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
. 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
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
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.