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A Deceptively Rare Coin


David Atherton
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One could be forgiven in thinking that all Domitian's Minerva reverses, either in bronze or silver, are quite common. However, there are hidden rarities to be had, such as this bronze Minerva struck under Titus. The addition of three letters makes all the difference!

 

 

T315a.jpg.54ca8b7432ba06314b52160bc0e7eff7.jpg

Domitian as Caesar [Titus]

Æ Dupondius/As, 9.62g
Rome mint, 80-81 AD
Obv: CAES DIVI AVG VESP F DOMITIAN COS VII; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, l.
Rev: S C in field; Minerva stg. l., with thunderbolt and spear; shield at her side
RIC 315 (R2). BMC -. BNC -.
Ex Savuto Collection, acquired from Herakles Numismatics.

The dupondii struck for Domitian Caesar under Vespasian and Titus have portraits that lack the radiate crown normally associated with that denomination. At times it can be a bit confusing determining if a coin is a dupondius or an as because the two denominations shared the same reverse types. This specimen struck under Titus appears to be an as due to the lower weight and apparent metal composition of copper. It is a fairly rare variety of this common Minerva type with 'AVG' in the obverse legend. The portrait is in fine Flavian style, as are most left facing portraits during Titus's brief reign. Missing from both the BM and Paris collections.

Please feel free to post your unassuming rarities.

As always, thanks for looking!

Edited by David Atherton
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2 hours ago, David Atherton said:

One could be forgiven in thinking that all Domitian's Minerva reverses, either in bronze or silver, are quite common. However, there are hidden rarities to be had, such as this bronze Minerva struck under Titus. The addition of three letters makes all the difference!

 

 

T315a.jpg.54ca8b7432ba06314b52160bc0e7eff7.jpg

Domitian as Caesar [Titus]

Æ Dupondius/As, 9.62g
Rome mint, 80-81 AD
Obv: CAES DIVI AVG VESP F DOMITIAN COS VII; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, l.
Rev: S C in field; Minerva stg. l., with thunderbolt and spear; shield at her side
RIC 315 (R2). BMC -. BNC -.
Ex Savuto Collection, acquired from Herakles Numismatics.

The dupondii struck for Domitian Caesar under Vespasian and Titus have portraits that lack the radiate crown normally associated with that denomination. At times it can be a bit confusing determining if a coin is a dupondius or an as because the two denominations shared the same reverse types. This specimen struck under Titus appears to be an as due to the lower weight and apparent metal composition of copper. It is a fairly rare variety of this common Minerva type with 'AVG' in the obverse legend. The portrait is fine Flavian style, as are most left facing portraits during Titus's brief reign. Missing from both the BM and Paris collections.

Please feel free to post your unassuming rarities.

As always, thanks for looking!

David, Congrats on another impressive score 😊! Posted below is one of my favorite unassuming rarities. There are so many provincial tetradrachms of Caracalla on the market it's impossible to count them all 😬. One coin type that alluded me for years was an example from the Gaza mint in Palestine, until I scored this handsome example of Prieur 1685. Prieur cites only 4 examples. 2010317965_Judaea-GazaPrieur16852.jpg.e7f23261952db18c9361ed0fa37c121e.jpg

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What a great, massive and manly portrait @David Atherton, beautiful !

In the same niche as @Al Kowsky's, here's a Caracalla tetradrachm I bought nearly 30 years ago. I've shown it to Michel Prieur (RIP) who determined it was a rare variant (first known example) with the reverse legend ending in ΤΟ.ΤΟ.Γ instead of ΤΟC.ΤΟ.Γ . He offered a good price for it that I declined, being so happy with such a great portrait on a syro-phenician tet, no matter how rare it might be :

 

4868cb2073834416961b49980d33636d.jpg

Caracalla (04/02/211-08/04/217) - Tetradrachme de billon de l'atelier d'Antioche, c. 211-212
ΑΥΤ ΚΑΙ ΑΝΤΩΝΕΙΝOC CΕ  Β, Buste lauré de Caracalla à droite
.ΔHΜΑΡX[.E.Ξ.]YΠΑΤΟ.ΤΟ.ΤΟ.Γ, Aigle de face les ailes déployées, la tête à droite, tenant dans son bec une couronne. Entre ses serres la cuisse d'un animal de sacrifice.

13.65 gr
Ref : Prieur # 214A_001 (unique à ce jour avec la légende de revers à laquelle manque le C à TOC.TOG. Avec mes remerciements à Mr Michel Prieur pour les informations complémentaires), McAlee #674v, Sear #2649 var, 

Q

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