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Faustina Friday – Submitting a Provincial of Plotinopolis to RPC


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For many of you, today is black Friday ...

... but for us Faustina fanatics, it's Faustina Friday! Yes, Friday felicitations, fellow Faustina fanatics! I hope you have a wonderful day! Today I'm going to talk about the process of submitting a coin to RPC, something I have done several times before. I'm not going to go into a discussion of its date and purpose of issue, about Plotinopolis, or about its reverse iconography. Rather, I'm going to discuss the process for submitting it to the editors of RPC.

I purchased this provincial coin of Faustina the Younger from
Praefectus Coins
, a V Coins store run by John Anderson in British Columbia, Canada. He is one of my go-to dealers on the site. Check out his inventory when you have the opportunity.

1823871195_FaustinaJrPlotinopolisDemeter.jpg.cc6ec32971f3b12740c67dc4a09d8fb0.jpg
Faustina II, AD 147-175.
Roman provincial Æ 22.8 mm, 8.92 g, 7 h.
Thrace, Plotinopolis, c. AD 155-175.
Obv: ΦΑVϹΤΕΙΝΑ ϹΕΒΑϹΤΗ, draped bust, right, wearing strand of pearls around head.
Rev: ΠΛΩΤΕΙΝΟΠΟΛΕΙΤΩΝ, veiled Demeter standing, l., holding two ears of corn and short torch.
Refs: RPC IV.1,
17541 (temporary); Varbanov 1831.
Notes: Exemplar of the type at RPC. The coin is dated based on its obverse inscription, which parallels the FAVSTINA AVGVSTA inscription used on the imperial issues of Faustina the Younger from AD 155 onward.


John was unable to attribute it and called it an "apparently unpublished variant." I looked for it at RPC, couldn't find it, and purchased the coin because it was interesting and the price was right. I then searched the usual databases and found another example at Wildwinds, listed there as Plotinopolis, Varbanov 1831. The type was illustrated there and reported to be the exemplar coin from Varbanov. With two specimens known and a citation in Varbanov, but not in RPC, I knew I had to rectify the situation.

So I searched for the closest reverse type at RPC, which turned out to be the "veiled Demeter standing, l., holding poppy(?) and two ears of corn (over lighted altar) and long torch" type (RPC IV.1,
4557
) and clicked on the "feedback" icon at the lower left of the listing.

678732869_Capture1.JPG.ead5c3ef23f0a57f60ddd37d44f7cfa3.JPG

Clicking on the feedback icon (marked with arrow) at RPC allows the user to submit examples of coins to the editors of the RPC project.


I uploaded images of my coin and added the following information in the message box:


This coin has a separate reverse type from the other Demeter coins. There is no altar. Demeter holds the grain ears higher, and she has a short torch, not a long one. This coin was noted by Varbanov as 1831 and there is a specimen of the same reverse type at the Wildwinds Plotinopolis site http://www.wildwinds.com/coins/greece/thrace/plotinopolis/i.html


I received a confirmatory email from the editors at RPC and noticed a few days later that it had been added to the Plotinopolis listings!

Do you have any coins you've submitted to RPC? Let's see them! And feel free to post coins of Plotinopolis or anything you feel is relevant!

Edited by Roman Collector
Update photo and measurements of coin
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Thanks for the explanation - the Feedback button would have been the last place I look.
I used the contact form in RPC and submitted this coin because there was only 1 example in RPC

image.png.a5692419f28e3a215b5f76b4e4f259dd.png

https://rpc.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/coins/4/17186

 

Received no confirmation at all, but RPC team added this coin (with the original photo from the house) in the specimens gallery.

Good to know how to add a coin that is missing from RPC, will use this method in the future.

 

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I have submitted several coins.  The last two are from Pergamon and Adana.

I am still waiting for a reaction about the Adana coin, but the Pergamon coin is now listed as plate coin.

https://rpc.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/coins/3/1751A

The reason for submitting it were the wings on the head of Hermes, which were not visible on the previously listed specimen and not mentioned in the description.

 

normal_G_322_Pergamon_fac.jpg.a9f2aecf721032cd20fdb9ecf1da5880.jpg

Edited by shanxi
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  • Benefactor

Thanks for your great posts and information, @Roman Collector 🏛️📚 !

I’ve no submissions to RPC to show but I do have two denarii reverses featuring Demeter / Ceres.

These Faustina Senior and Crispina also happen to be among my favorite portraits.

 

image.jpeg.d3f5c45bee7782a528b1d54b88a23d30.jpeg

image.jpeg.a8658443fbf7876338eda27e7d54c7ba.jpeg

 

image.jpeg.b5a6486d57a23626b3d31457e4c72c8e.jpeg

 I cannot resist a little Black Friday super savings humor.

 

image.jpeg.e7a1e8809895e1fadf522e69a15b4e34.jpeg

 

Edited by LONGINUS
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Way to go with the new variant and getting it in RPC!

Here are three that I've submitted that are the only known examples.

The bottom one is Geta and the last known MSC on ancient coinage. 

3373831_1665757036.l-removebg-preview.jpg.1bdda3c9cf104dd8f8dc500f49e35a87.jpg

Screenshot_20220412-165923_PicCollage-removebg-preview.png.8f967fd08f06814f018deb6210d79acb.png

4150312-removebg-preview.png.b5edb157a5a7a6c29767464ac1478cb9.png

 

Edited by Ryro
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Thanks again for another informative Faustina Friday, @Roman Collector.   As the FF's sometimes do, this one sent me down a rabbit-hole of re-attribution from stuff from my collection.  Mine are also from Thrace, but Philippopolis, not Plotinopolis, and like the OP, they were issued for Faustina II and feature Demeter standing with a torch, etc.   The problems arise when describing the torch (long or short), the altar (in (altar) and whether the corn-ears are held up in the air or down (sometimes over an altar).  

My attributions are kind of a hot mess - which is somewhat on RPC, as there are inconsistencies in the description/examples they show.  But since the listings in question are RPC "temporary" I think they are still sorting it out.  Then there are the various Varbanov, Mouschmov, etc. references, which sometimes corresponded to confusing RPC numbers.  Yikes.  Below are my two, with my efforts to make sense of the situation. 

This first one has a short torch, with corn held over a small altar.  This is, as far as I can tell, RPC 7498 (temp.) - https://rpc.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/coins/4/7498  The main problem I have with this is that the corn-ears are held either up in the air or down low (with or without an altar).  I doubt the ones with the corn-ears up in the air would ever have an altar, so they should probably have their own RPC number.  It seems like a big enough difference (with or without an altar too, for that matter).

Here is my altar type: 

271034500_Philippopolis-FausIIDemeteraltar-MINEJan22(0).jpg.75d878e9f419cab359e2fd01c125de57.jpg

Faustina II  Æ 23 (c. 147-175 A.D.) Thrace, Philippopolis  ΦAVCTEINA CEBACTH, draped bust right / ΦIΛIΠΠOΠOΛEITΩN, Demeter standing left holding short torch and corn ears down over altar at left.  RPC IV.1, 7498 (temporary); Moushmov 5164 (see notes) (8.96 grams / 24 mm) eBay Jan. 2022 Ck   Lot @ $9.00

Attribution Notes:  Demeterstanding holding corn over altar and short torch is RPC IV.1, 7498 (temporary), but examples show corn held both up and down.  Only two have altar: No. 4 (no illustration, from National Archaeological MuseumSofia) and No. 14 (Bibliothèque nationale de France). Wildwinds has one, as Moushmov 5164   (these last two are die-matches).

Die-Match Characteristics:  Obv.: Small bun in middle of head; C at hairline.  Rev.: Altar (all specimens with altar from same die?)

Die-Match Obv./Rev.: RPC IV.1, 7498 No. 14 which Bibliothèque Nat. de France ark:/12148/btv1b103066984

Wildwinds, Moushmov 5164 https://www.wildwinds.com

Here are the die-matches I found for this altar type:

974850133_Philippopolis-FausIIDemeteraltar-MINEJan22(0com).jpg.fa9bbd4be4c1cfc71242a4bf78b779ec.jpg

This next one is Demeter as well, but here is where things get really confusing.  RPC 7496 (temp.) describes this as a long torch, and shows some that way.  But it also shows a short torch as well - an attribution that is illustrated by a couple of examples, one of which is a die-match to mine.    

My guess is these short torches should be RPC 7498 (without altar).  But again, since this is a "temporary" listing, they are probably still working out the kinks.  Here's the link:  https://rpc.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/coins/4/7496

Here is mine (short torch, no altar, corn-ears down):

1208148460_Phillippopolis-FausIIDemetshorttorch-MINE(0).jpg.0dcc1a5ba364b6283d5b6987f4ea0c19.jpg

Faustina II  Æ 23 (c. 147-175 A.D.) Philippopolis, Thrace  ΦΑVСΤEΙΝΑ СEΒ[ΑСΤΗ], draped bust right / ΦΙΛΙΠΠΟ Π ΟΛΕΙΤΩΝ, Demeter standing left, holding corn ears downward and short torch. (8.18 grams / 23 mm) eBay Sept. 2020 $3.25  

Attribution:  Short torch with corn-ears pointing downward is lumped in with RPC 7496 (but described only as long torch); RPC Nos. 17 and 18 both have short torch; No. 18 is Naumann die-match (see below).

CNG Auction 454; Lot 233; 16.10.2019 is short torch / corn-ears pointing down, not a die-match, attributed: Mouchmov, Philippopolis 143; Varbanov 881.

Die-Match Characteristics: Obv.: Φ at shoulder; small CE. Rev.:  Corn-ear touches Λ. 

Die-Match Obv. and Rev.: Numismatik Naumann Auct. 102; Lot 417; 02.05.2021 this is RPC IV.1 7496 No. 18.

Die-Match Obverse: Numismatik Naumann Auct. 77; Lot 386; 05.05.2019, attributed RPC IV.1 7496.

Here is mine with what I think are two die-matches (the middle one is obverse only, bottom obv./rev.; both are Naumann, the bottom one is RPC No. 18).  Short torches obviously: 

839842099_Phillippopolis-FausIIDemetshorttorch-MINE(0com).jpg.fcad118b1022c114de33fa0bc53228d4.jpg

 

 

This was really confusing - whenever I am trying to sort out two similar "problem" coins, my head starts swimming.  Corrections always welcome. 

Also, @Roman Collector - is there a Beckmann hair-do type involved here?  I know Provincials are outside Beckmann's studies, but some of these high grade ones look like a late Type 10?  Does this narrow down the date-range for these.  As you put it on the OP attribution: 

On 11/25/2022 at 7:20 AM, Roman Collector said:

The coin is dated based on its obverse inscription, which parallels the FAVSTINA AVGVSTA inscription used on the imperial issues of Faustina the Younger from AD 155 onward.

 

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3 hours ago, Marsyas Mike said:

Thanks again for another informative Faustina Friday, @Roman Collector.   As the FF's sometimes do, this one sent me down a rabbit-hole of re-attribution from stuff from my collection.  Mine are also from Thrace, but Philippopolis, not Plotinopolis, and like the OP, they were issued for Faustina II and feature Demeter standing with a torch, etc.   The problems arise when describing the torch (long or short), the altar (in (altar) and whether the corn-ears are held up in the air or down (sometimes over an altar).  

My attributions are kind of a hot mess - which is somewhat on RPC, as there are inconsistencies in the description/examples they show.  But since the listings in question are RPC "temporary" I think they are still sorting it out.  Then there are the various Varbanov, Mouschmov, etc. references, which sometimes corresponded to confusing RPC numbers.  Yikes.  Below are my two, with my efforts to make sense of the situation. 

This first one has a short torch, with corn held over a small altar.  This is, as far as I can tell, RPC 7498 (temp.) - https://rpc.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/coins/4/7498  The main problem I have with this is that the corn-ears are held either up in the air or down low (with or without an altar).  I doubt the ones with the corn-ears up in the air would ever have an altar, so they should probably have their own RPC number.  It seems like a big enough difference (with or without an altar too, for that matter).

Here is my altar type: 

271034500_Philippopolis-FausIIDemeteraltar-MINEJan22(0).jpg.75d878e9f419cab359e2fd01c125de57.jpg

Faustina II  Æ 23 (c. 147-175 A.D.) Thrace, Philippopolis  ΦAVCTEINA CEBACTH, draped bust right / ΦIΛIΠΠOΠOΛEITΩN, Demeter standing left holding short torch and corn ears down over altar at left.  RPC IV.1, 7498 (temporary); Moushmov 5164 (see notes) (8.96 grams / 24 mm) eBay Jan. 2022 Ck   Lot @ $9.00

Attribution Notes:  Demeterstanding holding corn over altar and short torch is RPC IV.1, 7498 (temporary), but examples show corn held both up and down.  Only two have altar: No. 4 (no illustration, from National Archaeological MuseumSofia) and No. 14 (Bibliothèque nationale de France). Wildwinds has one, as Moushmov 5164   (these last two are die-matches).

Die-Match Characteristics:  Obv.: Small bun in middle of head; C at hairline.  Rev.: Altar (all specimens with altar from same die?)

Die-Match Obv./Rev.: RPC IV.1, 7498 No. 14 which Bibliothèque Nat. de France ark:/12148/btv1b103066984

Wildwinds, Moushmov 5164 https://www.wildwinds.com

Here are the die-matches I found for this altar type:

974850133_Philippopolis-FausIIDemeteraltar-MINEJan22(0com).jpg.fa9bbd4be4c1cfc71242a4bf78b779ec.jpg

This next one is Demeter as well, but here is where things get really confusing.  RPC 7496 (temp.) describes this as a long torch, and shows some that way.  But it also shows a short torch as well - an attribution that is illustrated by a couple of examples, one of which is a die-match to mine.    

My guess is these short torches should be RPC 7498 (without altar).  But again, since this is a "temporary" listing, they are probably still working out the kinks.  Here's the link:  https://rpc.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/coins/4/7496

Here is mine (short torch, no altar, corn-ears down):

1208148460_Phillippopolis-FausIIDemetshorttorch-MINE(0).jpg.0dcc1a5ba364b6283d5b6987f4ea0c19.jpg

Faustina II  Æ 23 (c. 147-175 A.D.) Philippopolis, Thrace  ΦΑVСΤEΙΝΑ СEΒ[ΑСΤΗ], draped bust right / ΦΙΛΙΠΠΟ Π ΟΛΕΙΤΩΝ, Demeter standing left, holding corn ears downward and short torch. (8.18 grams / 23 mm) eBay Sept. 2020 $3.25  

Attribution:  Short torch with corn-ears pointing downward is lumped in with RPC 7496 (but described only as long torch); RPC Nos. 17 and 18 both have short torch; No. 18 is Naumann die-match (see below).

CNG Auction 454; Lot 233; 16.10.2019 is short torch / corn-ears pointing down, not a die-match, attributed: Mouchmov, Philippopolis 143; Varbanov 881.

Die-Match Characteristics: Obv.: Φ at shoulder; small CE. Rev.:  Corn-ear touches Λ. 

Die-Match Obv. and Rev.: Numismatik Naumann Auct. 102; Lot 417; 02.05.2021 this is RPC IV.1 7496 No. 18.

Die-Match Obverse: Numismatik Naumann Auct. 77; Lot 386; 05.05.2019, attributed RPC IV.1 7496.

Here is mine with what I think are two die-matches (the middle one is obverse only, bottom obv./rev.; both are Naumann, the bottom one is RPC No. 18).  Short torches obviously: 

839842099_Phillippopolis-FausIIDemetshorttorch-MINE(0com).jpg.fcad118b1022c114de33fa0bc53228d4.jpg

 

 

This was really confusing - whenever I am trying to sort out two similar "problem" coins, my head starts swimming.  Corrections always welcome. 

Also, @Roman Collector - is there a Beckmann hair-do type involved here?  I know Provincials are outside Beckmann's studies, but some of these high grade ones look like a late Type 10?  Does this narrow down the date-range for these.  As you put it on the OP attribution: 

 

Astonishingly, I have no Faustina coins from Philippopolis. I think it would be a good idea to submit your coins to RPC along with your thought about the distinction between long and short torches as well as the presence or absence of an altar.

Regarding the hairstyle, it's a little tricky with provincials because they may not mimic their imperial counterparts very well, but a simple coiffure with the hair pulled back into a bun without a prominent brow wave would be the Beckmann type 5 hairstyle, used from 154 CE to 161 CE. Dating provincials on the basis of hairstyle is very problematic, though.

In contrast, THIS is the type 10 hairstyle, characterized by braiding into parallel rows, which are in turn braided loosely into a herringbone pattern pointing to the chignon in the back. It's easier seen than described:

2089614347_FaustinaJrIVNOdenarius.jpg.b07cbf4b69b38fefe705bdfeb2a4b311.jpg

1079131509_FaustinaJrMATRIMAGNAEdenarius.jpg.030e8df15e7ed39d3c0938aaf6db48d9.jpg

1970201341_FaustinaJrMATRIMAGNAESCSestertius.jpg.3e33b60b9e5e16f6b40288a58993a1ab.jpg

1583548315_FaustinaJrAETERNITASstandingdenarius.jpg.ea79a191b825b7e2acc80810144b91c7.jpg

 

Edited by Roman Collector
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