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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |Roman Rarities||View Options:  |  |  |   

Rare Roman Coins
Pescennius Niger, April to 1 June 193 - March, April or May 194 A.D.

|Pescennius| |Niger|, |Pescennius| |Niger,| |April| |to| |1| |June| |193| |-| |March,| |April| |or| |May| |194| |A.D.||denarius|
Pescennius Niger was declared emperor by his troops after the murder of Pertinax. Septimius Severus, after consolidating his own forces and taking Rome, marched upon Niger and defeated him three times. After a fourth in a final defeat at Issus, Niger fled towards Parthia but was overtaken and executed.
SH99218. Silver denarius, RIC IV 5b (R3) var. (BONI EVENTVS), BMCRE V 299 var. (same), RSC III 10b var. (same), Hunter III 2 var. (same), SRCV II 6102 var. (same), aVF, toned, off center, light deposits, porosity, small edge splits, weight 3.824 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, Apr/1 Jun 193 - Mar/May 194 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES C PESC NIGER IVST AVG, laureate head right; reverse BONI EVENT (sic), Bonus Eventus or Fides standing half left, head left, raising plate of fruit in right in right hand, two stalks of grain downward in left hand; ex Noble Numismatics auction 121 (20 Jul 2019), lot 4796; ex Dr. C. Haymes Collection; ex Spink & Sons; unpublished variety of very rare type; $1000.00 SALE PRICE $900.00


Pupienus, 22 April - 29 July 238 A.D.

|Pupienus|, |Pupienus,| |22| |April| |-| |29| |July| |238| |A.D.||denarius|
A.D. 238 was the year of six emperors. Maximinus Thrax was killed (along with his son Maximus Caesar) when his soldiers mutinied. Gordian II was killed in battle. Gordian I hanged himself. Pupienus was lynched by his bodyguard. Balbinus was beaten and dragged naked through the streets of Rome before being killed by the Praetorians. Gordian III lived to become sole emperor.
SH99217. Silver denarius, RIC IV-1 4 (S); RSC III 22, BMCRE VI 46, Hunter III 4, SRCV III 8526, gVF, toned, flow lines, trace deposits, small edge cracks, weight 2.922 g, maximum diameter 20.6 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 238 A.D.; obverse IMP C M CLOD PVPIENVS AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse PAX PVBLICA, Pax seated left on throne, raising olive branch in right hand, transverse scepter in left hand; ex Dr. C. Haymes Collection; ex Noble Numismatics auction 121 (20 Jul 2019), lot 4816; rare; $800.00 SALE PRICE $720.00


Otho, 15 January 69 - 17 April 69 A.D.

|Otho|, |Otho,| |15| |January| |69| |-| |17| |April| |69| |A.D.||denarius|
Otho first appears as one of the most reckless and extravagant of the young nobles who surrounded Nero. This friendship was brought to an end in 58 A.D. At her insistence, Otho introduced his beautiful wife, Poppaea Sabina, to the Emperor. Poppaea soon became Nero's mistress, divorced Otho, and had Nero send Otho away as governor to the remote province of Lusitania. Otho remained in Lusitania for the next ten years, administering the province with a moderation unusual at the time. When in 68 A.D. his neighbor, the future Emperor Galba, the governor of Hispania Tarraconensis, rose in revolt against Nero, Otho accompanied him to Rome. Resentment toward Nero may have impelled him to this course, but he was soon inspired by personal ambition.
SH99219. Silver denarius, RIC I 8 (R2), RSC II 17, BMCRE I 18, BnF III 10, Hunter I C 3807, SRCV I 2162, F/aF, excellent portrait for the grade, toned, scratches, bumps, parts of obv. legend weakly struck, weight 2.969 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, Feb - Mar 69 A.D.; obverse IMP M OTHO CAESAR AVG TR P, bare head right; reverse SECVRITAS P R (security of the people of Rome), Securitas standing slightly left, head left, raising wreath in right hand, long scepter in left hand; rare; $800.00 SALE PRICE $720.00


Judaea, Pontius Pilate, Roman Prefect Under Tiberius, 26 - 36 A.D.

|Pontius| |Pilate|, |Judaea,| |Pontius| |Pilate,| |Roman| |Prefect| |Under| |Tiberius,| |26| |-| |36| |A.D.||prutah|
Pontius Pilate is chiefly known for the part he played in the trial and crucifixion of Jesus.
JD72795. Bronze prutah, Meshorer TJC 333g; Sofaer 49; Hendin 6371d, Fair, rough, reverse edge beveled, weight 1.966 g, maximum diameter 15.2 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem (or unofficial?) mint, 29 - 31 A.D.; obverse TIBEPIOY KAICAPOC (retrograde, counterclockwise), lituus (augural wand) curving left (reversed from the normal); reverse LIϖ in wreath; very rare; $450.00 SALE PRICE $405.00


Magnentius, 18 January 350 - 10 August 353 A.D.

|Magnentius|, |Magnentius,| |18| |January| |350| |-| |10| |August| |353| |A.D.||reduced| |double| |maiorina|NEW
I am the alpha and the omega" is an appellation of Jesus in the Book of Revelation (verses 1:8, 21:6, and 22:13). Alpha (A) and omega (w/?) are respectively the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. The first and last letters of the Greek alphabet were used because the Book of Revelation was originally written in Greek. This reverse was meant to incite the Orthodox Christians of the West against the Arian Constantius II, who intended to reclaim the western provinces.
RL99280. Bronze reduced double maiorina, RIC VIII Amiens 39 (R), Bastien MM 135, LRBC II 19, SRCV V 18778, Hunter V -, gVF, centered on a tight flan, dark brown tone , mild porosity, weight 7.010 g, maximum diameter 24.0 mm, die axis 180o, Ambianum (Amiens, France) mint, 353 A.D.; obverse D N MAGNENTIVS P F AVG, bare-headed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse SALVS DD NN AVG ET CAES (the salvation of our noble emperor and caesar), large Christogram (chi-rho), flanked by alpha and omega, AMB in exergue; ex Ephesus Numismatics (Tom Wood); rare; $400.00 SALE PRICE $360.00


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; $360.00 SALE PRICE $324.00


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; $340.00 SALE PRICE $306.00


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

|Pontos|, |Hadrian,| |11| |August| |117| |-| |10| |July| |138| |A.D.,| |Amisos,| |Pontos||drachm|
The Romans conquered Amisus in 71 B.C. during the Third Mithridatic War and Amisus became part of Bithynia et Pontus province. Around 46 B.C., during the reign of Julius Caesar, Amisus became the capital of Roman Pontus. From the period of the Second Triumvirate up to Nero, Pontus was ruled by several client kings, as well as a queen, Pythodorida of Pontus, a granddaughter of Mark Antony. From 62 A.D. it was directly ruled by Roman governors, most famously by Trajan's appointee Pliny the Younger. The estimated population of the city around 150 A.D. was between 20,000 and 25,000, a large city for that time. The city functioned as the commercial capital for the province of Pontus; beating its rival Sinope due to its position at the head of the trans-Anatolia highway.
RS99248. Silver drachm, RPC III 1279 (5 spec.), Recueil Gnral 91, Nordb Amisus 5b, BMC Pontus -, gF, dark spots, part of obv. legend unstruck, tiny edge cracks, weight 2.699 g, maximum diameter 19.2 mm, die axis 210o, Amisos (Samsun, Turkey) mint, year 167, 135 - 136 A.D.; obverse AYT KAI TPA A∆PI-ANOC CEB Π Π YΠ Γ, laureate head right; reverse AMICOV EΛEVΘEPAC ETOVC PΞZ (Amisos, free city, [year] 167), Hera standing left, wearing diadem, apple in right hand, scepter in left hand; first example of this type handled by Forum, zero sales of this type listed on Coin Archives in the last two decades; very rare; $300.00 SALE PRICE $270.00


Commodus, March or April 177 - 31 December 192 A.D., Cius, Bithynia

|Bithynia|, |Commodus,| |March| |or| |April| |177| |-| |31| |December| |192| |A.D.,| |Cius,| |Bithynia||AE| |26|NEW
Cius was an ancient Greek city bordering the Propontis, now known as the Sea of Marmara, in Bithynia and in Mysia in modern northwestern Turkey, and had a long history, being mentioned by Herodotus, Xenophon, Aristotle, Strabo and Apollonius Rhodius.
RP99435. Bronze AE 26, RPC Online IV.1 11689 (1 specimen, this coin), otherwise unpublished, F, well centered, brown patina, porous/light corrosion, weight 4.386 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 225o, Cius, Bithynia (near Gemlik, Turkey) mint, 180 - 182 A.D.; obverse A K M AV KO ANTΩNI, laureate (and cuirassed?) bust of Commodus right, with short beard; reverse KIANΩN, Hygieia standing half right, head right, feeding snake in right hand, from patera in left hand; from the M. Arslan Collection, extremely rare - this is the only known specimen of the type; $300.00 SALE PRICE $270.00


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D., Apollonia Salbace, Caria

|Other| |Caria|, |Severus| |Alexander,| |13| |March| |222| |-| |March| |235| |A.D.,| |Apollonia| |Salbace,| |Caria||AE| |30|
This coin is an obverse die match to a coin struck by the neighboring city, Alabanda, Caria, SNG Mnchen 464, RPC Online VI T5384. Dies shared by more than one city in the region were first discovered by Konrad Kraft in 1972. Groups of smaller cities in Anatolia shared traveling mints, which would sometimes use the same obverse dies for more than one city.
RP92646. Bronze AE 30, Apparently unpublished; RPC Online -, SNG BnF -, SNGvA -, SNG Cop -, BMC Caria -, F, porous, turquoise and earthen adhesions, reverse flatly struck, weight 11.787 g, maximum diameter 29.7 mm, die axis 180o, Apollonia Salbace (Edremit, Turkey) mint, 13 Mar 222 - Mar 235 A.D.; obverse AYT K M AYP CEY AΛEΞAN∆PO-C, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse CTPA AΓAΘEINOY TOY IH AΠOΛΛΩNIATΩN (strategos Agathinos, son of Hie.(?), Apollonia), Zeus standing slightly left, head left, wearing himation and chlamys, eagle in right hand, long scepter vertical in left hand; from the Errett Bishop Collection; extremely rare, this is the only specimen of the type known to FORVM; $250.00 SALE PRICE $225.00




  



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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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