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FORVM`s Classical Numismatics Discussion Board  |  Numism  |  Reading For the Advanced Collector  |  Topic: Comparative Anatomy OTD 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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slokind
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« on: June 14, 2005, 05:50:54 pm »

I adore the Classic phases of Greek art (and of Chinese art, Tang and Northern Song).
Anyway, when iconography calls on a bird to evoke his strutting deity, Zeus, the artist needs to be keenly aware, as in Method Acting, of the comparative anatomy of the aves and the mammalia, in order to make us feel that way about it.  Sometimes the Antioch tets do this just beautifully, in my opinion.  See also the sense of the cranium in Vespasian's head.  I love this sort of thing; it is very rare in the world's art.  This may not be the rare 5th-century Elis eagle, but it is still silver, and it still is...as I said.  Perhaps it's partly because I worked my way to my undergraduate degree in a poultry market; if you stretch out a young rooster...  The best wings, though, are on the Victory of Samothrace.
I'm sure this coin is common as can be, and, of course, it has the usual amount of wear, but I love it.
 14 06 05 AR tetradrachm  14.68g  12h  Vespasian, laureate, head to r.  AVTO[KR OVESP]ASIAN    [OS KAISAR SEBAST]OS  Rev., Eagle l., wreath in beak, stg on club, palm in l. field.  ETOVS    NEOV IE[ROV A or B].
Prieur, p. 19, no. 122 (Group 6).
P.S. Steve Minnoch kindly contributes the RPC ref., Gr. 4, nos. 1953-1955--and I have emended the Prieur number above .  I had simply compared the images provided in Prieur's Group 6.  My coin lacks the A or B for the year, and although the eagle is very like no. 120, it is not the same die, since, e.g., the palm branch has fewer elements.  None of those Vespasian heads has the nose of mine, and it is no. 122 that has the cut-off of the neck most similar.  The RPC plates provide better comparability, and the number of dies is considerable.
I posted it as an example of a keen sense of 'comparative anatomy' at work, without taking time to consider the dies.
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dougsmit
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« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2005, 03:20:09 am »

eekacat said it well regarding the way wear plays a part in what we see.  I strikes me that this series was designed to survive well with many well worn coins still being quite attractive.  I wonder how much attention was put toward this end as opposed to just dumb luck.  My examples show the same thing in a slightly different style for Vespasian and a considerable variation for Nero (younger form).  BTW, the Nero also shows the double dating Z/thetaP (7/109) giving both regnal and Caesarian era numbers.
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