AncientJoe Posted December 26, 2022 · Member Share Posted December 26, 2022 (edited) 2022 has proven to be a remarkably busy year for me and one where acquiring coins proved to be difficult, given the emergence of a few new very well-heeled buyers. They've more than made up for a few exited/paused collectors: there always seems to be a new buyer sweeping up the lion's share of the big auctions. Despite this, I did have a good year for new additions, although it ended up being focused unintentionally on upgrading rather than many net-new additions: six of my top ten are types I've owned before. Unlike recent years, none of these coins have made my own (subjective and fluid) overall Top Ten list but they have added breadth to my deliberately small collection. This year also marks ten years of solely focusing on collecting ancient coins. I collected US and World coinage for the a while prior to this period but I mark the acquisition of my Antoninus Pius avatar as when the "ancient bug" bit me. Time permitting, I'm planning to post a "Top Ten of Ten Years" thread soon as well. But for now, this year's list, starting with the upgrades: Claudius IMPER RECEPT aureus: Claudius. AD 41-54. AV Aureus (19mm, 7.65 g, 1h). Lugdunum (Lyon) mint. Struck AD 44-45. TI CLAVD • CAESAR • AVG • P • M • TR • P • IIII, laureate head right / IMPER RECEPT across top of front wall, view of the praetorian camp; in front is a wall with two small arched openings below and five battlements on top; above and behind it stands a soldier on guard left, holding a spear in right hand; to his right, an aquila; behind him is a pediment, in which is a crescent, on two pillars, flanked left and right by walls, each with a battlement above and an arch below. RIC I 25 (Rome); von Kaenel Type 21, – (unlisted dies); Lyon 40 (unlisted dies); Calicó 361b; BMCRE 23 (Rome); BN 43-4; Biaggi 206 Ex Heath Collection, Triton XXII, January 8-9, 2019, lot 1006; LHS 100, April 23-24, 2007, lot 466; Gerhard Hirsch 3, 1954, lot 224; Münzhandlung Basel 8, March 22, 1937, lot 575 (there purchased by Cahn) I'm very grateful to a good friend for being willing to sell this coin. He's a pedigree hound and bought it with virtually no pedigree, connecting the dots to the 1937 catalog. I've owned an example of the type before but never successfully tracked a pedigree myself and wasn't as happy with the condition: this is an upgrade in condition, style, and pedigree and certainly a "keeper" for me. Nero Colossus aureus: NERO. 54-68, aureus. 64-68. NERO CAESAR Laureate head r. Rev: AVGVSTVS GERMANICVS Nero standing facing, dressed in toga and wearing radiant crown. He is holding a branch and a victoria on a globe. C. 44. RIC 46. Calico 402. 7.34g, St. 6h. High relief. Ex. Boscoreale Hoard 1895; Ex. H. P. Smith Esq Sotheby Wilkinson & Hodge, June 5 1905, lot 405; Ex. Sotheby Wilkinson & Hodge, December 6, 1907 lot 111; Ex. Dr Eugen Merzbacher Munchen, November 2, 1909, lot 1204; Ex. Dr Jacob Hirsch Auction 33, November 17, 1913, lot 1144; Ex. Robert Ball Nachf Auction 6, February 9, 1932, lot 1037; Ex UBS 72, 2007, lot no. 209 This coin is also an upgrade - it's the third example of the type I've owned but by far the nicest. The auction picture showed a bit of toning which I thought could be Boscoreale. With the help of some catalog sleuthing and Ex-Numis, I'm able to confidently state it is indeed Boscoreale and has a lengthy ownership history in the intervening years as well. Antoninus Pius Liberalitas aureus: Antoninus Pius. AD 138-161. AV Aureus (20mm, 7.15 g, 6h). Rome mint. Struck AD 147. ANTONINVS AVG PI VS P P TR P COS IIII, laureate head right / LIB IIII in exergue, Antoninus Pius, togate, seated left on curule chair on platform, extending right hand and holding volumen in left; to left, Liberalitas standing left, holding abacus in right hand and cornucopia in left; on ground to left, citizen, togate, standing right, holding out fold of toga with both hands to receive distribution. RIC III 141c; Strack 149δ; Calicó 1571; BMCRE 546 note; Biaggi 739 var. (bust type); Jameson 115 var. (break in obv. legend); Mazzini 496 var. (bust type). Toned with underlying luster. EF. Ex Arthur Bally-Herzog Collection (Münzen und Medaillen AG 93, 16 December 2003), lot 170, purchased from Spink & Son, 3 March 1905 (for 200 francs); A. Bain Collection (Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge, July 11th, 1901), lot 33. Another upgrade and again the third example of the type I've owned. This coin has a more refined style, nicely detailed reverse strike, and an early pedigree. Carthage Trihemistater Zeugitania, Carthage. AU Trihemistater; Zeugitania, Carthage; c. 264-260 BC, Trihemistater, 12.49g. Jenkins and Lewis-Group IX, 396 (this coin). Obv: Head of Tanit l., wearing wreath of grain ears, triple pendant earring, and necklace with hanging pendants. Rx: Rev. Unbridled horse standing r. on exergual line, head turned back. Ex Catherine E. Bullowa/Coinhunter, with original ticket. Ex R. B. Lewis Collection. Ex 1948 Tunis Hoard (ICGH 2271) And another upgrade: this coin is notable for its minimal amount of die rust, something which bothered me about my previous example. It being a plate coin in an important work adds further appeal, and the reverse style of the horse is dramatic and well executed. Acanthus tetradrachm: Tetradrachm (Silver, 14.28 g 2), c. 370. Bull, with head raised, collapsing to left, attacked by lion leaping on his back to right; in exergue, ΑΛΕΞΙΟΣ. Rev. ΑΚΑ-Ν-ΘΙ-ΟΝ around quadripartite square with raised fields; all within incuse square. Desneux 147-148 (same obverse die). Gulbenkian 397 This is an upgrade in style and pedigree (my previous example was from the recent group that's been percolating out for the last few years). Although I haven't yet been able to track down a pedigree for it, I know it's from a well-known collector who bought his coins in the early 90s... it'll just be a matter of time/catalog sleuthing. Cilicia trihemiobol UNCERTAIN MINTS. Trihemiobol (?), 4th c. BC. AR 0.99 g. Janiform head, bearded male head on the l., female head r. Rev. Three faced bearded male head. SNG Levante 201 202 And one final upgrade for this year, a small yet artistically remarkable trihemiobol from Cilicia. This is listed "from an old Swiss collection started in the 19th century" which is almost meaningless but the toning indicates it should have a pedigree... alas, not one I've tracked down yet. But, the metal quality and style are both drastically better than my previous example so I'm very happy with the coin. And the net-new types: Maximian "Hercules fighting Hydra" aureus: Maximian Hercules 286-310. Aureus 293-294, Rome. MAXIMIA-NVS PF AVG Laureate head of Maximian right / HER-CVLI D-EBELLAT Hercules standing left knocking out the hydra with his club; in the epigraph, PR. 5.30g. c.253-; RIC-; Depeyrot 6/13; Calico 4659a (this coin) I was very disappointed to underbid this exact coin last year (after wanting to bid on it the year prior). I was shocked to find it in a dealer's case at the ANA show and managed to buy it for less than the hammer price of my bid would have been... evidently it was reserved and didn't sell. Auction records can be deceiving but I'm very glad to have the coin in the end! Caligula Three Sisters sestertius: Æ-Sestertius, 37/38, Rome; 26.52g C CAESAR AVG GERMANICVS PON M TR POT head l. with laurel wreath//AGRIPPINA-DRVSILLA-IVLIA Agrippina, Drusilla and Julia stand as Securitas, Concordia and Fortuna vv BMC 36; coh 4; RIC² 33. I've wanted a Caligula Three Sisters sestertius for years and had not found the right balance of detail and lack of tooling/smoothing. This coin satisfied that for me, validated by an in-hand assessment from a trusted dealer (buying bronze from an image is inadvisable). Hadrian Africae aureus: Hadrian. Aureus; Hadrian; 117-138 AD, Rome, c. 130-3 AD, Aureus, 7.26g. RIC-1554 (R), pl. 34 (same dies); Calicó-1170 (same dies); BMC-786 note (citing Vienna); bust var. of C-8 (150 Fr.). Obv: HADRIANVS - AVG COS III P P Bare-headed, draped bust l. Rx: ADVENTVI - AVG - AFRICAE Hadrian raising r. hand in greeting stands r. before tripod altar at which Africa sacrifices from patera, she wears drapery to feet and an elephant-skin headdress and also holds two wheat stalks in l. arm, a sacrificial bull emerges from behind her and falls towards altar. Ex: Michael F Price Collection, Stacks Dec 3rd, 1996, lot 175; Stacks Fixed Price List, 1990, Lot 25; Ex. Enrico Caruso Collection, Canessa sale June 28, 1923, lot 298 I purchased this coin from HJB for the portrait and rare travel type and was pleasantly surprised to find a meaningful pedigree myself and to then be contacted by Aaron Berk to inform me that one of his customers found that it was Ex. Enrico Caruso! Thank you, Aaron and the helpful collector! Kyrene Tetrobol: CYRENAIC, CYRENE, AV Tetrobol, 308-305 BC. J.-C. D/ Rider riding in step to the left, the petasus in the back. A d., a star. R/ Silphion plant. A d., (Sosis). Naville 160; SNG Cop. 1232. 2.84g; Ex. Jean Elsen & Sons sale 87, March 11, 2006, 1252; Ex Leu 36, May 7, 1985, 222; Ex Leu 25, April 23, 1980, 200 This coin has deep luster and an attractive rider but the notable side is the silphium on the reverse. I have another Kyrene stater but haven't owned any coin depicting silphium yet: it's a "must have" for my collection for its historical significance and, while small, this coin has one of the more artistic renderings of the plant. Thanks for reading and let me know your favorites or which ones jump out to you! I've enjoyed everyone else's Top Ten lists so far - looking forward to seeing more - and here's to a healthy and successful 2023 for all of us! Edited December 27, 2022 by AncientJoe 31 2 1 1 1 1 13 16 1 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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