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This type was the first portrait sestertius struck at the mint of Rome. The wreath on the reverse is the corona civica, the oak wreath awarded to Roman citizens ex senatus consulto (by special decree of the Senate) for saving the life of another citizen by slaying an enemy in battle. It became a prerogative for Roman emperors to be awarded the Civic Crown, originating with Augustus, who was awarded it in 27 B.C. for saving the lives of citizens by ending the series of civil wars.SH94041. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC I 37, BMCRE I 38, Cohen I 24, BnF II 50, Hunter I 15, SRCV I -, Choice VF, well centered, attractive style, dark reddish brown patina, highest point of bust a little weakly struck, weight 28.089 g, maximum diameter 35.4 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 37 - 38 A.D.; obverse C CAESAR AVG GERMANICVS PON M TR POT, laureate head left; reverse S P Q R / P P / OB CIVES / SERVATOS (from the Senate and people of Rome to the father of the country for saving the citizens) in four lines within Corona Civica oak wreath; ex Nomos Obolos auction 9 (25 March 2018), 160; ex Stoecklin Collection (Amriswil, Switzerland, acquired prior to 1975, see The Story of the Stoecklin Collection); $3280.00 (€2952.00)
Caligula, 16 March 37 - 24 January 41 A.D.
This type was the first portrait sestertius struck at the mint of Rome. The wreath on the reverse is the corona civica, the oak wreath awarded to Roman citizens ex senatus consulto (by special decree of the Senate) for saving the life of another citizen by slaying an enemy in battle. It became a prerogative for Roman emperors to be awarded the Civic Crown, originating with Augustus, who was awarded it in 27 B.C. for saving the lives of citizens by ending the series of civil wars.SH94039. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC I 37, BMCRE I 38, Cohen I 24, BnF II 50, Hunter I 15, SRCV I -, VF, good style portrait, well centered on a tight flan, corrosion, weight 25.093 g, maximum diameter 34.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 37 - 38 A.D.; obverse C CAESAR AVG GERMANICVS PON M TR POT, laureate head left; reverse S P Q R / P P / OB CIVES / SERVATOS (from the Senate and people of Rome to the father of the country for saving the citizens) in four lines within Corona Civica oak wreath; ex Savoca auction 34 (16 Jun 2019), 365; $1800.00 (€1620.00)
Nero, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D.
Annona was the goddess of harvest and Ceres the goddess of agriculture. This reverse refers to the transportation of grain by sea from the provinces (especially from Africa) and its distribution to the people. By the Code De Naviculariis, the mariners appointed to carry grain from Egypt could be executed if they did not keep the proper course; and if they did not sail in the proper season, the master of the vessel would be banished.SH94037. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC I 137, BMCRE I 128, Mac Dowall WCN 119, BnF II 273 var. (NERO CLAVDIVS...), Cohen I 24 var. (same), Hunter I -, SRCV I -, VF, well centered on a broad flan, nice green patina, pin-prick pitting, weight 26.678 g, maximum diameter 35.3 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 65 A.D.; obverse NERO CLAVD CAESAR AVG GER P M TR P IMP P P, laureate bust right wearing aegis; reverse ANNONA AVGVSTI CERES, Annona standing right, right hand on hip, cornucopia in left hand, facing Ceres enthroned left, holding grain-ears in right hand, torch in left hand, modius on garlanded altar in center between them, ship's stern in background, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; ex Pegasi Numismatics; $1350.00 (€1215.00)
Roman Civil War, Vitellius, c. 69 A.D.
This coin is M71 in Butcher, K. & M. Pointing, The Metallurgy of Roman Silver Coinage: From the Reform of Nero to the Reform of Trajan (Cambridge, 2015). There is a tiny drill hole on the edge where silver was extracted for testing. This was an important coin in the study, with test results indicating 93.9% silver bullion and Gallic isotope ratios strongly suggesting similarity with other Vitellius coins from Gallia, not coins minted for Galba.RS86684. Silver denarius, Butcher-Pointing M71 (this coin), RIC I Civil Wars 121, BMCRE I 65, RSC I Galba 363, BnF I 75, Martin 7, EF, toned, tight flan, light corrosion, test drill hole on edge, weight 3.127 g, maximum diameter 17.5 mm, die axis 180o, Southern Gaul(?) mint, c. 69 A.D.; obverse clasped hands, FIDES above, EXERCITVVM below; reverse clasped hands, FIDES above, PRAETORIANORVM curving along the edge below; from the Jyrki Muona Collection, ex Helios, auction 4 (Munich, 14 Oct 2009), lot 270; ex Coll. A. Lynn collection; ex Classical Numismatic Group, auction 54 (14 June 2000), lot 1484; ex P. DeVicci collection; rare; $1170.00 (€1053.00)
Claudius, 25 January 41 - 13 October 54 A.D., Struck by Agrippa II(?), Caesarea Maritima(?), Syria Palestina
Julius Marcus Agrippa was a teenager studying in Rome when his father died. He was too young to rule and his father's kingdom was made a Roman province. About 6 years later, he was given the kingdom of his uncle Herod of Chalcis. Later more was added. It was before Herod Agrippa II that Saint Paul was tried. Agrippa sided with the Romans during the Jewish rebellion. Though he continued to rule until at least 95 A.D., the temple was destroyed and in the end his assigned territories were in Syria, not Judaea. The attribution to a mint at Caesarea Maritima under Agrippa II is traditional, and supported by recorded finds 90% of which are around Caesarea Maritima. Still, it may have been struck at Caesarea Paneas, which better fits the style, or it may have been struck by a Roman procurator.SL89827. Bronze AE 24, RPC I 4848 (6 spec.); Hendin 1263; Meshorer TJC 356; SNG ANS 744; BMC Palestine p. 12, 3; Rosenberger 1; Kadman -, NGC F, strike 4/5, surface 3/5, Agrippa II, 49 - 95, Caesarea (4283488-004), weight 8.78 g, maximum diameter 24.0 mm, die axis 45o, Caesarea Maritima (or Paneas?) mint, c. 49 - Oct 54 A.D.; obverse TI CLAVDIVS CAESAR AVG P M TR P IM P P, laureate head of Claudius right; reverse inverted anchor with ring on each end, within oak wreath; scarce; $500.00 (€450.00)
Domitian, 13 September 81 - 18 September 96 A.D.
Ceres a goddess of agriculture, grain crops, fertility and motherly relationships, was listed among the Di Consentes, Rome's equivalent to the Twelve Olympians of Greek mythology. The Romans saw her as the counterpart of the Greek goddess Demeter, whose mythology was reinterpreted for Ceres in Roman art and literature.SH92409. Orichalcum dupondius, RIC II-1 T334 (R2), BnF III T246 var., Hunter I T21 var., BMCRE II 237 var., SRCV I 2687 var., Cohen I 32 var. (all var. bust right), F, nice portrait, well centered on a broad flan, light marks, light corrosion, weight 18.218 g, maximum diameter 29.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, as caesar, 80 A.D.; obverse CAES DIVI AVG VESP F DOMITIAN COS VII, laureate and draped bust left; reverse CERES AVGVST, Ceres standing left, holding grain ears and torch; from the Errett Bishop Collection; with head left this type is missing from all references except the new RIC II-1, zero sales recorded on Coin Archives in the last two decades; very rare; $400.00 (€360.00)
Claudius, 25 January 41 - 13 October 54 A.D.
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.SL89519. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC I 99, SRCV I 1853, BMCRE I 124, Cohen I 85, NGC Ch VF, strike 4/5, surface 1/5 (24900381-001), Tiber patina with porosity and corrosion typical of a fresh water find, weight 23.735 g, maximum diameter 35.4 mm, die axis 180o, Western branch "barbarous" mint, c. 41 A.D.; obverse TI CLAVDIVS CAESAR AVG P M TR P IMP, laureate head right; reverse SPES AVGVSTA, Spes walking left, flower in extended right hand, raising fold of chiton with left hand, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection, photos taken before certification, now in a NGC holder; $300.00 (€270.00)
Titus, 24 June 79 - 13 September 81 A.D.
Vespasian, in 70 A.D., and Titus, in 71 A.D., both safely returned from the Judaea to Rome by sea voyage. This reverse, copied from Octavian, was struck on coins of both Vespasian and Titus to honor Neptune Redux and thank him for ensuring their safe return.RS91561. Silver denarius, RIC II-1 Vespasian 1561, RPC II 1933, RSC II 122, BMCRE II Vespasian 516, BnF III Vespasian 321, Hunter I -, SRCV I 2433, VF, toned, tight flan, bumps and scratches, weight 3.172 g, maximum diameter 18.0 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, as caesar, 72 - 73 A.D.; obverse T CAES IMP VESP PON TR POT (N reversed), laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse NEP RED, Neptune standing left, nude but for cloak on shoulders, right foot on globe, apluster in right hand resting on knee, long scepter vertical behind in left hand; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; $280.00 (€252.00)
Antioch, Seleucis and Pieria, Syria, 5 - 4 B.C., Legate P. Quinctilius Varus
Publius Quinctilius Varus was a Roman general and politician under Augustus. From 7 or 6 B.C. until 4 B.C. he governed Syria where he was known for harsh rule and high taxes. Josephus mentions the swift action of Varus in 4 B.C., against a revolt in Judaea following the death of Herod the Great. Varus occupied Jerusalem and crucified 2000 rebels. Varus is most infamous for losing three Roman legions in an ambush by Germanic tribes led by Arminius in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest, at which point he took his own life. Upon hearing the news, Augustus tore his clothes, refused to cut his hair for months and, for years afterward, was heard, upon occasion, to moan, "Quinctilius Varus, give me back my Legions!" (Quintili Vare, legiones redde!).RY94450. Bronze trichalkon, McAlee 87; Butcher 50c; RPC I 4252; SNG Cop 92; SNG München 640; BMC Galatia p. 159, 59; Cohen DCA 402 (S), VF/F, dark green patina, highlighting earthen deposits, porous, scratches, slightly off center, weight 8.671 g, maximum diameter 18.6 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, legate P. Quinctilius Varus, 5 - 4 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Zeus right; reverse ANTIOXEΩ EΠI OVAPOV, Tyche of Antioch seated right on rocks, turreted, wearing chiton and peplos, palm frond in her right hand, half-length figure of river-god Orontes swimming right below, his head turned facing, ZK (Actian Era year 27) in the right field; scarce; $250.00 (€225.00)
Dion (or Pella?), Macedonia, c. 22 - 30 A.D.
The Pietas obverse type is copied from a imperial dupondius struck at Rome in 22 - 23 A.D. (RIC I 43). That portrait has been traditionally described as depicting Livia as Pietas, based on Cohen. Even if as early as 1880, A. Colson was proposing that the portrait is actually Livilla, Drusus' wife, but that was not in time for Cohen to consider it for his catalog. On the dupondius, Pietas is paired with a reverse naming Livilla's husband, Drusus. At the time, Livilla was praised for piety over the sickness and death of her husband. Later it would become clear that she had poisoned Drusus for her lover Sejanus.RP89332. Leaded bronze provincial as, Kremydi-Sicilianou Dion p. 271, pl. 38 - (E7/O8, unlisted die combination); RPC I 1543; AMNG II p. 60, 4; Varbanov -, VF, areas of light corrosion, earthen deposits, weight 10.519 g, maximum diameter 23.1 mm, die axis 180o, Dium (or Pella?) mint, reign of Tiberius, c. 22 - 30 A.D.; obverse veiled and draped bust of Pietas (Livilla or Livia as Pietas?) right, PIETAS below; reverse L RVSTI/CELIVS / CORDVS / II • VIR / QVINQ / D D (L. Rusticelius Cordus, duovir quinquennalis, decreto decurionum) in six lines; ex CNG auction 420 (9 May 2018), lot 361; ex Belgica Collection; ex CNG e-auction 181 (6 Feb 2008), lot 671 (realized $330 plus fees); ex the Patrick Villemur Collection; rare; $225.00 (€202.50)
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