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Home > Members' Coin Collection Galleries > David Atherton > Imperial Coinage of Vespasian
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AR Denarius, 3.16g
Ephesus mint, 69-70 AD
Obv: IMPCAES VESPASAVG; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.
Rev: LIBERI IMP AVG VESPAS; Heads of Titus, bare, r., and Domitian, bare, l., confronting; Φ in r. field
RIC 1402 (R3). BMC-. RSC-. RPC 810 (0 Spec.). BNC-.
Acquired from Klner, February 2020.

Ephesus struck a small series of denarii for Vespasian between 69 and 74. The issue is divided into groups based on evolving legends and mint marks. The same stock reverse types were repeated throughout the series, with the dynastic types perhaps being the scarcest. This is a second known example of the Ephesian Group 2 confronting heads dynastic type with the Φ mint mark in right field. The other specimen (Munzhandlung Basel 6, 18 March 1936, lot 1619) is from the same die pair but in much poorer condition. This is the first Ephesian issue to strike this particular dynastic type which copies a contemporaneous one from Rome. These early issues are undated but likely were produced in either late 69 or early 70 soon after Vespasian's accession. The Ephesian denarii were often engraved in very fine style and are highly desired by collectors for that reason. Unusually for Ephesus, this specimen has spacing dots on the obverse. Also, this coin is an obverse die match with my RIC 1406 from the same issue.

Aside from the extreme rarity, I was attracted to this coin because of the portraits. On the obverse Vespasian is presented as an old middle age man while the reverse features Titus and Domitian as virile young men looking almost like teenage boys. The obverse advertises experience and a steady hand while the reverse promises an energetic and bright future. A perfect dynastic message.

Struck on a tight flan in superb style.
File information
Album name:
File Size:
498 KB
Date added:
Mar 06, 2020
1900 x 951 pixels
34 times
Jay GT4  [Mar 06, 2020 at 09:30 PM]
3 amazing portraits!
Mat  [Mar 06, 2020 at 10:57 PM]
Damn, awesome addition
FlaviusDomitianus  [Mar 07, 2020 at 07:54 AM]
Excellent portraits, congrats
Nemonater  [Mar 07, 2020 at 11:36 AM]
Amazing! Glad it found a good home.
tito labieno  [Mar 08, 2020 at 11:07 PM]
the correct obverse legend is "IMP CAES VESPAS AVG"
David Atherton  [Mar 09, 2020 at 01:53 AM]
Thank you for informing me about the typo.
Canaan  [Mar 09, 2020 at 03:27 PM]
A great coin
LordBest  [Mar 09, 2020 at 04:17 PM]
Fantastic coin
Forum Ancient Coins
PO BOX 1316

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