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Author Topic: Constans Fel Temp galley Rome  (Read 2321 times)

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Offline Heliodromus

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Constans Fel Temp galley Rome
« on: November 04, 2004, 03:18:19 pm »
The top coin in this picture is from the FORVM fake gallery, having been identified as a fake by Warren Esty on the CFDL based on style. The coin below it is a presumably genuine one of the same type (image copied from Dirty Old Coins).

I have to say that the top coin looks genuine to me - in fact I remember it being for sale, and think I may have bid on it!

If the coin is fake, then not only IMO is the style very close, but it's a masterful work, and the flan itself looks convincingly ancient, even down to what appears to be a removed jewelery mounting (I have a coin with an almost precisely similar sign of a  previous mounting/clasp).

I'm curious what anyone else thinks? Curtis - do you have a strong opinion on this one?


oerlikon20mm

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Re:Constans Fel Temp galley Rome
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2004, 03:37:36 pm »
It would fool me as well.  I think its genuine..and very nice for that matter.

Gunner

roscoedaisy

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Re:Constans Fel Temp galley Rome
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2004, 04:54:45 pm »
If the only evidence presented to condemn this coin as a fake is style, then I disagree with it.  Style alone should very rarely be used to condemn a coin, in my opinion.  It should take a combination of factors unless the problem is something really obvious like metal used, weight, etc.

Offline curtislclay

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Re:Constans Fel Temp galley Rome
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2004, 05:09:21 pm »
      I am not a student or collector of late Roman coins so do not have a strong opinion regarding the authenticity of this one.
      However my uninformed opinion is that I see nothing wrong with the coin.  
      I believe Warren E. said there are some erroneous details which betray the fraud, but he wouldn't reveal them publicly lest he educate the forger.  
      I think some had to do with the depiction of the emperor's drapery and shoulderflaps in the obv. portrait, which however look correct to me.  
      The long, curving tail of the phoenix on rev. is extraordinary and I would want to find parallels for it on unquestionable originals.  But looking again, I think the apparent tail below the emperor's hand is actually just a clumsy rendering of his fingers!
       I would have thought the edge fault is just a flan defect, not damage from a removed mount?
Curtis Clay

Offline Alex

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Re:Constans Fel Temp galley Rome
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2004, 05:38:25 pm »
I can't see anything obviosuly wrong about these either.   I would much prefer to base my judgement on how they look in hand rather than style alone.   Patina, fabric, engraving method are equally important and can't be inspected in a photo.  


If it is of any help, here are the two Rome FEL TEMPs we have in the catalog.  Any Rome FEL TEMP image might help a bit to solve at least the style issues. (as a side note, its fantastic how crude these are compared to the eastern variants. Antioch are finest)



Offline Heliodromus

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Re:Constans Fel Temp galley Rome
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2004, 07:26:04 am »
Thanks, Curtis. I hadn't noticed the tail/fingers, but I agree they could be fingers - if this were a fake then for such a carefully studied copy it'd be odd for the engraver just to wing it with a long-tailed phoenix (unless, as you say, that's a known variety anyway, in which case it means nothing).

I'll try contacting Warren E. and see if he might like to comment on the side by side comparison. Unless there's strong evidence to the contrary, I think this should perhaps be removed from the fakes gallery.

Incidently, here's my coin that has a similar looking edge fault (as well as some signs of gilding), which was described when I bought it as having been from jewelery mounting, and to me looks similar to the fault in the first coin. I've also just noticed that the description of this coin on WildWinds (where it was apparently submitted by a previous owner who paid twice what I did!)  has been changed to describe it as unlisted... is that true?!

Offline Bluefish

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Re:Constans Fel Temp galley Rome
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2004, 08:59:13 am »
Ben, I'll be looking for your response from Warren. I think based on the comments in this thread there is enough doubt to remove the coin from the database.
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Offline Joe Sermarini

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Re:Constans Fel Temp galley Rome
« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2004, 11:31:58 am »
I am aware of some of the details which Warren believes prove the coin fake.  There are details on these coins which don't match any published examples I have seen.  The Phoenix's tail on the first is one.  The rudders don't match the normal shape.  I have never seen (or at least noticed) shoulderflaps like these, but if Curtis says they are OK, I believe.  The reverses of these two coins are apparently by the same hand.  It may be they are genuine and this particular celator just had his own way.  I am interested in Warren's reaction to the new specimen.  They are pretty and if fake the best fake Constantine era bronze I have seen.  
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Offline Heliodromus

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Re:Constans Fel Temp galley Rome
« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2004, 12:07:33 pm »
Warren was kind enough to reply, but indicated his reply as private, although I don't think he'll mind me saying that he does believe the CNG coin to be genuine, and also that unfortunately there's a dearth of published examples of good quality Rome specimens to compare against... His concerns are based on multiple details that individually might not cause concern, but occuring together do so. That said, I believe there's sufficient doubt over the coin, as well as sufficient lack of comparison specimens to establish a norm, that we should perhaps give it the benefit of the doubt and remove it from the fakes gallery... IMO we should err on the side of the caution rather than condemning without fairly concrete proof.

Offline Robert_Brenchley

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Re:Constans Fel Temp galley Rome
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2004, 02:06:00 pm »
Does anyone have a Rome example they could post? Unfortunately my only example is from Trier, with the emperor holding a victory not a phoenix. If we trawled all the available resources, I wonder what we could come up with between us.
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Offline *Alex

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Re:Constans Fel Temp galley Rome
« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2004, 02:32:34 pm »
I've got a Rome mint Constantius (pictured below) which you can compare for style. It was probably struck at about the same time as the Constans. I have to agree with Roscoedaisy, going by the picture, the "fake" Constans does not look like a fake to me, and "style" is all over the place with these coins.

Alex.


Offline Heliodromus

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Re:Constans Fel Temp galley Rome
« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2004, 04:08:26 pm »
Another Constantius II from WildWinds:



And another from CNG:

Offline Heliodromus

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Re:Constans Fel Temp galley Rome
« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2004, 04:13:00 pm »
And one more from WildWinds showing the same wavy drapery neckline as the original coin under consideration:




Offline curtislclay

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Re:Constans Fel Temp galley Rome
« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2004, 06:11:54 pm »
       I am unable to understand how the first coin can be condemned as fake, if the CNG coin and the others shown above as comparisons are admitted to be authentic.
       The strange "tail" of the phoenix is in fact just the emperor's fingers, and the genuine coins seem to provide good parallels for the other questioned features, the drapery and cuirass flaps on obverse and Victory's rudder on reverse.
       Moreover style, sharpness, surfaces, flan falults of the coin in question all look authentic to me.
       I would urge Warren E. to reveal all of the features he finds suspicious.  We may learn something about engraver variation, and I am convinced he will not be tipping off any modern forger!
       I think the description of BenB's coin as having an edge fault from removed mount is incorrect.  That's a natural type of fault that I have seen numerous times.
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