Jump to content

15th Century Provenance, Vespasian Sestertius


Numisnewbie

Recommended Posts

I hope it isn't improper to post an auction listing (if it is, feel free to remove this post), but CNG has this Vespasian Sestertius with a 15th century provenance from the d'Este collection that was started in the early 1400s. I've never seen a provenance going back that far, so it caught my eye. The listing has a long write-up about it.

https://auctions.cngcoins.com/lots/view/4-85Z9YY/vespasian-ad-69-79-sestertius-33mm-2401-g-6h-rome-mint-struck-ad-77-78-host-coin-vf-inset-good-vf

What is the oldest provenance in your collection, or what is the oldest provenance of an ancient coin that you know of?

  • Like 8
  • Mind blown 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

vespasian.JPG.63384ff721b54cbf1d008d41af88eaaf.JPG

AD 69-79. Æ Sestertius (33mm, 24.01 g, 6h). Rome mint. Struck AD 77-78. IMP CAES VESPASIAN AVG P M TR P P P COS VIII, laureate head right; eagle inset of the d’Este family behind head / ANNONA AVGVST, S C across field, Annona, draped, seated left, holding open on her lap a bag of grain ears, the ends held in her hands. RIC II 987; BMCRE 730 (this coin illustrated); BN 768. Even brown surfaces.

  • Like 9
  • Cookie 1
  • Heart Eyes 1
  • Mind blown 1
  • Yes 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

d'Este/Gonzaga is the earliest reliably documented pedigree. It's one of a number of pedigrees where I'd be happy with any example, let alone a nice coin.

I was very fortunate to acquire this sestertius a couple years ago, minted under Maximinus I Thrax:

Gonzaga.jpg.932c880cb4077bd4fe8b87cbbc207038.jpg

I always laugh when auction houses grade the inlay versus the coin as in the CNG writeup. Now if NGC started separately grading inlays on d'Este coinage, we'll have reached peak absurdity.

  • Like 13
  • Gasp 1
  • Heart Eyes 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great coin to be auctioned, and @AncientJoe's example is (among others, so many others) one of his coins I admire.

My coin bearing the oldest provenance is a much more modest one, gift from Secret Santa (namely @AnYangMan) two years ago (before we moved here) : It's a Tetricus II antoninianus with its original holder, from the Netherlands National collections, stating it has been in the "old cabinet" since (i.e. pre 1849, when the two main collections merged).

0455-311b-jpg.1223107

01-tetricus-ticket-1-jpg.1223106

01-tetricus-ticket-2-jpg.1223120

Q

  • Like 8
  • Clap 1
  • Heart Eyes 1
  • Mind blown 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Provenance refers to the history of ownership and movement of a coin, including where and from whom it was acquired. This information is crucial for ensuring that the coin was collected ethically and legally.

Without provenance, there is no way to know for certain that a coin was not stolen or illegally excavated from an archaeological site. Acquiring coins without proper provenance not only supports the illicit trade in ancient artifacts, but it also robs us of valuable information about the history and context of the coin.

Furthermore, owning a coin without provenance can put you at risk of losing it if it is discovered to have been illegally obtained. Many governments and organizations have laws and regulations in place to protect ancient artifacts, and without proper provenance, you may not be able to prove your ownership of the coin.

In short, when collecting ancient coins, it is essential to prioritize provenance. Not only is it the ethical thing to do, but it is also in your own best interest as a collector. I urge you to always research the provenance of a coin before acquiring it and to only purchase from reputable sources.

Thank you for considering the importance of provenance in your coin collection.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

56 minutes ago, Numisnewbie said:

Okay, I feel like crap now.  It won't happen again, and I sincerely apologize.

No worries. This thread likely did not contribute much to the bidding on the lot.

I do think it is perfectly acceptable to discuss coins of interest at auction ... but only after they have hammered. You never know who may be interested. 

  • Yes 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was lucky enough to find one of them for my fractions collection last year 🙂 

 

1031_FeSZ7RF4JI_th.jpg.02d671335aa532d95c99edfd463aba65.jpg

 

Nerva, Quadrans (15 mm, 2.54 g), Rome, 96-98 AD.
Obv. IMP NERVA CAES AVG, modius, 2 corn ears. Rev. S – C, winged caduceus. RIC 109 (C). D'Este countermark on obverse (left field) inlayed in silver.

Edited by SimonW
  • Like 13
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just recently discovered another old provenance. Not as impressive as the d'Este/Gonzaga provenance, but still very nice:

 

1246_6420p1SByn_th.jpg.fefca933cbcb6ba257f5f35ef779cd1d.jpg

 

Titus, Quadrans (15 mm, 2.96 g), Rome, 80-81 AD.
Obv. IMP T VESP AVG COS VIII, head of Minerva, helmeted, r. Rev. S C, within laurel-wreath. RIC 254 (C).

Provenance

  • Dr. Busso Peus Nachfolger, Auction 433 (01.11.2022), Lot 1479
  • Münzhandlung Basel, Auction 1 (28.06.1934), Lot 445
  • Collection of Christian August, Prince of Waldeck and Pyrmont (1744-1798)
Edited by SimonW
  • Like 8
  • Mind blown 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, SimonW said:

Just recently discovered another old provenance. Not as impressive as the D'Este/Gonzaga provenance, but still very nice:

 

1246_6420p1SByn_th.jpg.fefca933cbcb6ba257f5f35ef779cd1d.jpg

 

Titus, Quadrans (15 mm, 2.96 g), Rome, 80-81 AD.
Obv. IMP T VESP AVG COS VIII, head of Minerva, helmeted, r. Rev. S C, within laurel-wreath. RIC 254 (C).

Provenance

  • Dr. Busso Peus Nachfolger, Auction 433 (01.11.2022), Lot 1479
  • Münzhandlung Basel, Auction 1 (28.06.1934), Lot 445
  • Collection of Christian August, Prince of Waldeck and Pyrmont (1744-1798)

An excellent find, congrats!

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The problem with provenance  is that  it means nothing without the the original find site, date , what else was in the hoard etc..... And there  would be so few coins that can claim that that coin collecting would be pointless!  Yes I know  how valuable a freshly dug hoard  with total provenance but its unlikely!  So any provenance without it is pointless!  EG Demeter and Artemis very late NewStyle, ex Selton collection, then via palmyra Heritage  both this year!  Probably noted in Thompson NSSCA T1227a one of only 3 known! Famous rich coin collectors Selton could not be bothered to note which dealer they got it from  in c 1955!

Sometimes all is not lost, read Gaziantep Hoard  Meadows and Houghton vis academia.edu. So what if sometime down the line Robert Pitt owned it Newell etc......meaningless.  To me its just another sales gimmick!

I have scoured the limited sources of auctions to try and track down early NewStyles  to see how common they appear to be  , See  my New Coin types in the early Thompson catalogue...so not is all lost....a new obverse, reverse there a new example of a very rare type.......sold via Roma  from a private UK collector  who had no interest in the coin, provenance or possible meaning!  Possession  is only in the majorities only thought!  Coin collectors are magpies  only the very few we who look for something else!

Does it matter then who had the coin  in the last few 100 years then?  NO. 

 

2 Palms New Obverse and reverse, the only one in private hands? Now published by me via  academia  Hey who knows who  coveted it  to keep it pointlessly wrapped undercover!!  But without it suddenly appearing  we would know even less!

To me modern provenance  is a con!  The Museo Archaeolgica Chieti Italy has a portion of a coin hoard unpublished  since the 1950's-  yep 70 years!,   and have no interest in having it published....so if the professionals(!?)  couldn't be bothered why should anyone else!  Where they lead other should follow!  Wither provenance!

2_PALMS_ROMA_March_2019-removebg-preview.png

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Benefactor

I should point out that if one reads CNG's description carefully -- and ignores the spelling and punctuation errors; would someone please explain to CNG that the plural of Gonzaga is Gonzagas, not Gonzaga's? -- the Vespasian sestertius itself does not have a 15th century provenance: it's the d'Este collection in general that began to be formed in the 15th century. All they can say about this specific coin is that the eagle inset was probably applied "sometime between 1563-1614." There is no documentation whatsoever as to how long before 1614 this coin became part of the collection, assuming that the presence of the inset constitutes sufficient proof that it was ever part of the collection in the first place. (CNG admits that most of the known coins with the inset are gold and silver, not bronze like this coin.) The specific provenance/documentation of this coin dates back only to 1904. So, quite a bit of puffery going on!

Edited by DonnaML
  • Yes 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, DonnaML said:

There is no documentation whatsoever as to how long before that this coin became part of the collection.

Bingo. That countermark without specific proof doesn’t narrow the coin down to more than a large window, of which it is almost exponentially likely to be at the tail end. That doesn’t stop the “15th century provenance” special border 🙄

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Benefactor
1 hour ago, NewStyleKing said:

The problem with provenance  is that  it means nothing without the the original find site, date , what else was in the hoard etc..... And there  would be so few coins that can claim that that coin collecting would be pointless!  Yes I know  how valuable a freshly dug hoard  with total provenance but its unlikely!  So any provenance without it is pointless! 

I'm sorry to be so harsh, but this assertion makes no sense to me. Not only is provenance (even within the last 20 years) important for legal purposes, but provenance also has value in demonstrating authenticity. Apart from the inherent fascination of tracing the collecting history of a coin.

 

43 minutes ago, TheTrachyEnjoyer said:

Bingo. That countermark without specific proof doesn’t narrow the coin down to more than a large window, of which it is almost exponentially likely to be at the tail end. That doesn’t stop the “15th century provenance” special border 🙄

Exactly. "Probable early 17th-century provenance with documentation to 1904" would be a considerably more accurate headline description!

Edited by DonnaML
  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi, what exactly does a few 100 year old provenance  tell us about the original ancient coin, its production and why etc?  The Thompson #1  from the Gaziantep hoard  was sold   but without the reconstructed hoard  it essentially  tells us nothing.....except its  T#3 and a new reverse   "This particularly fine example was found in Harlan J. Berk auction 83, 1994 lot 168, (re-sold Berk 100 1998, lot 238), and was noted by Meadows as from the Gaziantep Hoard 1994"  I wrote this in "New coin types in the early Athens new style silver coinage!  This minor work I did showed that obverse Thompson #3 was mated with many reverses but Thompson #1 and #2  still have not re-appeared since NSSCA.  This modern provenance game is for investors and dealers  and people who want to pay ridiculous money for common coin in a plastic container that was owned by a well known numismatist. D'oh!  I mean, of course, The NewStyle sold by CNG in a plastic container  that was once owned by Newell.  So what, the ANS never retained it!  Nothing special, so what? I think Mr investor took himself to the baths  on that one!. Makes you wonder why Mr Investor didn't buy the far. far much rarer Artemis and Demeter NewStyle  from the salton collection...oh yes I know  it had a 2/5 rating, so absolute rarity , 3 known examples,trumped by grading, and marc and lottie Selton provenance!

Essentially tells you nothing!  That's simple coin collecting with an eye on investing  not numismatics!  Where would Crawford, Hersh etc be without coin hoards and a scientific approach, if they were just collectors then nothing! Does "provenance" mean the coin is authentic?  The Sponsianus gold has a sort of 200 year old history but...........not the same as the Domatianus ll  coin in the BNF  a 2nd example that was found within a huge coin hoard found in the UK and authenticated the BNF example.

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Part of the traditional appeal of collecting ancient coins is knowing who owned them before you, the provenance if you will. Personally, I find great joy in that knowledge, as do many others, hence why many auction houses point it out!

As a matter of fact, yesterday I purchased a coin based exclusively on its provenance (although I was lacking the variety in question as well). Romanticising our coin's personal history is something some collectors do, others don't. I am an unashamed romantic.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 12/10/2022 at 11:33 AM, AncientJoe said:

d'Este/Gonzaga is the earliest reliably documented pedigree. It's one of a number of pedigrees where I'd be happy with any example, let alone a nice coin.

I was very fortunate to acquire this sestertius a couple years ago, minted under Maximinus I Thrax:

Gonzaga.jpg.932c880cb4077bd4fe8b87cbbc207038.jpg

I always laugh when auction houses grade the inlay versus the coin as in the CNG writeup. Now if NGC started separately grading inlays on d'Este coinage, we'll have reached peak absurdity.

I think they would grade the inlay on your coin Ch XF 🤣.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...