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Author Topic: Puzzling (poss. imitation) Elagabalus of Ankyra  (Read 572 times)

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Offline helvetica

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Puzzling (poss. imitation) Elagabalus of Ankyra
« on: August 30, 2023, 07:13:53 am »
A coin friend of mine recently sent me this rather puzzling coin, apparently from Ankyra, Galatia.
The obverse shows the radiate, cuirassed bust of Elagabalus and is near as dammit a die match for Elagabalus, SNG France III, 2531 (Tyche seated reverse).

The problem comes with the reverse legend, "CEB TEK MHT ANKY" around, then three letters in the exergue which resemble a Latin L, then an A or Lambda, then an Epsilon, not RAC as one would expect for ANKYRAC. The first of those letters is definitely not a Rho and the third is clearly an Epsilon. These three letters in the exergue do not correspond with the usual -RAC, as one would expect for ANKYRAC. The first of those letters is definitely *not* a Rho and the third is clearly an Epsilon.

As far as all my books, lists, pdfs etc. go, including all of Arslan's wonderful articles and catalog of the coinage of Ankyra, only the Severans used the "CEB TEK" part of the reverse legend. My Isegrim xls file lists only three - one for Geta (Artemis, Arslan Ancyra B100); one for Sept. Severus (Asklepios, SNG France III, 2467) and one for Caracalla (longer obv. legend, Tyche, wwxls 41267; CNG auction 91, Lot 565, Sept. 2012). All these have the rev. legend "CEB TEK MHT ANKYRAC".

If you zoom in, you can see that the letters at top right of the obverse appear to have been overcut. The first N of ANTWN.. resembles an M. Immediately after that are the remains of an Epsilon. The next letter ("I") is over yet another N - (the \ part of that N is visible before the N of NOC).
There are also traces of smaller letters around the outermost edge of the reverse. I can see TV at top left, for example.
The brassy material is highly unusual for coins of Galatia, which are usually of good quality bronze.

The three letters in the exergue appear to be LAE, not RAC as one would expect for ANKYRAC. The first of those letters is definitely not a Rho and the third is clearly an Epsilon.

It is in any case not in any of the lists, catalogs, pdfs and books in my massive collection, including BMC, SNG Cop, SNG France, Arslan's Ankyra catalog, various articles about Ankyra coinage by Arslan, Rhousopoulos, Imhoof, Naury Bey, Mionnet V and Supp VII, Paris, various SNG Turkey volumes, the Cankirikapi hoard (the largest hoard of Ankyra coins known to date), Righetti coll, SNG Righetti etc etc.

I have a feeling that, because of the above, this is possibly an imitation. What do y'all think ?

Offline Pekka K

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Re: Puzzling (poss. imitation) Elagabalus of Ankyra
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2023, 08:21:41 am »

Obverse looks to me like on this coin: https://www.acsearch.info/search.html?id=8667415

Pekka K

Offline helvetica

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Re: Puzzling (poss. imitation) Elagabalus of Ankyra
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2023, 09:31:14 am »
I know that the obverse looks like that on several different coins but its the reverse legend which is the problem. The coin you cited, Pekka, has the normal Ankyra legend, not the CEB TEK....

Offline shanxi

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Re: Puzzling (poss. imitation) Elagabalus of Ankyra
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2023, 09:49:49 am »
I know that the obverse looks like that on several different coins ...

Although a double strike the obverse is obviously a die match, not unimportant when discussing a possible imitation, although imitations with original dies are known, and cast imitations of course.

Are we talking about a modern or an ancient imitation?

About the metal. I found only one Caracalle on horseback (with another reverse legend). This looks also like brass:

https://catalogue.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/cb41765834s

Offline helvetica

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Re: Puzzling (poss. imitation) Elagabalus of Ankyra
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2023, 11:44:28 am »
I'd say it's a modern imitation. Primarily because of the reverse legend. There is no indication anywhere that the CEB TEK part was used for anyone else apart from the immediate Severan family.
I do not believe that the obverse is double struck. Neither any other letters (apart from those at top right of the obverse) nor any part of the bust show signs of a double strike. It looks to me as though the legend was recut.

What are also amusing are the shaped of the studs on the cuirass, which the owner of the coin asked me about. The top row really does look as though the studs form the letters KCAK

I just get bells ringing in my head when I look at the coin - the engraving looks too "pretty" to me, the head is much younger-looking than other Elagabalus coins from Ankyra - the overly-detailed folds of the cloak and tunic on the reverse, the missing lower part of the spear, although (zoom in) the weapon looks more like a flat-topped dagger, which is not very logical for use in attacking a sitting foe....
 

Offline shanxi

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Re: Puzzling (poss. imitation) Elagabalus of Ankyra
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2023, 12:07:45 pm »

I do not believe that the obverse is double struck.


Not your coin, the example in Pekkas Link is double struck

I'd say it's a modern imitation.  It looks to me as though the legend was recut.

It looks duller, slushier than the obverse die match from Pekka. Therefor a modern cast, maybe recut, is possible. Any traces of casting on the rim?

If so, where did the reverse come from? Another town ? e.g. Pergamon? Of course this requires a complete new legend.





Offline Din X

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Re: Puzzling (poss. imitation) Elagabalus of Ankyra
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2023, 03:48:53 am »
On bronze coins I do authenticate the patina, here parts of the patina have survived, the red spots!
As far as I know they can not be produced artificial, because I have seen them never ever on any fake coin.
But I have seen this red patina spots often on authentic stripped bronze coins.
I hate it if authentic coins will be condemned and this one is imho without the smallest doubt authentic!
If the owner thinks it is fake, I would be interested to buy it for a reasonable price and I hope the doubts from members here will lower his price expectations.

So the patina is authentic and there is no evidence that an authentic ancient coin was used as planchet and then overstruck with transfer or modern dies.
And then forgery must have stripped the patina but not completely that the red spots survived.
This is very unlikely, with patina it would be worth more and rather accepted as authentic so stripping would be counterproductive, except bronze disease removal went wrong.


About the legend, ancient coins were not made to met our expectations, only becasue something is different than expected needn´t mean it has to be fake.
Pictures are bad so it is difficult to exclude the possibility of tooling although I can not see any traces.
 

PS: helvetica the Nero dupondius  with Securitas, which you condemned as modern dies fake, is a transfer die fake, one with same die combination declared as authentic by NGC (metal analysis and 2 expertises of expterts of German auction houses).
The transfer die fakes all share the same double strike on obverse on letters PMAXTRPPP and they are missing details which were already missing on the authentic mother.
The authentic ones do not have the double stike and have details missing on the transfer die fake, the authentic ones can have parts of dotted border missing on the transfer die fakes due to bad centering of the mother. 
The Nero obverse die exists at least in combination with 3 reverse dies so modern dies would mean that all must be fake, although some of them have authentic ancient patina.
A bag with many of these from the same dies offered by a fake seller is only indicating that they are fake but then it has to be investigated if they are only cast fakes, transfer die fakes or modern die fakes.


https://www.forumancientcoins.com/fakes/displayimage.php?pid=18005

https://www.numismatikforum.de/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=11495&start=8100

https://www.numismatikforum.de/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=11495&start=8190

Offline helvetica

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Re: Puzzling (poss. imitation) Elagabalus of Ankyra
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2023, 08:12:10 am »
There is something amiss is a legend used exclusively for an emperor and his family is suddenly resurrected for a different emperor ten years later.
Patinas CAN be faked. Look at all the modern *struck* fakes coming out of Bulgaria. All with perfect patinas, but struck only days or weeks before they are taken by the hundred to coin shows in the west, or offered on ebay - some of which can be seen on the Forum fakes gallery. So that is not a valid argument.
Plus the small details listed in my previous postings - and the overcut letters on the obverse.
Plus the fact that NO catalog, hoard, sales, specific city or region books, etc lists ANY horseman types for ANY emperor from Ankyra.
etc etc.
The horse itself, its head, legs positions, rider type, cloak, arm, position of his foot, etc. are near as dammit identical to the horse on a coin of Julia Domna from Saitta, Lydia. Fontana 17; Duesseldorf_11373; GRPC Lydia 106. (The Fontana example is on wildwinds as Duesseldorf_11373. Another more complete example was previously sold by Leu in Feb 2019).

Offline shanxi

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Re: Puzzling (poss. imitation) Elagabalus of Ankyra
« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2023, 10:10:55 am »
There is something amiss is a legend used exclusively for an emperor and his family is suddenly resurrected for a different emperor ten years later.
Why are you so sure that it is Elagabal. Leu listed the coin with the obverse die match as Caracalla, the legend ANTΩNINOC AY is known for Caracalla/Ankyra, and he looks much more like Caracalla than Elagabal.


Plus the fact that NO catalog, hoard, sales, specific city or region books, etc lists ANY horseman types for ANY emperor from Ankyra.
etc etc.

I posted a Caracalla/horseman from Ankyra above.  :(

Offline Din X

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Re: Puzzling (poss. imitation) Elagabalus of Ankyra
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2023, 11:12:03 am »
If the coin is supposed to be a modern die fake, all coins from the same dies or die linked coins would be fake.
So a die study with die links would help and especially to find proven authentic coins for example from excavations.
Modern die fakes will have no or artificial patina.

If it is supposed to be a transfer die fake, with mixed transfer dies from different emperors, than we should find authentic coins with the right die combination, except they have recut this legend into the transfer dies this, but why should forgers cut a new possibly not fitting lendend into the transfer dies a
Transfer die fakes it must have transfer die fake problems and no or artificial patina.

Last option cast fake and details like the legend have been changed in mould or they combined two imprints from different emperors (mould = 1 imprint obverse and 1 imprint reverse).
If you join 2 imprints that do not belong together you will get in trouble because the have different flan shape from their mothers and that will be visible later.
Cast haves have cast fake problems and no or atrificial patina.

As far as I know this red patina spots can not be produced artificially, show me one proven fake with EXACTLY such red patina please?

To pretend that this red spots can be artificial produced without any real proof is not a good argument. (1 fake coin with exactly such red spots would be enough).


That an old die is recucyled is not impossible and that die cutters make strange or wrong legends is nothing new although it is not clear if the legend is actually a real problem or not.





Offline helvetica

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Re: Puzzling (poss. imitation) Elagabalus of Ankyra
« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2023, 07:45:33 pm »
@shanxi - re horseman type.. I stand corrected, sorry. I was looking in the wrong place - Besides Paris 130/SNG France III 2503 there was another (Caracalla, different obv legend) sold by CNG in June 2011. Duh!

Why Elagabalus ? This coin in Paris is listed as Elagabalus, is also radiate and cuirassed, seen from the back, also has the ANTWNINOC AY legend..
https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b8503379n.r=162%20162?rk=21459;2

@DIN X:
Quote
but why should forgers cut a new possibly not fitting lendend into the transfer dies
I presume you mean legend, not lendend ?
The same reason why fakers used the original reverse image but changed the legend of a Philip I coin of Heliopolis, or a coin of Anchialus for Galba, using the reverse of a coin of Gordian III, or the Magnesia fake of Schultz 169 with altered legends, or the Nicaea fake of Geta with altered legends and plenty of others...

And I have better things to do with my time than to hunt around looking for a fake with red blobs, to satisfy your curiosity.

Offline Din X

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Re: Puzzling (poss. imitation) Elagabalus of Ankyra
« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2023, 06:09:21 am »
There is an obverse die match in ANS Bequest of E.T. Newell ANS number 1944.100.62234
The Portrait and the letters and position letters to portrait is identical = 100% obverse die match.
If I read this correctly the coin has been in ANS collection since 1944!

https://numismatics.org/collection/1944.100.62234?lang=de

That they could be modern dies fake has been now disproved.

1 obverse in combination with 3 reverse dies are known, with some research more should appear or if Turkey will publish museum collections.

The coin from top post is screaming I am authentic, dies is known form authentic specimens, authentic patina, more authentic is hardly possible.

Edit: Link to the specimen in BNF, same obverse die but tooled and smoothed and wrong attributed to Elagabalus

https://catalogue.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/cb41765866d


Offline shanxi

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Re: Puzzling (poss. imitation) Elagabalus of Ankyra
« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2023, 07:56:07 am »
The ruler is also called Caracalla in the DinX link, but there is also indirect evidence that it is Caracalla.

Look at the cuirass on this Septimius Severus example. It is obviously from the same die cutter, which makes Elagabalus very unlikely.

Picture from wildwinds (http://www.wildwinds.com/coins/greece/galatia/ankyra/)

Offline helvetica

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Re: Puzzling (poss. imitation) Elagabalus of Ankyra
« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2023, 12:43:25 pm »
Sorry folk, I was away for two days.
Yes, OK, I see the similarities between the obverses of the ANS coin and my friend's coin - there are some tiny differences, but it is as near as dammit. And they both have that odd line between the I and N of INOC and also the letter-like studs of the top line of the cuirass.
So maybe someone should remove this from the Fake Coins section and put it back where it originally was ?
I tried to contact Melih Arslan early last week, (he is a great specialist of Ankyra coins, not just because of his book) - I even wrote the email in Turkish, but have not received a reply (yet).

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Re: Puzzling (poss. imitation) Elagabalus of Ankyra
« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2023, 08:39:24 pm »
I have told my friend the results of our discussions and he has decided to sell it instead of adding it to his collection. It will be on a certain auction site in the next couple of days....

Offline Din X

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Re: Puzzling (poss. imitation) Elagabalus of Ankyra
« Reply #15 on: October 23, 2023, 05:39:53 am »
Got it some time ago, it is authentic.
I assume the problem ist that ANS has misattributed one from the same obverse dies to Elagabalus while BNF has correctly attributed one form same obverse die to Caracalla.

 

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