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Counterfeit, Unofficial, Imitative and Barbaric Roman Coins
Caligula, 16 March 37 - 24 January 41 A.D., Divus Augustus Reverse
Tiberius left his estate and the titles of the principate to Caligula and to Tiberius' own grandson, Gemellus, who were to serve as joint heirs. Although Tiberius was 78 and on his death bed, some ancient historians still conjecture that he was murdered. Tacitus writes that the Praetorian Prefect, Macro, smothered Tiberius with a pillow to hasten Caligula's accession, much to the joy of the Roman people. Suetonius writes that Caligula may have carried out the murder himself, though this is not recorded by any other ancient historian. Seneca the elder and Philo, as well as Josephus, record that Tiberius died a natural death. Caligula had Tiberius' will nullified with regards to Gemellus on grounds of insanity, but otherwise he carried out Tiberius' wishes. SL88182. Fouree silver plated denarius, cf. RIC I 2, RSC I 11, Lyon 157, BnF II 3, BMCRE I 4, SRCV I 1808 (official, silver, Lugdunum, 37 A.D.), NGC VF, strike 4/5, surface 1/5, core visible (2490386-001), weight 3.336 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 315o, unofficial counterfeiter's mint, 37 A.D.; obverse C CAESAR AVG GERM P M TR POT COS, bare head of Caligula right; reverse radiate head of Divus Augustus right, flanked by two stars; rare; $380.00 (€334.40)
Geto-Dacian, Roman Republic Imitative, c. 82 B.C. - 1st Century A.D.
In ancient Greek and Roman writing Dacus (plural Daci) and Geta (plural Getae) were interchangeable names for tribes of the Dacia region, distinct from but influenced by and possibly related the Thracians and Celts. Modern historians prefer to use the name Geto-Dacians.CE93052. Silver imitative denarius, Davis website -, Davis Apvlvm -, Davis-Paunov -, et al. -; for the Rome mint prototypes see: Crawford 363/1 (obv.) and Crawford 379/2 (rev.), VF, crude, light toning, die wear/rust, a little off center and uneven strike with some weak areas, weight 2.990 g, maximum diameter 18.1 mm, die axis 0o, tribal mint, c. 82 B.C. - 1st Century A.D.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right (various possible prototypes, perhaps copied from Roman Republic, L. Marcius Censorinus, 82 B.C., silver denarius, Crawford 363/1) ; reverse Juno Sospita in a biga right, brandishing spear and holding shield, snake below, L.PROCILI.F in exergue (copied from Roman Republic, L. Procilius L.f., 80 B.C., silver denarius serratus, Crawford 379/2); apparently unpublished, we were unable to find another example of this hybrid imitative type; extremely rare; $240.00 (€211.20)
Lot of 16 Roman Empire, Unofficial Ancient Counterfeits, Imitatives and Limes, c. 50 - 250 A.D.
LT89856. Mixed Lot, 16 Roman Empire, plated fouree ancient counterfeits, bronze fouree cores, limes or imitatives, F - VF, most with flaws, unattributed to type, no tags or flips, the actual coins in the photograph, as-is, no returns; $200.00 (€176.00)
Romano-British Empire, Carausius, Mid 286 - Spring or Early Summer 293 A.D.
The legends are mostly off flan. Reverse legend possibilities include LEG XX V V, LEG XX AVG, LEG II PARTH, LEG V [...] S M AVG. The mintmark may be retrograde MC, which is known for Camulodunum (Colchester, England), but no boar standing right types are published for Camulodunum. Perhaps the mintmark is retrograde ML, but that too is unpublished. This was likely struck in an unofficial mint (an ancient counterfeit?). Carausius' legionary boar types are highly desirable, and all seem to be quite rare. We do not know of another specimen of this variety.RA73285. Billon antoninianus, cf. RIC V-2 82 (R2), Cohen VII 148, Hunter IV 13, Webb Carausius 97 - 99, Askew 151, SRCV IV 13617, aF, green patina, earthen deposits, tight flan cutting off legends, a little rough, weight 3.769 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 45o, unofficial(?) mint, c. 287 A.D.; obverse [IMP CARAVSIVS P F AVG?], radiate and draped bust right, early reign 'moustache' portrait; reverse L[EG...], boar standing right, large tusks, prominent ridge of spinal bristles, [reversed C?]M in exergue; from the Charles Peters Carausius Collection; very rare; $190.00 (€167.20)
Agrippa, Military Commander, Friend of Augustus, Grandfather of Caligula, Ancient Unofficial Cast
This coin is clearly cast and not an official struck mint issue. Many unofficial counterfeits or perhaps semi-offical local imitations were struck and cast in Gaul, especially during the reign of Claudius (up to 50% of the bronze Claudius coins found in some areas), apparently due to shortages of official coinage. This coin was probably cast at that time.RB88887. Cast bronze as, cf. RIC I Gaius 58, BMCRE II Tiberius 161, BnF II Caligula 77, Hunter I 1, Cohen I 3, SRCV I 1812 (official, Rome mint, struck under Caligula), F, green patina, corrosion, casting seams and sprues, weight 15.775 g, maximum diameter 30.7 mm, die axis 180o, unofficial mint, 38 - c. 60 A.D.; obverse M AGRIPPA L F COS III, head left wearing a rostral crown; reverse Neptune standing facing, head left, nude but for cloak draped over arms, dolphin in right hand, trident vertical in left hand, large S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; $150.00 (€132.00)
Marcus Aurelius, 7 March 161 - 17 March 180 A.D., Ancient Counterfeit
There are no clear breaks to the copper core but the lamination defects are typical of a plated fouree.RS89769. Fouree silver plated denarius, cf. RIC III 424a, RSC II 451, BMCRE IV (A. Pius) 277, Hunter II 4, SRCV II 4786 (official, silver, Rome mint), VF, well centered, light toning, nice portrait of slightly unusual style, double strike, light marks, lamination defects, edge cracks, weight 2.982 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 0o, unofficial counterfeiter's mint, as caesar, c. 140 - 144 A.D.; obverse AVRELIVS CAESAR AVG PII F COS, bare head right; reverse PIETAS AVG (to the piety of the Emperor), implements of the augurate and pontificate: secespita (knife), aspergillum (sprinkler), ewer (jug), lituus (augural staff), and simpulum (ladle); $150.00 (€132.00)
Germanic Tribes, Pseudo-Imperial Coinage, Mid 4th - Early 5th Century A.D.
Magnentius, usurper of the western provinces, made his brother Decentius caesar, to oversee the defense of Gaul and the Rhine frontier. After Magnentius was defeated at the Battle of Mons Seleucus by Constantius II and committed suicide, Decentius, who was leading reinforcements, hanged himself at Senonae.RB91842. Billon maiorina, for prototype cf. RIC VIII Lyons 122 (Roman, Decentius, caesar, usurper in Gaul, 351 - 353 A.D., Lugdunum mint), Choice gVF, slightly crude, tight flan, encrustations, weight 3.504 g, maximum diameter 20.3 mm, die axis 180o, tribal mint, 350 - early 5th century A.D.; obverse D N DECENTIVS NOB CAE (or similar, blundered), bare-headed and cuirassed bust of Decentius right; reverse VICTORIAE DD NN AVG ET C (or similar, blundered), two Victories standing confronted, together holding between them a wreath resting on a short column, IOT / HVL / X (blundered VOT V MVLT X) in three lines, SLG in exergue; $150.00 (€132.00)
Roman Republic, Unofficial, c. 169 - 91 B.C.
Crawford notes, "The very common quadrantes with M • and N• (as Milan 351) are clearly unofficial."RR79715. Copper quadrans, cf. Milan 351 (from Crawford appendix p. 309 unofficial issues of bronze coins), Sydenham -, VF, centered on a tight flan, light marks,, weight 4.182 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 135o, unofficial mint, c. 169 - 91 B.C.; obverse head of Hercules right, wearing Nemean Lion scalp headdress, three pellets behind; reverse prow right, ROMA below, three pellets before, M• above; ex Forum (2006), ex Goodman collection; $125.00 (€110.00)
Germanic Tribes, Pseudo-Imperial Coinage, Mid 4th - Early 5th Century A.D.
This type was minted by and used as currency by tribes outside the Roman Empire. It copied a Roman type issued under Constantine the Great. Some imitative coins of this type are very similar to the Roman prototypes and some are very crude. This coin is closer to the Roman style than many but the illiterate imitations of legends are made up entirely of N's.ME89938. Bronze AE 20, For possible prototype see RIC VII Siscia 61 (Roman, official, Constantine the Great, 319 A.D.), VF, overstruck on an official Constantine [II?] (the head of Constantine and part of the legend are visible on the reverse), weight 2.180 g, maximum diameter 20.3 mm, die axis 270o, tribal mint, Mid 4th - Early 5th Century A.D.; obverse helmeted and cuirassed bust of Constantine the Great right, spear in right hand over right shoulder, shield on left shoulder; reverse two Victories standing confronted, together holding shield over altar; $100.00 (€88.00)
Roman Republic, Anonymous (Unofficial?), c. 91 B.C.
Russo suspects this type may be unofficial because, despite the attractive style, the prow does not include the usual features found on most coins of the period.RR88352. Copper quadrans, RBW Collection 1244 (unofficial?), Crawford 339/4a, Sydenham 679c, BMCRR Rome 2208, SRCV I 1195, VF, porous, rough, edge splits, weight 2.114 g, maximum diameter 16.7 mm, die axis 180o, unofficial(?) mint, c. 169 - 91 B.C.; obverse head of Hercules right, wearing Nemean Lion scalp headdress, three pellets behind; reverse prow right, apotropaic on side, ROMA above, three pellets below; $95.00 (€83.60)
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Crawford, M. Roman Republican Coinage. (Cambridge, 1974), vol I., pp. 560-565, vol II, p. 570.
Davis, P. "Dacian and Celtic Imitations of Republican Denarii" in The Celator 18-4, April 2004, pp. 6-16.
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Popović, Petar. "Hoard of imitations of the Roman Republican denars from the Belgrade National Museum" in Numizmatikai Közlöny 1974, pp. 7-13 & pl. 1.
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