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Author Topic: Constantine Antioch GLORIA  (Read 521 times)

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Offline Lech Stępniewski

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Constantine Antioch GLORIA
« on: November 24, 2021, 10:50:21 am »
Am I oversensitive about forgery or there is something wrong with that coin?
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Offline otlichnik

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Re: Constantine Antioch GLORIA
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2021, 08:57:11 pm »
My initial impression is that I agree that something feels a little "off".  But I am not sure what.  The diadem, nose and the oddly shaped shoulder all caught my attention but all have parallels in examples I looked up.  The heads of the two soldiers on the back too.  The lettering?

When I have more time on the weekend I may look more into this.

Can't determine yet if it is "bad" or I am just not used to seeing examples in this condition.

SC
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(Shawn Caza, Ottawa)

Offline Joe Sermarini

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Re: Constantine Antioch GLORIA
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2021, 11:14:38 pm »
The style is a bit odd. I think it is more likely genuine than fake, but it is odd.
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Offline Lech Stępniewski

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Re: Constantine Antioch GLORIA
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2021, 07:48:04 am »
The style is a bit odd. I think it is more likely genuine than fake, but it is odd.

Yes, "odd" is a good word because it is hard to point something which is evidently wrong. Maybe few other examples of this type will help. Three are exactly the same type (also from officina A) and five are from officina  :Greek_Gamma:















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Offline Pekka K

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Re: Constantine Antioch GLORIA
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2021, 08:26:59 am »

In my opinion these details are most disturbing:

Offline Lech Stępniewski

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Re: Constantine Antioch GLORIA
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2021, 09:32:45 am »
Yes, I strongly agree. Especially this part of reverse legend which looks like placed on a straight line.
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Offline otlichnik

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Re: Constantine Antioch GLORIA
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2021, 03:23:19 pm »
I am not particularly worried about the heads of the downturned spears.  I have the same phenomenon on many of my GE 2 standards coins: CI at Arelate, CI at Heraclea, CI at Nicomedia, CI at Antioch (RIC-86 off.B), CII at Arelate, CII at Rome, CII at Siscia, CII at Heraclea, CII at Nicomedia, CsII at Siscia, CsII at Heraclea, Cn at Heraclea, Cn at Antioch (RIC-89 off.H), and Delmatius at Siscia.

However, the only nearly-flat top part of the legend I have (in 116 examples) is on a coin of CsII from Thessalonica (RIC-200) which has a different legend break with -AEXER- at the top.

Also, while the face does match fairly closely my 5 CI from Antioch, none of mine have a neckline that “plunges” that much nor a left shoulder that is raised so much. 

Also, all of my 11 GE 2 standards from Antioch (for CI, CII, CsII and Cn) have soldiers who are relatively short and squat compared to other mints.

I still don't see anything to indicate a fake.  Perhaps a (clearly skilled) engraver who did not do much work on this series - only there for a while or otherwise working in precious metal.

Strangely, the combination of tall, almost crowded soldiers and the flat legend at the top make it seem that the central design was engraved prior to the legend and the top part of the legend was forced to be rather flat given space limitations.  My flat-ish legend from Thessalonica has fairly tall soldiers too.

SC


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Offline Joe Sermarini

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Re: Constantine Antioch GLORIA
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2021, 05:34:10 pm »
I believe standards had these features to allow them to be driven into the ground by standing on those prongs and bouncing. The prongs are a common feature on these coins and not at all unusual.
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Offline otlichnik

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Re: Constantine Antioch GLORIA
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2021, 05:52:38 pm »
The standards, in the centre, had side prongs, usually on one side only.  These items on the outside of the soldiers are reversed spears so sometimes show the ends of the spearhead.

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Offline Joe Sermarini

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Re: Constantine Antioch GLORIA
« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2021, 06:52:23 pm »
Ah right, I glanced at the image and then somehow described an inaccurate picture in my head.
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Offline Lech Stępniewski

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Re: Constantine Antioch GLORIA
« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2021, 08:07:25 am »
It seems like the reverse was badly planned. There are plenty of room for legend on both sides and nearly no room on the top.
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Offline maridvnvm

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Re: Constantine Antioch GLORIA
« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2021, 08:23:26 am »
There seem to be several coins from this series that show evidence of this poor planning. Whilst not as flat as on the OP this coin (not mine) shows the I, A and C were squashed in size to make them fit.

Offline curtislclay

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Re: Constantine Antioch GLORIA
« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2021, 06:23:10 pm »
Martin, I don't see your picture.
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Offline Heliodromus

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Re: Constantine Antioch GLORIA
« Reply #13 on: November 29, 2021, 07:49:06 pm »
The coin looks fine to me, although the bust does command some attention.

I won't mention the dealer's name, but you may recognize it from this original photo. It should give some confidence that the coin is good.

> Strangely, the combination of tall, almost crowded soldiers and the flat legend at the top make it seem that the central design was engraved prior to the legend and the top part of the legend was forced to be rather flat given space limitations

Yes, although this seems to be the normal way they worked - design first, then legend working around it.

The tall soldiers have not left enough room for the legend to curve above their heads, so there was no choice but to fit it in this way instead. This scarce SMANT vs SMAN issue is the first of the Gloria Exercitvs type at Antioch, so maybe the engraver was just experimenting a bit here (with the tall soldiers).

It reminds me a bit of my Trier coin, bottom left, where the engraver also chose to make the soldiers much larger than usual (vs more typical specimen on right), with elbows extending out into the legend area, although in this case it didn't affect the legend. Maybe the same engraver did the bust on this Trier coin, since he also decided to make that atypically large.

Offline Rupert

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Re: Constantine Antioch GLORIA
« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2021, 01:34:20 pm »
That would be my guess too - the rare SMANTA GE2 coins are the very first issue, which can only have been struck for a few days before the mint mark was shortened to SMANA. The die-cutters were still finding the right style, figure size and legend distribution.

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Offline Lech Stępniewski

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Re: Constantine Antioch GLORIA
« Reply #15 on: December 16, 2021, 01:59:38 pm »
The die-cutters were still finding the right style, figure size and legend distribution.

It is a reasonable explanation of poor planning of reverse. But what about those strange spears. And drapery mess instead of fibula. Separately those little differences could be skipped but together they make this coin odd.
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Offline Rupert

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Re: Constantine Antioch GLORIA
« Reply #16 on: December 16, 2021, 03:14:23 pm »
I've looked at the coins again, and I am inclined to say the coin in question is probably real. It seems to be a sort of "prototype" for the emission. The soldiers are especially well rendered, and the bust is quite elaborate, viewed from front as if he were holding something in his left hand. The coins shown for comparison show quite different fibulae; could Constantine have a fibula in the shape of an eagle on his shoulder here?
Also, here are my two SMANTA GE2s: A Constantine I, off. B, and a Constantius II, off. H.

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Offline Lech Stępniewski

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Re: Constantine Antioch GLORIA
« Reply #17 on: December 16, 2021, 03:43:18 pm »
I've looked at the coins again, and I am inclined to say the coin in question is probably real. It seems to be a sort of "prototype" for the emission.

Yes, this coin may be real but I still don't understand how an ancient engraver could engrave spears with such bizarre spearheads. After all, he probably saw dozen of spears every week "in nature"


and a Constantius II, off. H.

Your Constantius is very nice. Could you give me the weight and the diameter of this coin, please?
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Offline Rupert

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Re: Constantine Antioch GLORIA
« Reply #18 on: December 16, 2021, 05:02:51 pm »
No problem, it's 17.5 mm and 2.86 g.

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Offline Lech Stępniewski

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Re: Constantine Antioch GLORIA
« Reply #19 on: December 16, 2021, 05:25:31 pm »
Thanks, Rupert.
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Offline otlichnik

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Re: Constantine Antioch GLORIA
« Reply #20 on: December 16, 2021, 06:12:39 pm »
I don't see what is so odd about the heads of the downturned spears on that first coin.  As I noted above I have the same phenomenon on many of my GE 2 standards coins: CI at Arelate, CI at Heraclea, CI at Nicomedia, CI at Antioch (RIC-86 off.B), CII at Arelate, CII at Rome, CII at Siscia, CII at Heraclea, CII at Nicomedia, CsII at Siscia, CsII at Heraclea, Cn at Heraclea, Cn at Antioch (RIC-89 off.H), and Delmatius at Siscia.  Many of which look exactly the same.

I don't think that the fibula of your Rupert is an eagle.  The fibula used on this type of bust is a known type that also appears on sculpture - though very few actual physical examples exist.  They are a complex type with many minor variations and sometimes cause engravers problems.  I suspect many engravers will never have seen the actual fibula but were working off of imagos. 

The fibula consists of a large central "gem", actually often a cameo, mounted on a round or square gold back, with several pendants that are made up of large pearls or other round/oval/teardrop shaped gems.  These pendants are sometimes rendered as large ovals like on yours and are sometimes shown played out side to side as on yours.  In their most "normal" manifestation they hang downwards.

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Offline Lech Stępniewski

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Re: Constantine Antioch GLORIA
« Reply #21 on: December 17, 2021, 05:12:48 pm »
I don't see what is so odd about the heads of the downturned spears on that first coin.

There are of course many varieties of these spearheads: big, small, single, double etc. There are also quite many coins of this type with no spear head at all. These spearheads are also sometimes placed low (near boot) or a little bit higher. But almost never higher than edge of the military dress - like in this case.

And as I said: this detail alone is not very suspicious. But there are several such details on this one coin.

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Offline otlichnik

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Re: Constantine Antioch GLORIA
« Reply #22 on: December 18, 2021, 08:48:08 am »
Upon looking these (and mine) over I am not sure that the head of the spear is the strange bit as the length of the tunic.  You are right that the spear head ends rarely reach the tunic but most soldiers wear mini-skirt-like tunics while these guys have quite long ones.

Like you I see nothing that absolutely condemn this coin - just a lot of red flags.  Maybe a statistical outlier in terms of styles, maybe something else.

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(Shawn Caza, Ottawa)

Offline Lech Stępniewski

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Re: Constantine Antioch GLORIA
« Reply #23 on: December 18, 2021, 09:42:10 am »
Like you I see nothing that absolutely condemn this coin - just a lot of red flags.

Maybe similar red flags will appear somewhere in the future so I think that it is worth to remember them.
Lech Stępniewski
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