Numismatic and History Discussions > Celtic, Barbaric & Tribal Imitative Coins

"Vortuna" seated right - a quirky imitative of Septimius Severus


I purchased this coin a couple of years ago, but I've only recently had time to look into its unusual features. I acquired it from our own Members Auctions where it was correctly identified as being imitative with blundered legends:

Obverse: IMP CAE L SEP SE-V PER? AVG COS I?, laureate head right
Reverse: VORTVN-AE REDVCI, Fortuna seated right.

This coin was perhaps intended to imitate Emesa-minted RIC 379 or RIC 386. Regardless, I find the portrait and spelling errors to be especially earnest as you can almost hear a non-Roman saying "Vortvna". To my knowledge it is also unusual to see Fortuna seated right, especially on what was intended to be a "Roman" coin.

I would be willing to accept the obv. as a possibly official die, reading PERT as normal in the legend, and COS I, provided that the silver content of the metal looks normal and is not obviously debased. What are the weight and die axis? However I do not appear to know any other coins from this exact obv. die.

The rev. die is cruder, and has the mistakes of V for F and Fortuna facing the wrong way, but I wouldn't entirely exclude its also coming from the official mint, at a time early or late in its production when practiced engravers were not available.

I gather that one cannot make out whether Fortuna is holding a rudder or a branch?

Hi Curtis,

Thank you for your reply. To my eye the silver does not appear to be substantially debased, and I see no breaks in the silver that reveal a copper core. The die axis is a pretty exact 180, and the coin weighs 1.90g with a 16mm diameter. 1.9g is light, but I'm not sure if it's significantly lighter than the tight-flanned coinage of Septimius Severus we sometimes see. I cannot determine if she is holding a rudder or a branch, there's just not enough detail left even in hand. However, it does appear in hand that she is wearing a polos or something similar.


--- Quote from: curtislclay on June 25, 2019, 11:24:58 am ---
I gather that one cannot make out whether Fortuna is holding a rudder or a branch?

--- End quote ---

I guess that some remains of rudder can distinguished.

Very cute coin indeed). Totally agree with Curis,  could be official mint, obverse for sure.


[0] Message Index

Go to full version