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Vespasian Misattributed Bargain


David Atherton

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I recently picked up this extremely rare Vespasian bronze for a rock bottom bargain price. The auction house's description: 'TITUS (79-81 AD) or VESPASIAN (69-79 AD). AE, Sestertius. Rome. 11.18g 27.2m.' Not Rome, not a sestertius, not Titus.

 

 

V1497.jpg.5c9b85e9a86b41c29a5aeb88c60c13ea.jpg

Vespasian

Æ27, 11.16g
Ephesus (?) mint, 77-78 AD
Obv: IMP CAESAR VESPASIAN AVGVSTVS; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.
Rev: PONT MAX TR POT P P COS VIII CENS; S C in field; Ceres, veiled, std. l., with two corn ears and cornucopiae
RIC 1497 (R2). BMC -. BNC -. RPC 1470 (1 spec.).
Ex Bucephalus 16, 24-25 February 2023, lot 913.

Late in Vespasian's reign a rare series of orichalcum bronze coins were struck in Asia Minor at an unknown mint. Although imperial in appearance, the style, weight system, and metal used all point to a mint other than Rome. Due to their extreme rarity today, they could not have been struck for any great length of time (the date cannot be narrowed down any further than Vespasian's COS VIII, 77-78 AD). The types consist of ones variously copied from either Rome or local provincial issues. A stylistic similarity with the earlier 'o' mint denarii possibly struck at Ephesus has been noted by both RIC and RPC. This Ceres with cornucopiae is the third known specimen of the type. RPC cites one in Berlin, another is recorded in the RIC II.1 Addenda.

In hand.

 

 

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Edited by David Atherton
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