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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; $5850.00 SALE PRICE $5265.00


Roman Republic, Anonymous, c. 280 B.C.

|before| |211| |B.C.|, |Roman| |Republic,| |Anonymous,| |c.| |280| |B.C.||triens|NEW
The triens (plural trientes) was an Ancient Roman bronze coin produced during the Roman Republic valued at one-third of an as.
SH110921. Aes grave (cast) triens, Crawford 14/3 var. (pellets below dolphin); Thurlow-Vecchi 3a var. (same); Haeberlin pl. 39, 15 var. (same); HN Italy 270 var. (same); Sydenham 10, VF, dark green patina, earthen deposits, a few flan flaws, weight 83.342 g, maximum diameter 50.5 mm, die axis 270o, Rome mint, heavy series, c. 280 B.C.; obverse fulmen (thunderbolt), four pellets (mark of value) divided across field; reverse dolphin swimming right, four pellets (mark of value) above; ex CNG auction 90 (23 May 2012), lot 1278; ex L.C. Aes Grave Collection; this coin is the only specimen on Coin Archives and the only specimen known to FORVM with the pellets above the dolphin; extremely rare variant; $2500.00 SALE PRICE $2250.00


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; $2500.00 SALE PRICE $2250.00


Nero, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D.

|Nero|, |Nero,| |13| |October| |54| |-| |9| |June| |68| |A.D.||dupondius|
 
SL110661. Orichalcum dupondius, Unpublished, RIC I -, BMCRE I -, BnF II -, Hunter I -, SRCV I -, NGC Ch VF, strike 4/5, surface 2/5 (4279489-013), weight 15.78 g, maximum diameter 28 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain Balkan (Perinthus?) mint, c. 65 - 66 A.D.; obverse NERO CLAVDIVS CAESAR AVG GERM P M TR - P, laureate head right; reverse SECVRITAS AVGVSTI (security the Emperor provides), Securitas enthroned right, relaxed with head resting on right hand, scepter in left hand, garlanded flaming altar at feet on right, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; zero sales of this type listed on Coin Archives in the last two decades, only one other specimen of this type known to FORVM, NGC| Lookup; extremely rare; $780.00 SALE PRICE $702.00


Galba, 3 April 68 - 15 January 69 A.D.

|Galba|, |Galba,| |3| |April| |68| |-| |15| |January| |69| |A.D.||sestertius|NEW
This obverse die is published in Kraay's, The Aes Coinage of Galba, combined only with an AVGVSTA, Livia seated left reverse. After an extensive search of references and online, this is the only specimen of this type known to FORVM.
RB110265. Orichalcum sestertius, Apparently unpublished, Kraay Galba - (officina B, A76/-), RIC I -, Cohen I -, BnF III -, OCRE -, SRCV I -, BMCRE I -, aVF, nice brown patina, light bumps and marks, holed and filled, weight 23.058 g, maximum diameter 35.6 mm, die axis 210o, officina B, Rome mint, 68 A.D.; obverse IMP SER GALBA CAE AVG TR P, oak-wreathed head right; reverse Victory alighting right, raising wreath in extended right hand, palm frond over left shoulder in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; extremely rare; $500.00 (505.00) ON RESERVE


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


Marcus Aurelius, 7 March 161 - 17 March 180 A.D.

|Marcus| |Aurelius|, |Marcus| |Aurelius,| |7| |March| |161| |-| |17| |March| |180| |A.D.||sestertius|NEW
A "Tiber patina," sometimes called a river patina, is technically not a patina at all. Rather, submersion in anaerobic fresh water or mud on a river bottom has prevented a normal patina from forming. The shiny original surfaces of the coin often becomes subdued and grainy or porous. Curvy lines of corrosion, with an appearance similar to worm holes in wood, are seen on this coin and are common on river found coins. We don't know what causes these strange flaws.
RB110502. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC III 914 (R), BMCRE IV 1277, Cohen III 75, Hunter II 119, SRCV II 4064, F, Tiber patina, weight 21.203 g, maximum diameter 32.9 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, Dec 165 - summer 166 A.D.; obverse M AVREL ANTONINVS AVG - ARMENIACVS P M, laureate head right; reverse CONG AVG III TR POT XX IMP III COS III, Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus seated left on curule chairs, prefect standing behind, another official before holding account-board, all on platform, citizen on platform steps holding out fold of toga to receive his donative, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; ex Heritage auctions 61151 (26 Jan 2020), lot 97331; ex Phil Peck / "Morris" Collection; rare; $250.00 SALE PRICE $225.00 ON RESERVE


Gaba, Judaea, 117 - 118 A.D.

|Judaea| |&| |Palestine|, |Gaba,| |Judaea,| |117| |-| |118| |A.D.||AE| |15|NEW
Gaba, at the foot of Mount Carmel between Ptolemais and Caesarea, was founded by Herod the Great as a settlement for retired cavalrymen. It is modern day el Harithiye or Tell el-Amir.
RP110526. Bronze AE 15, RPC Online III 3953 (2 spec.); Kindler Gaba 25; Sofaer Collection p. 44 & pl. 41, 5; Rosenberger -, aVF, green patina, earthen deposits, off center, flan a bit ragged, weight 2.694 g, maximum diameter 15.1 mm, die axis 0o, Gaba mint, 117 - 118 A.D; obverse ΓABH-NWN, Mn standing facing, looking left, resting on scepter with his right hand, left hand on hip; reverse Tyche standing left, column altar before her, pouring libations from patera over altar with right hand, cornucopia in left hand, ZOP (year 177) lower right; zero sales of this type listed on Coin Archives in the last two decades; extremely rare; $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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