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Otho, 15 January 69 - 17 April 69 A.D.

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This is the rarest Otho denarius type and one of the rarest 1st century Roman denarii. Only two museums, Paris and ANS, hold examples. A further specimen was found in archeological context in Denmark in 1990s. Besides these, four additional specimens are known. This coin has the best portrait and is clearly the most attractive of the seven known. Jyrki Muona obtained it in 2002 at the NYINC from Glenn Woods.

Otho minted three separate issues. The first and second issues followed Galba's standard of 90% silver. Otho's third issue was debased to 80% silver. All coins of the third issue share the reverse legend PONT MAX, perhaps to make it easy to distinguish the debased coins. One might think our rare coin is simply a reverse legend error for Otho's third issue, PONT MAX Ceres type. However, as Butcher et al. have shown, this is not the case. If CERES AVG was a simple reverse legend error, the flan would be 80% silver. This CERES AVG type was struck on second issue 90% silver flans, probably during planning for the third issue, and perhaps only for testing. The type was apparently not distributed, and was withdrawn, and melted when it was decided to debase the coinage and use the PONT MAX legend. It appears a small number were released, most likely by mistake.
SH79667. Silver denarius, Muona Otho 10b; Butcher-Ponting-Muona 6; ANSCD 1958.217.1; BnF III 1; RIC I 1 (7 spec. known, all minted with the same die-pair), Nice VF, the best portrait and most attractive of the seven known specimens, light rose toning, a few light marks and spots of porosity, weight 3.273 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 9 Mar - 17 Apr 69 A.D.; obverse IMP OTHO CAESAR AVG TRP, bare head right; reverse CERES AVG, Ceres standing left, grain-ears raised in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; from the Jyrki Muona Collection; $10000.00 (8900.00)


Syracuse, Sicily, Hieron II, 275 - 215 B.C., Portrait of Queen Philistis

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Hieron II placed his wife and son on coins during his long reign. Those of Queen Philistis are eagerly sought after by collectors.
SH84601. Silver 5 litrae, CCO Syracuse 221 (D2/R2), SNG ANS 893, SNG Lloyd 1546, SNG Cop 827, Dewing 959, McClean 2918, Weber 1708, HGC 2 1557 (R2) (all from the same dies), Choice aEF/gVF, toned, light marks, weight 4.441 g, maximum diameter 18.0 mm, die axis 180o, Syracuse mint, c. 218 - 215 B.C.; obverse veiled and diademed head of Queen Philistis left, palm frond behind; reverse Nike galloping biga left, holding reins with both hands, E in front of horses' legs, BAΣIΛIΣΣAΣ above, ΦIΛIΣTI∆OΣ in exergue; from the Lawrence Woolslayer Collection; Numismatica Ars Classica auction 27 (12 May 2004), lot 129; ex A.D.M. Collection; ex Ratto Collection, 1929 sale, lot 213; rare; $3000.00 (2670.00)


Galba, 3 April 68 - 15 January 69 A.D.

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Other than an undescribed photograph in RSC II, this type is apparently unpublished. Although not in RIC, it is in Southerland's unpublished RIC I addenda.
SH72977. Silver denarius, RSC II p. 24 (photograph, but not described!, same rev. die), RIC I 94 var., BMCRE I 215 var., BnF I 50 var., Hunter -, S - (var. all SER GALBA IMP), VF, porous and pitted, edge scrape reverse top left, weight 3.389 g, maximum diameter 18.0 mm, die axis 180o, Tarraco mint, c. 3 Apr - late 68 A.D.; obverse GALBA IMPER (arcing left to right above), Galba on horseback prancing left, bare-headed, wearing military garb, cloak flying behind, raising right hand in salute; reverse VIRTVS (arcing downward on right), helmeted and draped bust of Virtus (valor, courage) right, crested helmet; from the Jyrki Muona Collection; extremely rare; $2150.00 (1913.50)


Katane, Sicily, c. 405 - 402 B.C.

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The oldest, wisest and most drunken of the followers of Dionysus, Silenos was also one of the young god's tutors. He was usually so drunk that he had to be supported by satyrs or carried by a donkey. When intoxicated, Silenus was said to possess special knowledge and the power of prophecy. The Phrygian King Midas was eager to learn from Silenus and caught the old man by lacing a fountain from which Silenus often drank. Silenus shared with the king a pessimistic philosophy: That the best thing for a man is not to be born, and if already born, to die as soon as possible. An alternative story was that when lost and wandering in Phrygia, Silenus was rescued by peasants and taken to King Midas, who treated him kindly. In return for Midas' hospitality, Silenus told him some tales and Midas, enchanted by Silenus fictions, entertained him for five days and nights. Dionysus offered Midas a reward for his kindness towards Silenus, and Midas chose the power of turning everything he touched into gold.
GI84579. Silver drachm, Jameson 554 (dies); SNG ANS III 1262; Mirone 103; BMC Sicily p. 49, 43; HGC 2 579 (R2); SNG Cop -, VF, extraordinary style from the period of finest art, high relief obverse, die wear, flan flaw (some restoration?) on the reverse, weight 3.753 g, maximum diameter 16.0 mm, die axis 0o, Katane mint, c. 405 - 402 B.C.; obverse facing head of Silenos, bald, bearded, donkey ears; reverse KATANAIΩN, head of Apollo left wearing taenia, olive leaf and berry behind, all within a shallow circular incuse; ex Gorny & Mosch auction 224 (13 Oct 2014), lot 54; rare; $2000.00 (1780.00)


Macedonian Kingdom, Antigonus I Monophthalmus or Antigonus II Gonatus, 306 - 270 B.C.

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Unpublished in the standard references and not yet fully attributed, this is only the second specimen of this extremely rare and important drachm known to Forum. Both specimens were struck with the same reverse die. Gorny & Mosch wrote of their specimen: "Troxell recorded a very rare issue of Alexandrine tetradrachms in the name of Gonatas (The Peloponnesian Alexanders, ANSMN 17, 1971, 75-6, note 68), which through hoard evidence was conclusively proven to be struck at Pella circa 272 (see R. W. Mathisen, Antigonus Gonatas and the Silver Coinages of Macedon circa 280-270 BC, ANSMN 26, 1981, pp. 79-123, esp. p. 104). However, this unique drachm has no controls that would explicitly tie it to the Pella mint tetradrachms, and even more perplexing is the style of the engraving, which is clearly dissimilar to the tetradrachms as well. One might suppose that it is in fact not a coin of Gonatas at all, but rather a hitherto unknown drachm of his grandfather, Antigonos I Monophthalmos. However, this also does not sit well, again for reasons of style, which is inconsistent with the period of Monophthalmos' reign. For the time being, therefore, this coin must remain a numismatic enigma until further evidence can shed additional light on it."

There are two auction records for the Gorny & Mosch specimen: Roma Numismatics auction 7 (22 Mar 2014), lot 454, sold for 4,800 plus fees; and Gorny & Mosch auction 203 (5 Mar 2012), lot 150, sold for € 3,200 plus fees. Our coin sold at Gitbud & Naumann auction 16, (4 May 2014), lot 152, apparently slipping through unnoticed by all but our astute consignor for € 575 plus fees.
SH71048. Silver drachm, unpublished in standard refs; cf. Roma Numismatics auction 7, lot 454 (same rev die) = Gorny & Mosch auction 203, lot 150, VF, reverse struck a bit flat, weight 3.845 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain Greece or Macedonia mint, 306 - 270 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, clad in Nemean Lion scalp headdress tied at neck; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ANTIΓONOY, Zeus Aetophoros enthroned left, throne with high back, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, right leg drawn back; ex Gitbud & Naumann auction 16, lot 152; extremely rare, only two know specimens; $1950.00 (1735.50)


Ptolemaic Kingdom, Ptolemy IX Lathyros, Reign as King of Cyprus, 101 - 88 B.C.

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Ptolemy IX Lathyros ("grass pea") was king of Egypt three times, 116 B.C. to 110 B.C., 109 B.C. to 107 B.C. and 88 B.C. to 81 B.C., with intervening periods ruled by his brother, Ptolemy X Alexander. When this coin was struck Ptolemy IX ruled in Cyprus and Ptolemy X in Egypt.

Serifs are unique to just a few rare Ptolemaic coins from this time period. Perhaps all are the work of a single engraver. Serifs also appear on a very rare Kition tetradrachm of this ruler. They appear on the K behind the head of Arsinoe II on the latest of the octadrachms. The heavy-set portrait compares well to MFA 59.51, and not so well to images of Ptolemy I.
SH72904. Silver tetradrachm, apparently unpublished and unique!, VF, weight 13.234 g, maximum diameter 27.0 mm, die axis 0o, Paphos mint, as King of Cyprus, year 27, 91 - 90 B.C.; obverse diademed bust of Ptolemy IX right, wearing aegis; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ, eagle standing left on a thunderbolt, head left, wings closed, date LKZ (year 27) before, ΠA mint mark behind, all letters with serifs; $1810.00 (1610.90)


Nero, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D.

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Nero considered himself an artist, perhaps he was and took an interest in his coinage - the sestertii of Nero are considered by many to be the finest numismatic art of the Roman Empire.
RB84073. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC I 443 (S), Mac Dowall WCN 428, Giard Lyon 119, BnF II 83, Cohen I 262, BMCRE I -, Hunter I -, SGCV I -, VF, fine style, excellent portrait, attractive brown toning, obverse slightly off center, some light corrosion, weight 25.990 g, maximum diameter 35.0 mm, die axis 180o, Lugdunum mint, 65 A.D.; obverse NERO CLAVD CAESAR AVG GER P M TR P IMP P P, laureate head left, globe at point of neck; reverse Roma seated left on cuirass and shields, wearing helmet and military garb, Victory in offering wreath in her right hand, her left hand resting on parazonium at side, right foot drawn back and resting on helmet, S - C flanking across field at center, ROMA in exergue; $1800.00 (1602.00)


Augustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D.

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Strabo wrote, "The Romans possess Lugdunum, founded below a ridge at the confluence of the Arar and the Rhone. It is the most populous of all the other cities except Narbo; for it is a center of commerce, and the Roman emperors strike their silver and gold coinage there." (4.3.2)

SH84233. Silver denarius, RIC I 167a, BMCRE I 451, RSC I 137, BnF I 1373, SRCV I 1610, Choice EF, nearly as struck, lustrous, slight die wear, weight 3.887 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 180o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 15 - 13 B.C.; obverse AVGVSTVS DIVIF, bare head right; reverse bull butting right, IMPX in exergue; $1700.00 (1513.00)


Lokri Opuntii, Lokris, Greece, 360 - 340 B.C.

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Locrian Ajax (the Lesser) was a Greek mythological hero, son of Oileus, the king of Locris. He was the leader of the Lokrian contingent during the Trojan War. He was called the "lesser" or "Locrian" Ajax, to distinguish him from Ajax the Great, son of Telamon. He is a significant figure in Homer's Iliad and is also mentioned in the Odyssey and Virgil's Aeneid.
SH84346. Silver stater, BCD Lokris 58, Gulbenkian 491, HGC 4 992 var. (no star), BMC Central -, SNG Cop -, SNG UK -, aVF/F, superb classical style, high relief obverse die, well centered, light marks, light porosity, weight 11.715 g, maximum diameter 22.9 mm, die axis 180o, Lokri Opuntii mint, 360 - 340 B.C.; obverse head of Demeter left, wreathed in grain, wearing drop earring; reverse OΠONTIΩ−N, Ajax son of Oileus, advancing right in fighting attitude, wearing Corinthian helmet, nude, short sword in right, broken spear on ground in background, palmette above griffin right (control symbols) inside shield, eight-rayed star (control symbol) lower right; ex Pegasi Numismatics; $1450.00 (1290.50)


Galba, 3 April 68 - 15 January 69 A.D.

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With this coin Galba asserts that he has restored freedom, but this was empty propaganda. Galba was notoriously cruel, sentenced many to death without trial, raised taxes, and rarely accepted requests for citizenship.
RS72971. Silver denarius, RIC I 7 (R2); BMCRE I 197, BnF I 4, RSC I 132, Hunter I -, SRCV I -, VF, lightly toned, lightly etched surfaces, weight 3.204 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, die axis 180o, Tarraco mint, April - late 68 A.D.; obverse GALBA IMPERATOR, laureate head right; reverse LIBERTAS RESTITVTA (liberty restored), head of Libertas right, hair knotted behind, wearing pearl necklace; from the Jyrki Muona Collection, ex Artcoins auction 6 (10 Dec 2012), lot 800 (the one and only sale of this type on Coin Archives); extremely rare; $1350.00 (1201.50)




  







Catalog current as of Wednesday, December 07, 2016.
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