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An Unpublished Vespasian Denarius Mule

David Atherton

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Last month I was privately offered this one of a kind rarity ... I could not resist. This sort of thing is my bread and butter (bread and circuses?).




Vespasian Mule
AR Denarius, 2.46g
Rome Mint, 74 AD
Obv: IMP CAESAR VESP AVG; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.
Rev: COS III across field; Laurel trees, two, upright
Cf. RIC 681/690 (for obv./rev.). BMC -. RSC -. BNC -.
Ex Private Collection.

A unique and unpublished mule combining an obverse of Vespasian with a reverse intended for Titus Caesar. 
Vespasian should be named COS V on the reverse, instead we have Titus's COS III title. Mules between Vespasian and Titus are not unheard of due to them both frequently sharing the same reverse types throughout the reign. RIC II.1 author Ian Carradice has been alerted to this mule and has added a footnote to RIC 690 (... mint mule with obverse of Vespasian).

The reverse is a restoration of of a similar type minted by Augustus. The two laurel trees represent the ones planted at Augustus's door.

In hand.



For comparison, here are the Vespasian and Titus Caesar varieties of the type (NB: all three have similar flan shapes).



AR Denarius, 2.87g
Rome Mint, 74 AD
Obv: IMP CAESAR VESP AVG; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.
Rev: COS V across field; Laurel trees, two, upright
RIC 681 (R). BMC 133. RSC 110. BNC 108.
Acquired from Beast Coins, July 2005.




Titus as Caesar [Vespasian]
AR Denarius, 2.71g
Rome mint, 74 AD
Obv: T CAESAR IMP VESP; Head of Titus, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: COS III across field; Laurel trees, two upright
RIC 690 (R2). BMC p. 28 note. RSC 47. BNC 122.
Ex Harry N. Sneh Collection.


This is a most thrilling addition and I am very pleased to share it here.

As always, thank you for looking!

Edited by David Atherton
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