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This is the rarest Othodenariustype 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 reverselegendPONT MAX, perhaps to make it easy to distinguish the debased coins. One might think our rare coin is simply a reverselegend error for Otho's third issue, PONT MAXCerestype. However, as Butcheret al. have shown, this is not the case. If CERES AVG was a simple reverselegend error, the flan would be 80% silver. This CERES AVGtype 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 The type was apparently not distributed, and was withdrawn, and melted when it was decided to debase the coinage and use the PONT MAXlegend. 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 OTHOCAESAR AVG TRP, bare head right; reverseCERES AVG, Ceres standing left, grain-ears raised in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; from the Jyrki Muona Collection; $10000.00 SALE PRICE $9000.00
Vitellius, 2 January - 20 December 69 A.D.
Vitellius' children, portrayed on this denarius, thought to have been named VitelliusGermanicus and Vitellia, were born to his second wife, Galeria Fundana. When Vitellius was made emperor by the senate, his son, who was about six years old, was sent to Lugdunum to meet him upon his arrival from Germany. The boy may have perished with his father, others say he was executed in 70, on orders of the praetorian prefect Licinius Mucianus. Vespasian arranged an excellent marriage for Vitellius' daughter and provided her with a wedding gown and dowry. Vitellius had another son, Petronianus, by his first wife. He died long before Vitellius became emperor. It was widely believed that Vitellius had poisoned him.SH77008. Silver denarius, RIC I 103, RSC II 2, BMCRE I 29, BnF III 62, Hunter I -, SRCV I -, attractive gVF, finestyleportraits, old cabinet toning, tight flan as usual for the type, light marks and scratches, closed flan crack, weight 3.208 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, late Apr - 20 Dec 69 A.D.; obverse A VITELLIVSGERM IMP AVGVST TR P, laureate head right; reverseLIBERI IMP GERMAN, confronted draped busts of Vitellius' son (on left) and daughter (thought to have been named VitelliusGermanicus and Vitellia); from the Jyrki Muona Collection; very rare; $8000.00 SALE PRICE $7200.00
Macedonian Kingdom, Philip II of Macedonia, 359 - 336 B.C.
Philip II expanded the size and influence of the Macedonian Kingdom, but is perhaps best known as the father of Alexander the Great. He personally selected the design of his coins. SH70337. Gold stater, Le Rider 341 (D152/R260), SNG ANS 154, Choice gVF, attractive style, perfect centering, light marks, weight 8.513 g, maximum diameter 19.1 mm, die axis 270o, Amphipolis mint, c. 340 - 328 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right; reverse charioteer in biga right, trident head below horses, ΦIΛIΠΠOY in exergue; $4950.00 SALE PRICE $4455.00
Constantius II, 22 May 337 - 3 November 361 A.D.
In a religious context, votum, plural vota, is a vow or promise made to a deity. The word comes from the past participle of voveo, vovere; as the result of the verbal action "vow, promise", it may refer also to the fulfillment of this vow, that is, the thing promised. The votum is thus an aspect of the contractual nature of Roman religion, a bargaining expressed by do ut des, "I give that you might give."RS79818. Silver siliqua, RIC VIII Antioch 35 (R2), RSC V 338A, SRCV V 17925, Hunter V -, Cohen -, EF, well centered, toned, nice surfaces with a few light marks, weight 3.152 g, maximum diameter 20.1 mm, die axis 30o, Antioch mint, c. 340 - 342 A.D.; obverse pearl-diademed head right, with eyes raised to heaven, no legend; reverseVOTIS / XV / MVLTIS / XX in four lines within laurel wreath with jewel at the top, tied at the bottom, ANT in exergue; very rare; $2160.00 SALE PRICE $1944.00
Galba, 3 April 68 - 15 January 69 A.D.
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.; obverseGALBA IMPER (arcing left to right above), Galba on horseback prancing left, bare-headed, wearing military garb, cloak flying behind, raising right hand in salute; reverseVIRTVS (arcing downward on right), helmeted and draped bust of Virtus (valor, courage) right, crested helmet; from the Jyrki Muona Collection; extremely rare; $2150.00 SALE PRICE $1935.00
Faustina Junior, Augusta 146 - Winter 175/176 A.D., Wife of Marcus Aurelius
Faustina II was daughter, wife and mother of emperors and empresses. When she gave birth to the first of many children she was given the title of Augusta, which for a time made her superior in rank to her husband. She was a devoted wife and mother, and accompanied her husband on all his military campaigns.SH77013. Orichalcumsestertius, RIC III MA1697 var. (throne without canopy, and S C across field), BMCRE IV MA1568 var. (same), MIR 18 54-6a, Banti 7, VF, dark green patina with touches of red, weight 23.644 g, maximum diameter 29.5 mm, die axis 30o, Rome mint, struck under Marcus Aurelius, c. 175 - 176 A.D.; obverseDIVA FAVSTINA PIA, draped bust right; reverseAETERNITAS, Faustina seated left on throne with canopy, holding scepter, between two female attendants (carrying her throne?) with veils flying above their heads, S C in exergue; ex Triton XIX, lot 578; ex A.K. Collection; ex Kress 164 (Nov 1975), lot 1141; very rare variety; $2000.00 SALE PRICE $1800.00
Marciana, Sister of Trajan, Mother of Matidia, Augusta 105 - c. 113 A.D.
Marciana, the eldest sister of the emperor Trajan, and mother of Matidia, was an accomplished woman. She lost her husband before her brother became emperor, and lived as a widow with Trajan's wife, Plotina, to whom she was united by the tenderest and most uninterrupted friendship. She an Plotina were awarded the title Augusta at the same time in 105. Marciana died c. 112 - 114 and received the honors of consecretation.SH79820. Silver denarius, BMCRE IIITrajan 650, RIC IITrajan 743, BnF IVTrajan 758, Cohen II 4, Woytek 719, VF, excellent portrait, toned, centered on a tight flan, weight 3.115 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 90o, Rome mint, struck under her brother Trajan, c. 112 - 114 A.D.; obverseDIVA AVGVSTA - MARCIANA, draped bust right, wearing stephane and elaborate hairstyle; reverseCONSECRATIO, eagle, with spread wings, standing left, head right; to date, after nearly two decades in business, this is the only coin of Marciana handled by Forum; very rare; $1620.00 SALE PRICE $1458.00
Galba, 3 April 68 - 15 January 69 A.D.
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.; obverseGALBAIMPERATOR, laureate head right; reverseLIBERTAS 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 SALE PRICE $1215.00
Vespasian the Younger, Caesar, 94 - 95 A.D., Smyrna, Ionia
In 94 A.D., because he had no heir, Domitian adopted his two young great-nephews. He renamed them Vespasian and Domitian. The next year he executed the boys' father, his cousin, Titus Flavius Clemens, and exiled the boys' mother, his niece, FlaviaDomitilla. They were charged with Atheism, a charge sometimes applied to condemn converts to Judaism or Christianity. The boys then disappeared from history and their fate is unknown.
Smyrna was the only city to strike coins in the name of Vespasian the Younger. No coins were struck for his brother.
Some scholars connect Domitilla with a Roman Matron in the Talmud (Avodah Zarah 10b) and the Deuteronomy Rabbah 2.25. When the emperor had decreed that in 30 days, the Senate would confirm an edict to kill all Jews and Christians in the Roman Empire, the Roman matron convinced her husband to stand up for the Jews. If that identification is correct, her husband Flavius Clemens converted to Judaism, after having contact with the great sage Rabbi Akiva. FlaviaDomitilla is a saint in both the Greek Orthodox and the Roman Catholic Church.SH83453. Bronze AE 16, Klose p. 244, 3, pl. 31 (V1/R1); RPC II 1028; SNG Cop 1360; SNGvA 2208; BMC Ionia p. 276, 320, gF/F, weight 2.790 g, maximum diameter 16.3 mm, die axis 0o, Smyrna mint, as caesar, 94 - 95 A.D.; obverse OYOCΠACIANOC NEΩTEPOC, bare head right; reverse ZMYPNAIΩN, Nike standing right, wreath in extended right hand, palm frond over left shoulder in left hand; ex Solidus Numismatik, auction 7, lot 200; rare; $1350.00 SALE PRICE $1215.00
Caligula, 16 March 37 - 24 January 41 A.D.
Scarce issue from the final year of his reign, with a more mature portrait, and stern gaze. Seneca (3.19.1) characterized Caligula's gaze as a form of torture -- "He had tortured them by means of all the grimmest devices that nature provides - by the string, by the robe, by the rack, by fire, and by his own gaze." RB84070. Orichalcumsestertius, RIC I 53, Cohen I 26, BnF II 116, VF, well centered, attractive black and brown patina, some marks and small spots of light corrosion, edge bump, holed, weight 27.873 g, maximum diameter 37.3 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 40 - 41 A.D.; obverse C CAESAR DIVI AVG PRON AVG P M TR P IIII P P, laureate head left; reverseS P Q R P P OB CIVES SERVATOR, inscription in four lines within oak wreath (Corona Civica); ex CNG e-auction 355 (15 Jul 2015), lot 474; $1350.00 SALE PRICE $1215.00
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