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Vespasian Caduceus Quadrans


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I have added another coin to the collection from the mysterious (and allegedly 'Syrian') issue stuck at Rome in 74. This time it is a hard to come by quadrans with the caduceus reverse.

 

V1569.jpg.20827ba73b79ce138c504e70ef42c63f.jpg

Vespasian

Æ Quadrans, 2.86g
Rome mint, 74 AD
Obv: IMP VESP AVG; Head of Vespasian, laureate, l.
Rev: P M TR POT P P; Winged caduceus
RIC 1569 (R). BMC 880. BNC 894. RPC 1989 (4 spec.).
Acquired from Aegean Numismatics, January 2023.

An extremely rare orichalcum quadrans struck for Vespasian in 74. Traditionally the issue has been attributed to various Eastern mints, however, recent scholarship has shown that it was produced in Rome. Style, die axis, metal, and circulation pattern all point to a Western coinage, despite the 'Eastern' flavour of the reverse designs. T. Buttrey in the RIC II.1 Addenda wrote: 'There is nothing like this series in the whole of Roman imperial coinage. It is a deliberate act of Orientalism, imposing the flavour of the East on a Western coinage'.

 

And in hand (these small coins are tough to shoot!).

 

As always, thanks for looking!

Edited by David Atherton
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Nice example too.  Quadrans are so often really grotty from so much use, and not exactly the most common denomination to be hoarded.  I like the video presentation, nice idea and it captures the 'in hand' appearance.

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Nice example and interesting write up/video!

I have one of these that I was lucky enough to buy from @dougsmit a couple years back.
I was also under the impression that these were minted in Antioch.

This is the attribution I had from wildwinds:
Vespasian
AE17 (16.8mm/3.4g)
74 AD
Antioch mint
Obverse: IMP • VESP • AVG, laureate head left
Reverse: P • M • TR • POT • P • P, winged caduceus

1168347248_VespasianAE17PMTRPOTPP.png.4c402dc3afa8a8695837a3fe00c71a74.png

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2 hours ago, Furryfrog02 said:

I was also under the impression that these were minted in Antioch.
 

1168347248_VespasianAE17PMTRPOTPP.png.4c402dc3afa8a8695837a3fe00c71a74.png

Beyond doubt at Rome. Antioch or any other eastern mint was just guess work before dies studies, site finds, and metal analysis were conducted on the series. 

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On 1/25/2023 at 5:09 AM, David Atherton said:

I have added another coin to the collection from the mysterious (and allegedly 'Syrian') issue stuck at Rome in 74. This time it is a hard to come by quadrans with the caduceus reverse.

 

V1569.jpg.20827ba73b79ce138c504e70ef42c63f.jpg

Vespasian

Æ Quadrans, 2.86g
Rome mint, 74 AD
Obv: IMP VESP AVG; Head of Vespasian, laureate, l.
Rev: P M TR POT P P; Winged caduceus
RIC 1569 (R). BMC 880. BNC 894. RPC 1989 (4 spec.).
Acquired from Aegean Numismatics, January 2023.

An extremely rare orichalcum quadrans struck for Vespasian in 74. Traditionally the issue has been attributed to various Eastern mints, however, recent scholarship has shown that it was produced in Rome. Style, die axis, metal, and circulation pattern all point to a Western coinage, despite the 'Eastern' flavour of the reverse designs. T. Buttrey in the RIC II.1 Addenda wrote: 'There is nothing like this series in the whole of Roman imperial coinage. It is a deliberate act of Orientalism, imposing the flavour of the East on a Western coinage'.

 

And in hand (these small coins are tough to shoot!).

 

As always, thanks for looking!

Are these and their eastern style related to the more common anonymous quadrans? Those seem to have a similarly uncertain origin, as well as an unclear purpose and date. I've seen it said they (or some) were stuck in Rome for use in Syria (or elsewhere), perhaps for special occasions.

Roman Imperial Quadrans, 81-161
image.png.4ae73476b1ce816b46146150cc668d79.png
Rome. Bronze, 13mm, 2.88g. Winged petasus. Winged caduceus; SC in field (RIC II, 32). Found near Rudston, Bridlington, East Yorkshire.

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