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Rare Roman Coins
Vitellius, 2 January - 20 December 69 A.D.

|Vitellius|, |Vitellius,| |2| |January| |-| |20| |December| |69| |A.D.||sestertius|
A.D. 69 is known as "The Year of the Four Emperors," in which four emperors, Galba, Otho, Vitellius, and Vespasian, ruled in a remarkable succession. Vitellius was declared emperor by his troops and after defeating Otho, he took Rome. But he spent more time at the banquet table then ruling. Vespasian was also declared emperor by his troops and the Danube legions. Vespasian prevailed. Vitellius was slain. His body was dragged through the streets of Rome and dumped in the Tiber.
SH110376. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC I 118, BnF III 92, Cohen I 67, SRCV I 2205, BMCRE I -, EF, choice obv. with excellent portrait, nice style rev., dark green patina, bumps, weight 26.087 g, maximum diameter 35.7 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, Jul - Sep 69 A.D.; obverse A VITELLIVS GERMANICVS IMP AVG P M TR P, laureate and draped bust right, seen from side; reverse PAX AVGVSTI (to the peace of the emperor), Pax standing left, olive branch in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field below center; ex Harlan Berk sale 210 (01 Apr 2020), lot 292; very rare; $6500.00 SALE PRICE $5850.00


Domitius Domitianus, c. Aug 296 - Dec 297 A.D.

|Domitius| |Domitianus|, |Domitius| |Domitianus,| |c.| |Aug| |296| |-| |Dec| |297| |A.D.||follis|
Nothing is known of the background and family of Domitianus. He may have served as prefect of Egypt before he proclaimed himself emperor, though no known document makes his previous position clear. Domitianus revolted against Diocletian in 297 A.D. It is possible that the rebellion was sparked by a new tax edict, but this is uncertain. Numismatic and papyrological evidence support Domitianus' claim to the purple. Domitianus died in December of the same year, when Diocletian went to Aegyptus to quell with the revolt. Domitianus' corrector, Aurelius Achilleus, responsible for the defense of Alexandria, appears to have succeeded to Domitianus in Alexandria. In fact, it was only in March 298 that Diocletian succeeded in re-conquering the city.
SH110097. Billon follis, RIC VI Alexandria p. 663, 20; SRCV IV 12980; Cohen VI 1, gF, well centered, dark green and brown patina, edge flaws, weight 9.643 g, maximum diameter 25.4 mm, die axis 330o, 3rd officina, Alexandria mint, c. Aug 296 - Dec 297 A.D.; obverse IMP C L DOMITIVS DOMITIANVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse GENIO POPVLI ROMANI (to the guardian spirit of the Roman People), Genius standing half left, head left, nude but kalathos on head and chlamys over shoulders and left arm, patera in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; eagle at feet left on left with hear right, wings open, and wreath in beak; Γ right, ALE in exergue; from the Shawn Caza Collection (purchased 2011), ex Gerhard Herinek Jr. (sold 2011), ex Girol Guyes Jr. (sold 2011), ex Girol Guyes Sr. (purchased c. 1970), ex Munzen und Medaillen Gerhard Herinek [Sr.] (purchased in his Vienna shop, 1970), ex old Viennese collection (15th district); rare emperor; $2800.00 SALE PRICE $2240.00


Valerian I, October 253 - c. June 260 A.D., Tyre, Phoenicia

|Phoenicia|, |Valerian| |I,| |October| |253| |-| |c.| |June| |260| |A.D.,| |Tyre,| |Phoenicia||dichalkon|
Romans refounded Tyre as a colony in 64 B.C., when Pompey annexed Phoenicia to the Roman Empire. Tyre flourished under the Rome and remained a Roman port city, even under the Byzantine Empire, until the 7th century when it was taken by Muslim conquest.
RP96396. Bronze dichalkon, BMC Phoenicia p. 289, 465 var. (murex shell on right); Rouvier -; Baramki AUB -; SNG Hunt -; SNG Cop -, F, rough dark green patina, earthen deposits, weight 16.345 g, maximum diameter 27.5 mm, die axis 0o, Tyre (Lebanon) mint, Oct 253 - Jun 260 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS AVG, laureate bust right; reverse COL TVRO METR, river-god (Adonis?) standing facing, head left, nude to waist, himation around hips and legs, right hand dropping incense on flaming altar at her feet on left, long grounded reed vertical in left hand, murex shell on left; from the J. Berlin Caesarea Collection, 1971 Caesarea Maritima surface find; Coin Archives records only one specimen of the type at auction in the last two decades; extremely rare; $320.00 SALE PRICE $288.00


Roman Syria-Palestina, Jewish, Lead Bulla Seal, 7 Branched Menorah, c. 5th - 6th Century A.D.

|Seals|, |Roman| |Syria-Palestina,| |Jewish,| |Lead| |Bulla| |Seal,| |7| |Branched| |Menorah,| |c.| |5th| |-| |6th| |Century| |A.D.||bulla| |(tag| |seal)|
A bulla (plural, bullae) is a lump of clay or lead molded around a cord and stamped with a seal that identifies the sender. With a bulla in place, a container cannot be violated without visible damage to either the bulla or the cord, revealing the tampering. Bullae depicting a menorah are known but very rare and not well documented. Dattari-Savio p. 327, 3 is a 1901 rubbing of a very similar menorah sealing. Michael Still lists two menorah sealings in his thesis on Roman seals, 1696 with a Latin inscription reverse, 1765 with a Hebrew inscription reverse. The recently published catalogue of the Vossen collection by Gert Boersema and Bill Dalzell, has two Menorah seals, numbers 181 and 182, both with blank reverses. There are also a few examples known from auctions. A FORVM member posted a bulla of this exact type from his collection on the Classical Numismatic Discussion on the Forum Ancient Coins website. We received three examples of this type on consignment, all with the same fire damage, suggesting they were found together.
JD98656. Lead bulla (tag seal), VF/Fair, light earthen deposits, raised bumps from exposure to an ancient fire that heated and expanded air bubbles within the lead, c. 5th - 6th century A.D.; obverse seven branched menorah with tripod base; reverse lulav, uncertain Syriac inscription (obscure); very rare; $300.00 SALE PRICE $270.00


Severus Alexander and Julia Maesa, 222 - 235 A.D., Ninica-Claudiopolis, Cilicia

|Cilicia|, |Severus| |Alexander| |and| |Julia| |Maesa,| |222| |-| |235| |A.D.,| |Ninica-Claudiopolis,| |Cilicia||AE| |36|
Ammianus mentions Silifke and Claudiopolis as cities of Cilicia, or of the country drained by the Calycadnus; and Claudiopolis was a colony of Claudius Caesar. It is described by Theophanes of Byzantium as situated in a plain between the two Taurus Mountains, a description which exactly, corresponds to the position of the basin of the Calycadnus. Claudiopolis may therefore be represented by Mut, which is higher up the valley than Seleucia, and near the junction of the northern and western branches of the Calycadnus. It is also the place to which the pass over the northern Taurus leads from Laranda. The city received the Roman colony name Colonia Iulia Felix Augusta Ninica.
RB91011. Bronze AE 36, cf. asiaminorcoins.com 6551 (same obv. die & c/m), SNG Levante -, RPC Online -, SNG BnF -, SNG Cop -, BMC Cilicia -, c/m: Howgego 262, F, weak legends, porosity, edge cracks, weight 17.901 g, maximum diameter 35.8 mm, die axis 180o, Ninica-Claudiopolis (Mut, Mersin, Turkey) mint, 222 - 235 A.D.; obverse IMP C SEVERUS ALEXAN∆ER AVΓ (or similar), laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; c/m: Nike right in c. 5 x 8 mm oval punch (3 times); reverse IVL MAECA COL IVL FEL NINIO CLAU∆IOPOLI (or similar), draped bust of Julia Maesa right; huge 35.8 mm!; ex Forum (2015); extremely rare; $250.00 SALE PRICE $225.00


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D., Anazarbus, Cilicia

|Cilicia|, |Severus| |Alexander,| |13| |March| |222| |-| |March| |235| |A.D.,| |Anazarbus,| |Cilicia||tetrassaria|
Anazarbus was founded by Assyrians. Under the early Roman Empire it was known as Kaicareωn (Caesarea), and was the Metropolis (capital) of the late Roman province Cilicia Secunda. It was the home of the poet Oppian. Rebuilt by the Byzantine emperor Justin I after an earthquake in the 6th century, it became Justinopolis (525); but the old native name persisted, and when Thoros I, king of Lesser Armenia, made it his capital early in the 12th century, it was known as Anazarva.
RP110457. Bronze tetrassaria, apparently unpublished; Ziegler - (Vs6/Rs12), RPC Online VI -, VF, broad flan, green patina, some legend unstruck, a little rough, small edge cracks, weight 12.496 g, maximum diameter 30.3 mm, die axis 0o, Anazarbus (Anavarza, Turkey) mint, 229 - 230 A.D.; obverse AYT K M AY CE AΛEΞAN∆POC, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from the front; reverse ANAZAPBOY MHTPO, saddled horse right, left foreleg raised, ΓB (holder of 3 neocorates) above, ET ΘMC (year 249) in exergue; perhaps unique; extremely rare; $200.00 SALE PRICE $180.00


Valerian I, October 253 - c. June 260 A.D., Samos, Islands of Ionia

|Other| |Ionia|, |Valerian| |I,| |October| |253| |-| |c.| |June| |260| |A.D.,| |Samos,| |Islands| |of| |Ionia||AE| |27|
Samos is the birthplace of Pythagoras. A famous attraction on the island is the tunnel-aqueduct dug through a mountain to bring water to the city from a secret spring. An engineering marvel over 1000m long, it was dug from both ends by two teams working simultaneously and used for a very long period. Herodotus' wrote of it, which led to its discovery in the 19th century.
RP110323. Bronze AE 27, SNG Cop 1796, BMC Ionia p. 393, 370; SNGvA 2329 var. (AVΓ K... on obv.), VF, well centered, green patina, light earthen deposits, weight 9.261 g, maximum diameter 27.4 mm, die axis 180o, Samos mint, Oct 253 - c. Jun 260 A.D.; obverse AVP T K ΠOΛIONSΛEPIANOC AVP, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse CA-MI-ΩN (last two letters in exergue), facing standing cult statue of Samian Hera within temple with four columns and central arch; ex Naville Numismatics auction 58 (14 Jun 2020), lot 231; ex NAC auction 100 (29 May 2017), lot 1240; rare; $180.00 SALE PRICE $162.00


Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D., Ascalon, Philistia, Judaea

|Roman| |Judea| |&| |Palestina|, |Antoninus| |Pius,| |August| |138| |-| |7| |March| |161| |A.D.,| |Ascalon,| |Philistia,| |Judaea||AE| |22|NEW
The Philistines conquered Canaanite Ashkelon about 1150 B.C. and it became one of the five Philistine cities that were constantly warring with the Israelites and the Kingdom of Judah. The last of the Philistine cities to hold out against Nebuchadnezzar, it finally fell in 604 B.C.; burned and destroyed, its people exiled, the Philistine era ended. Ashkelon was rebuilt, dominated by Persian culture. After the Alexander's conquest, Ashkelon was an important Hellenistic seaport. The Jews drove the Greeks out of the region during the Maccabean Revolt, which lasted from 167 to 160 B.C. In 63 B.C. the area was incorporated into the Roman Republic. Cleopatra VII used Ashkelon as her refuge when her brother and sister exiled her in 49 B.C. The city remained loyal to Rome during the First Jewish Revolt.
RY110574. Bronze AE 22, cf. Yashin 200 - 202; RPC IV.3 T10145/2 (2 spec., one with this bust); Rosenberger I 169; BMC Palestine -, Sofaer -, aF, well centered, red-brown patina, weight 11.076 g, maximum diameter 21.8 mm, die axis 0o, Askalon (Ashqelon, Israel) mint, 141 - 142 A.D.; obverse CEBA(?), laureate draped, and cuirassed bust right, short beard; reverse ACKAΛW, Tyche-Astarte standing slightly left on galley, turreted head left, standard in right hand, apluster in left hand, incense altar over E left, dove standing left over EMC (year 245) on right; Coin Archives records only one specimen of the type at auction in the last two decades; extremely rare; $180.00 SALE PRICE $162.00


Julia Titi, Augusta c. 79 - 89 A.D., Unpublished Mule

|Julia| |Titi|, |Julia| |Titi,| |Augusta| |c.| |79| |-| |89| |A.D.,| |Unpublished| |Mule||dupondius|
This coin is an extremely rare apparently unpublished mule of two very similar rare varieties from the same issue. This coin has the obverse of RIC II-1 T395 with Julia's hair in a coiled bun at the back. That type has the reverse legend CONCORDIA AVG. The obverse of RIC II-1 T394, with this CONCORD AVGVST reverse legend, has a different portrait with a smaller bun lower on the back of her head.
RB110098. Orichalcum dupondius, RIC II-1 T395/394 (R/R2); BnF III T268/T269; cf. Cohen I 3 (CONCORDIA AVG); Hunter I 5 (same); SRCV I 2616 (CONCORDIA AVG); BMCRE II -, aF, green patina, weight 10.442 g, maximum diameter 28.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, struck under Titus, 80 - 81 A.D.; obverse IVLIA IMP T AVG F AVGVSTA, draped bust right, hair piled high in the front, coiled in a bun at the back; reverse CONCORD AVGVST, Concordia seated left, patera in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) in exergue; from the Shawn Caza Collection, ex Kunst-und Antikmarkt Am Hof (Vienna, Austria); this coin is an extremely rare apparently unpublished mule of two very similar rare varieties from the same issue; zero sales of this mule type are recorded on Coin Archives in the last two decades; extremely rare; $200.00 SALE PRICE $160.00


Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 A.D.

|Hadrian|, |Hadrian,| |11| |August| |117| |-| |10| |July| |138| |A.D.||sestertius|
Hadrian traveled to nearly every province of the Empire and spent more than half his reign outside Italy. Nero had been criticized as self-indulgent for his trip to Greece, but Hadrian proudly advertised his travels with his "Adventus" coinage series. Unlike Nero, the pleasure-seeking tourist, Hadrian inspected and corrected the legions and made grants for the construction of new public buildings, projects, and settlements. Hadrian travels were intended to transform conquered lands into a unified Roman Empire.
RB110107. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC II-3 1803 (R), BMCRE III 1782, Hunter II 636, Cohen II 1218, SRCV II 3627, aF, well centered, corrosion, weight 24.525 g, maximum diameter 32.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 131 - 138 A.D.; obverse HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P, laureate and draped bust right, seen from the side; reverse RESTITVTORI ACHAIAE, Hadrian standing left, togate, holding roll in left hand, with right hand raising Achaea, draped, kneeling right and resting left hand on knee; urn containing palm between them, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; from the Shawn Caza Collection, ex Anciennes Collections (Clermont Ferrand, France); rare; $200.00 SALE PRICE $160.00




  



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REFERENCES|

Calic, X. The Roman Avrei. (Barcelona, 2003).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappes sous l?Empire Romain. (Paris, 1880 - 1892).
Estiot, S. "L'Or romain entre crise et restitution (270-276 apr. J.-C.). I. Aurlien" in Journal des Savants 1 (1999), pp. 51-148.
Giard, J., P. Besombes & S. Estiot. Monnaies de l'Empire romain. Bibliothque nationale de France. (Paris, 1998 - ).
Gbl, R., et al. Moneta Imperii Romani. (Vienna, 1984 - present).
Mattingly, H. & E. Sydenham, et al. The Roman Imperial Coinage. (London, 1926 - 2020).
Mattingly, H. & R. Carson. Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum. (London, 1923 - 1963).
Monnaies de l'Empire Romain / Roman Imperial Coinage AD 268-276 (RIC V Online) http://www.ric.mom.fr
Robinson, A. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet, University of Glasgow. (Oxford, 1962 - 1982).
Sear, D. Roman Coins and Their Values. (London, 2000 - 2014).
Vagi, D. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire. (Sidney, 1999).

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