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FORVM`s Classical Numismatics Discussion Board  |  Numismatic and History Discussions  |  Coin Photography, Conservation and Storage  |  Topic: IVVENTAS sestertius: Conservation, Restoration, or Damage? 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: IVVENTAS sestertius: Conservation, Restoration, or Damage?  (Read 1350 times)
slokind
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« on: November 29, 2008, 06:17:49 pm »

The Type of Juventas personified (3rd-declension, fem. gender noun) is not very common.  Here are the sources:
http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Gazetteer/Places/Europe/Italy/Lazio/Roma/Rome/_Texts/PLATOP*/Aedes_Juventatis.html  (Go to Platner & Ashby).
The sestertius for the young Marcus Aurelius also is not common, but two in CA were sold in London (attached, citing auctions in filenames).  The Baldwin one may be my die-pair.*
The sestertius I got more than a year ago and instantly regarded with distaste, much as I wanted the type, came from the usual venue for taking some risk; here is my note on it:
• no date  I think that this sestertius has been smoothed, the profile of M Aur sharpened (to Tyrone Power effect), and "repatinated".  It was kept only for its reverse type.
Marcus Aurelius, Caesar, head to r.  Rev., figure of Iuventas, standing l. before a portable altar.  D. 30mm  20.70g  BMCRE 1398, pl. 33,11.
And I attach a 900-pixel image of it.
Below I attach, at about the same file-size, two details showing the brown stuff, some unidentified green showing through, and, on the obverse, the exaggerated-seeming sharpness of the profile.  The eye and brow are very nasty.
All things considered, before accessioning it, I have placed it to soak and then to simmer in solution of sodium sesquicarbonate.  It is a sturdy coin, the brown stuff is not patina, and the green might even be BD.
N.B..: THIS IS NOT A FAKE, NOT WHAT WE USUALLY CALL A TOOLEY, NOT VILLAGE WORK, BUT NOT UP TO THE USUAL STANDARDS OF EXCESSIVE AND EXPENSIVE CONSERVATION, EITHER.
Let's see what it is, in a few days after treatment and drying.
CLICK TO ZOOM MY PHOTOS
* P.S. No, not s.d.a. Baldwin's, which is a cabinet-toned denarius.
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moonmoth
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« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2008, 04:07:06 pm »

What an interesting profile ...  The mouth looks as though it has been drilled out, on the coin rather than on the die.  As there is green and brown inside the apparently drilled area, they are both most likely artificial and modern all over the coin, with genuine brassy surface showing through here and there.  This might be hiding bd.  The colour, on your enlargement, is not quite right, but the modern green dye might have changed its colour, so the treatment is probably worthwhile. 

Those colours look like some examples of Jax that have been posted elsewhere on Forum.

Bill

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slokind
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« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2008, 04:43:45 pm »

We agree.  Though we are in medias res (the sestertii and a dupondius still have 10 minutes of simmer--and then the DW rinses), I can report that even wet, during the cold water sesquicarbonate soak, poor Marcus looked much better.  I figured that no matter what treatment did to that sestertius, which really did distress me, it would be better off treated.  After all, that fragile, thin Alex. Troas Commodus / Eagle with calf's head coin withstood it.
I first did the Claudius I / armed Minerva SC as, a desperate commemorative Agrippa / Neptune as, and a J. Domna / V. Victrix as.  When an as is sick, it is really sick.  The Domna and the Agrippa looked like something from La Brea tar pits.
That soak-simmer-rinse (all using DW) routine of moonmoth's really works; in the course of the first soak, I pick at the cracks with a wooden toothpick.
For the time being, I can assure you that the Iuventas Marcus Aurelius is looking much better.
My knowledge of Jax and its competitors is limited to knowing how to spell the words.  I'd be grateful if anyone who sells me a coin with such stuff applied would pay me for the time it takes to remove it!  Dream...
Pat L.
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slokind
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« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2008, 11:29:19 am »

Here it is.  Thoroughly dried.  No RenWax.  No 'unsharp' applied to image.  Color (astonishing, but coin in hand by monitor) true.
Now Caley found alloys so far from orichalcum that he wrote a chapter, separate, on assorted copper alloys.  Explaining at this distance why Rome couldn't get zinc, or it cost too much, is harder than explaining a financial collapse even now.  But this coin is no 80% copper, 20% zinc (trace elements very minor), or anything like that.  And, as received, it had been restored like a house you mean to flip.
However:
The green most visible at 5h-7h on the edge in the photo of the reverse is genuine ancient green patina.  There was no BD, but both the brown paint and the greenish undercoat on the faces came off immediately, even in the cold soak.  The green on the edge was picked at and scrubbed but it is ancient and hard.
The coppery spots in Marcus Aurelius' hair look like copper inclusions.  Melted down recycled metal looks possible.
There is very little modern drill or burin work in the face, perhaps none--but yes, surely on face.
Traces of the T in IVVENTAS are apparent in favorable light in the same position as on the Spink specimen, and the obv. die resembles that specimen's obverse in many particulars.
All things considered, I think it is ancient and official.
I found my PayPal receipt, showing that I got it 16 10 05 for $50 from an ordinarily reliable seller.
I provide as large an image as I dare, so CLICK
Pat L.

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curtislclay
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« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2008, 11:43:53 am »

However both dies are DIFFERENT from those of the Spink coin, don't you agree?

I certainly concur that the coin is ancient and official!
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Curtis Clay
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« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2008, 12:10:13 pm »

Yes, I do agree.  The die used for mine was never quite so fine as that of the Spink coin.  The 'signature' pattern of curves for the cut-off of the neck is different, and the profile on the Spink one is more innocently boyish (as on the Lanz denarius).  The reverse die on mine has been further hurt in cleaning but always was more like one of the inferior dies for Iuventas denarii (wouldn't I love one like that Lanz sold!).*
However, the outcome, compared with the coin I sadly put away, hardly bearing to look at it, is highly keepable, especially at the price I paid (one eighth), though if I'd seen that Spink sestertius I'd have bought it.  Still, $50 is a fair price for learning the issue it is part of, and ultimately that is what I buy them all for.  Now my eye is honed, should I ever find a 'collectible' one I might buy.  Also, I just got a photocopy (bound) from Interlibrary of Strack III, so I'll look it up, in case he has something to say.
Pat L.
* Ref. to other specimens are to the eleven retrieved by search IVVENTAS in CoinArchives.
P.S. In Strack's Untersuchungen... III, Antonine, this sestertius is no. 920, and it is illustrated Taf. XVI, 920, by a magnificent specimen, specified "B", probably Berlin, but possibly Bernhart (1926), see lists pp. 165 and 167 (or both).



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