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A new Hadrian Travel Series Denarius


DonnaML
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I purchased this coin at the Noonans auction on 13-14 July, and it arrived today. I did a search and don't believe we've had a thread devoted to the subject of Hadrian's Travel Series -- although I'm not sure I've really gotten the hang of the search function here yet -- so I decided that I would also post my other Hadrian Travel Series coins, and invite others to do the same.  (I know that many of you have amazing examples, including aurei!)

With this coin, I have either six or seven coins belonging to this series (depending on whether the earliest coin counts as such), all of them denarii. In each case, I have adopted the date for the coin used in the revised RIC II.3, devoted to Hadrian's coinage, published in 2019. Although I sometimes mention dates that other authorities have ascribed to particular coins. I believe that most scholars agree that this Series was largely issued towards the latter part of Hadrian's reign, when his travels were drawing to a close, rather than along the way, contemporaneously with his travels.

Hadrian AR Denarius, Travel Series, Rome Mint, 130-133 AD (according to RIC II.3 p. 173: Group 10, “Provinces Cycle”) [136 AD according to Sear RCV II p. 150]. Obv. Laureate bust right, slight drapery on far shoulder, HADRIANVS – AVG COS III P / Rev. Hadrian togate, standing left, holding volumen (scroll) in left hand; with his right hand, clasps right hand of Africa and is about to raise her from her kneeling position, right; she wears elephant skin headdress and holds grain ears with her left hand; between them stand two stalks of grain; RESTITUTORI – AFRICAE. RIC II.3 Hadrian 1569 & Pl. 34 (2019 edition); old RIC II Hadrian 322 (1926 ed.); RSC II Hadrian 1223a; BMCRE III Hadrian 871; Sear RCV II 3533; Foss 80 at p. 117 (dating Hadrian’s relevant trip to AD 128) [Clive Foss, Roman Historical Coins (Seaby, London, 1990)]. 17x19 mm., 3.41 g. Purchased from Noonans Auction 13-14 July, 2022, Lot 988.

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The "RESTITVTORI" coins in Hadrian's Travel Series seem to be harder to find in general, and more expensive, than the ones that simply name and depict a particular province. I think that the 180 GBP I paid for this coin (not counting the buyer's fee) was a decent price in light of that scarcity. A very similar "RESTITVTOR GALLIAE" denarius sold for 600 GBP this morning in the Roma auction; I dropped out at 500 GBP when I decided that I just couldn't bring myself to bid any more than that!

Noonans listed no provenance for the coin but did include this old coin envelope, in two different inks. It looks like ballpoint pen to me, so it can't be all that old. The penciled marks (C22/7733) are Noonans'. If anyone has any thoughts on it, please let me know.

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Here are the rest of my Hadrian Travel Series coins (including the one that may or may not be part of the series), in the order in which they appear in RIC II.3:

Hadrian AR Denarius [sometimes considered part of Travel Series], ca. 130 AD (according to RIC II.3 p. 168: Group 9, “time of the visit to Egypt”), Rome Mint. Obv. Laureate bust left, with slight drapery on far (right) shoulder, HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P / Rev. Galley sailing left with four rowers, pilot facing left seated in shelter at stern, acrostolium* at prow, FELICTATI // AVGVSTI (in exergue).  RIC II.3 Hadrian 1401 & Pl. 28 (Head type A2) (2019 edition), old RIC 240 (1926 ed.), RSC II 713a, BMCRE III Hadrian 625, Foss 108a. 18 mm., 3.26 g., 6 h. Purchased at Nomos Obolos Auction 22, 6 March 2022, Lot 602 (“Scarce issue with Hadrian facing to the left”).

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*See https://www.forumancientcoins.com/numiswiki/view.asp?key=Acrostolium: “An ornamental extension of the stem post on the prow of an ancient warship. Often used as a symbol of victory or of power at sea.”

Hadrian AR Denarius, Travel Series, Rome Mint, 130-133 AD (according to RIC II.3 p. 173: Group 10, “Provinces Cycle”). Obv: HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P, bare head right / Rev: AEGYPTOS, Egypt reclining left, holding sistrum in right hand and resting left arm on basket; to left, ibis standing right. RIC II.3 Hadrian 1482 & Pl. 30 (2019 edition), old RIC II 297d (1926 ed.), RSC II 99, Sear RCV II 3456, BMCRE III Hadrian 801-3, Foss 95 at p. 118 (dating Hadrian’s travels in Egypt to AD 130). 18 mm., 3.11 g., 7 hr.

image.png.24ad6d3d6c684750ac4d997dd012c0d3.png 

Hadrian AR Denarius, Travel Series, Rome Mint, 130-133 AD (according to RIC II.3 p. 173: Group 10, “Provinces Cycle”) [134-138 AD according to Mattingly & Sydenham in old RIC II]. Obv. Bare head left, HADRIANVS - AVG COS III PP / Rev. Africa reclining left, leaning with left elbow on rock, wearing elephant-skin headdress, holding scorpion with extended right hand and cradling cornucopiae with left hand and arm, basket of grain-ears to left at her feet, AFRICA. RIC II.3 Hadrian 1497 & Pl. 31 (2019 edition) (see  http://numismatics.org/ocre/id/ric.2_3(2).hdn.1497); old RIC II Hadrian 299 (1926 ed.) var. (head right), RSC II Hadrian 137, Sear RCV II 3459 obv. var. (laureate head left), BMCRE III Hadrian 821 var. (this type cited at BMCRE 821 fn. at p. 344); Foss 81 at p. 117 (dating Hadrian’s travels in the province of Africa to AD 128). 18 mm., 3.31 g. Purchased from Akropolis Ancient Coins, Jan. 2022.

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Hadrian AR Denarius, Travel Series, Rome Mint, 130-133 AD (according to RIC II.3 p. 173: Group 10, “Provinces Cycle”) [134-138 AD according to Mattingly & Sydenham in old RIC II]. Obv. Bareheaded and draped bust right, viewed from back or side, HADRIANVS - AVG COS III PP / Rev. Alexandria, draped, standing left, holding sistrum in extended right hand and basket in left hand with snake emerging from it and situla (water pail) hanging below*; ALEX-AN-DRIA. RIC II.3 Hadrian 1504 & Pl. 31 (2019 edition), old RIC II 300 (1926 ed.), RSC II 156, BMCRE III Hadrian 826, Foss 94a, Sear RCV II 3460 (obv. var.). Purchased from Dix Noonan Webb Auction 253, 13 March 2022, Lot 1408; ex B.A. Seaby Ltd. London, retail purchase 1990 (with coin envelope from Seaby)

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*See Strack (1933) at p. 164, stating that the round object beneath the basket is a situla, Isis' normal two-part water pail or container, hanging from her left wrist in the coin type: "am Handgelenk hängt das der Isis eigene zweiteilige Wassergefäss." It certainly makes sense that Alexandria would have some more of the attributes of Isis in Romano-Egyptian iconography -- just like "Aegyptos" -- given that she already holds a sistrum. Wikipedia describes a situla as a bucket or pail, and specifically mentions it as an attribute of Isis. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Situla:

"The term is also used for pails carried by figures in other art forms; according to Plutarch and other sources this was a sign of a devotee of Isis, who herself is often shown carrying one (containing water from the sacred Nile), of a rather different shape, with a rounded bottom, and sometimes lidded. This rounded shape, often with a "nipple" at the bottom (see Luristan example in gallery), is believed to have represented the female breast. These were also donated to temples as votive offerings by devotees." [Remainder of footnote omitted.]

Hadrian AR Denarius, Travel Series, Rome Mint, 130-133 AD (according to RIC II.3 p. 173: Group 10, “Provinces Cycle”) [134-138 AD according to Mattingly & Sydenham in old RIC II]. Obv. Bare head right, HADRIANVS - AVG COS III PP / Rev. Asia standing left, right foot on prow, holding reaping hook [or acrostolium*] with right hand, and rudder with left hand, A S I A.  RIC II.3 Hadrian 1507 & Pl. 32 (2019 edition); old RIC II Hadrian 301 (1926 ed.), RSC II Hadrian 188 (ill. p. 114), Sear RCV II 3462 (ill. p. 143), BMCRE III Hadrian 829, Foss 57 at p. 116 (dating Hadrian’s travels in the Province of Asia to AD 123-125) . 18.5 mm., 3.4 g. [Part of Hadrian’s Travel Series, commemorating his travel to the Asia Province -- located in northwest Anatolia, largely comprising the former kingdom of Lydia -- in 123 AD.   See Edward A. Sydenham, Historical References on Coins of the Roman Empire (1968 ed.; orig. pub. 1917) at p. 96. But see https://followinghadrian.com/hadriantravels, placing Hadrian’s visit to Asia in 124 AD, including its capital Ephesus on 29 Aug. 124.]

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*The new edition of RIC II (RIC II.3 1507) describes the object in Asia’s right hand as a “reaping hook.” The old RIC describes it as a “hook”; RSC as a hook or an acrostolium; Sear RCV as an “acrostolium(?),” with the rudder in her left hand called a steering-oar. Numiswiki defines an acrostolium as an “ornamental extension of the stem post on the prow of an ancient warship. Often used as a symbol of victory or of power at sea.” See https://www.forumancientcoins.com/numiswiki/view.asp?key=Acrostolium. I think it is impossible to tell from my example which it is, although it certainly does not look particularly “ornamental.”

Hadrian AR Denarius, Travel Series, Rome Mint, 133 AD (according to RIC II.3 p. 207: Group 11, “including Adventus to Rome of 133”) [134-138 AD according to Mattingly & Sydenham in old RIC II]. Obv. Bare head right, HADRIANVS - AVG COS III PP / Rev. Roma standing right in military dress, with right shoulder bare, holding inverted spear with left hand, receiving the arriving Emperor Hadrian standing left, togate, bearing a scroll in left hand, the two clasping their right hands, ADVE-NTVS AVG. RIC II.3 Hadrian 1984 & Pl. 35 (2019 edition), old RIC II Hadrian 225a (1926 ed.), RSC II Hadrian 84a, Sear RCV II 3455 (ill. p. 143), BMCRE III Hadrian 581. 18 mm., 3.46 g. [Part of Hadrian’s Travel Series, commemorating Hadrian’s arrival in Rome (adventus) at the end of his travels.]

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Please post any and all examples of Hadrian's Travel Series that you may have, whether in silver, gold, or bronze.

 

Edited by DonnaML
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Hadrian Ar Denarius 136 AD Obv Head right bare. Rv  Aegyptos recling left holding sistrum At feet ibis wings folded facing right RIC 297 RIC II/3 1482 2.89 grms 18 mm Photo by W. Hansenhadriand59.jpg.59958e16d686c345809836f2d248b6c7.jpg

Congrats to @DonnaML for her latest "travel" Denarius. I will show off my first. I bought this one from an M&M FPL back in September 1993. For almost of full year I was trying to put together some money for a down payment for the condo I currently live in. Needless to say purchases of coins were few and far between. This was the first coin I purchased while living at my then "new" place. (I still think of it as the new place) 

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Posted · Supporter

WoWiE! Thanks for the amazing write up and coingrats on the new beauty🤩

At first I was wondering why it would be a travel coin, but believe it does belong.

My travel and then best Hadrian portrait:

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Nice looking coins @DonnaML! I believe your Asia example is my favorite. I admit to being partial to the personified Provence on these but I would like to pick up one of the ship examples some day. Here are mine.

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Roman Empire
Hadrian (AD 117 – 138)
AR Denarius, Rome mint, struck ca. AD 134 – 138 
Dia.: 17 mm
Wt.: 2.98 g
Obv.: HADRIANVS AVG COS III PP; Laureate head right
Rev.: AFRICA; Africa with elephant headdress reclining left, holding scorpion and cornucopia, basket of grain at feet
Ex L. Rose Collection

C3FF0864-8F8B-48A9-A689-EEA7C2D32E52.jpeg.03343b86056a43f1bdb5d09f521bd079.jpeg

Roman Empire
Hadrian, AD 117-138.
AR Denarius, 18mm, Rome mint, struck AD 134-138.
Dia.: 18 mm
Wt.: 3.15 g
Obv.: HADRIANVS AVG COSIII PP; Laureate head right.
Rev.: ITA-LIA, Italia standing left, holding sceptre and cornucopiae.
Ref.: RIC II 307; BMC 853; RSC 869
Ex DePew Collection

Edited by Curtisimo
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Nice coin, Donna!

I have the Restitutor Galliae and Restitutor Hispaniae coins (which I haven't gotten around to photographing). Your Restitutor Africae coin seems to be much scarcer; I haven't seen many of them over the years. That may be the next coin I try to chase down for this series.

I snagged the Hadrian Alexandria travel denarius from the same auction, which may be a reverse die match to yours: 

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I've been looking to land one of these in decent condition for a while. Most of the ones I've seen have not been in great condition; there was another one in this auction paired with an Aegyptos denarius - both wound up going for GBP85 (prior to buyer's fee etc). Both coins were also much more circulated than this one.

Being ever more paranoid about fakes, I did an ACSearch and was able to find an obverse die match and a few reverse die matches to convince myself that this coin is indeed genuine. Fakes these days are getting a lot harder to spot, and have shown up on occasion in auctions. The portrait on this one seemed odd to me; normally Hadrian wouldn't be looking this annoyed. 

Provenance is stated as being from Seaby as well though (1989). The coin is still on its way (these are Dix Noonan's photos).

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Congrats, @DonnaML! I've contemplated trying to complete a Hadrian Travel set but ultimately it would bias my generalist collection too heavily so I'm happy with just two. Here's my aureus of a similar type to your denarius (Adventi Africae):

Africae.jpg.2e3fa37b3f3bacb168a3c89db0b9a0ea.jpg

Ex: Enrico Caruso collection, Canessa sale 28.06.1923 lot 298; Ex. Michael F Price Collection, Stacks Dec 3rd, 1996, lot 175; Stacks Fixed Price List, 1990, Lot 25

 

Edited by AncientJoe
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18 minutes ago, AncientJoe said:

Ex: Enrico Caruso collection, Canessa sale 28.06.1923 lot 298; Ex. Michael F Price Collection, Stacks Dec 3rd, 1996,

That's a pretty good pedigree!  Oh, and by the way, the coin is nice, too!

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46 minutes ago, AncientJoe said:

Congrats, @DonnaML! I've contemplated trying to complete a Hadrian Travel set but ultimately it would bias my generalist collection too heavily so I'm happy with just two. Here's my aureus of a similar type to your denarius (Adventi Africae):

Africae.jpg.2e3fa37b3f3bacb168a3c89db0b9a0ea.jpg

Ex: Enrico Caruso collection, Canessa sale 28.06.1923 lot 298; Ex. Michael F Price Collection, Stacks Dec 3rd, 1996, lot 175; Stacks Fixed Price List, 1990, Lot 25

 

Wow! An amazing coin. Caruso was a coin collector?

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39 minutes ago, DonnaML said:

Wow! An amazing coin. Caruso was a coin collector?

He was indeed, focusing mostly on aurei (moonlighting as a decent opera singer 😉 ). A musician myself, I've always wanted a coin from his collection and never found quite the right one. I bought this coin unpedigreed and tracked down the Michael Price pedigree and then a friend found the Caruso so I couldn't be happier!

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2 hours ago, Romismatist said:

Nice coin, Donna!

I have the Restitutor Galliae and Restitutor Hispaniae coins (which I haven't gotten around to photographing). Your Restitutor Africae coin seems to be much scarcer; I haven't seen many of them over the years. That may be the next coin I try to chase down for this series.

 

Which makes it seem even odder that the Restitutor Galliae denarius sold by Roma Numismatics this morning went for 600 GBP, more than three times what I just paid for my Restitutor Africae denarius at the Noonans auction. It's not as if I think its condition was materially better. Especially the obverse:

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In any event, I feel very relieved that I didn't get carried away and continue to bid on it to a point well beyond what made sense.

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Thanks, @Qcumbor. Does anyone know why the bronze versions of Hadrian's Travel Series seem to be more uncommon than the denarii, or at least appear for sale less often? It seems strange, given that I believe that there were actually more different types in bronze than in silver.

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18 hours ago, DonnaML said:

I purchased this coin at the Noonans auction on 13-14 July, and it arrived today. ... Purchased from Noonans Auction 13-14 July, 2022, Lot 988.... Noonans listed no provenance for the coin but did include this old coin envelope, in two different inks. It looks like ballpoint pen to me, so it can't be all that old. The penciled marks (C22/7733) are Noonans'. If anyone has any thoughts on it, please let me know.

image.jpeg.5ab34988ba11ab5119d8d945b13113f4.jpeg

 

 

Ha, I think I was bidding on this coin too (or at least had it on my watchlist), in part because I suspected it shared a provenance with other similar Hadrian denarii in the same sale. (And perhaps a previous sale of theirs, can't quite remember.) If you find out who this envelope belonged to, I'd be interested to know. I have some suspicions (the references to Cohen may help date it, also clearly from an English or English-speaking collector):

I wonder if it was in the G. R. Arnold sale (part I) from 1969 (not his more famous, magnificent sale of Severan Denarii at Glendining's 21 November 1984, many of which ended up illustrated in Sear RSC and still appear in auctions every so often).... Does anyone have a G.R. Arnold tag? A lot of the coins weren't illustrated. A Hadrian ASIA denarius with similar toning and wear appeared in lot 985 of the same Noonan's sale, so I thought this might've also been one, but I don't recall if I looked to see if it's described in the Glendining catalog. Here's a cut-paste of my notes on Arnold Part I:

17 June 1969 = … Roman silver coins ([Pompey the Great] to Clodius Albinus)… G. R. Arnold [Robert Arnold], Esq. [...] = 711 lots, many ill. on 9 Pl. (~27 per, plus enlargement pl. all AR Denarii), See also Part II (Severan, Glendining, 21 Nov 1984), very important collection, catalogued by Simon Bendall & illustrated by Frank Purvey, with a few paragraphs introduction (not as thorough as Part II), mostly single lots cataloged by Cohen, like Part II no weights, but fewer prior provenances (still some) than part II, at some of the coins (perhaps many?) would be published in Seaby Roman Silver Coins and Their Values (and remain illustrated in Sear’s editions) but not mentioned here, RRC (~1 Pl.), RIC (~8 Pl.);

Clearly Noonan's is selling a well-provenanced collection of Hadrian Denarii, because from their past few auctions I also bid on these (links are to the Noonan's lots on Numisbids, plus one auction link). I also suspected that your coin might've tracked to one of these... From my Watchlist notes:

Noonan's 255, 514: Previously British Museum Collection. Eton College Collection, Sotheby Auction, 1-2 December 1976, lot unspecified; Glendining Auction, 14 December 1988, lot 369 (part) [note: corr., 367 no 6] [I don't think I've found the Sotheby's Eton sale online; there is a catalog of the Eton Collection which gives background, but I haven't found any coins for sale illustrated in it]

Noonan's 255, 573: P. Webb Collection, Vecchi Auction 5, 5 March 1997, lot 533 [most of the Percy Webb (early RIC author) coins sold by Vecchi can be traced to Adolph Hess 211 9 May 1932]

Several Hadrian Denarii also from mult. group lots from Glendining Auction, 14 December 1988 [I think this one is on Archive.org, but I don't remember and didn't take notes if it is].

 

Edited by Curtis JJ
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Posted (edited)

Thanks, @Curtis JJ. The RESTITVTORI AFRICAE denarius is definitely not listed in the 1969 Glendining catalog you link, but I will certainly check some of the others. I bought one other Hadrian denarius in the same Noonans auction (I haven't posted it yet) for which a Seaby 1979 provenance is listed; it also arrived with an old coin envelope (not a Seaby envelope), but the handwriting is different from the one I posted. So it would seem that either Noonans or its consignor acquired its Hadrian coins from a variety of sources.

FYI, the Dec. 1988 Glendinings auction catalog can be viewed at https://archive.org/details/greekromanbyzant00glen_0/mode/1up?view=theater , and does have a lot of Hadrians -- including quite a few from the Travel Series -- but the only RESTITUTORI AFRICAE specimens it includes are with Hadrian's obverse bust left.  In general, it's too bad that the individual weights of the coins aren't listed; that would certainly help find matches even without illustrations.

 

Edited by DonnaML
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I love all the denarii illustrated here especially inasmuch as I currently don't have any in my collection and their diversity is extensive.

Coins of Hadrian were the direction my collecting veered after my 12 Caesars were relatively complete.  

My first Hadrian was the she-wolf aureus (included below) but as I researched and viewed upcoming auctions, my focus quickly went to his travel series.  A number of features drew me to this focus: not just the artistry, but especially the reverses with their personifications of various entities such as a continent (Africa), rivers (Nilus), and countries (Egypt, Hispania).  I don't know that I'll ever have a complete collection even across the different metals, but the series is infinitely intriguing and illustrates the reasons I find ancient Roman mythology continually engrossing.

From time to time I spend time online researching provenances, but it can be a slow process especially since there's no really systematic approach to doing so.  As of now, the only really old provenance of which I'm aware is that my anepigraphic-reverse Nilus (upper right corner) is ex Judge E.E. Farman (early 1900s).

image.jpeg.76a3e703781dfbe396e43c3d22459d82.jpeg

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31 minutes ago, idesofmarch01 said:

I love all the denarii illustrated here especially inasmuch as I currently don't have any in my collection and their diversity is extensive.

Coins of Hadrian were the direction my collecting veered after my 12 Caesars were relatively complete.  

My first Hadrian was the she-wolf aureus (included below) but as I researched and viewed upcoming auctions, my focus quickly went to his travel series.  A number of features drew me to this focus: not just the artistry, but especially the reverses with their personifications of various entities such as a continent (Africa), rivers (Nilus), and countries (Egypt, Hispania).  I don't know that I'll ever have a complete collection even across the different metals, but the series is infinitely intriguing and illustrates the reasons I find ancient Roman mythology continually engrossing.

From time to time I spend time online researching provenances, but it can be a slow process especially since there's no really systematic approach to doing so.  As of now, the only really old provenance of which I'm aware is that my anepigraphic-reverse Nilus (upper right corner) is ex Judge E.E. Farman (early 1900s).

image.jpeg.76a3e703781dfbe396e43c3d22459d82.jpeg

@idesofmarch01, I was hoping that you would post some of your truly amazing collection of Travel Series aureii and sestertii. Thank you!

I must say that I'm always amused by the contrast between the symbols used for Africa and Nilus (the lion, the elephant headdress, the crocodile, the hippo) and the symbol used for Hispania (the rabbit). Couldn't they have thought of something a bit more formidable?

 

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Lovely addition @DonnaML..Nice toning!

1 hour ago, DonnaML said:

I must say that I'm always amused by the contrast between the symbols used for Africa and Nilus (the lion, the elephant headdress, the crocodile, the hippo) and the symbol used for Hispania (the rabbit). Couldn't they have thought of something a bit more formidable?

You have to remember that Spanish rabbits are not your run of the mill types..😉

2107534176_rabbit2.jpg.4cffe50725bc7b4de0b92629a850909d.jpg

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Nice collection you are putting together, @DonnaML - and as always, impeccable research to boot.  I appreciate your efforts.  

Scrounging around the bowels of eBay (yuck) I've managed to land a couple of Hadrian's travel series, usually un- or under-described or lousy condition.  Otherwise, these types are not within my budget.  

This is one of the worst, but since it is the sestertius version of the OP Africa type, here it is, barely:

1848976300_Hadrian-Sest.AfricaRest.Feb2020(0).jpg.79a7a9595d66b2cd918b9ebaebb5d788.jpg

Hadrian Æ Sestertius (134-138 A.D.)  Rome Mint [HADR]IANVS AVG COS III PP laureate, draped bust right / [RE]STITVTORI AFR[IC]AE SC, Hadrian togate, standing left raising up Africa, kneeling left, corn-ears growing betweet. RIC 941f; Cohen 1226.  (21.57 grams / 32 mm) eBay Feb. 2020 

This Achaea is quite a bit better - while scrounging around online I found an auction listing for it, one of the few of my bargains with a provenance: 

120860269_HadrianAchaeaRestNov2018(0).jpg.a56d4b00655471e48ea9137f38132c5b.jpg

Hadrian Æ Sestertius (130-133 A.D.) Rome Mint [HADR]IANVS AVG COS III PP laureate, draped bust right / [RESTITVTO]RI ACH[AIAE], Hadrian togate standing left, holding scroll and raising up kneeling Achaea; vase with palm between figures. RIC II, 3 1803 (old RIC 938f). (26.17 grams / 31 mm) eBay Nov. 2018 Provenance:  This coin sold in Heritage Auction No. 231840; Lot #61104; Sold on Oct 4, 2018 (lot of three Hadrian sestertii).

 

 

 

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On 7/29/2022 at 1:07 AM, DonnaML said:

I purchased this coin at the Noonans auction on 13-14 July, and it arrived today. I did a search and don't believe we've had a thread devoted to the subject of Hadrian's Travel Series -- although I'm not sure I've really gotten the hang of the search function here yet -- so I decided that I would also post my other Hadrian Travel Series coins, and invite others to do the same.  (I know that many of you have amazing examples, including aurei!)

With this coin, I have either six or seven coins belonging to this series (depending on whether the earliest coin counts as such), all of them denarii. In each case, I have adopted the date for the coin used in the revised RIC II.3, devoted to Hadrian's coinage, published in 2019. Although I sometimes mention dates that other authorities have ascribed to particular coins. I believe that most scholars agree that this Series was largely issued towards the latter part of Hadrian's reign, when his travels were drawing to a close, rather than along the way, contemporaneously with his travels.

Hadrian AR Denarius, Travel Series, Rome Mint, 130-133 AD (according to RIC II.3 p. 173: Group 10, “Provinces Cycle”) [136 AD according to Sear RCV II p. 150]. Obv. Laureate bust right, slight drapery on far shoulder, HADRIANVS – AVG COS III P / Rev. Hadrian togate, standing left, holding volumen (scroll) in left hand; with his right hand, clasps right hand of Africa and is about to raise her from her kneeling position, right; she wears elephant skin headdress and holds grain ears with her left hand; between them stand two stalks of grain; RESTITUTORI – AFRICAE. RIC II.3 Hadrian 1569 & Pl. 34 (2019 edition); old RIC II Hadrian 322 (1926 ed.); RSC II Hadrian 1223a; BMCRE III Hadrian 871; Sear RCV II 3533; Foss 80 at p. 117 (dating Hadrian’s relevant trip to AD 128) [Clive Foss, Roman Historical Coins (Seaby, London, 1990)]. 17x19 mm., 3.41 g. Purchased from Noonans Auction 13-14 July, 2022, Lot 988.

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The "RESTITVTORI" coins in Hadrian's Travel Series seem to be harder to find in general, and more expensive, than the ones that simply name and depict a particular province. I think that the 180 GBP I paid for this coin (not counting the buyer's fee) was a decent price in light of that scarcity. A very similar "RESTITVTOR GALLIAE" denarius sold for 600 GBP this morning in the Roma auction; I dropped out at 500 GBP when I decided that I just couldn't bring myself to bid any more than that!

Noonans listed no provenance for the coin but did include this old coin envelope, in two different inks. It looks like ballpoint pen to me, so it can't be all that old. The penciled marks (C22/7733) are Noonans'. If anyone has any thoughts on it, please let me know.

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Here are the rest of my Hadrian Travel Series coins (including the one that may or may not be part of the series), in the order in which they appear in RIC II.3:

Hadrian AR Denarius [sometimes considered part of Travel Series], ca. 130 AD (according to RIC II.3 p. 168: Group 9, “time of the visit to Egypt”), Rome Mint. Obv. Laureate bust left, with slight drapery on far (right) shoulder, HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P / Rev. Galley sailing left with four rowers, pilot facing left seated in shelter at stern, acrostolium* at prow, FELICTATI // AVGVSTI (in exergue).  RIC II.3 Hadrian 1401 & Pl. 28 (Head type A2) (2019 edition), old RIC 240 (1926 ed.), RSC II 713a, BMCRE III Hadrian 625, Foss 108a. 18 mm., 3.26 g., 6 h. Purchased at Nomos Obolos Auction 22, 6 March 2022, Lot 602 (“Scarce issue with Hadrian facing to the left”).

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*See https://www.forumancientcoins.com/numiswiki/view.asp?key=Acrostolium: “An ornamental extension of the stem post on the prow of an ancient warship. Often used as a symbol of victory or of power at sea.”

Hadrian AR Denarius, Travel Series, Rome Mint, 130-133 AD (according to RIC II.3 p. 173: Group 10, “Provinces Cycle”). Obv: HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P, bare head right / Rev: AEGYPTOS, Egypt reclining left, holding sistrum in right hand and resting left arm on basket; to left, ibis standing right. RIC II.3 Hadrian 1482 & Pl. 30 (2019 edition), old RIC II 297d (1926 ed.), RSC II 99, Sear RCV II 3456, BMCRE III Hadrian 801-3, Foss 95 at p. 118 (dating Hadrian’s travels in Egypt to AD 130). 18 mm., 3.11 g., 7 hr.

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Hadrian AR Denarius, Travel Series, Rome Mint, 130-133 AD (according to RIC II.3 p. 173: Group 10, “Provinces Cycle”) [134-138 AD according to Mattingly & Sydenham in old RIC II]. Obv. Bare head left, HADRIANVS - AVG COS III PP / Rev. Africa reclining left, leaning with left elbow on rock, wearing elephant-skin headdress, holding scorpion with extended right hand and cradling cornucopiae with left hand and arm, basket of grain-ears to left at her feet, AFRICA. RIC II.3 Hadrian 1497 & Pl. 31 (2019 edition) (see  http://numismatics.org/ocre/id/ric.2_3(2).hdn.1497); old RIC II Hadrian 299 (1926 ed.) var. (head right), RSC II Hadrian 137, Sear RCV II 3459 obv. var. (laureate head left), BMCRE III Hadrian 821 var. (this type cited at BMCRE 821 fn. at p. 344); Foss 81 at p. 117 (dating Hadrian’s travels in the province of Africa to AD 128). 18 mm., 3.31 g. Purchased from Akropolis Ancient Coins, Jan. 2022.

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Hadrian AR Denarius, Travel Series, Rome Mint, 130-133 AD (according to RIC II.3 p. 173: Group 10, “Provinces Cycle”) [134-138 AD according to Mattingly & Sydenham in old RIC II]. Obv. Bareheaded and draped bust right, viewed from back or side, HADRIANVS - AVG COS III PP / Rev. Alexandria, draped, standing left, holding sistrum in extended right hand and basket in left hand with snake emerging from it and situla (water pail) hanging below*; ALEX-AN-DRIA. RIC II.3 Hadrian 1504 & Pl. 31 (2019 edition), old RIC II 300 (1926 ed.), RSC II 156, BMCRE III Hadrian 826, Foss 94a, Sear RCV II 3460 (obv. var.). Purchased from Dix Noonan Webb Auction 253, 13 March 2022, Lot 1408; ex B.A. Seaby Ltd. London, retail purchase 1990 (with coin envelope from Seaby)

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*See Strack (1933) at p. 164, stating that the round object beneath the basket is a situla, Isis' normal two-part water pail or container, hanging from her left wrist in the coin type: "am Handgelenk hängt das der Isis eigene zweiteilige Wassergefäss." It certainly makes sense that Alexandria would have some more of the attributes of Isis in Romano-Egyptian iconography -- just like "Aegyptos" -- given that she already holds a sistrum. Wikipedia describes a situla as a bucket or pail, and specifically mentions it as an attribute of Isis. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Situla:

"The term is also used for pails carried by figures in other art forms; according to Plutarch and other sources this was a sign of a devotee of Isis, who herself is often shown carrying one (containing water from the sacred Nile), of a rather different shape, with a rounded bottom, and sometimes lidded. This rounded shape, often with a "nipple" at the bottom (see Luristan example in gallery), is believed to have represented the female breast. These were also donated to temples as votive offerings by devotees." [Remainder of footnote omitted.]

Hadrian AR Denarius, Travel Series, Rome Mint, 130-133 AD (according to RIC II.3 p. 173: Group 10, “Provinces Cycle”) [134-138 AD according to Mattingly & Sydenham in old RIC II]. Obv. Bare head right, HADRIANVS - AVG COS III PP / Rev. Asia standing left, right foot on prow, holding reaping hook [or acrostolium*] with right hand, and rudder with left hand, A S I A.  RIC II.3 Hadrian 1507 & Pl. 32 (2019 edition); old RIC II Hadrian 301 (1926 ed.), RSC II Hadrian 188 (ill. p. 114), Sear RCV II 3462 (ill. p. 143), BMCRE III Hadrian 829, Foss 57 at p. 116 (dating Hadrian’s travels in the Province of Asia to AD 123-125) . 18.5 mm., 3.4 g. [Part of Hadrian’s Travel Series, commemorating his travel to the Asia Province -- located in northwest Anatolia, largely comprising the former kingdom of Lydia -- in 123 AD.   See Edward A. Sydenham, Historical References on Coins of the Roman Empire (1968 ed.; orig. pub. 1917) at p. 96. But see https://followinghadrian.com/hadriantravels, placing Hadrian’s visit to Asia in 124 AD, including its capital Ephesus on 29 Aug. 124.]

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*The new edition of RIC II (RIC II.3 1507) describes the object in Asia’s right hand as a “reaping hook.” The old RIC describes it as a “hook”; RSC as a hook or an acrostolium; Sear RCV as an “acrostolium(?),” with the rudder in her left hand called a steering-oar. Numiswiki defines an acrostolium as an “ornamental extension of the stem post on the prow of an ancient warship. Often used as a symbol of victory or of power at sea.” See https://www.forumancientcoins.com/numiswiki/view.asp?key=Acrostolium. I think it is impossible to tell from my example which it is, although it certainly does not look particularly “ornamental.”

Hadrian AR Denarius, Travel Series, Rome Mint, 133 AD (according to RIC II.3 p. 207: Group 11, “including Adventus to Rome of 133”) [134-138 AD according to Mattingly & Sydenham in old RIC II]. Obv. Bare head right, HADRIANVS - AVG COS III PP / Rev. Roma standing right in military dress, with right shoulder bare, holding inverted spear with left hand, receiving the arriving Emperor Hadrian standing left, togate, bearing a scroll in left hand, the two clasping their right hands, ADVE-NTVS AVG. RIC II.3 Hadrian 1984 & Pl. 35 (2019 edition), old RIC II Hadrian 225a (1926 ed.), RSC II Hadrian 84a, Sear RCV II 3455 (ill. p. 143), BMCRE III Hadrian 581. 18 mm., 3.46 g. [Part of Hadrian’s Travel Series, commemorating Hadrian’s arrival in Rome (adventus) at the end of his travels.]

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Please post any and all examples of Hadrian's Travel Series that you may have, whether in silver, gold, or bronze.

 

Beautiful Denarii and great info! You are really becoming an expert in Hadrians travel coins, Donna!

I won this travel Sestertius at the same Noonans Auction - judging from the collectors tag included it used to belong to the same collection as your new acquisition, so I would be interested if you find out any more info 🙂

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HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P - Bare headed and draped bust of Hadrian right, viewed from side /

AEGYPTOS // S C (in exergue) - Aegyptos reclining left, holding sistrum in right hand and resting left elbow on basket (?); to left, ibis standing right on a low column

Sestertius, Rome 136 A.D (according to Hill and Sear)

31,6 mm / 24,86 gr

RIC 1595; BMCRE 1692; RCV 3572, Hill 136, Cohen 110, Banti 75 (3 specimens)

ex Noonans Auction 5 (14.07.2022), lot 990

 

Edited by Julius Germanicus
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This isn't from the Travel Series, since it was struck before he went to Britain. The main difference to the Travel Series coin is that Britannia is written in exergue rather than around the top.

Hadrian As, 119image.png.86459e0c7596bcf8f0889c0caafab540.pngRome. Bronze, 10.00g. Laureate bust right; IMP CAESAR TRAIANVS HADRIANVS AVG. Britannia seated facing, holding sceptre, large shield to right; PONT MAX T R POT COS III; S C; BRITANNIA in exergue (RIC II.3, 241).

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