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Unlisted Divus Vespasian Sestertius

David Atherton

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I missed out on this rare and unique coin in 2022. https://www.cointalk.com/threads/a-new-portrait-sestertius-of-divus-vespasian.396376/

It pays to be patient.



Divus Vespasian [Titus]
Æ Sestertius, 24.21g
Rome mint, 80-81 AD
Obv: DIVVS AVGVSTVS VESPASIANVS PATER PAT; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.
Rev: PAX AVGVSTI; S C in field; Pax stg. l., with branch and cornucopiae
Cf. RIC 369/370 (for obv./rev.). BMC -. BNC-.
Ex Harlan J Berk BBS 225, 30 November 2023, lot 116. Ex Curtis Clay Collection. Ex Biga E9, 24 April 2022, lot 533.

Portrait sestertii of Divus Vespasian are exceedingly rare. Here we have a unique and unpublished variant of the Divus Vespasian Pax type RIC 370. This new variety combines an obverse legend previously known from one specimen (RIC 369) with a variant of a unique Pax reverse type (RIC 370 with AVGVST instead of AVGVSTI). Curtis Clay assigned this issue to Titus' Thracian mint, but I agree with RIC that the style (similar to contemporary Rome mint denarii) and fabric (the reverse flan is concave, a hallmark of the Rome mint) suggests Rome rather than an Eastern provincial mint. Although Vespasian died in June 79, his Divus coins struck under Titus date to 80-81. Nathan Elkins has proposed that Vespasian's consecration was delayed until the Colosseum was completed with the opening games dedicated to him. The Divus coins would have been struck to commemorate the event after mid 80.


In hand.


Do you have a second chance coin? An interesting Divus type? Please share!

As always, thank you for looking!

Edited by David Atherton
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