordianvim5.jpg.459d4ea870291c171a3ddddfd8847c94.jpg

Moesia, Viminacium. Gordian III. 238-244 AD. Æ30. Year 2

Obv: IMP CAES M ANT GORDIANVS AVG, Laureate bust right, slight drapery on left shoulder.
Rev: P M S COL VIM AN II, Moesia standing facing, head left; bull and lion at sides.

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5 hours ago, David Atherton said:

share your Latin provincials.

Here are two:

normal_Gordianus_III_R625_fac.jpg.a0f7e8d0cd7d04506b4fb2c7311f13ad.jpg

Gordianus III
Moesia Superior, Viminacium
AD 239-40
Obv.: IMP CAES M ANT GORDIANVS AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right
Rev.: P M S COL V M (missing I), Moesia standing, head left, extending hands to bull and lion standing at feet to either side; AN • I • in exergue.
AE, 22 mm, 5.79 g
Ref.: Varbanov I 104

 

normal_Julia_Mamaea_01.jpg.cd857cdd7f50212f2ea6b0a209d77116.jpg

Julia Mamaea (222-235).
Thrace, Deultum
Obv: IVLIA MAMAEA AVG, Diademed and draped bust right.
Rev: COL FL PAC DEVLT, Artemis advancing right, holding bow and drawing arrow from quiver; at feet, hound advancing right.
AE, 8.95g, 23.7mm
Ref.: Varbanov 2341

 

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image.jpeg.93f26251ac33b773aa91665f2d9082e0.jpeg

Marcus Antonius Gordianus III, Bronze of the Roman Imperial Period 241/242 AD, Material: AE, Diameter: 23mm, Weight: 8.55g, Mint: Viminacium, Moesia Superior, Reference: RPC Online VII.2 23; Obverse: Bust of Gordian III, radiate, draped, cuirassed, right. The inscription reads: IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AVG for Imperator Gordianus Pius Felix Augustus; Reverse: Personification of Moesia standing, head left, extending hands to bull and lion standing at feet to either side. The inscription reads: P M S COL VIM AN III for Provinciae Moesiae Superioris Colonia Viminacium, anno tertium (Province of Moesia Superior colony of Viminacium, year three).
 
 
image.jpeg.0090ca51311c0b90bf5f10eae58a269b.jpeg
Marcus Antonius Gordianus III, Bronze of the Roman Imperial Period 238/244 AD, Material: AE, Diameter: 25mm, Weight: 9.55g, Mint: Pella, Macedonia, Reference: Varbanov 3750 var. (throne type); Obverse: Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust of Gordian III to right, seen from behind. The Inscription reads: IMP C M ANT GORDIANVS for Imperator Caesar Marcus Antonius Gordianus; Reverse: Tyche seated left on throne. The Inscription reads: COL IVL AVS PELLA for Colonia Julia Augusta Pella.
 
 
 
...and thats my personal favorite - I like this reverse presentation:
 
image.jpeg.0e4451bf78d231b405271f50432fb850.jpeg
Marcus Antonius Gordianus III, Bronze of the Roman Imperial Period 238/244 AD, Material: AE, Diameter: 24mm, Weight: 9.11g, Mint: Pella, Macedonia, Reference: SNG ANS 639; Obverse: Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust of Gordian III to right, seen from behind. The Inscription reads: IMP C M ANT GORDIANVS for Imperator Caesar Marcus Antonius Gordianus; Reverse: Pan seated left with his right arm over head and his left elbow resting on his syrinx. The Inscription reads: COL IVL AVS PELLA for Colonia Julia Augusta Pella.
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Think I have shown this one before, but it bears repeating...

Thrace. Domitian as Caesar under Titus, AD 69-81. Æ Sestertius (34mm, 24.78g, 6h). Latin legend, Uncertain mint in Thrace. Struck AD 80-81. Obv: CAES DIVI AVG VESP F DOMITIANVS COS VII; Laureate head right. Rev: [PAX] AVGVST; Pax standing, head left, holding olive branch and cornucopia, large S-C across fields. Ref: RIC II 507 (Titus, Eastern mint in Thrace); RPC II 504; BMC 315 note. Fine, brown patina, choice surfaces. Listed as old RIC II 155b (Titus - Rome); but a footnote on page 140 attributes it to Lugdunum based on style. RPC attributes it to Thrace and the find data seems to support this attribution (from Matt Kreuzer at OldRomanCoins).

image.jpeg.91f8e0f117d40d718159c78a84170ba9.jpeg

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8 hours ago, David Atherton said:

Another auction win with little to no competition (thank you Moneta!) that hammered quite cheaply.

 

V1505.jpg.bdf30a65a5fbd237886b9a197895a707.jpg

Vespasian

Æ20, 4.07g
Ephesus (?) mint, 77-78 AD
Obv: IMP CAESAR VESPASIAN AVGVST; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.
Rev: PON MAX TR P P P COS VIII CENS; S C; Victory adv. l., holding wreath and palm
RIC 1505 (R2). BMC -. BNC -. RPC 1476 (2 spec.).
Ex Aphrodite Auction 6, 22-24 October 2022, lot 591.

Late in Vespasian's reign a rare series of orichalcum bronze coins were struck in Asia Minor at an unknown mint. Although imperial in appearance, the style, weight system, and metal used all point to a mint other than Rome. Due to their extreme rarity today, they could not have been struck for any great length of time (the date cannot be narrowed down any further than Vespasian's COS VIII, 77-78 AD). The types consist of ones variously copied from either Rome (such as this Victory type) or local provincial issues. A stylistic similarity with the earlier 'o' mint denarii possibly struck at Ephesus has been noted by both RIC and RPC.

My assumption is that a piece like this did not have wide circulation beyond the region of mintage. Orichalcum was not used for such small bronze denominations at Rome and would have been a baffling coin to your average Roman pleb.

Feel free to share your Latin provincials.

As always thanks for looking!

 

David, Nice score ☺️. You seem to have a bloodhound's nose for sniffing out these rare bronzes 🤣. The coin pictured below I scored several years ago from a CNG auction. Since the time I acquired it, it has been relisted as RPC VII.2, 2712 with 11 specimens. Most of the 11 specimens appear to be struck from the same dies. My specimen is not pictured & is in superior condition to all 11 coins in RPC 😊.

627540322_GordianIIIAntiochia-PisidiaRPCVII.22712.jpg.0e0eda5eb42aac1d81e14ba50e6ebc6f.jpg

Antioch - Pisidia. Gordian III, AD 238-244. AE 25.82 gm, 34.1 mm, 7 h. RPC VII.2, 2712. 

 

 

 

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Question.  Did these colonies use Latin on their coinage because they were established as outposts and consisted mainly of Roman citizens?

Here are a couple more.  

GothicusAntioch.jpg.377742851b96c6dc725ccc1ce50524b2.jpg

Pisidia, Antioch. Claudius Gothicus Æ26

Obv: IMP CAES CLAVDIV, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust to right.
Rev: ANTIOCH COL, vexillum surmounted by eagle, between two standards; SR in exergue.

 

 

deultum2.jpg.0089e913e1d137ea0c28367debd58afa.jpg

Thrace, Deultum. Gordian III AE23

Obv: GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AVG, radiate, cuirassed bust left, holding spear and shield.
Rev: COL FL PAC DEVLT, Zeus standing front, looking left, holding thunderbolt and sceptre.

Edited by AncientOne
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This is the last Eastern provincial bronze added to my collection ☺️608982408_ValerianIAD253-260.CILICIA-Corycus.jpg.6b9f71811ba0f203fe8cac929e75fb2e.jpg

CILICIA - Corycus. Valerian I, AD 253-260. AE Octassarion: 23.48 gm, 34 mm, 6 h. Reverse: Dionysus wearing nebris, holding thyrsus & wine skin over panther; to left, container with implements on 3 footed table. SNG von Aulock 5686. Ex CNG E-Auction 112, lot 128, April 13, 2005.

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