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Another Ephesisan Unique Bronze

David Atherton

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This one I think flew under the radar in Harlan Berk's BBS 225. Attributed as RIC 1500, it actually is an unlisted variety!




Æ29, 11.17g
Ephesus (?) mint, 77-78 AD
Obv: IMP CAESAR VESPASIAN AVGVSTVS; Head of Vespasian, laureate, l.
Rev: PONT MAX TR POT P P COS VIII CENS; S C in field; Jupiter std. l., with thunderbolt and sceptre
RIC 1502 var. (obv. head right). BMC -. BNC -. RPC 1475 var. (same).
Ex Harlan J Berk BBS 225, 30 November 2023, lot 92. Ex Curtis Clay Collection. Ex Lanz, eBay, January 2009.

Late in Vespasian's reign an exceedingly rare series of orichalcum bronze coins were struck in Asia Minor at an unknown mint. Although imperial in appearance, the style, weight system, and metal used all point to a mint other than Rome. Due to their extreme rarity today, they could not have been struck for any great length of time (the date cannot be narrowed down any further than Vespasian's COS VIII, 77-78 AD). The types consist of ones variously copied from either Rome or local provincial issues. A stylistic similarity with the earlier 'o' mint denarii possibly struck at Ephesus has been noted by both RIC and RPC. Here we have a previously unrecorded and unique variant of the Jupiter seated reverse with the obverse portrait facing left instead of right. The piece likely circulated as a dupondius. It was erroneously attributed in the HJB catalogue as 'RIC 1500', which is a Ceres seated type.

In hand you can see its pretty hefty!


As always thank you for looking!

Edited by David Atherton
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