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The IMITATION VS ORIGINAL thread


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Thought it could be cool to start a thread where we can show our favorite imitations opposed to their original versions. It will allow us to better appreciate the talent and the imagination of these counterfeiters of antiquity. 
I’ll start with my latest one, a Victorinus with a reverse VICTORIA AVG with Victory kicking a captive at her feet.

14 X 17mm 1.80g

IMG_4875.jpeg.b82be4a5b3dbd4aac3879796c6f20cf0.jpeg

At first I believed it could be the same reverse type as Postumus (not mine)at the beginning of his reign in 260 AD.

IMG_4912.jpeg.8524ee3118d6804773b4e89174308ec7.jpeg

But a friend collector made me notice that there is an officinae mark (A) in the exergue of my coin, same as Aurelian (not mine) with this issue from Rome:

IMG_4911.jpeg.9904e87f5b0df5256edd5cbc08039dd7.jpeg

This reverse is dated between 270-275 AD, was minted in Rome, and remember that the Tetrici ruled until 274 on the Gallic Empire. So our counterfeiter could have find a prototype for his « masterpiece » not long after the coins of the high-Empire penetrated in the new territories conquered by Aurelian in the late 270’s.

More examples in my collection: 

IMG_4913.jpeg.cdd42a101f4db45f028df021c500124f.jpeg

You will notice on this specimen a style very close to the originals on the obverse, but on the reverse we note a more sloppy design and especially a badly formed and inconsistent lettering. Of course, a comparison with an official piece of the same type makes the differences much more obvious…

IMG_4914.jpeg.f52382b24acfa804ff0936ff59b6fd0e.jpeg

Let us examine another of these « barbaric imitations « , a specimen attempting to reproduce the VIRTVS AVG type, depicting Virtus standing, holding a spear in the left hand and leaning on a shield. This monetary type was introduced at the Trier mint in the first half of 271 AD. Note again that this is a faulty coin, with the VIVTVS AVG, which also demonstrates that many engravers were illiterate. The artist nevertheless endeavored to reproduce exactly the aquiline-nosed profile of the Emperor.

IMG_4915.jpeg.55c9955665fe165cda30e66ccffa63cd.jpeg
IMG_4916.jpeg.e8a3874f99d61aaec012595694d2a5f8.jpeg

 

PLEASE SHOW US YOUR FAVORITE IMITATIONS WITH THEIR ORIGINAL VERSIONS !

Edited by Ocatarinetabellatchitchix
Percision
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I love imitations.

 

This is an original, with the field mark A on both obv and rev. Emperor holding victory in this example.

ConstansRICVIII118(2020_11_1803_38_31UTC).JPG.f3634254bc191e4387d7619e90525ce6.JPG

 

And a direct imitation - same field marks and reverse motif. One could almost think this is official - especially since it's LARGER than the original: 25mm vice 23mm.  However, the odd alien head and strange proportions on the reverse figures make this an imitation. Plus, the odd font is another giveaway.

ConstansBarbaric(2020_11_1803_38_31UTC).JPG.429b62b254d5d5798027caf1e28200c8.JPG

 

 

These soldier and standard reverse is common and easy to find in high grade.

ConstansRICVIIAntioch111.JPG.af4bda0ce6950f766f01c2ec29af797b.JPG

 

Not so common are the imitations of this. The originals are small, these get even smaller. Impressive detail for such a small coin! Again, this almost looks official but the bug-eyed portrait and the overall crudeness make this have to be an imitation.

ConstansImitTrierRICVIII112(2020_11_1803_38_31UTC).JPG.be5f28234e2269b46369316f3614d564.JPG

 

I think the field of Constantine I billon imitations is super interesting. There is a very clear path towards stylization, where the local celtic(?) celators put their local flavor into the renderings. In fact, this makes some of them quite beautiful.

 

Original with high silver content and surface silvering. Even the official issues tend to get rather crude at points.

ConstantineIVLPP(2020_11_1803_38_31UTC).JPG.ceccd4731c56c4ea87d64b62be82061a.JPG

 

This is one of my favorite coins in my collection. Somehow struck on a MASSIVE 21mm flan, there is so much extra space around the design. The obverse is a rather excellent rendering of the portrait. The reverse, however, is another story - these victories have devolved to such a point they can be compared to the Sasanian fire altar attendant reverses.

What I like most about this one is that the celator did not even attempt to make a passable imitation of the text legend - the obverse has some clearly design-based letter-like motifs. The reverse is neat - instead of a jumble of letters, it is symmetrical, with III on both sides, and no other letters. Obviously, the engraver had an eye for symmetry and a true artistic sense.

ConstantineIVLPPbarb(2020_11_1803_38_31UTC).JPG.0934e5c3b11e2e2e2c9092454f3278b1.JPG

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Some of my official/imitation pairs:

Starting from Athens classical tetradrachm and a Satrap coin issued by Mazakes:Owltettypeb.jpg.d0b2d391a7724e92ebfbcdb86399bf6a.jpg

mazakes.jpg.9f28bc3e72da59f42e243496a9364329.jpg

Alexander lifetime tet from Babylon and a Danubian Celtic imitation:

Babylontet.jpg.11d7e2fedcc511a5dc5b9f4ec48d20b5.jpg

celtictet.jpg.970ccd1a59cad089d6f5f25bc718ef10.jpg

Roman 4th century follis and imitations from Sri Lanka: (although the official coins are not mine)

s.png.0dd57fda255d2a4dd90206524b5101e6.png

A Pandya coin on left (mid 1200s AD) imitating the Chola coin on right (985-1014 AD):

p.png.f3ec8a0ffd1c27f5f9439a1e8bba7ad6.png

And recent contemporary imitation of an Australian florin in lead on the right:

s449q49v8i051.jpg.5834ec275c4bff89a48412815448d302.jpg

 

 

Edited by JayAg47
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1 hour ago, Ocatarinetabellatchitchix said:

Thought it could be cool to start a thread where we can show our favorite imitations opposed to their original versions. It will allow us to better appreciate the talent and the imagination of these counterfeiters of antiquity. 
I’ll start with my latest one, a Victorinus with a reverse VICTORIA AVG with Victory kicking a captive at her feet.

14 X 17mm 1.80g

IMG_4875.jpeg.b82be4a5b3dbd4aac3879796c6f20cf0.jpeg

At first I believed it could be the same reverse type as Postumus at the beginning of his reign in 260 AD.

IMG_4912.jpeg.8524ee3118d6804773b4e89174308ec7.jpeg

But a friend collector made me notice that there is an officinae mark (A) in the exergue of my coin, same as Aurelian with this issue from Rome:

IMG_4911.jpeg.9904e87f5b0df5256edd5cbc08039dd7.jpeg

This reverse is dated between 270-275 AD, was minted in Rome, and remember that the Tetrici ruled until 274 on the Gallic Empire. So our counterfeiter could have find a prototype for his « masterpiece » not long after the coins of the high-Empire penetrated in the new territories conquered by Aurelian in the late 270’s.

More examples in my collection: 

IMG_4913.jpeg.cdd42a101f4db45f028df021c500124f.jpeg

You will notice on this specimen a style very close to the originals on the obverse, but on the reverse we note a more sloppy design and especially a badly formed and inconsistent lettering. Of course, a comparison with an official piece of the same type makes the differences much more obvious…

IMG_4914.jpeg.f52382b24acfa804ff0936ff59b6fd0e.jpeg

Let us examine another of these « barbaric imitations « , a specimen attempting to reproduce the VIRTVS AVG type, depicting Virtus standing, holding a spear in the left hand and leaning on a shield. This monetary type was introduced at the Trier mint in the first half of 271 AD. Note again that this is a faulty coin, with the VIVTVS AVG, which also demonstrates that many engravers were illiterate. The artist nevertheless endeavored to reproduce exactly the aquiline-nosed profile of the Emperor.

IMG_4915.jpeg.55c9955665fe165cda30e66ccffa63cd.jpeg
IMG_4916.jpeg.e8a3874f99d61aaec012595694d2a5f8.jpeg

 

PLEASE SHOW US YOUR FAVORITE IMITATIONS WITH THEIR ORIGINAL VERSIONS !

Note also that the captive on the Aurelian coin is Persian, as is the captive on your imitation. Imitations of Aurelian are unusual but not unknown. Interesting!

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5 hours ago, Ocatarinetabellatchitchix said:

Thought it could be cool to start a thread where we can show our favorite imitations opposed to their original versions. It will allow us to better appreciate the talent and the imagination of these counterfeiters of antiquity. 
I’ll start with my latest one, a Victorinus with a reverse VICTORIA AVG with Victory kicking a captive at her feet.

14 X 17mm 1.80g

IMG_4875.jpeg.b82be4a5b3dbd4aac3879796c6f20cf0.jpeg

At first I believed it could be the same reverse type as Postumus at the beginning of his reign in 260 AD.

IMG_4912.jpeg.8524ee3118d6804773b4e89174308ec7.jpeg

But a friend collector made me notice that there is an officinae mark (A) in the exergue of my coin, same as Aurelian with this issue from Rome:

IMG_4911.jpeg.9904e87f5b0df5256edd5cbc08039dd7.jpeg

This reverse is dated between 270-275 AD, was minted in Rome, and remember that the Tetrici ruled until 274 on the Gallic Empire. So our counterfeiter could have find a prototype for his « masterpiece » not long after the coins of the high-Empire penetrated in the new territories conquered by Aurelian in the late 270’s.

More examples in my collection: 

IMG_4913.jpeg.cdd42a101f4db45f028df021c500124f.jpeg

You will notice on this specimen a style very close to the originals on the obverse, but on the reverse we note a more sloppy design and especially a badly formed and inconsistent lettering. Of course, a comparison with an official piece of the same type makes the differences much more obvious…

IMG_4914.jpeg.f52382b24acfa804ff0936ff59b6fd0e.jpeg

Let us examine another of these « barbaric imitations « , a specimen attempting to reproduce the VIRTVS AVG type, depicting Virtus standing, holding a spear in the left hand and leaning on a shield. This monetary type was introduced at the Trier mint in the first half of 271 AD. Note again that this is a faulty coin, with the VIVTVS AVG, which also demonstrates that many engravers were illiterate. The artist nevertheless endeavored to reproduce exactly the aquiline-nosed profile of the Emperor.

IMG_4915.jpeg.55c9955665fe165cda30e66ccffa63cd.jpeg
IMG_4916.jpeg.e8a3874f99d61aaec012595694d2a5f8.jpeg

 

PLEASE SHOW US YOUR FAVORITE IMITATIONS WITH THEIR ORIGINAL VERSIONS !

The denarius by Aurelian can be dated more precise to 275.

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12 hours ago, Ocatarinetabellatchitchix said:

Thought it could be cool to start a thread where we can show our favorite imitations opposed to their original versions. It will allow us to better appreciate the talent and the imagination of these counterfeiters of antiquity. 
I’ll start with my latest one, a Victorinus with a reverse VICTORIA AVG with Victory kicking a captive at her feet.

14 X 17mm 1.80g

IMG_4875.jpeg.b82be4a5b3dbd4aac3879796c6f20cf0.jpeg

At first I believed it could be the same reverse type as Postumus at the beginning of his reign in 260 AD.

IMG_4912.jpeg.8524ee3118d6804773b4e89174308ec7.jpeg

But a friend collector made me notice that there is an officinae mark (A) in the exergue of my coin, same as Aurelian with this issue from Rome:

IMG_4911.jpeg.9904e87f5b0df5256edd5cbc08039dd7.jpeg

This reverse is dated between 270-275 AD, was minted in Rome, and remember that the Tetrici ruled until 274 on the Gallic Empire. So our counterfeiter could have find a prototype for his « masterpiece » not long after the coins of the high-Empire penetrated in the new territories conquered by Aurelian in the late 270’s.

More examples in my collection: 

IMG_4913.jpeg.cdd42a101f4db45f028df021c500124f.jpeg

You will notice on this specimen a style very close to the originals on the obverse, but on the reverse we note a more sloppy design and especially a badly formed and inconsistent lettering. Of course, a comparison with an official piece of the same type makes the differences much more obvious…

IMG_4914.jpeg.f52382b24acfa804ff0936ff59b6fd0e.jpeg

Let us examine another of these « barbaric imitations « , a specimen attempting to reproduce the VIRTVS AVG type, depicting Virtus standing, holding a spear in the left hand and leaning on a shield. This monetary type was introduced at the Trier mint in the first half of 271 AD. Note again that this is a faulty coin, with the VIVTVS AVG, which also demonstrates that many engravers were illiterate. The artist nevertheless endeavored to reproduce exactly the aquiline-nosed profile of the Emperor.

IMG_4915.jpeg.55c9955665fe165cda30e66ccffa63cd.jpeg
IMG_4916.jpeg.e8a3874f99d61aaec012595694d2a5f8.jpeg

 

PLEASE SHOW US YOUR FAVORITE IMITATIONS WITH THEIR ORIGINAL VERSIONS !

Dominic, This is an excellent idea for a thread ☺️. You posted a double sestertius of Postumus, with no info that doesn't appear to be genuine 🤔. The coin looks well crafted with an attractive patina, however, the coin doesn't look stylistically like a period coin of Postumus 🧐. Pictured below is your coin & a sestertius from my collection for comparison. I'm confident my coin is a genuine period example, but your coin looks like an antique fantasy, possibly a Paduan copy. Please comment 😉. 2coinsofPostumus.jpg.bb760dbcae8ccea869e9e16c97bd851c.jpg

Postumus, Romano-Gallic Emperor, AD 160-169 (struck AD 161). Trier Mint, 3rd emission. AE Sestertius: 25.49 gm, 31.5 mm, 6 h. RIC V 170.

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Pictured below is a genuine tetradrachm offered for sale by EUKRATIDES Ancient Numismatics, for $2,500.00. 

           Baktriantetradrachm.jpg.71fa5563e5090dc3aa190e03b09b4cfd.jpg

 Greco-Baktrian Kingdom. Heliokles Dikaios, c. 145-130 BC. AR Tetradrachm: 16.58 gm, 33 mm, 12 h.

The coin pictured below is a forgery of the same coin type made by the famous forger-copyist Carl Wilhelm Becker, 1772-1830. I won this coin at a CNG auction for $125.00.

          BeckerForgery.jpg.94ba6a174d14570d962305f2131ae923.jpg

Greco-Baktrian Kingdom. Heliokles Dikaios, c. 145-130 BC. AR Tetradrachm: 16.82 gm, 30 mm, 6 h.

 

          

 

 

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11 hours ago, Al Kowsky said:

Pictured below is your coin & a sestertius from my collection for comparison. I'm confident my coin is a genuine period example, but your coin looks like an antique fantasy, possibly a Paduan copy. Please comment 😉.

You have raised some excellent questions Al. They certainly deserve a good answer. First thing first, the double sestertius presented in the OP was part of the famous JDL coin collection sold in 2014 by Numismatica Ars Classica NAC. It is in my opinion the nicest example ever sold of this reverse type; my bad if I forgot to give the details about it ( https://www.acsearch.info/search.html?id=2176741 ). Secondly, I totally understand your interrogation about the stylistic difference with your specimen; 99% of the coins with this reverse are in a what I call « stickman » style. Mairat identified two contrasting design for this issue- the sketchier and the more realistic one. It easy to determine in what category is the JDL coin ! By the way, we only see these examples with the finest style for sale once a decade…

But how could we explain such a variation of numismatic elegance in the production of the same issue ? As you noticed on the double sestertius, the full name of Postumus ( IMP C M CASS LAT POSTVMVS PF AVG) as been used in the legend, meaning it was struck in the very beginning of his reign. It seems obvious that the engravers did not all have the same degree of expertise in the production of coins of the new emperor. Bastien distinguished the work of no less than 9 engravers on the bronze coinage here attributed to issue 3. Only his engraver H worked on the radiates and also on the gold coins; I wouldn’t be surprised if he was the same artist who created  the Victory reverse of the JDL specimen and also the fantastically styled aurei of Postumus for this period of time. Hoping it will answer your questions.

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Fun idea and great coins!

Here's a recent imitation and original:

4225822_1686584096.l.jpg.72e2d8c1c6a7a0ccf2c0716c39edfc18.jpg

Eastern Europe. Imitation of Macedonian, First Meris 200-100 BC.

Tetradrachm AR, 34 mm, 16,74 g

Diademed and draped bust of Artemis right, with bow and quiver over shoulder; all in center of Macedonian shield/ MAKEΔONΩN / ΠPΩTHΣ, club; monogram above; all within oak wreath; thunderbolt to left. very fine

Lanz 1009.

Screenshot_20210407-162917_PicCollage-removebg-preview.png.c29d36afe312949db48970b6a13218ec.png.85d7feab7df60e2f3cdbeb4396ad8858.png

Macedon under Roman Rule - First Meris, Amphipolis AR Tetradrachm (167-149 BC) 16.33 g. 30mm. VF-/VF Diademed and draped bust of Artemis to right, bow and quiver over shoulder, all within tondo of Macedonian shield / Horizontal club to right, ΜΑΚΕΔΟΝΩΝ above, ΠΡΩΤΗΣ below, monogram in upper central field, two monograms below; all within oak wreath, thunderbolt to left. SNG Copenhagen 1314; AMNG III, 176. very fine, 

"After the defeat of Perseus at the battle of Pydna in 168 BC, the Romans divided Macedonia into four separate autonomous administrative regions ( merides ). The first region (ΠPΩTEΣ) lay east of the Strymon with its capital at Amphipolis, the second (ΔEYTEPAΣ) between the Strymon and Axios with its capital at Thessalonica, the third between the Axios and Peneos with its capital at Pella, and the fourth (TETAPTHΣ) included most of Upper Macedonia with its capital at Heraclea Lynci. These four regions only lasted until 148 BC when the country was finally united to constitute a Roman Province and proceeded to issue coins under the authority of its legatus pro praetore. Livy informs us that initially all commerce between the regions, exploitation of the silver and gold mines and the importation of salt were forbidden. Almost all the coinage of this period is struck in the name of the first region and runs parallel to the mass coinages of Thasos and Maroneia from about 158 BC. The first region was the most prolific in its coin issues, striking huge issues of tetradrachms and bronze. The second region had only two issues of tetradrachms and the fourth had only two issues of bronzes. Coins from these two regions are very rare today. No coinage is known from the third region." 

This Celtic hubcap tetradrachm is always worth a chuckle:

Screenshot_20210529-093954_Chrome.jpg.71f3c60a816becaac010e8af94cebd17(1).jpg.728cc4bee8cbb90643c5804e14f718dd.jpg

And then an original lifetime Alexander lll tet featuring an MSC that Zeus is dribbling like a basketball:

image004.png.4fe334e025125e2811e108020eb7da45.png

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1 hour ago, Ocatarinetabellatchitchix said:

You have raised some excellent questions Al. They certainly deserve a good answer. First thing first, the double sestertius presented in the OP was part of the famous JDL coin collection sold in 2014 by Numismatica Ars Classica NAC. It is in my opinion the nicest example ever sold of this reverse type; my bad if I forgot to give the details about it ( https://www.acsearch.info/search.html?id=2176741 ). Secondly, I totally understand your interrogation about the stylistic difference with your specimen; 99% of the coins with this reverse are in a what I call « stickman » style. Mairat identified two contrasting design for this issue- the sketchier and the more realistic one. It easy to determine in what category is the JDL coin ! By the way, we only see these examples with the finest style for sale once a decade…

But how could we explain such a variation of numismatic elegance in the production of the same issue ? As you noticed on the double sestertius, the full name of Postumus ( IMP C M CASS LAT POSTVMVS PF AVG) as been used in the legend, meaning it was struck in the very beginning of his reign. It seems obvious that the engravers did not all have the same degree of expertise in the production of coins of the new emperor. Bastien distinguished the work of no less than 9 engravers on the bronze coinage here attributed to issue 3. Only his engraver H worked on the radiates and also on the gold coins; I wouldn’t be surprised if he was the same artist who created  the Victory reverse of the JDL specimen and also the fantastically styled aurei of Postumus for this period of time. Hoping it will answer your questions.

I was just reading this page from Augustus Coins:

http://augustuscoins.com/ed/imit/BarbarousRadiates.html

augustuscoins.PNG.19ceb47bf2320534b5a215b18d6b5258.PNG

 

Here, the far right coin features a victory of the non-'spaghetti' type. The text says that the reverse type is not known for official coins of Postumus.

Not calling your coin into doubt, but just thought I'd share.

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16 minutes ago, hotwheelsearl said:

Here, the far right coin features a victory of the non-'spaghetti' type. The text says that the reverse type is not known for official coins of Postumus.

Not the same reverse type, no captive on it. Also not the same legend, VICT GERMANICA. Only 2 known examples in Mairat’s Coinage of The Gallic Empire:

IMG_4931.jpeg.7762aa35a6bc0c105853a8171074c6c9.jpeg
 

IMG_4932.jpeg.bcfa942461c3aa7fb917f3adb73ff889.jpeg

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I'll have to see if I can match up all my "barbs" with a genuine example of the same type, but for now, my co-equal collecting obsession is with the imitations of Peroz drachms. 

Official

ZomboDroid19012022114624.jpg.b94ee9a2a0445cbe0ac691d9d5e2c4b5.jpg

Likely official, probably used in the ransom with central Asian countermarks applied decades laterPerozIdrachmsogdiancountermarksRansomofPeroz.jpg.a8e9cc1e7bd28df7ac6df8621483f58f.jpg

Some very overlooked "regular" imitations, Likely unrelated to the Hephthalites

Wonky style, but reverse is a good copy

Perozlocalimitation.jpg.b0adc8c776a9f1d2608c2b542cf1affe.jpg

Little to no silver, mint replaced with pellets

Hunnicperozcopyfivepellets.jpg.929470a49b3041d03602a1a0c5781a7a.jpg

Quirky style with unusual "loopy" attendants and mint name is X's

HunnicimitationPeroz.jpg.94e0552f50595d4842f9d051d2fa3b56.jpg

 

Hephthalite imitations of Peroz always have 4 large pellets outside of the obverse border

Earliest, Bactrian script in early style replaces mint

HephthalitePerozdrachmearly.jpg.42ed71739e60945bc3918cb2191b5f24.jpg

Intermediate style with pseudo-pahlavi mint?

Zombodroid_15042023010842.jpg.6f380129c732ef6d72cdeb62e116bcda.jpg

Later style, bactrian mint

Hephthaliteperozdrachmlate.jpg.7774ecbaa3ab64d53e3868a494c33796.jpg

Alchon Tamgha added to obverse die at 3:00

Hephthaliteperozdrachmtamgha.jpg.ff6394733fba5095d1108e6d8e5d4cb8.jpg

"Kobadien" fabric with numerous countermarks

Tokharistanperozcopy3.jpg.57337bf6f58e07c78bb5f255e64707a8.jpg

 

And then of course, his coins were also imitated in India, the so-called Indo Sassanian coinage 

"Series 0" - Imitations made in India that are closer to the original than anything 

ZomboDroid22092021113145.jpg.0e6c28aea5935555d08179afdac24931.jpg

Track 1 was the first to derive from these, characterized by good silver, broad flans, no legends (initially) and the attendants wearing a distinct "herringbone" dress

(I'll spare you the 2,000+ and just post an early one)

Zombodroid_09062023124908.jpg.68a5e08081e26232c9006289707e1c12.jpg

Track 2 was probably derived from the initial prototypes as well, and replaced the korymbos (orb) above the head with the Brahmi letter Sa

Zombodroid_23012023101946.jpg.db9e6cff85d08f391b4da93949b18f65.jpg

Track 3 was derived from some early iterations of Track 2, and replaced Sa with Sri, and added Ma before the bust, thus Sri Ma coinage.

ZomboDroid22042022122014.jpg.6e99d6636e1bd6cd50805556038fc03a.jpg

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The Original

  

domitianoriginal.jpg.ead49689edee9081c2a466578e48864d.jpg

Titus Flavius Domitianus as Caesar under Vespasianus; Denarius of the Roman Imperial Period 76/77 AD; Material: Silver; Diameter: 18mm; Weight: 3.46g; Mint: Rome; Reference: RIC II, Part 1 (second edition) Vespasian 921; Provenance: Ex Spink Numismatics London, Great Britain; Obverse: Head of Domitian, laureate, right. The Inscription reads: CAESAR AVG F DOMITIANVS for Caesar Augusti FIlius Domitianus (Caesar, son of the emperor Augustus, Domitian); Reverse: Pegasus standing right, left foreleg raised, wings curling up on back. The Inscription reads: COS IIII for Consul Quartum (Consul for the fourth time).

 

 

The Imitate

 

domitianimitate.jpg.370ea81a6e64a588938c3b6bb20e5163.jpg

Titus Flavius Domitianus as Caesar; Fourrée Denarius of the Roman Imperial Period 76/77 AD; Material: Silver; Diameter: 18mm; Weight: 3.01g; Mint: Imitating the Rome mint; Reference: For prototype, cf. RIC II.1 921 (Vespasian), BMCRE 193 (Vespasian) and RSC 47; Provenance: Ex Roma Numnismatics London; Pedigre: From the J. Greiff Collection, assembled prior to 1998; Obverse: Head of Domitian, laureate, right. The Inscripotion reads: CAESAR AVG F DOMITIANVS for Caesar Augusti FIlius Domitianus (Caesar, son of the Augustus, Domitian); Reverse: Pegasus standing right, left foreleg raised, wings curling up on back. The Inscription reads: COS IIII for Consul Quartum (Consul for the fourth time).

 

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11 hours ago, Ocatarinetabellatchitchix said:

You have raised some excellent questions Al. They certainly deserve a good answer. First thing first, the double sestertius presented in the OP was part of the famous JDL coin collection sold in 2014 by Numismatica Ars Classica NAC. It is in my opinion the nicest example ever sold of this reverse type; my bad if I forgot to give the details about it ( https://www.acsearch.info/search.html?id=2176741 ). Secondly, I totally understand your interrogation about the stylistic difference with your specimen; 99% of the coins with this reverse are in a what I call « stickman » style. Mairat identified two contrasting design for this issue- the sketchier and the more realistic one. It easy to determine in what category is the JDL coin ! By the way, we only see these examples with the finest style for sale once a decade…

But how could we explain such a variation of numismatic elegance in the production of the same issue ? As you noticed on the double sestertius, the full name of Postumus ( IMP C M CASS LAT POSTVMVS PF AVG) as been used in the legend, meaning it was struck in the very beginning of his reign. It seems obvious that the engravers did not all have the same degree of expertise in the production of coins of the new emperor. Bastien distinguished the work of no less than 9 engravers on the bronze coinage here attributed to issue 3. Only his engraver H worked on the radiates and also on the gold coins; I wouldn’t be surprised if he was the same artist who created  the Victory reverse of the JDL specimen and also the fantastically styled aurei of Postumus for this period of time. Hoping it will answer your questions.

Dominic, Thanks for your feedback & the NAC AG auction listing ☺️. Your double sestertius has an impeccable provenance & is a coin of great rarity & historical importance 😲! Some coins look too good to be real, however, that is not the case with your coin 😂. Even an "old codger" like me has much to learn about ancient coins 🤔.

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2 hours ago, Prieure de Sion said:

The Original

  

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Titus Flavius Domitianus as Caesar under Vespasianus; Denarius of the Roman Imperial Period 76/77 AD; Material: Silver; Diameter: 18mm; Weight: 3.46g; Mint: Rome; Reference: RIC II, Part 1 (second edition) Vespasian 921; Provenance: Ex Spink Numismatics London, Great Britain; Obverse: Head of Domitian, laureate, right. The Inscription reads: CAESAR AVG F DOMITIANVS for Caesar Augusti FIlius Domitianus (Caesar, son of the emperor Augustus, Domitian); Reverse: Pegasus standing right, left foreleg raised, wings curling up on back. The Inscription reads: COS IIII for Consul Quartum (Consul for the fourth time).

 

 

The Imitate

 

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Titus Flavius Domitianus as Caesar; Fourrée Denarius of the Roman Imperial Period 76/77 AD; Material: Silver; Diameter: 18mm; Weight: 3.01g; Mint: Imitating the Rome mint; Reference: For prototype, cf. RIC II.1 921 (Vespasian), BMCRE 193 (Vespasian) and RSC 47; Provenance: Ex Roma Numnismatics London; Pedigre: From the J. Greiff Collection, assembled prior to 1998; Obverse: Head of Domitian, laureate, right. The Inscripotion reads: CAESAR AVG F DOMITIANVS for Caesar Augusti FIlius Domitianus (Caesar, son of the Augustus, Domitian); Reverse: Pegasus standing right, left foreleg raised, wings curling up on back. The Inscription reads: COS IIII for Consul Quartum (Consul for the fourth time).

 

This imitation would have fooled me 😉.

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A couple of fun ones. The original from the Alexandria mint:

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Ptolemaic King s of Egypt Ptolemy II Philadelphos, 285-246 BC. AR Tetradrachm (24mm, 14.12g, 12h). Alexandria mint. Obv: Diademed head of Ptolemy I right, wearing aegis; tiny Δ behind ear; c/m: helmet. Rev: BAΣIΛEΩ[Σ] ΠTOΛEMAIOΥ; Eagle standing left on thunderbolt; in left field, EY/KΛE monogram/A. Ref: CPE 227; Svoronos 375; SNG Copenhagen -. Very Fine, banker's mark in obverse field, a few light scratches. Rare variety. Ex Pegasi, donated to ACCG Benefit Auction. Ex VAuctions 221 (17 Aug 2008), Lot 56. 

The imitations, from an uncertain mint imitating Ptolemais (Ake):

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Ptolemaic Kings of Egypt. Ptolemy II Philadelphos, 285-246 BC. AR Tetradrachm (28mm, 14.20g, 11h). Uncertain mint 23, imitating Ptolemais (Ake) issue dated RY 32 (254/3 BC). Obv: Diademed head of Ptolemy I right, wearing aegis around neck. Rev: Eagle standing left on thunderbolt; to left, monogram above ΛE; to right, AB above Θ. Ref: Svoronos 1911, α var. (ΛB not AB); CPE 700. Good Very Fine. Ex CNG e220, Lot 238. CPE notes that this mint is likely to the east of the Lagid provinces of Syria and Phoenicia.

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Ptolemaic Kings of Egypt. Ptolemy II Philadelphos, 285-246 BC. AR Tetradrachm (27mm, 14.19g, 1h). Uncertain mint 23, imitating Ptolemais (Ake) issue dated RY 32 (254/3 BC). Obv: Diademed head of Ptolemy I right, wearing aegis around neck. Rev: Eagle standing left on thunderbolt; to left, monogram above ΛE; to right, AB above Θ. Ref: Svoronos 1911, α var. (ΛB not AB); CPE 700. Good Very Fine. Ex CNG e208 (8 Apr 2009), Lot 133. Ex CNG e276 (21 Mar 2012), Lot 236. CPE notes that this mint is likely to the east of the Lagid provinces of Syria and Phoenicia.

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Imitating Octavian-M. Porcius Cato AR quinarius 13.89 mm 1.29g imitating Octavian r blundered legend - Victory seated r patera Cr 343-462 RARE

 

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RR Porcius Cato AR Quinarius 89 BC Bacchus Liber Victory seated S 248 Cr 343-2

 

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RR AR Quinarius 89 BCE M Porcius Cato Liber Bacchus - Victory- Crawford 343-2. Sear 248

 

 

 

 

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Sometimes it is not so hard to separate the original from the copies.  One odd case is the group of imitation Tribute Pennies found in India that have shown up for sale several times over the last ~40 years.  All are die duplicates and made from good silver.  My guess is that the maker had only one coin to copy and it was off center losing the start of the obverse legend

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For comparison, this coin of decent style is quite obviously fourree.  In India, coins needed to be of good metal to be accepted in the market.  Rome worked on a 'buyer beware' system. 

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Many solid Tribute Pennies have rather poor style.  They made a lot of them which accounts for how common they are even now.

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The original:-

Constans - AE2

Obv:- D N CONSTANS P F AVG, Pearl diademed, draped & cuirassed bust right
Rev:- FEL TEMP-REPARATIO, emperor in military dress standing left on galley, holding Phoenix and labarum, Victory sitting at the stern, steering the ship
Minted in Aquileia; (//AQP dot), A.D. 348-350
Reference:– RIC VIII Aquileia 99

RI_169ai_img.jpg

The imitation:-

Constans - AE2 - Barbarous imitiation

Obv:- D N CONSTANS P F AVG, Pearl diademed, draped & cuirassed bust right
Rev:- FEL TEMP-REPARATIO, emperor in military dress standing left on galley, holding Phoenix and labarum, Victory sitting at the stern, steering the ship
Barbarous imitation of a coin minted in Aquileia; (//AQP dot), A.D. 348-350
Reference:– cf. RIC VIII Aquileia 99 (C)

RI_169bg_img.jpg

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The original:-

Constans - AE2

Obv:- D N CONSTA-NS P F AVG, Pearl diademed, draped, cuirassed bust right
Rev:- FEL TEMP REPARATIO, Emperor standing left, in a galley; Phoenix on a globe in right hand and holding labarum in left hand; Victory at the tiller of the galley right.
Minted in Trier; (//TRP), A.D. 348-350
Reference:– RIC VIII Trier 215 (R)

RI_169aa_img.jpg

The imitation:-

Constans - AE2 - Barbarous imitation of RIC VIII Trier 215

AE2
Obv:- D N CONSTA-NS P F AVG, Pearl iademed, draped, cuirassed bust right
Rev:- FEL TEMP REPARATIO, Emperor standing left, in a galley; Phoenix on a globe in right hand and holding labarum in left hand; Victory at the tiller of the galley right.
Barbarous imitation of a coin minted in Trier; (//TRS), A.D. 348-350
Reference:– Barbarous imitation. cf RIC VIII Trier 215

RI_169z_img.jpg

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The original:-

Constans - AE2

Obv:- D N CONSTA-NS P F AVG, Pearl-diademed, draped, cuirassed bust left, globe in right hand
Rev:- FEL TEMP REPAR-ATIO, Helmeted soldier, spear in left hand, advancing right, head left; with his right hand he leads a small bare-headed figure from a hut beneath a tree. The spear points up and to the right
Minted in Lugdunum, (// PLG), A.D. 348-350
Reference:– RIC VIII Lugdunum 84 (S)

4.04 gms. 0 degrees. 20.89 mm

RI_169bl_img.jpg

The imitation:-

Constans - AE2

Obv:- D N CONSTA-NS P F AVG, Pearl-diademed, draped, cuirassed bust left, globe in right hand
Rev:- FEL TEMP REPAR-ATIO, Helmeted soldier, spear in left hand, advancing right, head left; with his right hand he leads a small bare-headed figure from a hut beneath a tree. The spear points up and to the right
Cpoies a coin minted in Lugdunum, (// SLG), A.D. 348-350
Reference:– Copies RIC VIII Lugdunum 84 (S)

2.42 gms. 180 degrees. 19.34 mm

RI_169ca_img.jpg

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