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Vespasian 'o' Mint Mule


David Atherton

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The Flavian denarii struck at the mysterious 'o' mint in Asia Minor are quite coveted by Flavian collectors for their rarity and fine style. My latest addition is possibly a second known specimen from the mint.

 

 

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Vespasian
AR Denarius, 2.87g
Ephesus (?) mint, 76 AD
Obv: IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r., a small 'o' mint mark below neck
Rev: No legend; Domitian on horse l.; r. hand raised, sceptre in l
RIC 1480 (R3). BMC -. BNC -. RSC -. RPC -.
Ex Harlan J Berk, MBS 224, lot 126. Ex Curtis Clay Collection.

The infamous 'o' mint denarii struck for Vespasian, Titus Caesar, and Domitian Caesar are thought to have been minted at Ephesus due to a similar 'o' mint mark previously used at that mint. The types are the same as those struck somewhat contemporaneously at Rome. Mules are a hallmark of the series, perhaps indicating a lack of care in their production, although the style is generally quite fine. This Vespasian denarius features a reverse that was originally struck for Domitian Caesar at Rome. The variety is listed as unique in RIC (citing the Jack Benedict Coll. which shares the same dies), this is possibly the second known specimen. Although it is likely a mule combining an obverse of Vespasian with a reverse intended for Domitian, the type has yet to be attested for Domitian at this mint! An unusual oversight considering the type commemorates Domitian's role in the Jewish War Triumph of 71.

 

Here it is in hand.

 

 

 

And here is a Domitian Caesar Rome mint example of the type.

 

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Domitian as Caesar [Vespasian]
AR Denarius, 3.46g
Rome mint, 73 AD
Obv: CAES AVG F DOMIT COS II; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: No legend; Domitian on horse l.; r. hand raised, sceptre in l.
RIC 541 (R2). BMC -. RSC -. BNC -.
Ex Gemini X, 13 January 2013, Harry N. Sneh Collection, lot 701. = Helios, ebay, 29 November 2010 (A. Lynn Collection).

 

As always, thanks for looking!

Edited by David Atherton
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1 minute ago, David Atherton said:

The Flavian denarii struck at the mysterious 'o' mint in Asia Minor are quite a coveted by Flavian collectors for their rarity and fine style. My latest addition is possibly a second known specimen from the mint.

That's what I call an interesting coin - and visually appealing as well. Congratulations.

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Really nice portrait. You can look deeper into it and see more.

  

1 hour ago, Rand said:

Within the Berk dynasty, Shanna Schmidt makes the best and really stunning photos (and charges accordingly) https://www.shannaschmidt.com/roman-empire/vespasian-69-79-ad-rome

Yes Shanna Schmidt's coins are photographed weightless on the moon to really get that 'billionaire gift' look. 🤣

Edited by John Conduitt
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14 hours ago, John Conduitt said:

Really nice portrait. You can look deeper into it and see more.

  

Yes Shanna Schmidt's coins are photographed weightless on the moon to really get that 'billionaire gift' look. 🤣

Makes me glad my coin wasn't given the 'billionaire gift' treatment. 😅

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