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Another Off The Bucket List - Claudius AR Cistophorus

 
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 Posted 05/19/2020  5:15 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add Finn235 to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Super excited to receive this in the mail, which has been on the bucket list pretty much since I became aware of it five years ago!




Claudius, AR Cistophoric Tetradrachm (9.97g, 26mm)
Struck ca. 41-42 AD, probably Pergamon mint

Obv: TI CLAVD CAES AVG, Bare head left
Rev: COM ASI, Temple of Augustus, showing Augustus, cuirassed and togate, holding scepter, receiving wreath from goddess holding cornucopia. ROM ET AVG on entablature.

RIC 120, RPC 2221

The cistophoric (meaning Cista-bearing) tetradrachms of Pergamon were initially minted in the first half of the second century BC. Contrasting with most other Hellenistic coins of the area, they normally eschewed the image and names of the sitting monarch, instead depicting snakes entwined around the Cista Mystica, the symbol of the cult of Dionysus. They continued to be minted under Roman rule, with notably large emissions under Mark Antony and later Augustus. During imperial times, the cistophorus was given the value of 3 denarii, was markedly more "Imperial" than other provincial issues, and was minted sporadically between the time of Augustus and Hadrian.

For me, the allure of the Claudian issues is their marked departure from the uniform and stylized portraiture of Augustus, Tiberius, and Caligula. In my opinion, they are the finest numismatic portraiture of Claudius available, and ironically are much more affordable than his denarii.

Comments and related coins welcome!
My Collections:
Roman Imperial
http://goccf.com/t/348979
Japan Type set Tokugawa + Modern
http://goccf.com/t/348999
Indo Sassanian
http://goccf.com/t/322087
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 Posted 05/19/2020  5:53 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Bob L to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Wow, outstanding coin, Steve. Congrats.

I'm going to display my ignorance of Roman coinage here. It makes perfect sense to me that the earlier tets of Pergamon, including those by Marc Antony, that included cista mystica, would be referred to as "Cistophoric." But I'm unclear why later coins, like the Claudius here (as well as a number of issues of Octavian as Augustus), are referred to by that term - when they don't feature the motif. What am I missing?
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 Posted 05/19/2020  5:54 pm  Show Profile   Check Paul Bulgerin's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Paul Bulgerin to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
What a lovely coin with a distinctive portrait of Claudius. Thanks for sharing it with us.
Paul Bulgerin
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 Posted 05/19/2020  5:59 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add pendrak to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
WOOT! Congrats. Super nice!
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 Posted 05/19/2020  7:27 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Finn235 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks all!

@Bob, I believe the answer is that after nearly two centuries of minting, the name became more associated with "lightweight tetradrachm" than the design itself - similarly to how the Kreuzer was still called as such long after it stopped bearing a cross.
My Collections:
Roman Imperial
http://goccf.com/t/348979
Japan Type set Tokugawa + Modern
http://goccf.com/t/348999
Indo Sassanian
http://goccf.com/t/322087
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 Posted 05/19/2020  7:36 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Palouche to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Now that's a lovely coin!!....Congrats Steve a beaut!
What else is on your bucket list?
Paul
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 Posted 05/19/2020  8:44 pm  Show Profile   Check echizento's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add echizento to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Wonderful coin Steve.
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 Posted 05/19/2020  9:02 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Spence to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Sweet pick-up!
"If you climb a good tree, you get a push."
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 Posted 05/19/2020  9:12 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add sel_69l to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Most collectors prefer to obtain an example of a Roman style cistophorus with Latin legends, as opposed to the cista mystica designs. Roman style cistophorii with Latin legends are much scarcer to the modern collector, and a quick search on Vcoins shows this.
All have a weight equivalent of 3 denarii. Modern numismatic scholars call all 3 denarii weight coins 'cistophoric', irrespective of their design.

Because they had a weight equivalent of three denarii, my guess is that they were restricted to circulation in Western Asia Minor. Those bearing the Ephesos temple design very obviously so, and if found outside their area with trading, could be more easily returned.
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 Posted 05/19/2020  9:45 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Doucet to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Really nice!

Congrats.
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 Posted 05/19/2020  10:24 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Novicius to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
What a super portrait of Claudius. A really lovely coin.
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 Posted 05/20/2020  10:56 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add antwerpen2306 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The cistophori were the silver coins created by the Attalid kings for use in the kingdom . The original weight was about 3/4 Athenean tetradrachme , so about 12 gr at Athenean weight standard .
The coins were stuck till the time of Marcus Antonius . With the reorganation of all the mints in the Roman empire , Augustus romanised the coin in weight and look .albert
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 Posted 05/20/2020  3:06 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add travelcoin to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Steve, a sincere congratulations and a bit of jealousy on your pick up. It is a fine specimen with a stunning portrait.

Quote:
much more affordable than his denarii.
Yes indeed, I have my eyes open for an affordable Tetradrachm. I put a bid on a poor example last week and luckily lost. I would have had my eyes for an upgrade the moment it arrived.
Edited by travelcoin
05/20/2020 3:07 pm
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 Posted 05/21/2020  12:05 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Finn235 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks all!

And an interesting point as pointed out by sel_69l - these very well could have been called something else in antiquity, but like the "antoninianus" we will probably never know, and using the term cistophorus is more accurate than just calling them a tetradrachm.

@Paul, since I'm a certifiable whippersnapper as far as coin collectors go, my bucket list has some pretty lofty goals. My grand vision right now is:

Greek:
- Assemble a collection of the most important coins that the ancient merchant would have likely been familiar with, including:
- Lydian lion
- Syracuse tetradrachm
- Corinthian stater
- Tarentum nomos
- Probably others I'll think of later (Already have an Athens owl and Croesus siglos)

- Collect one coin (preferably tetradrachm) of each of the major players in the Diadochi wars.

Roman:
- Do a basic denomination set of anonymous republican coinage
- Complete the First and Second Triumvirates and the Civil War between them
- Add Gordian I & II to complete the set of emperors from Augustus to Theodosius
- Add Constantius III to complete the set of Western emperors through Valentinian III
- Add one post-Val III emperor (preferably Majorian and/or Julius Nepos)
- Add Pulcheria, the only empress known beyond doubt to have ruled in her own right before the (culturally Greek) Byzantine era.
- Expand on my existing selection, adding sestertii or other nice bronzes with pleasing and important reverse types. (Thinking about it, it doesn't make sense that I have more coins of Saloninus than I do Hadrian or Trajan)
- Add the ultra-tough titles of common emperors:
- Divus Commodus (by Severus)
- Divus Pertinax (by Severus)
- Volusian as Caesar
- Herennius Etruscus as Augustus
- Saloninus as Augustus

Pretty lofty goals, right?
My Collections:
Roman Imperial
http://goccf.com/t/348979
Japan Type set Tokugawa + Modern
http://goccf.com/t/348999
Indo Sassanian
http://goccf.com/t/322087
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 Posted 05/21/2020  4:29 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Palouche to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
......Steve that isn't a bucket list it's a gold lined, exquisitely carved Camphor wood chest list..
I know you already own some pretty amazing coins and if you can fulfill this list you would have an exceptional collection!...I for one look forward to seeing the coins as you tick them off and also those nice little write ups to go with them!...Good luck.....Paul
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 Posted 05/21/2020  8:24 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add sel_69l to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Finn: Thanks for sharing what you know. You qualify as a numistmatist.
With the list that you are aiming for, you could well qualify for the position of museum curator, due to the fact that a huge accumulation of knowledge on ancient coins that is obtained along the way.

The knowledge can be shared, as you already do, the coins remain with you, as their custodian, to be used as a study and reference resource.

Collectors like me learn.
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