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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |Roman Rarities||View Options:  |  |  |   

Rare Roman Coins
Commodus, March or April 177 - 31 December 192 A.D.

|Commodus|, |Commodus,| |March| |or| |April| |177| |-| |31| |December| |192| |A.D.||medallion|
Giovanni Dattari (1853 - 1923) was a self-taught collector and successful trader of Egyptian, Greek and Roman antiquities. He held a near monopoly in the antiquities trade in Cairo, Egypt. He also shared his expertise and first-hand knowledge of Egypt with the foremost scholars of his time. Dattari assembled a collection of over 25,000 ancient coins. His 1901 work, Numi Augg. Alexandrini, cataloged 6411 of his coins from Roman Alexandria, and is still a primary reference for the coinage of Roman Egypt. Dattari also made pencil rubbings of more than 13,000 coins from Roman Alexandria in his collection; these were finally published in 2007 by Adriano Savio. In 1920, Dattari donated large parts of his collection to the Museo Nazionale Romano. After his death, the remainder of his collection was sold.
SL96389. Bronze medallion, Gnecchi II p. 51, 1 & tav. 78, 1, NGC AU, strike 5/5, surface 2/5, Fine Style (ex Coin Gall., 2/95, 1865; The Morris Collection; 4632497-011), weight 53.33 g, maximum diameter 39.5 mm, die axis 345o, Rome mint, 190 - 192 A.D.; obverse COMMODVS ANTONINVS PIVS FELIX AVG BRIT, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, seen from the front; reverse APOL PALATINO P M TR P XVI IMP VIII, Apollo Palatine on left, standing facing, head right, plectrum in right hand, Victory on right, standing left, presenting kithara (lyre) to Apollo, COS VI P P in exergue; ex Heritage NYINC auction 3071 (6-7 Jan 2019), lot 32133; ex Morris Collection; ex Coin Galleries (15 Feb 1995), lot 1865; ex Spink & Sons (1950's); ex Dattari Collection; NGC| Lookup; extremely rare; $4800.00 SALE |PRICE| $3880.00
 


Roman Republic, Anonymous, c. 280 - 276 B.C., Heavy Series

|before| |150| |B.C.|, |Roman| |Republic,| |Anonymous,| |c.| |280| |-| |276| |B.C.,| |Heavy| |Series||triens|
All the references only describe the pellets as below the dolphin. None of the references include a variation with pellets above, but Crawford and HN Italy note the dolphin is sometimes left, which may actually be describing pellets above. There are a few examples with the pellets above on Coin Archives.
RR93746. Aes grave triens, cf. Crawford 14/3; HN Italy 270; Haeberlin pp. 95- 97, pl. 39, 6 ff.; Thurlow-Vecchi 3; Sydenham 10; Vecchi ICC 27 (all with pellets below), VF, dark green patina, earthen deposits, casting flaw, weight 96.948 g, maximum diameter 53.4 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, c. 280 - 276 B.C.; obverse dolphin swimming right •••• (mark of value) above; reverse fulmen (thunderbolt) •••• (mark of value) perpendicular to the fulmen in center; from the Errett Bishop Collection, very rare with the pellets above the dolphin, huge AE53!; $1500.00 SALE |PRICE| $1350.00
 


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

|Galba|, |Galba,| |3| |April| |68| |-| |15| |January| |69| |A.D.||dupondius|
A nearly identical type was struck with Pax holding an olive branch in her right hand and a caduceus in her left hand. Another similar type was struck with Pax holding a caduceus and cornucopia, as on this coin, but she leans on a cippus (short column).
RB93753. Orichalcum dupondius, BMCRE I 123 var. (no IMP, notes this legend var. in Hall Coll.), SRCV I 2119 var. (no IMP), RIC I 277 var. (no drapery), Cohen I 155 (same), Choice gVF, superb portrait, attractive image of Pax, well centered, dark patina, scratch, areas of minor corrosion, light deposits, weight 14.113 g, maximum diameter 28.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, late summer - Nov 68 A.D.; obverse IMP SER GALBA - AVG TR P, laureate and draped bust right; reverse PA-X - AVGVST, Pax standing left, olive branch (caduceus-like shape) pointed diagonally downward in right hand, cornucopia overflowing with grain and fruit in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field below center; from the Errett Bishop Collection, zero sales of this type recorded on Coin Archives in the last two decades; extremely rare; $1500.00 SALE |PRICE| $1350.00
 


Pergamon, Mysia, c. 134 A.D.

|Pergamon|, |Pergamon,| |Mysia,| |c.| |134| |A.D.||dupondius|
Eurypylos was a Mysian hero of the Trojan War. His image is otherwise unknown on coinage. Like Bellerophon at Corinth and Dionysos at Tium, this image of a local hero appears modeled on Antinous. Homer (Odyssey 11.522) has Odysseus say that Eurypylus was, next to Memnon, the most beautiful man he had ever seen.

The strategos I. Pollion is named on several coin types of Pergamon during the reign of Hadrian, including one for Sabina (RPC III 1737) and another for Antinous (RPC III, 1738).

The link between Pergamon and Paphos, evidenced by this coin, is not well understood. However, the same reverse was used, from Hadrian to Philip I, on coins struck to honor an alliance between Sardes and Paphos.
RP96071. Orichalcum dupondius, RPC Online III 1740 (4 spec.), SNG BnF 1897, Weber 5206, SNG Cop -, BMC Mysia -, F, porous, reverse off center, countermark obscure, weight 11.652 g, maximum diameter 26.5 mm, die axis 0o, Pergamon mint, time of Hadrian, c. 134 A.D.; obverse HPΩC EYPYΠYΛOC (Hero Eurypylos), head of hero Eurypylos (with the features of Antinous) right, flowing hair, uncertain oval countermark; reverse ΠEPΓAMHNΩN EΠI CTP ΠΩΛΛIΩNOC (Pergamon, struck under strategos Pollion), temple of Aphrodite at Paphos, in which conical xoanon, semicircular walled courtyard, ΠAΦIA (of Paphos) across the courtyard; extremely rare, the 5th known; $1200.00 SALE |PRICE| $1080.00
 


Britannicus, Son of Claudius and Messalina, b. 12 February 41 - d. 11 February 55 A.D., Alabanda, Caria

|Other| |Caria|, |Britannicus,| |Son| |of| |Claudius| |and| |Messalina,| |b.| |12| |February| |41| |-| |d.| |11| |February| |55| |A.D.,| |Alabanda,| |Caria||AE| |23|
Of this type, RPC I notes, "Uncertain. This coin was published by Mi 3.307.22, and is known from a Mionnet cast. The coin [the Mionnet specimen] has been tooled ('médaille retourchée') but may perhaps represent a genuine denomination." Our coin allays the RPC I doubts. The denomination is 1/3 of 18.5g RPC I 2818.
SH88430. Orichalcum AE 23, RPC I 2821 (= Mionnet III, p. 307, 22), F, porous, weight 6.496 g, maximum diameter 23.3 mm, die axis 0o, Alabanda (Doganyurt, Aydin, Turkey) mint, 50 - 54 A.D.; obverse KΛAV∆IOC BPETANNIKOC KAIΣAP, bare-headed and draped bust right; reverse AΛABAN∆EΩN, Apollo Kissios standing left, nude, bow in right hand with raven on top, sheep standing left at feet on left ; ex Forum (2013), ex J. S. Wagner Collection; of greatest rarity; $990.00 SALE |PRICE| $891.00
 


Nero and Poppaea, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

|Roman| |Egypt|, |Nero| |and| |Poppaea,| |13| |October| |54| |-| |9| |June| |68| |A.D.,| |Roman| |Provincial| |Egypt||tetradrachm|NEW
RPC Online I notes, "The date does look like L IB, but the coin is very battered." and "Confirmation required. Poppaea died in AD 65, so it seems unlikely that coins should have been made for her in year 12." This is the Dattari Collection plate coin and Dattari identified it as year 12. In Alexandria, Nero's year 12 began on 29 August 65 A.D. According to Suetonius, one day in the summer of 65, Poppaea quarreled fiercely with Nero over his spending too much time at the races. She was pregnant with her second child. In a fit of rage, Nero kicked her in the abdomen, killing her. This coin suggests her death was likely on or after the 19th of August. It would have taken 9 days or more for the news of her death to reach Alexandria. This coin may have been a trial strike or perhaps one of very few struck during the first days of the new year.
RX93590. Billon tetradrachm, Dattari-Savio pl. 7, 199 (this coin!); RPC Online I 5289A (this coin!, the only spec.), aVF, brown tone, corrosion, scratches, rough, weight 7.834 g, maximum diameter 23.3 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, c. 29 Aug 65 A.D.; obverse NEPΩ KΛAV KAIΣ ΣEB ΓEP AYTO, radiate bust of Nero right; reverse ΠOΠΠAIA ΣEBAΣTH, draped bust of Poppaea right, L IB (year 12) lower right; from the Kreuzer Collection, ex Naville Numismatics auction 51 (21 Jul 2019), lot 301; ex Dattari Collection; this is the only known example of this type dated year 12!; unique!?; $750.00 SALE |PRICE| $675.00
 


Revolt Against Nero, Gaius Iulius Vindex, Governor of Gallia, Late 67 - May 68 A.D., In the Name and Types of Augustus

|Civil| |War| |of| |68| |-| |69|, |Revolt| |Against| |Nero,| |Gaius| |Iulius| |Vindex,| |Governor| |of| |Gallia,| |Late| |67| |-| |May| |68| |A.D.,| |In| |the| |Name| |and| |Types| |of| |Augustus||denarius|
This denarius, along with other Augustus types, is recognized as having been struck during the uprising of Vindex primarily from their weight and unusual style. Whereas the denarii struck during Augustus' lifetime were made to a standard of approximately 3.8g, Neronian denarii were closer to 3.5g, this weight continuing in use through the Civil War. Click to see a larger image.
SL94478. Silver denarius, The name and types of Augustus, RSC I p. 29, 21a, BMCRE I p. 300, 47; BnF I p. 28, 48; RIC I p. 210, 82 (R3) var. (rudder); SRCV I 2064 var. (same), NGC VF, strike 4/5, surface 2/5 (5770028-015), weight 3.507 g, maximum diameter 18.1 mm, die axis 90o, uncertain mint in Spain or Gaul mint, c. 68 A.D.; obverse bare head of Augustus right, linear border, anepigraphic; reverse capricorn right, filleted cornucopia overflowing with grain and fruit on its back, celestial globe held between hooves (no rudder), AVGVSTVS below, linear border; from an Israeli collection, ex Roma Numismatics e-auction 3 (25 Oct 2018), lot 650; NGC| Lookup; rare; $800.00 SALE |PRICE| $640.00
 


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

|Parium|, |Galba,| |3| |April| |68| |-| |15| |January| |69| |A.D.,| |Parium,| |Mysia||AE| |22|
The capricorn, a symbol of Augustus, was adopted as a symbol of Parium, probably after an Augustan refoundation of the colonia.
RP94043. Bronze AE 22, RPC Online I 2267.3 (this coin, 3 specimens), SNG Fitzwilliam 4202, SNG BnF -, SNG Cop -, SNGvA -, BMC Mysia -, VF, the nicest of three known specimens, dark green patina, some legend weak, scratches, spots of corrosion, weight 8.606 g, maximum diameter 22.0 mm, die axis 0o, Parium mint, 3 Apr 68 - 15 Jan 69 A.D.; obverse GALBA CAESAR, bare head of Galba (or Augustus?) right, star below chin; reverse capricorn right, head reverted, cornucopia over shoulder, AVGVSTVS / D D in two lines in exergue; ex CNG mail bid sale 64 (24 Sep 2003), 601; ex Lanz auction 109 (27 May 2002), 334; ex CNG e-auction 456 (13 Nov 19), 286; Coin Archives records only the sale of one specimen in the last two decades - this coin; extremely rare; $600.00 SALE |PRICE| $540.00
 


Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D., Akko-Ptolemais, Phoenicia

|Phoenicia|, |Gallienus,| |August| |253| |-| |September| |268| |A.D.,| |Akko-Ptolemais,| |Phoenicia||AE| |27|
Akko was refounded as a Roman colony, colonia Ptolemais, probably in 53 or 54 A.D., the last year of Claudius' reign or the first year of Nero’s. Akko was one of hundreds of cities in the Roman provinces that minted civic coins. In the mid 3rd century cities stopped producing their own coins. The last city coins were struck under Gallienus, and Akko was among the very last cities to strike its own coins.
JD96394. Bronze AE 27, BMC Phoenicia p. 138, 50 var. (obv. leg.); Rosenberger 86 var. (same); Kadman Akko 256 var. (same, draped); Sofaer 293 ff. (draped, etc.); SNG Cop -, aF, rough green patina, light earthen deposits, a little off center, weight 13.158 g, maximum diameter 26.5 mm, die axis 0o, Ake Ptolemais (Acre, Israel) mint, 253 - 268 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES LIC GALLIEN[VS AVG], laureate head right; reverse COL P-TOL, portable shrine containing a statue of Zeus Heliopolites, shrine consisting of a frame within two pillars supporting a architrave with hatched decoration, two carrying poles projecting from bottom, figure of deity within standing facing on rock or base, wearing short chiton, double axe in right hand, harpe(?) in left hand; an unpublished variant of a very rare type; from the J. Berlin Caesarea Collection, 1977 surface find at Caesarea Maritima, Israel; $550.00 SALE |PRICE| $495.00
 


Numerian, February or March 283 - October or November 284 A.D.

|Numerian|, |Numerian,| |February| |or| |March| |283| |-| |October| |or| |November| |284| |A.D.||antoninianus|
Consular busts are scarce for this dynasty.
RA93244. Billon antoninianus, Bastien 562 (3 spec. cited), RIC V-2 -, Cohen VI -, SRCV III -, Hunter V -, La Venèra -, Choice aVF, well centered, flow lines, tiny encrustations, scattered light porosity, weight 3.080 g, maximum diameter 22.85 mm, die axis 0o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 6th emission, c. 284 A.D.; obverse IMP C NVMERIANVS AVG, radiate bust wearing imperial mantle right, eagle-tipped scepter in right hand; reverse MARS VICTOR (Mars the Victor), Mars advancing right, nude except for helmet and cloak tied in belt at waist and flying behind, transverse spear in right hand, trophy over left shoulder in left hand, C in right field; very rare; $475.00 SALE |PRICE| $425.00
 




  



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REFERENCES|

Calicó, X. The Roman Avrei. (Barcelona, 2003).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappées sous l?Empire Romain. (Paris, 1880 - 1892).
Estiot, S. "L'Or romain entre crise et restitution (270-276 apr. J.-C.). I. Aurélien" in Journal des Savants 1 (1999), pp. 51-148.
Giard, J., P. Besombes & S. Estiot. Monnaies de l'Empire romain. Bibliothèque nationale de France. (Paris, 1998 - ).
Göbl, R., et al. Moneta Imperii Romani. (Vienna, 1984 - present).
Mattingly, H. & E. Sydenham, et al. The Roman Imperial Coinage. (London, 1926 - 2020).
Mattingly, H. & R. Carson. Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum. (London, 1923 - 1963).
Monnaies de l'Empire Romain / Roman Imperial Coinage AD 268-276 (RIC V Online) http://www.ric.mom.fr
Robinson, A. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet, University of Glasgow. (Oxford, 1962 - 1982).
Sear, D. Roman Coins and Their Values. (London, 2000 - 2014).
Vagi, D. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire. (Sidney, 1999).

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