Coin Community Family of Web Sites
Like us on Facebook! Subscribe to our Youtube Channel! Check out our Twitter! Check out our Pinterest!
Username:
Password:
Save Password
Forgot your Password?

Welcome Guest! Need help? Got a question? Inherit some coins?
Our coin forum is completely free! Register Now!

Pawn Stars - 1st Century Roman Brothel Token

 
 
To participate in the forum you must log in or register.
Author Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  
Pillar of the Community
United States
3760 Posts
 Posted 06/10/2019  10:42 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add Lucky Cuss to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Did anybody else see this (for which Rick paid $8K) on tonight's episode?

Colligo ergo sum
Valued Member
United States
399 Posts
 Posted 06/11/2019  07:53 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add joecoin to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Did not see it, but he probably thinks he can still spend it.
Pillar of the Community
United States
1081 Posts
 Posted 06/11/2019  10:14 am  Show Profile   Check 999fine's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 999fine to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Do people really still watch this show?
Coins were meant to be spent.
Pillar of the Community
United States
3760 Posts
 Posted 06/11/2019  10:38 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Lucky Cuss to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Do people really still watch this show?

Well, obviously I did last night, but I'll admit the novelty has long since worn off. Same for American Pickers I'd say. But I do still learn things from both.

For those who aren't familiar with the particular genre of Roman "coinage", here's a selection of images of these (with a warning that they're pretty graphic as to for what they were to be redeemed):

https://www.bing.com/images/search?...es&FORM=IGRE

Rick's expert pronounced it authentic, but with a four to five figure valuation, I'd prersonally be scared to death buying a raw example, as apparently they've way too often been reproduced.

Colligo ergo sum
Moderator
Learn More...
Australia
13101 Posts
 Posted 06/12/2019  12:04 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Sap to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The technical term for these objects is "spintria". Do NOT do a Google image search on that word while the kids are about.

It's generally assumed that spintria are brothel tokens, since no-one can imagine why they would be made with designs like those for any other reason.
Don't say "infinitely" when you mean "very"; otherwise, you'll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite. - C. S. Lewis
Pillar of the Community
United States
3760 Posts
 Posted 06/12/2019  2:28 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Lucky Cuss to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
This has prompted me to do a bit more research on the topic.

Here's an article on the only such to ever be found in the U.K. -

http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/317460

So far as I can glean from the various things I've read, there is a train of thought that spintriae were used in gaming, akin to either present day casino chips or possibly the pieces used to identify players in the Monopoly board game. This relies on an underlying hypothesis that Romans were generally so unabashed when it came to matters relating to sex, that the depictions on spintriae have no deeper meaning than those found on a modern deck of "nudie' playing cards.

This theory is not widely accepted, however, the sticking point evidently being the numbers on the reverses, which wouldn't seem to correspond with any known Roman game. And even if they're indeed brothel tokens, there's disagreement about the significance of those numbers. On Monday night's television program, it was averred (with absolute confidence) that the purpose of the number was to direct the user to the particular person who would be providing the services. Others, though, suggest that the numbers corresponded to a price, which actually to me seems rather unlikely, as how would it benefit the brothel operator for his workers to know precisely how much the client had paid? Another possibility would be that the numeral, whether higher or lower, could indicate how favored or important the client was. Again, though, if that was divined, as it almost surely sooner or later would be, it'd probably boomerang on the operator, at least in some instances.

It may never be known the precise purpose spintriae served. In any case, my question would be why were they employed apparently only during the first century AD? Certainly neither gaming nor prostitution ceased after that period.

Colligo ergo sum
Edited by Lucky Cuss
06/12/2019 2:54 pm
Pillar of the Community
United States
728 Posts
 Posted 06/12/2019  3:55 pm  Show Profile   Check Collects82's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Collects82 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
It's now listed for sale on the shop's website at $12k in an NGC slab.
My hoard of '82s is up to 159! 218 BC x 1, 118 BC x 3, 18 BC x 1, 82 x 1, 182 x 1, 282 x 2, 582 x 2, 682 x 1, 782 x 2, 882 x 1, 982 x 3, 1182 x 8, 1282 x 2, 1382 x 1, 1482 x 4, 1582 x 12, 1682 x 12, 1782 x 40, 1882 x 41, 1982 x 21
Pillar of the Community
United States
656 Posts
 Posted 06/12/2019  7:23 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Kushanshah to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The interpretation as "brothel token" may say more about the modern western mindset than about 1st century Rome. I don't find any one argument fully convincing. This article from 2017 seems a good summary of the various interpretations (note: mature content). https://www.degruyter.com/downloadp...017-0005.pdf
Edited by Kushanshah
06/12/2019 7:32 pm
Pillar of the Community
United States
3760 Posts
 Posted 06/13/2019  09:02 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Lucky Cuss to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
It's now listed for sale on the shop's website at $12k in an NGC slab.

So it is:



Not surprised that they had it formally authenticated, although I'd remark that an overall grade of XF seems to me somewhat generous.

Colligo ergo sum
Edited by Lucky Cuss
06/13/2019 4:31 pm
Valued Member
United States
399 Posts
 Posted 06/13/2019  11:39 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add joecoin to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
...It may never be known the precise purpose spintriae served. In any case, my question would be why were they employed apparently only during the first century AD? Certainly neither gaming nor prostitution ceased after that period.


Perhaps betting tokens used at chariot/horse races? Pay your 2 denarii at the window and pick a number.


Or maybe they were hotel "keys", corresponding to room numbers?

"Flavia in room number XXIV is one hot babe!"

Edit: I see this possibility was already addressed.

Or how about lottery tickets? Don't know why they would be sexual, but they say sex sells.

Pillar of the Community
Learn More...
United States
2441 Posts
 Posted 06/13/2019  4:37 pm  Show Profile   Check BigSilver's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add BigSilver to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
although I'd remark that an overall grade of XF seems to me somewhat generous

That will help perpetuate the "myth" that NGC favors certain submitters......
Pillar of the Community
United States
656 Posts
 Posted 06/13/2019  7:45 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Kushanshah to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
That will help perpetuate the "myth" that NGC favors certain submitters......

Why would anyone think such a thing?
https://coinweek.com/education/coin...-NGC-labels/
Edited by Kushanshah
06/13/2019 7:45 pm
Bedrock of the Community
Learn More...
United States
11531 Posts
 Posted 06/13/2019  7:46 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Spence to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
although I'd remark that an overall grade of XF seems to me somewhat generous


I agree and especially struggle to think of a good reason for a coin with relatively poor surfaces (e.g. as certified 2/5) qualifying for an overall XF grade.
"The danger we all now face is distinguishing between what is authentic and what is performed."
-----King Adz
Valued Member
United States
399 Posts
 Posted 06/14/2019  09:41 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add joecoin to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Why would anyone think such a thing?
https://coinweek.com/education/coin...-NGC-labels/


Next thing you know, you'll see slabs autographed by John J. Ford Jr.
  Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  
 
To participate in the forum you must log in or register.

Coin Community Member eBay Sales

Certified Coins   Certified VAMs   Certified Errors  




Disclaimer: While a tremendous amount of effort goes into ensuring the accuracy of the information contained in this site, Coin Community assumes no liability for errors. Copyright 2005 - 2019 Coin Community Family- all rights reserved worldwide. Use of any images or content on this website without prior written permission of Coin Community or the original lender is strictly prohibited.
Contact Us  |  Advertise Here  |  Privacy Policy / Terms of Use

Coin Community Forum © 2005 - 2019 Coin Community Forums
It took 0.95 seconds to rattle this change. Powered By: Snitz Forums 2000 Version 3.4.05