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A Lefty Libertas

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Left facing portraits under Vespasian are generally very rare on the bronze issues. So, it's quite a treat when you come across a rare type that comes with a stylish left portrait! Needless to say I'm very pleased with it.


Æ As, 10.84g
Rome mint, 71 AD
Obv: IMP CAES VESPASIAN AVG COS III; Head of Vespasian, laureate, l.
Rev:  LIBERTAS PVBLICA; S C in field; Libertas stg. l., with pileus and rod
RIC 310 (R2). BMC -. BNC -.
Ex Harlan J Berk BBS 225, 30 November 2023, lot 30. Ex Curtis Clay Collection. Ex Paganecoins, Yahoo!, 20 December 2001.

Vespasian struck a massive bronze issue in 71 which easily dwarfs any other produced during his reign. The reverse themes are largely given over to ones an incoming dynasty would find useful, such as this Libertas type, copied from the coinage of Galba. Libertas here symbolises Vespasian's rescue of the Roman people from tyranny - a most fitting type in the wake of civil war. This rare as variety of the type features a left facing portrait, unusual for the middle bronzes. Missing from the BM and Paris collections. RIC cites just one specimen from Vienna, a double die match with this coin.

In hand.


As always, thank you for looking!

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Posted · Supporter

Nice coin, Here is my left facing Vespasian.


Vespasian, 69-79 Dupondius circa 74, Æ 26mm., 9.41g. Radiate head r. Rev. Felicitas standing l., holding caduceus and cornucopiae. C 153. RIC 716.


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