A while back I was fortunate to purchase, from Forvm
, a RR As of S.Furius (RRC
151, not listed in Crawford
) with a completely clear legend
, the bottom picture below. This is the only existing specimen with a completely clear and untooled legend
. Of the three other known specimens, that in the British Museum has a tooled legend
, and the two others- both in private collections
- are very worn.
In a Faustian pact, the sort which serious collectors will be familiar with, another collector persuaded me to part
with my S.FVRI (the bottom coin pictured) in return for more than a dozen other very rare
RR bronzes. It was sort of like wanting a very big family and exchanging the single child of your loins for 12 adorable adoptees. Hmmm. I thought there was a remote chance of my ever finding another example... until the RBW collection
came up for sale a month or so ago. That collection
was stacked full with a mesmerising number of rarities
, including one of the other two (very worn) examples of S.FVRI. The catalogue
photo is the middle - green picture. I bought it!!! ... and assumed I could make something better of the coin that the catalogue had
Well, this has been a struggle. The surfaces of the reverse
of the coin are absolutely unphotogenic and the coin is rather worn.
I have taken 20 different photos of the coin in a wide variety of different lighting conditions and lighting angles, and the very best I could make of it was the top photo. This has the reverse
photographed with lighting underneath - the usual ghost effect evident - but was the only way in which I could get the very faint letter S.FVRI (specially the initial S) to catch any light. The problem which was not specially evident from the catalogue
, is that the very worn lettering blended into a glazed-cracked coin surface of the type
one sees in very old pottery
or a desert surface. What little there was of the lettering was literally camouflaged.
My best picture (top) does in addition to showing the lettering slightly clearer than the catalogue
photo, also perfectly reproduce the colour of the actual coin which is exactly the brown of my picture without a hint of green. The obverse
is also clearer (both noses visible!). I'm pretty satisfied with the results - some of the other examples had
absolutely no visible lettering of any kind.
But I wonder might I have done better? Views?