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Tetradrachm Coinage of Trajan Decius & Family from the Antioch-Syria Mint


Al Kowsky
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Despite being a Roman emperor for a short period of time, October AD 249-June 251, the coinage of Trajan Decius is prolific & complex. Overall, the portraits on his coinage are finely engraved & nice looking examples can be bought for reasonable prices. All the examples I'm posting are from my collection 😊. Seven different officina (workshops) struck his coinage & finding examples from all the different officina can be a serious challenge. The officina are in the form of dots or letters below the bust. Decius holds the distinction of being the first Roman emperor to die in battle fighting a foreign enemy. Along with his eldest son Herennius Etruscus, he died fighting Gothic invaders led by Chief Kniva, at the battle of Abrittus. 

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McAlee 1126b, RPC IX 1701. Officina 2: 13.03 gm, 26 mm, 6 h.

 

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McAlee 1125c (this coin illustrated). Officina 3: 14.05 gm, 26 mm, 11 h. Ex Michel Prieur Collection.

 

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Officina #5

 

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McAlee 1116f (this coin illustrated) V. Rare,  RPC IX 1663 #6 (this coin cited). Officina #6: 13.07 gm, 28.5 mm, 12 h.

 

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McAlee 1165c, Herennia Etruscilla (wife of Decius). Officina 3: 11.37 gm, 27 mm, 11 h.

 

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McAlee 1153e, Herennius Etruscus (eldest son). Officina 5: 10.88 gm, 25 mm, 5 h.

 

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McAlee 1160e, RPC IX 1775. Hostilian (youngest son). Officina 7: 11.74 gm, 27 mm, 11 h. V. Rare.

 

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@Al Kowsky you know to talk to me 🙂 

Here's one from the 7th officina and with a distinctive portrait, even though the metal is a bit rough

23174f57d71e486290d3c06065405ee0.jpg

Trajan Dèce (09/249-07 ou 08/251) - Tetradrachme de billon de l'atelier d'Antioche - 7° officine
AYT K Γ ME KY TPAIANOC ΔEKIOC CEB Buste radié à droite, cuirassé, portant la trabea sur l'épaule droite et le balteus en travers de la poitrine vu par l'avant. Z sous le buste
ΔHMAPX EΞOYCIAC Aigle debout a droite sur une branche de palmier, tête à droite, les ailes déployées. A l'exergue SC

27 mm - 12,35 gr

Ref : Prieur # 558_08 (2), McAlee # 1140 (very rare)

Provenance : vente privée 13/11/2020

C'est actuellement le 8° exemplaire répertorié de cette monnaie dans la base TSP initiée par Michel Prieur

 

Q

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42 minutes ago, Qcumbor said:

@Al Kowsky you know to talk to me 🙂 

Here's one from the 7th officina and with a distinctive portrait, even though the metal is a bit rough

23174f57d71e486290d3c06065405ee0.jpg

Trajan Dèce (09/249-07 ou 08/251) - Tetradrachme de billon de l'atelier d'Antioche - 7° officine
AYT K Γ ME KY TPAIANOC ΔEKIOC CEB Buste radié à droite, cuirassé, portant la trabea sur l'épaule droite et le balteus en travers de la poitrine vu par l'avant. Z sous le buste
ΔHMAPX EΞOYCIAC Aigle debout a droite sur une branche de palmier, tête à droite, les ailes déployées. A l'exergue SC

27 mm - 12,35 gr

Ref : Prieur # 558_08 (2), McAlee # 1140 (very rare)

Provenance : vente privée 13/11/2020

C'est actuellement le 8° exemplaire répertorié de cette monnaie dans la base TSP initiée par Michel Prieur

 

Q

Q, That's an excellent example with the portrait rarely seen from the front with balteus visible, RPC IX 1772, only 4 examples listed 😊.

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10 minutes ago, Al Kowsky said:

Q, That's an excellent example with the portrait rarely seen from the front with balteus visible, RPC IX 1772, only 4 examples listed 😊.

Thank you Al. 

I wrote to CGB (where Mr Prieur was CEO) asking about the census as of today (well at the date I wrote), and the lady in charge told me it is the 8th example in their database

Q

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Posted · Benefactor

Wow!! ... Al, that is an amazing bunch of Trajan Decius examples! (what a beautiful group of winners!)

 

I had a fairly sweet example ... ummm, hopefully you're inviting us to show-off our ol' examples?

 

 

T R A J A N   D E C I U S

249-251 AD.

AR (Silver)Tetradrachm. 28mm. 14.55 g.

Antioch, Syria, Seleucis ad Pieria, Struck 250-251 AD.

Obverse:  AΥT K Γ ME KΥ ΔEKIOC TΡAIANOC CEB, Radiate Crown, draped bust right, Z below bust.

Reverse: ΔHMAΡX EΞOΥCIAC, eagle standing left on palm, head right, wings spread, wreath in beak, S C in ex.

Ref. Prieur 548.

Other: beautiful light gray toning

Ex-stevex6

trajan decius a.jpg

trajan decius b.jpg

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Such an impressive group, @Al Kowsky!

Here's my only one:

Trajan Decius, billon Tetradrachm, 249-251 AD, Syria, Antioch Mint. Obv. Radiate bust right, three pellets below (•••) (= 3rd Officina), ΑΥΤ Κ Γ ΜƐ ΚΥ ΔƐΚΙΟϹ ΤΡΑΙΑΝΟϹ ϹƐΒ / Rev. Eagle standing left on palm branch, head left, wings spread, wreath in beak, ΔΗΜΑΡΧ ƐΞΟΥϹΙΑϹ [= Tribunicia Potestas]; in exergue: S C. [Group II, Officina 3.] RPC [Roman Provincial Coinage] Online IX 1644 (see https://rpc.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/coins/9/1644 ); Prieur 540 (11), McAlee 1120c (Group 2) (see p. 368), BMC 586. 24 mm., 12.85 g.

Trajan Decius-eagle Antioch tetradrachm jpg version.jpg

 

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46 minutes ago, Steve said:

Wow!! ... Al, that is an amazing bunch of Trajan Decius examples! (what a beautiful group of winners!)

 

I had a fairly sweet example ... ummm, hopefully you're inviting us to show-off our ol' examples?

 

 

T R A J A N   D E C I U S

249-251 AD.

AR (Silver)Tetradrachm. 28mm. 14.55 g.

Antioch, Syria, Seleucis ad Pieria, Struck 250-251 AD.

Obverse:  AΥT K Γ ME KΥ ΔEKIOC TΡAIANOC CEB, Radiate Crown, draped bust right, Z below bust.

Reverse: ΔHMAΡX EΞOΥCIAC, eagle standing left on palm, head right, wings spread, wreath in beak, S C in ex.

Ref. Prieur 548.

Other: beautiful light gray toning

Ex-stevex6

trajan decius a.jpg

trajan decius b.jpg

Steve, Thanks for posting, that's a handsome hefty Tet ☺️. Forum members are always welcome to post on my threads. RPC IX 1670 lists 14 examples of this type. Your "Z" officina Tet shows the portrait from the rear unlike the example posted 😉.

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2 hours ago, Qcumbor said:

Thank you Al. 

I wrote to CGB (where Mr Prieur was CEO) asking about the census as of today (well at the date I wrote), and the lady in charge told me it is the 8th example in their database

Q

Q, You raise an interesting point that cgb.f> has been revising example numbers posted in the original book. This is a very useful service 😉. I recently checked their website to check on the cited numbers for a Caracalla Tet, Prieur 217. The book listing was 116 examples, & cgb.f> listed over 200 examples 😲!

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39 minutes ago, DonnaML said:

Such an impressive group, @Al Kowsky!

Here's my only one:

Trajan Decius, billon Tetradrachm, 249-251 AD, Syria, Antioch Mint. Obv. Radiate bust right, three pellets below (•••) (= 3rd Officina), ΑΥΤ Κ Γ ΜƐ ΚΥ ΔƐΚΙΟϹ ΤΡΑΙΑΝΟϹ ϹƐΒ / Rev. Eagle standing left on palm branch, head left, wings spread, wreath in beak, ΔΗΜΑΡΧ ƐΞΟΥϹΙΑϹ [= Tribunicia Potestas]; in exergue: S C. [Group II, Officina 3.] RPC [Roman Provincial Coinage] Online IX 1644 (see https://rpc.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/coins/9/1644 ); Prieur 540 (11), McAlee 1120c (Group 2) (see p. 368), BMC 586. 24 mm., 12.85 g.

Trajan Decius-eagle Antioch tetradrachm jpg version.jpg

 

Donna, That's a beautiful gem grade, high relief example ☺️. Examples of that quality are rare & pricey 😉.

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9 minutes ago, Al Kowsky said:

Donna, That's a beautiful gem grade, high relief example ☺️. Examples of that quality are rare & pricey 😉.

Thanks! Although I'm surprised to hear that it's "pricey": I paid $90 for it to Aegean Numismatics in December 2020.

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Here is my only example, from officina 5. I really find it spectacular in hand and was not expecting to win it cheaply. 

image.png.a25951bf73ba2e0e6e4fa0973f8de6a2.png

image.png.18e19f670d07d54d896a763cfdedfc84.png

 

Seleucis and Pieria. Antioch. Trajan Decius AD 249-251.
Billon-Tetradrachm
26 mm, 12,18 g
ΑΥΤ Κ Γ ΜƐ ΚΥ ΤΡΑΙΑΝΟϹ ΔƐΚΙΟϹ ϹƐΒ, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust of Decius, r., seen from rear; below bust: ••••• / ΔΗΜΑΡΧ ƐΞΟΥϹΙΑϹ, S C, eagle standing on palm, l., spreading wings, holding wreath in beak
Group 3, officina 5
RPC IX, 1745, Prieur 584 (15), McAlee 1126e

 

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2 hours ago, ambr0zie said:

Here is my only example, from officina 5. I really find it spectacular in hand and was not expecting to win it cheaply. 

image.png.a25951bf73ba2e0e6e4fa0973f8de6a2.png

image.png.18e19f670d07d54d896a763cfdedfc84.png

 

Seleucis and Pieria. Antioch. Trajan Decius AD 249-251.
Billon-Tetradrachm
26 mm, 12,18 g
ΑΥΤ Κ Γ ΜƐ ΚΥ ΤΡΑΙΑΝΟϹ ΔƐΚΙΟϹ ϹƐΒ, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust of Decius, r., seen from rear; below bust: ••••• / ΔΗΜΑΡΧ ƐΞΟΥϹΙΑϹ, S C, eagle standing on palm, l., spreading wings, holding wreath in beak
Group 3, officina 5
RPC IX, 1745, Prieur 584 (15), McAlee 1126e

 

I'm guessing the 2nd set of photos with more color are yours 🤔? Exactly how much is "cheaply" 😏? About 5 years ago I overpaid for a slabbed example of a 5 dot type ($188.00) thinking it was the extremely rare McAlee 1106e, Prieur 507. The coin turned out to be a variety more common than yours 😕. With the two coins paired together you can see the difference. The obverse inscription is different on the more common coin, duh 🙄.

779303389_Images73017308.jpg.cd1b8b772c6a8752a0267579f9116584.jpg1010192646_McAlee1116ePrieur531.jpg.354696af51926e228d93dfa1f33ac67d.jpg1212216379_slabinsert.jpg.1b7518e672740d60e62f5bd59b22eeea.jpg

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Second pic is mine, yes. In the last year or so I started to take pics of all my coins although I only buy from houses and I always keep the original photo. But it's a habit and someday I intend to to this for all my coins to have a personalized catalogue.

My coin was 32 EUR+ fees so a total of ~38 EUR.

I consider it one of the best deals from 2022. The weak points are obviously the corrosion (one might say Decius is shaved on it) and perhaps the smudging that made it difficult to establish how many dots are under the bust, but overall I think it's an excellent coin - I don't collect Antioch tetradrachms as a specialty so I just wanted a decent example.

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4 hours ago, ambr0zie said:

Second pic is mine, yes. In the last year or so I started to take pics of all my coins although I only buy from houses and I always keep the original photo. But it's a habit and someday I intend to to this for all my coins to have a personalized catalogue.

My coin was 32 EUR+ fees so a total of ~38 EUR.

I consider it one of the best deals from 2022. The weak points are obviously the corrosion (one might say Decius is shaved on it) and perhaps the smudging that made it difficult to establish how many dots are under the bust, but overall I think it's an excellent coin - I don't collect Antioch tetradrachms as a specialty so I just wanted a decent example.

38 euros was a great buy, congrats 🤩! BTW, your photos are excellent despite showing slightly less detail 😊. I always prefer photos that show true color over edited ones that strive for more detail. Many auction houses & dealers darken their photos to show more detail.

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Thanks, Al. I am still a beginner in photography. In fact this is my first digital camera I have ever owned. It is an old Panasonic Lumix from 2007 (it wasn't a very high end model even then). My phone does awful pics so I decided to have a go with a second hand camera i found on a local ebay-like site and bought it for the equivalent of 30 EUR.

Very happy with it. My problem is that I have a terrible lack of patience and get annoyed very quickly. I wanted to take pics of ~150 coins but gave up after 5 failed photos.

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