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Thoughts on this antoninianus of Tranquillina? Tooled from Otacilia Severa?


Harry G

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Hi all!

I was browsing the latest Roma catalogue, and cam across this coin - an antoninianus of Tranquillina.

Catalogue Image

 

However, the obverse looks a lot more like Otacilia Severa to me

  • The nose points "sideways" rather than down (which is more commonly seen on Otacilia Severa rather than Tranquillina)
  • The features for Tranquillina are much younger than Otacilia Severa, and the coin appears to show an older bust
  • The "SABINA" at the start of the obverse legend always seems to start after the crescent on all Tranquillina antoninianii on acsearch - not "around" it
  • The last half of the legend seems to have SEVERA as the undertype (the S starting at the Q of TRANQVILLINA)

Below is an antoninianus of Otacilia Severa (my coin) and a genuine Tranquillina (unfortunately not my coin) for comparison.

image.png.a2e4128db178f8cc3fa52a2affcc3f59.png

 

And the issue with the legend:

image.png.e8f5e0790844d249f93146f83ec9b4ca.png

 

Any thoughts on this? If it turns out it's tooled, I will of course report it to the auction house.

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A search on acsearch shows several Tranquillina ants, all of which have the hair plait like the one you show, curving up the back and then across the top of the head, whereas the Otacilia Severa has the plait along the back stop on the top of the back of the head. Also, the lettering of the questionable coin is far weaker than expected given the depth of the portrait. Third, the portrait looks more like Otacilia Severa than Tranquillina. 

All in all, I'm convinced that corroded coin is not a genuine Tranquillina. 

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I see only one other Tranquillina ant. on acsearch that looks like the one at Roma, with the obverse legend starting below the point of the crescent, etc. It was offered by H.D. Rauch in 2019 and seems to have gone unsold, and looks a bit dubious itself:

image.jpeg.0ae428222a28c60f176c9ff241302b0b.jpeg

 

 

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17 hours ago, Valentinian said:

A search on acsearch shows several Tranquillina ants, all of which have the hair plait like the one you show, curving up the back and then across the top of the head, whereas the Otacilia Severa has the plait along the back stop on the top of the back of the head. Also, the lettering of the questionable coin is far weaker than expected given the depth of the portrait. Third, the portrait looks more like Otacilia Severa than Tranquillina. 

All in all, I'm convinced that corroded coin is not a genuine Tranquillina. 

I wasn’t sure but the plait is pretty undeniable.

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Whoa, just catching up and find this thread inflammatory and liableiscious!

Roma has assured me this coin comes from the personal collection of Prince Gerhardt Hapsburg!

30-rock-reubens.jpg.ae2965ae33f4f1984df75c9c72e04159.jpg

Seriously though, is it time to tell Roma to go stick their fake coins and provenances where the sun don't shine?

This is pretty flagrant. Buying from them at this point is like dating the girl who you saw with your buddy with crabs. You really can't complain about the itch in your drawers when you take her out...

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That gave me an idea - I just asked ChatGPT to:

"Give me some fictional 18th century provenance for an EID MAR aureus, including buy/sell/auction records, made to look genuine"

and it came up with:

 

"According to the records, the EID MAR aureus was first discovered by a group of French soldiers in 1762 during the Seven Years' War. They found the coin in the possession of a local farmer near the site of a Roman battle. The farmer claimed that the coin had been passed down through his family for generations.

After the war, the French soldiers brought the coin back to France, where it caught the eye of a wealthy collector named Louis de Beaumont. Beaumont was an avid numismatist and had an extensive collection of ancient coins. He purchased the EID MAR aureus from the soldiers for a considerable sum.

Over the years, the coin passed through several collections, including that of the Duke of Cumberland, before ending up in the hands of a prominent London dealer named James Christie. Christie auctioned the coin in 1784, where it was sold to an anonymous bidder for a record-breaking price.

The buyer was later revealed to be a wealthy Italian collector named Giuseppe Conti, who was known for his passion for ancient Roman coins. The EID MAR aureus remained in the Conti family collection for several generations until it was eventually sold at auction in the early 20th century.

This provenance gives the impression that the coin has been in circulation for several centuries and has passed through many notable collections, making it a rare and valuable piece for collectors. However, it should be noted that this provenance is entirely fictional and should not be used to deceive or mislead anyone into believing the coin is genuine."

 

A more convincing provenance than Roma's in my opinion! And it cost £100,000 less...

Edited by Harry G
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14 hours ago, Harry G said:

fictional 18th century provenance for an EID MAR aureus

AI is scary good. Mark the introduction of ChatGPT as something we will look back on and call it momentous. 

Your profession can provide its own examples of enforced change. From mine, how can a teacher give and mark a writing assignment?

 

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1 hour ago, Valentinian said:

AI is scary good. Mark the introduction of ChatGPT as something we will look back on and call it momentous. 

Your profession can provide its own examples of enforced change. From mine, how can a teacher give and mark a writing assignment?

 

I think it will be when they iron out the issues. It seems to just make stuff up randomly. To be fair, that might not distinguish it enough from a student, but it means professionally you can’t use it without someone checking it who knows what it should say, which rather reduces the benefit.

How long that will take is a good question. I thought speech recognition was amazing 20 years ago - it will be great when it can actually understand what I say, I thought. 20 years on and it still can’t. I also wonder how long self-driving cars will take given Google maps still sends people into fields and down farm tracks.

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