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Despite difficulties and controversy, Roma strikes back with this stunning offering of great coins..

My interest is the Greek hellenistic coins of the Great Transformation ( Meadows) where coins became propaganda art forms. The only let down is the Coins of Athens  where shed loads of Mass Classic Bores  clog up the offerings  and where no NewStyles are presented to break up the mass monotony! !

A quick look at the impretorial shows a great Labienus, erstwhile colleague of Caesar who plumped for Pompey, so Caesar demeaned him by meticulously returning his chattels and then whipped his ass in combat a few times , and was so ashamed he ended it all.

 

Islands off Ionia, Teos AR Tetradrachm. Circa 165-140 BC. Head of young Dionysos to right, wreathed with ivy leaves and flower in rolled hair from which a spiral lock falls on neck and shoulders / ΤΗΙΩΝ, draped statue of Apollo standing to left, naked to hips with himation end over left arm, extending kantharos in his left hand and holding thyrsos with right; to right, high pedestal surmounted by a small figure of Marsyas, standing to right holding wineskin; in left field, monogram Λκ.

 

image00295.jpg?1686579049

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1 hour ago, NewStyleKing said:

Despite difficulties and controversy, Roma strikes back with this stunning offering of great coins..

My interest is the Greek hellenistic coins of the Great Transformation ( Meadows) where coins became propaganda art forms. The only let down is the Coins of Athens  where shed loads of Mass Classic Bores  clog up the offerings  and where no NewStyles are presented to break up the mass monotony! !

A quick look at the impretorial shows a great Labienus, erstwhile colleague of Caesar who plumped for Pompey, so Caesar demeaned him by meticulously returning his chattels and then whipped his ass in combat a few times , and was so ashamed he ended it all.

 

Islands off Ionia, Teos AR Tetradrachm. Circa 165-140 BC. Head of young Dionysos to right, wreathed with ivy leaves and flower in rolled hair from which a spiral lock falls on neck and shoulders / ΤΗΙΩΝ, draped statue of Apollo standing to left, naked to hips with himation end over left arm, extending kantharos in his left hand and holding thyrsos with right; to right, high pedestal surmounted by a small figure of Marsyas, standing to right holding wineskin; in left field, monogram Λκ.

 

image00295.jpg?1686579049

Roma has been a magnet for very choice ancient & midlevel coinage for a long time & will remain a major player regardless of the Brutus aureus scandal. 

Edited by Al Kowsky
correction
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I always get a bit nervous when these auctions come out whether there's a coin that I think I may be able to obtain but typically lose out.

I've never won a coin at any of the Roma, Leu, Nomos, CNG, Heritage, or Stacks premier auctions. I've tried at a few but I've been outbid every single time. (I have won coins at their "commoner" auctions)

Luckily, there are no targets at the latest Roma, so I feel good!

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THE GREAT TRANSFORMATION The basic nature of the Transformation of Greek coin design that took place in the second century BC can most simply be appreciated by examining a few specific cases. We may begin with one of the most familiar, that of Athens. The archaic, classical and early Hellenistic coinage of Athens is familiar almost to the point of banality (Pl. XL, 1). Through a period of 300 years or so it underwent some stylistic change, but the basic conception remained remarkably constant. But in c. 164/3 BC, (Pl. XL, 2) the Athenians began the production of a New Style coinage, with a clear change in design. The basic types remain the same, but the execution is completely different. Athena’s head is now treated in exquisite detail, such that most have been tempted to see in this new depiction a rendering of the head of Pheidias’ statue.2 Whatever the model, the effect is certainly more specific than the generic portrayals of the earlier coinage. The reverse is completely encircled in a wreath — the detail that is perhaps most frequently noted of these coins, and which gave rise to their nickname of “stephanephoroi”.3 The wreath, of course, is of olive and is surely to be connected with the other new feature of the reverse design: the owl now stands on an amphora, generally assumed to represent one of the prize amphorae from the Panathenaic Games. The combined effect of these two new designs is surely to make us think not only of a specific, Athenian manifestation of Athena, but also of her temple on the Acropolis, the Parthenon, and her great games and festival, the Panathenaia. Athena and her owl have changed from the plain canting types of the early coinage, to bear more specific meanings about the city and its relationship to its goddess. In this development the Athenians were far from alone. Chalcis and Eretria in Euboea, almost simultaneously with Athens, it would seem, struck brief series of coinage on a similar model.4 The issues of Chalcis (Pl. XL, 3) are characterized by a unique portrayal of Hera wearing a veil on the obverse, while on the reverse the goddess appears driving a chariot. This is a phenomenon that becomes widespread in a number of coinages that we shall consider below: a deity shown full figure. There is no question here of a simple head, or a cult statue, but rather Hera is shown in action. As in the case of Athens, the difference from the earlier coinage of the city (Pl. XL, 4) is quite marked.5 Eretria (Pl. XL, 5), on the other hand went for a sumptuous depiction of the goddess Artemis, and on the reverse a sacrificial, filleted bull, as there had been on earlier Eretrian coinage (Pl. XL, 6), but here shown in its entirety. Further north in Thrace, again probably in the 160s, two more cities would transform their coinage. Thasos (Pl. XL, 7) and Maroneia (Pl. XL, 😎 both abandoned past coin designs (Pl. XLI, 9 and 10) to produce coinage on a pattern that is beginning to become familiar.6 On the obverse of both is a detailed rendering of Dionysus. For Thasos this is the replacement for an earlier portrait; for Maroneia it is new. The reverses of both coins are similar too in conception. At Thasos we find a standing, statuesque figure of Herakles; at Maroneia we have Dionysus in similar posture but in place of a club he holds grapes, and where Herakles holds a lion’s pelt, Dionysus has a cloak. But, as much as the designs of these coins, it is the legends that strike us. In addition to giving the impression that we are looking at figures based on specific depictions or statues, the coins explicitly tell us about the relationship between the cities and their deity and hero, for they have not just an ethnic, but also the name of the god and his local epithet: ΗΡΑΚΛΕΟΥΣ ΣΩΤΗΡΟΣ ΘΑΣΙΩΝ and ΔΙΟΝΥΣΟΥ ΣΩΤΗΡΟΣ ΜΑΡΩΝΙΤΩΝ. These two figures represent not just the guardians of the cities,7 but their saviors. These basic patterns of elaborate ‘portraits’ of deities, full figure depictions, and concentration on specific local cult or association with the issuing city are repeated on almost 40 coinages, that all seem to begin in or after the decade 170- 160 BC 

There are, of course, differences among these issues. Some have wreaths on the reverse, some do not; some have gods on the reverse, some do not; some have legends naming the gods, others do not. And there has been a tendency in past examinations of these types to break them down by such typological distinctions.8 As a result, there has been little attempt to consider this group of coins as whole. However, they all share obvious technical characteristics such as spread or hammered flans, or at least dies that are smaller than the flans on which they are used;9 their Attic weight standard; increased elaboration in the ‘portraiture’ of the obverse; and a tendency to frame reverse types with wreaths or legends. And almost all of the coins that can be reasonably firmly dated by hoard evidence seem to belong between c. 175 and 140 BC, that is to say within a generation.10 There is, clearly, a danger that if we artificially break these coinages down into groups on the basis of certain design features we miss a broad, sweeping transformation that has its roots much deeper than the choices of those design features. But while we may be able to identify a broad movement that extends from mainland Greece through Thrace to Western Asia Minor, it is equally clear that the design decisions taken are fundamentally local. In this respect, I think, they exemplify a tension visible elsewhere in this volume between explanations that may be universally applicable for coin design choices, and those that focus on the individual circumstances of the issuing state. It is a tension we also see in the distinction articulated in a famous passage of Plato’s Laws, where the philosopher proposes that we may distinguish coinage that is ‘Hellenic’, useable ‘internationally’ in the Greek world (Ἑλληνικὸν νόμισμα ἕνεκά τε στρατειῶν καὶ ἀποδημιῶν εἰς τοὺς ἄλλους ἀνθρώπους) from that which is ‘epichoric’ (τὸ ἐπιχώριον), designed for local use only.11 So to investigate the Great Transformation that I have just outlined in these civic coinages, we need to keep one eye on the local and one eye on the more general historical circumstances behind them. To begin with I want to take a look at some of the local circumstances in cases where there seems to be some surviving epigraphic and literary evidence.

CASE STUDIES A particularly intriguing case is provided by the mint of Knidos, sometime probably in the second quarter of the second century (Pl. XLVI, 39). The traditional Knidian types of Aphrodite and a lion (Pl. XLVI, 40) are abandoned. Instead, on the obverse appears a distinctively rendered head of Apollo; but it is the reverse that captivates the attention. Here we see a standing figure of Artemis, fully draped and apparently holding a bowl. At her feet stands a stag. As we have long known from Knidian inscriptions the local cult was of Artemis Hyakinthotrophos, and this must be her.12 We have, then, a representation of a distinctive local deity. But what lifts this type out of the ordinary is that we have in this design not one, but two depictions of the deity. For, in addition to the anthropomorphized depiction of the goddess, we can see that she is resting her left elbow on an archaic cult statue—presumably her own (Pl. XLVII, 41).13 What is going on here? Why are there two depictions: one of the goddess in ‘human’ form, the other of her object of cult reverence at Knidos? The answer, I think, can be found in a pair of inscriptions from Kos, published by G. Pugliesi-Caratelli in 1987. They record a diplomatic exchange between the cities of Kos and Knidos, which the editor dated, on the basis of letterforms, to around the beginning of the second century.14 The city of Knidos had apparently sent out embassies to its neighbors and allies announcing that they had added an extra title to the name of their goddess: she was now to be known as Artemis Hyakinthotrophos Goddess Epiphanes (‘θεὸν Ἐπιφανῆ’), on account of a recent epiphany. As part of this process, the Knidians had established a penteteric festival in her honor and sent to Delphi for recognition of the festival as Isopythian. The Koans responded favorably to the Knidian request and presumably were not the only ones to do so. The occasion of the epiphany is not recorded, however it is more than likely that this occurred during a period of military conflict, and all commentators on these inscriptions have assumed that it must have occurred during the attack on the city by Philip V in 201 BC.15 Artemis presumably appeared and saved the city from conquest. In this extraordinary coin type, I would suggest, we can see the engraver’s attempt to show the goddess Artemis manifest (Epiphanes, in the human figure) protecting her cult statue and, by metonymy, the whole city of Knidos. We cannot say for certain that this coin was struck in the immediate aftermath of the epiphany, or, for example, the first celebration of the games. It might be tempting to suggest this; but the point I want to make is more general. In this particular case, the Knidians’ choice of coin type seems to exist in the 12. For the identification, see LE RIDER (1979), p. 156. 13. LE RIDER (1979), p. 157 notes also the archaic appearance of the legend with backwards nu........etc...

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6 hours ago, velarfricative said:

The sale seems to be primarily coins getting flipped from previous Roma sales, or from other sales within the last year or so. Nearly everything I've looked at has a very recent provenance, except for stuff that's obviously from hoards.

Interesting…I did not see much in the sale of interest to myself. However, I did remember noticing two lots that seem to have come from old collections

https://www.romanumismatics.com/316-lot-671-anthemius-av-solidus?arr=0&auction_id=231&box_filter=0&cat_id=6&department_id=&exclude_keyword=&export_issue=0&gridtype=listview&high_estimate=125000&image_filter=0&keyword=&list_type=list_view&lots_per_page=100&low_estimate=100&month=&page_no=2&paper_filter=0&search_type=&sort_by=lot_number&view=lot_detail&year=

RIC X (1994) plate coin

https://www.romanumismatics.com/316-lot-670-anthemius-av-solidus?arr=0&auction_id=231&box_filter=0&cat_id=6&department_id=&exclude_keyword=&export_issue=0&gridtype=listview&high_estimate=125000&image_filter=0&keyword=&list_type=list_view&lots_per_page=100&low_estimate=100&month=&page_no=2&paper_filter=0&search_type=&sort_by=lot_number&view=lot_detail&year=

1976 provenance and plated in Lacam.

At a glance, these seem to be two exquisite coins from a robust collection of high standing with exceptional plates and decent pedigrees. Diving deeper… 

https://www.acsearch.info/search.html?id=10323734
 

The RIC X plate is barely even a year old from its last sale at Leu.

https://www.acsearch.info/search.html?id=9259706

The Lacam plate even seems to be a buy back from Roma or perhaps purchased last year at the feature and subsequently reconsigned.

Now I am curious how many other coins are of recent pedigree or potential buy backs…at a glance these two seemed to have come from an impressive collection. With a second investigation that was not the case

 

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This appears to be Roma filling out an auction with its own retail inventory stock to make it appear they are still a worthwhile place for high quality coin consignments. I think it has yet to be determined if they can keep this up long term. A lot of the offerings in this auction have incredibly steep starting prices, sometimes well over the hammers in auctions from just late last year.

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Yes, I did notice that some of the coins hadn't been out of the market long before ending up again with Roma!

Interestingly ATM I'm reading about the CRYPTOQUEEN.

There is no way  that anyone buying the coins JUST previously sold and paying JUICE  is going to flip it now and make a profit..surely!

Do the coins exist....can I use ONECOIN  to purchase them?

Oh Ruja, did you die of lead poisoning?.

 

Luckily its the coins  and what they represent that interests me.........Im lucky, I already purchased the majority of the coins I "needed"  in the "good 'ol days " 

Edited by NewStyleKing
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6 hours ago, filolif said:

This appears to be Roma filling out an auction with its own retail inventory stock to make it appear they are still a worthwhile place for high quality coin consignments. I think it has yet to be determined if they can keep this up long term. A lot of the offerings in this auction have incredibly steep starting prices, sometimes well over the hammers in auctions from just late last year.

Yes it appears that you are right.  And purchased  or borrowed stock from other companies too.  Another thing  is that maybe some of the coins NEVER sold in the first place but gave the impression of doing so.......a another line in  provenance ?

Are they clearing stock for a wind down, to pay for NYNY residence.......

 

I think the world of provenance  has  sported its own players! Oh Baron de Chambrier,  what have you started?

I was always a provenance skeptik, something else to sell!

If you read that coin dealers confession  book " Fun while it lasted" by  Bruce McNall they were all at it...even in the early days, But at that level doesn't touch me...I'm below all that!

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1 hour ago, NewStyleKing said:

Yes it appears that you are right.  And purchased  or borrowed stock from other companies too.  Another thing  is that maybe some of the coins NEVER sold in the first place but gave the impression of doing so.......a another line in  provenance ?

Are they clearing stock for a wind down, to pay for NYNY residence.......

 

I think the world of provenance  has  sported its own players! Oh Baron de Chambrier,  what have you started?

I was always a provenance skeptik, something else to sell!

If you read that coin dealers confession  book " Fun while it lasted" by  Bruce McNall they were all at it...even in the early days, But at that level doesn't touch me...I'm below all that!

Really, no-one is impressed by a provenance along the lines of 'ex Roma 6 months ago'. That isn't what provenance is about.

Edited by John Conduitt
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I have a very rare coin from the SALTON collection...but they kept schtum on where they got it from.  Thompson seems to have known about it before 1961 as "in commerce", but the Saltons seemed not to have let  on!  WHY? Who knows, so obviously provenance was no great thing to those once major players!

Yes prov  can be useful...whose polished it, filled in faults  etc... but  as we now know  you need a private investigator to verify that the provenances described are true !

I'll use my firm of private investigators  Chambrier & Others of Zurich free port , if I want prov!

As I once wrote, badly, it's not really about the coins....just ownership.

 

Edited by NewStyleKing
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3 hours ago, NewStyleKing said:

I have a very rare coin from the SALTON collection...but they kept schtum on where they got it from. 

I didn't know you spoke Yiddish! (It really should properly be spelled shtum, since transcribed Yiddish doesn't ordinarily use the Germanic "sch" spelling.) Spelling aside, I've always found it puzzling that that particular Yiddishism penetrated British English but has never been adopted in American English, even though in general American English has incorporated far more Yiddish phrases. For obvious reasons.

You don't like the Saltons, do you?

3 hours ago, NewStyleKing said:

Yes prov  can be useful...whose polished it, filled in faults  etc... but  as we now know  you need a private investigator to verify that the provenances described are true !

 

You know perfectly well that in most cases that isn't true! The overwhelming majority of claimed pedigrees -- especially those dating from the late 19th century or later, and especially auction pedigrees rather than claims of origins in an obscure old collection -- can very easily be verified or disproven, either on the Internet or at least in one of the major numismatic libraries. As for the usefulness of pedigrees/provenance, if you're actually being serious, you know equally well -- because it's repeatedly been explained to you -- that there are several very obvious reasons why it's useful, even apart from whatever inherent interest lies in a coin's history.

 

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Donna I don't speak Yiddish!  My English aint too good!  But most American/Europeans have a smattering of yiddish cos  the words are great...schmalter..etc you know what it means without being Eastern European! Maybe cos i saw a comedy UK programme about 2 Jewish Tailors called " never mind the quality feel the width"  in the 60's. Wouldn't get made to day! 

 

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3 hours ago, DonnaML said:

Spelling aside, I've always found it puzzling that that particular Yiddishism penetrated British English but has never been adopted in American English

Fwiw, stum is an English dialect word (not schtum) with the same meaning and same root. That might be why schtum  was picked  up more  t()here. One hears schtum a lot more in London and amongst the growing tribes of mockneys too.   My apologies for derailing the thread.

To get it back on track, re some of the Roma coins, I did try a while ago to get a fakes and  "curious" thread going  (in the suggestions section) which failed, but I'd encourage anyone bidding there to take a quick look at some of the related comments on one or two of the European forums which do discuss these things more systematically. Will raise a few eyebrows. Don't be perturbed at languages. Having spent too long dragging  myself through their pages with a dictionary, I realized  Google translate works extremely well even as you click through threads.

 

I'm not suggesting Roma are alone or that all their coins should be checked...just that some of the provenance blurbs can be - well - curious if you already know the coin.

 

 

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3 hours ago, DonnaML said:

I've always found it puzzling that that particular Yiddishism penetrated British English but has never been adopted in American English, even though in general American English has incorporated far more Yiddish phrases. For obvious reasons.

It's more specifically a Cockney term. The East End of London was where a lot of immigrants lived from the early modern period to WW2 (Jewish, Irish, Italian, German, Polish, Huguenot). It was also where the poorer people lived (and perhaps we can say those more likely to be petty criminals), who took to assimilating the languages around them into their own, some say to make it harder for the authorities to understand them. It's the same with kosher, schlep, nosh and possibly shpiel and shtick. Most other Yiddish words in British English came via the US, like klutz, schmuck, tush and schmaltz. The East End words have been here longer - the ones via the US I've noticed appear in my lifetime - but are not used so much elsewhere.

Edited by John Conduitt
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42 minutes ago, Deinomenid said:

Fwiw, stum is an English dialect word (not schtum) with the same meaning and same root. That might be why schtum  was picked  up more  t()here. One hears schtum a lot more in London and amongst the growing tribes of mockneys too.   My apologies for derailing the thread.

To get it back on track, re some of the Roma coins, I did try a while ago to get a fakes and  "curious" thread going  (in the suggestions section) which failed, but I'd encourage anyone bidding there to take a quick look at some of the related comments on one or two of the European forums which do discuss these things more systematically. Will raise a few eyebrows. Don't be perturbed at languages. Having spent too long dragging  myself through their pages with a dictionary, I realized  Google translate works extremely well even as you click through threads.

 

I'm not suggesting Roma are alone or that all their coins should be checked...just that some of the provenance blurbs can be - well - curious if you already know the coin.

 

 

Which European forums would you recommend for this purpose? I can get by reading French, but for German I'd have to use Google Translate or DeepL.

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There's  one long (old)and  salutary thread on lamoneta on exactly this  sort of issue.

I believe the story goes that  a rich German industrialist fell in love with Sicily and  its coins and assembled a collection of apparently amazing coins. Which he published and donated to a university. The publication allowed specialists, many amateurs, to go through the collection and point out all sorts of fakes and errors. To me  it was both hypnotically almost morbidly  fascinating and a great lesson in doing a huge amount of homework.

https://www-lamoneta-it.translate.goog/topic/145172-collezione-in-anciensiciliancoins/?_x_tr_sl=it&_x_tr_tl=en&_x_tr_hl=en&_x_tr_pto=wapp

 

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Yes, the Yiddish came via the "East End" along with Apples and pears etc in the famous Cockney Rhyming slang.... and the almost extinct Polari, the secret talk of the gay community, ( an exponent was kenneth Williams) I guess is all from the late Victorian era.  Just a fascinating as coins is languages in common culture!.

I am attracted also to the underworld of coins especially retail where persons come to a business with packages of coins.........  Gaziantep hoard  is a good example of how various parcels of coins were united, by research, into a sort of whole.

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In the niche area, I am most interested (Anastasian gold) common fakes make up 5-10% (varies from year to year) of coins sold through NumisBids, Biddr, Sixbid, MA-Shops and Vcoins and without considering Ebay. There are a few other coins that look suspicious and may be fakes, and I am unsure about a couple of my coins. Sadly, the information on more recent and dangerous fakes is hard to find. I hope the trade industry and NGC conduct internal research and have methods to identify modern fakes while keeping them secrete to avoid informing fakers. I fear being disillusioned about this.

Pre-sixties provenances are a valuable source of information in the field.

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1 hour ago, Rand said:

In the niche area, I am most interested (Anastasian gold) common fakes make up 5-10% (varies from year to year) of coins sold through NumisBids, Biddr, Sixbid, MA-Shops and Vcoins and without considering Ebay. There are a few other coins that look suspicious and may be fakes, and I am unsure about a couple of my coins. Sadly, the information on more recent and dangerous fakes is hard to find. I hope the trade industry and NGC conduct internal research and have methods to identify modern fakes while keeping them secrete to avoid informing fakers. I fear being disillusioned about this.

Pre-sixties provenances are a valuable source of information in the field.

It's interesting there are so many Anastasian fakes. Is it easier to fake those? I suppose the price point makes it easier to offload the fakes while still being enough to make it worth it.

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