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Author Topic: Postumus the gallic emperor - Ron C2's Severan denarii gallery  (Read 1988 times)

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Offline Ken W2

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Re: Introducing Ron C2's Severan denarii gallery (update 13 Apr 2021)
« Reply #25 on: April 14, 2021, 11:31:25 pm »

Ron, thanks for sharing. Those are very nice coins.  Would you mind sharing info on the equipment and methodology (ie lighting set up) you are using? These are very well presented coins imho. I’m still using an iPhone with a clip on macro lens and have not been able to produce photos of this quality. That inability has been an impediment to creating my own gallery. Thanks, and again my compliments.
Ken

Offline Ron C2

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Re: Introducing Ron C2's Severan denarii gallery (update 13 Apr 2021)
« Reply #26 on: April 15, 2021, 10:25:18 am »

Ron, thanks for sharing. Those are very nice coins.  Would you mind sharing info on the equipment and methodology (ie lighting set up) you are using? These are very well presented coins imho. I’m still using an iPhone with a clip on macro lens and have not been able to produce photos of this quality. That inability has been an impediment to creating my own gallery. Thanks, and again my compliments.
Ken

I don't mind sharing at all.  My setup is fairly crude compared to some people here, but definitely more involved than using a smart phone.

I'm using an Olympus E-M1 mirrorless digital camera. Typically I'm using a Zuiko Digital 50mm f2.0 macro lens, which is a lens specifically designed for macro photography. It's on an older lens, so I use an MMF-2 adaptor to mount it to the newer camera body.  

If I was buying a macro lens again, I would get the current generation 60mm f2.8 lens instead, but it's not worth buying a different lens when the one I have is close to the same performance.  The lens aperture speed is irrelevant as I'm always shooting at F22 with flash guns, but the 60mm would allow focus stacking and even higher resolution images.  

I do have a 30mm f 3.5 macro lens, and I don't typically use it because the coins sit close enough to the lens that there's not enough room for my lighting setup, so you want a lens that magnifies a little.

The Olympus gear is micro four thirds, so the lens focal lengths I'm citing are 50% of the 35mm equivalents.  So for example, the olympus 50mm macro lens is the same magnification as a 100mm telephoto lens on a 35mm film camera.  The magnification is just to get the lens further away from the coin to make room for lighting the small subjects like coins.

There are as many flash options as there are coin photographers.  Some guys shoot through glass plates, use static LED lights, etc.  I use an Olympus twin flash gun rig built for macro photography, the STF-22. I also have a ring flash, but most coins look better with twin guns you can reposition. Ring flashes cast the light too evenly, making every coin look flat and lacking contrast between high and low spots.  

Here's a vendor pic, though the latest model, the STF8 is now available and is little more compact - it's not worth the upgrade to me.



I shoot from a sturdy tripod, but would like to upgrade to a copy stand - it's easier to use a stand. I put the coins on a white recipe card, and I put a smaller coin under the coin I'm shooting to lift it off the page a little.

I post-process in Photoshop Elements. I use masking and magic wand functions to highlight the coin and then delete out any remaining background or shadow so the coin is against a pure white field.  No matter how good my shots, there's always some residual background texture and I just delete it so nothing distracts from the coin itself.  I then put the front and back together in a single file, flatten the image and save it.  Generally I don't have to adjust levels, contrast, etc. in post processing unless the image doesn't look like the coin in-hand.  

Using a repeatable setup is key if you want the reverse and obverse images to be identical in size and resolution when you stitch the images together side by side.

I hope that helps! :)

PS: Here's what it looks like when set up:


My Severan Denarii Gallery: Click here

R. Cormier, Ottawa

Offline Ken W2

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Re: Introducing Ron C2's Severan denarii gallery (update 13 Apr 2021)
« Reply #27 on: April 15, 2021, 01:52:09 pm »

Hey Ron:  Thanks for taking the time to respond.  Crude, ha !! That is quite a rig.  And yes a very helpful description.  But I did a quick google search and just the camera body and flash gun bought used would likely approach or exceed  $1,000 (that's at least 8-10 nice denarii!!).  Without a broader interest in photography that's out of my reach, at least for now. A while back I read Ken P's post in the photography board about how to take good pics with a smart phone and will try some of his suggestions. He's big on using natural light and for me that limits photo taking to week end days.  I love this hobby but it's not all I have to do. I'm wondering if folks producing relatively good photos with phone cameras have a built-in macro lens optiion.  I do not have a built-in macro and thus cannot get coins in focus up close with just the phone lens. So I bought a clip-on macro lens (and mini-tripod for stability) which does allow me to focus close up, but I'm wondering if that lens is interfering with the light metering of the camera (if I am using that term correctly). I sometimes use the LED lights on my micro-scope and sometimes use natural light supplemented with a difused daylight bulb in one of those aluminum reflector fixtures (like the old sun lamps).  Now that is crude!  What I have now is good enough to share photos in discussion posts, but to create a nice gallery I need to be able to produce much better photos. I also will try your tip about getting the coin off the background a little.  Seems like that might help get some light around and show some depth at the edges of the coin ?

Thank you again.

Ken   

Offline Ron C2

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Re: Introducing Ron C2's Severan denarii gallery (update 13 Apr 2021)
« Reply #28 on: April 15, 2021, 03:07:49 pm »

Hey Ron:  Thanks for taking the time to respond.  Crude, ha !! That is quite a rig.  And yes a very helpful description.  But I did a quick google search and just the camera body and flash gun bought used would likely approach or exceed  $1,000 (that's at least 8-10 nice denarii!!).  Without a broader interest in photography that's out of my reach, at least for now. A while back I read Ken P's post in the photography board about how to take good pics with a smart phone and will try some of his suggestions. He's big on using natural light and for me that limits photo taking to week end days.  I love this hobby but it's not all I have to do. I'm wondering if folks producing relatively good photos with phone cameras have a built-in macro lens optiion.  I do not have a built-in macro and thus cannot get coins in focus up close with just the phone lens. So I bought a clip-on macro lens (and mini-tripod for stability) which does allow me to focus close up, but I'm wondering if that lens is interfering with the light metering of the camera (if I am using that term correctly). I sometimes use the LED lights on my micro-scope and sometimes use natural light supplemented with a difused daylight bulb in one of those aluminum reflector fixtures (like the old sun lamps).  Now that is crude!  What I have now is good enough to share photos in discussion posts, but to create a nice gallery I need to be able to produce much better photos. I also will try your tip about getting the coin off the background a little.  Seems like that might help get some light around and show some depth at the edges of the coin ?

Thank you again.

Ken   

If you do go the route of a stand alone camera, which I highly recommend, you don't have to buy a pro-grade digital body to get nice results.  For example, in the Olympus lineup they make cameras like the PEN-Light series that take the same lenses as their more expensive cameras, but they only cost a couple hundred used. they are easily more camera than needed for coin photography - you are likely going to shoot everything in either manual or aperture priority mode anyhow.  A decent used macro lens can also be had for $200-300.  I like the hobby enough that spending $500 on getting nice photos is not at all unreasonable.  I likely spend more on coin shipping costs in a given year. 

Lighting can also be done pretty inexpensively with good results.  Many people just use desk lamps with LED bulbs you already have around the house and make great images :)
My Severan Denarii Gallery: Click here

R. Cormier, Ottawa

Offline Anaximander

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Re: Introducing Ron C2's Severan denarii gallery (update 13 Apr 2021)
« Reply #29 on: April 15, 2021, 05:18:30 pm »
Ron, that was a tour-de-force on coin photography. Succinct and yet easily understood.
Ken, you should take a look, if you haven’t already, at Ron’s What is your camera setup topic in the board Coin Photography, Conservation and Storage.
I happen to use a small, mirrorless Micro Four Thirds camera like Ron recommended, and the short list of impactful purchases includes a macro lens (something equal to a 100mm lens in the 35mm camera world) and two or three on-demand lights. Waiting for the right sunlight is just so 3rd century  ;).
There’s some value to reading Ken R’s topic Better Coin Photos with a Cell Phone. in the same board.
I think you’d like a small copy stand like the Cosmo Mini 100, even if you stick with just the cellphone. Incidentally, I didn’t find any joy using the cellphone wide angle or zoom clip-ons.
Chris “Anaximander” Thomsen. Member Since 2019.
My ForumAncientCoins gallery

Offline Ron C2

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Re: Introducing Ron C2's Severan denarii gallery (update 21 Apr 2021)
« Reply #30 on: April 21, 2021, 09:16:17 pm »
Today I added a nice example of RIC IVa 171a to my Septimius gallery.  There is a little wear on the highest point of the hair on the obverse, while the reverse retains great detail.  I rather like this reverse, I'm fond of the reverses where there is a shield leaning up against an emperor or God's leg.  

I should point out, that if you go to the the link of the actual photo in the gallery and click on the image, you get a really high resolution image of each of my coins.  They often show way better than in the thumbnails I post here to entice people to go see my actual gallery :)

While there, comments on coins you like are appreciated :)



https://www.forumancientcoins.com/gallery/displayimage.php?pos=-170002
My Severan Denarii Gallery: Click here

R. Cormier, Ottawa

Offline Ron C2

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Re: Introducing Ron C2's Severan denarii gallery (update 21 Apr 2021)
« Reply #31 on: April 25, 2021, 07:13:58 pm »
Trying something new this time.  I noticed that the vast majority of more experienced members don't post thumbnails of new gallery additions in these threads, only gallery links.  

Since virtually nobody is on a dial-up modem anymore, I can only assume this is so that people go see the images in their proper galleries where they can see the numismatist's efforts to photograph and catalogue the coins in all their glory and full resolution.  

So I'm going to try that for a while and see if it gets people to actually click on the gallery links or not.  I know my "views" counts in my gallery are WAY below the number of thread views, so perhaps this will improve viewership somewhat.

Today I have a couple nice additions to share, recently acquired from a prominent dealer.  Like many of my recent acquisitions, these are early Septimius reign examples as I try to fill out my earlier examples.

The first is RIC IVa 63, PART ARAB PART ADIAB COS II PP showing bound captives under a trophy.  Nice early Obverse portrait with great artistry around the eyes, and like many earlier and less idealized portraits, I suspect this is closer to what Septimius actually looked like when he took the purple.  Check out the bulbous nose, I fancy he likely had one in reality.   In later portraits, he always has a finer nose and exaggerated philosopher's beard.

https://www.forumancientcoins.com/gallery/displayimage.php?pos=-170053

Next up is a nicely toned example of RIC IVa 69, P M P III COS II P P with a nice rendering of Fortuna holding a rudder, symbolizing that the emperor literally steers the course of the world.  Just 6 denarius issues later than RIC IVa 63, gone is the bulbous nose, and Septimius' facial features look more like a Roman ideal.  The beard is still fairly trim at this point, however.

https://www.forumancientcoins.com/gallery/displayimage.php?pos=-170054

Enjoy - and as always, comments are most appreciated!
My Severan Denarii Gallery: Click here

R. Cormier, Ottawa

Offline Ron C2

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Re: Introducing Ron C2's Severan denarii gallery (update 25 Apr 2021)
« Reply #32 on: April 26, 2021, 04:39:28 pm »
Another cool gallery addition to post today. This is RIC IVb 411a, MONET AVG.  This one is an Emesa mint coin during the brief period Emesa minted for Septimius between 193 and 195 CE.  This particular variant was represented in Reka Devina and is in Mouchmov on P98.  It's not a very common danarius in my experience.

This denarius is really clearly struck with bold lettering, particularly on the reverse.  It's worth a look! :)

https://www.forumancientcoins.com/gallery/displayimage.php?pos=-170075
My Severan Denarii Gallery: Click here

R. Cormier, Ottawa

Offline Ron C2

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Re: ELEPHANT! Ron C2's Severan denarii gallery
« Reply #33 on: May 04, 2021, 10:35:01 pm »
Today I'm posting one of my favorite Septimius denarius types.  I love these coins because the reverse shows an elephant on it, but the coin was minted in Rome.  MVNIFICENTIA means "generosity", so literally the reverse was telling the people of Rome that they get to see elephants, likely at the Flavian Amphitheatre (the Coliseum), because of the Emperor's generosity.

I'm amazed at the logistics it must have represented to bring elephants in significant numbers and in good health from Africa to the capitol with the technology of the day.  It's impressive.  The average citizen must have been in awe to see these creatures up close.

Click here for a glimpse of this variety (RIC lists it as scarce), and as always - please leave a comment!

https://www.forumancientcoins.com/gallery/displayimage.php?pos=-170173
My Severan Denarii Gallery: Click here

R. Cormier, Ottawa

Offline Ron C2

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Re: ELEPHANT! Ron C2's Severan denarii gallery
« Reply #34 on: May 11, 2021, 07:27:24 pm »
Today I'm adding a slightly different Septimius coin from the earlier types I've recently posted to my gallery, but it's a common motif in roman coinage in general: the Imperial Genius.  

To quote my good friend Wikipedia, In Roman religion, the genius is the individual instance of a general divine nature that is present in every individual person, place, or thing. You could think of it through a modern lens as what the Romans would have considered their guardian angel or personal protector.  Your genius would follow you from the hour of your birth until your death.  

This particular late-Septimius coin example (circa 208 CE) is on a heavy flan at 3.99g, definitely on the larger side for Severan denarii.  It's also a remarkably well centered strike for the Rome Mint in this timeframe.  

Although RIC lists this one as common, there were only 39 of this type in Reka Devnia, so not so common as most other late-Septimius reign denarii in this reference hoard.

Shown here for your viewing pleasure.  Please leave a comment if you are enjoying my labours to bring you quality denarius images form my collection :)

https://www.forumancientcoins.com/gallery/displayimage.php?pos=-170243


As an aside, I scored a copy of Mouchmov's catalogue of the Reka Devnia hoard, so I've updated all the coins in the Septimius Severus gallery with the Reka Devnia numbers of examples.  It gives a really interesting perspective on relative rarity of my danarii.  I also added in all the Cohen references this week.  

I still have to do all this for my other Severan galleries, perhaps tomorrow.  It's a fair bit of work - Cohen is not exactly the easiest reference to navigate and cross-reference with Mouchmov and RIC.  Especially since many RIC entries don't list the Cohen reference, which is needed to look up the Reka Devnia results.  R-D is only catalogued to Cohen.
My Severan Denarii Gallery: Click here

R. Cormier, Ottawa

Offline Jay GT4

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Re: Septimius' Genius - Ron C2's Severan denarii gallery
« Reply #35 on: May 11, 2021, 10:38:47 pm »
Heavy coin!

Offline Ron C2

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Re: Septimius' Genius - Ron C2's Severan denarii gallery
« Reply #36 on: May 12, 2021, 05:44:17 pm »
Heavy coin!

Yeah, for whatever reason, while the target weight for a Severan era denarius is about 3g, most of my examples seem to fall anywhere between 2g and 4g, so flan sectioning to precise weights was far from an exact science.
My Severan Denarii Gallery: Click here

R. Cormier, Ottawa

Offline Ron C2

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Re: Victory and Saving Cities - Ron C2's Severan denarii gallery
« Reply #37 on: May 13, 2021, 07:56:57 pm »
I've added a couple more denarii to my Septimius gallery, both of which are very recent acquisitions.

First up, we have RIC 150 - A wonderfully crisp example of a Victory in flight reverse.  This is a pretty common type, but less common in this condition with nice crisp strikes, fresh dies, little wear, and well-centered in a fairly heavy flan.  I'm quite happy with the coin.

https://www.forumancientcoins.com/gallery/displayimage.php?pos=-170262

Next, we have a different reverse version of the popular RESTITVTOR VRBIS denarius - Restorer of the city, and/or Saviour of Rome. Depending how literal you want your translation :)  This is the seated Roma version, which differs substantially from the similar type depicting an armored Emperor sacrificing over an altar.  I have both types in my gallery, to compare, also look ay my example of RIC 167a, which can be found at the second link below :)

https://www.forumancientcoins.com/gallery/displayimage.php?pos=-170263

And the 167a type:

https://www.forumancientcoins.com/gallery/displayimage.php?pos=-168650

As always, comments are most welcome!!

My Severan Denarii Gallery: Click here

R. Cormier, Ottawa

Offline Ron C2

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Re: Victory and Saving Cities - Ron C2's Severan denarii gallery
« Reply #38 on: May 15, 2021, 04:34:07 pm »
I've finished adding all the Cohen and Reka Devnia references to my Severan era women denarius galley here: https://www.forumancientcoins.com/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=7467
My Severan Denarii Gallery: Click here

R. Cormier, Ottawa

Offline Ron C2

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Re: Victory and Saving Cities - Ron C2's Severan denarii gallery
« Reply #39 on: May 17, 2021, 10:48:49 pm »
I've finished adding all the Cohen and Reka Devnia references to my Denarii of other Severan-era emperors galley here: https://www.forumancientcoins.com/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=7468
My Severan Denarii Gallery: Click here

R. Cormier, Ottawa

Offline Ron C2

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Re: Legion IIII Flavia Felix - Ron C2's Severan denarii gallery
« Reply #40 on: May 21, 2021, 07:42:09 pm »
Today I added a Septimius Severus Legionary denarius, RIC IVa 8.  This one is struck to commemorate the Legio IIII Flavia Felix, a legion of the Imperial Roman army founded in AD 70 by Vespasian.  The legion supported Septimius' claim to the throne when Pertinax was assasinated and civil war broke out.  All the original legions to declare for Septim us were later honored with Legionary issues to commemorate their loyalty.  There are 17 different Legionary Denarii of septimius that follow this same pattern with near identical reverses.  All of them are scarce, if not outright rare would not have been struck for a long period of time.

As always, comments are most welcome!

https://www.forumancientcoins.com/gallery/displayimage.php?pid=170281
My Severan Denarii Gallery: Click here

R. Cormier, Ottawa

Offline Ron C2

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Re: Septimius the horse lord? - Ron C2's Severan denarii gallery
« Reply #41 on: May 29, 2021, 08:25:04 pm »
I always enjoy the denarii showing animals like snakes, elephants and of course, horses.  In this nice example of RIC288 (or Cohen No.1 if you prefer?), Septimius rides a horse raising a hand to hail his arrival.  A soldier leads the way for him.  In Latin, Advent could mean either Invasion or a noteworthy arrival.  I think it likely meant celebrating the arrival of the emperor in Rome, perhaps after his campaigns in Africa and Mauretania in 202. 

Great reverse here, and I really hope you enjoy it as much as I do :)  Comments are, of course, always welcomed.

https://www.forumancientcoins.com/gallery/displayimage.php?pid=170529
My Severan Denarii Gallery: Click here

R. Cormier, Ottawa

Offline Ron C2

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Re: An early Liberalitas - Ron C2's Severan denarii gallery
« Reply #42 on: May 30, 2021, 09:45:40 am »
Next up we have a nice early LiberalitasRIC IVa 18 from about 193, shortly after Septimius' acclamation by the senate. 

https://www.forumancientcoins.com/gallery/displayimage.php?pid=170531

Liberalitas was the virtue of giving freely, hence generosity, and one might assume it refers to the Generosity of the emperor toward the city as he gained the population's favor whilst heading out to confront Prescinius Niger and Clodius Albinus for control of the far east and far west portion of the empire.
My Severan Denarii Gallery: Click here

R. Cormier, Ottawa

Offline Ron C2

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My Severan Denarii Gallery: Click here

R. Cormier, Ottawa

Offline Ron C2

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Re: Ulpia Victrix - Ron C2's Severan denarii gallery
« Reply #44 on: June 02, 2021, 11:48:22 am »
Just added a really nice example of RIC IVa 189b, I'd say it's aEF.  Not an uncommon type, but this example is worth the click with a really well centered complete strike on the obverse.

https://www.forumancientcoins.com/gallery/displayimage.php?pid=170576

I also added this cute lexample of RIC IVb 211.  It's a common type, but this is a really nice strike of the coin and the reverse has an unusual cartoonish quality to the depiction of Victory inscribing a shield nested in a palm tree.  It makes me smile :)

https://www.forumancientcoins.com/gallery/displayimage.php?pid=170574
My Severan Denarii Gallery: Click here

R. Cormier, Ottawa

Offline Ron C2

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Re: An RIC Rare :) - Ron C2's Severan denarii gallery
« Reply #45 on: June 02, 2021, 06:18:28 pm »
I suspect a somewhat worn reverse die strike allowed this one to fly under the radar, but I recently scored a decent example of RIC IVa 50 from 194-195 AD. 

https://www.forumancientcoins.com/gallery/displayimage.php?pid=170572

This little fella is an RIC "R" and there was only a single example in the RD hoard, re-enforcing that this is not an easy catch. 

I love these reverses with the emperor holding the globe in his hand, basically proving the ancients knew the world was round :)

Comments are most welcome :)

My Severan Denarii Gallery: Click here

R. Cormier, Ottawa

Offline Ron C2

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Re: An RIC Rare :) - Ron C2's Severan denarii gallery
« Reply #46 on: June 05, 2021, 01:10:39 pm »
Added another of my variants of the "2 captives" Septimius Severus denarii reverse, this time from 201 AD during the 9th tribunal power for Septimius.  In this case, it's a nicely toned example of RIC IVa 176.  I have several different RIC references of this reverse motif with different legends and obverses.  I'll add them as I get more time :)

https://www.forumancientcoins.com/gallery/displayimage.php?pid=170614
My Severan Denarii Gallery: Click here

R. Cormier, Ottawa

Offline Ron C2

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Re: Minerva - Ron C2's Severan denarii gallery
« Reply #47 on: June 11, 2021, 08:22:12 pm »
I added another variant of the Minerva reverse septimius severus denarii.  In this case, RIC IVa 61, from 195, IMP V, 3rd tribunal power, consul twice.

There are several denarii in this series with difference IMP TR P and COS dates, but generally they all look very similar.  I think this is a nice example of the type, though.

What's interesting is that RIC 53 and RIC 60 are both Cohen 390, but the IMPIIII on RIC 53 is considered a Cohen variant in MouchmovRIC assigned them different catalogue numbers.  I have examples of both types in my gallery.

New addition here:

https://www.forumancientcoins.com/gallery/displayimage.php?pid=170866
My Severan Denarii Gallery: Click here

R. Cormier, Ottawa

Offline Ron C2

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Re: More captives and Spes - Ron C2's Severan denarii gallery
« Reply #48 on: June 16, 2021, 10:53:24 pm »
I've uploaded yet another variant of the popular "2 captives and trophy" reverse, this one from 202 AD.  I also added a scarce BONA SPEI reverse from Emesa with great cabinet toning

Interestingly, the BONA SPEI coin is a Latin spelling error that is a recognized variant of this type in RIC, though Cohen did not list the type separately.  The "correct" spelling variants should be either BONA SPES or BONAE SPEI.  This means the Reka Devnia qty of 24 coins for the BONA SPES reverse could include some of this variant with the spelling error going un-noticed by Mouchmov.  There was only one examples of the BONAE SPEI coin in RD.  RIC IV (1936) had not yet been published when Mouchmov documented the Reka Devnia hoard in 1934, and he only used Cohen references.

I hope you like these new additions - comments are most welcome :)

https://www.forumancientcoins.com/gallery/displayimage.php?pid=170909

https://www.forumancientcoins.com/gallery/displayimage.php?pid=170908
My Severan Denarii Gallery: Click here

R. Cormier, Ottawa

Offline Ron C2

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Re: Wonderful VOTIS coin - Ron C2's Severan denarii gallery
« Reply #49 on: June 18, 2021, 04:50:56 pm »
Really very pleased to add a white whale coin (for me), which got here late yesterday.  RIC 520a, a VOTIS DECENNALIBVS denarius struck for Septimius at Laodicea.  I've looked for a high grade example of this coin for years, and finally won one in a (hotly contested) auction

all-text reverses are just so uncommon on Septimius Severus denarii and this one is really so much nicer condition than any other example I have considered acquiring.  Really really pleased with this one, and it has good provenance back to at least 2016. 

Comments are most welcome :)

https://www.forumancientcoins.com/gallery/displayimage.php?pid=170916
My Severan Denarii Gallery: Click here

R. Cormier, Ottawa

 

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