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Superb Portrait Of Domitian

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Author Previous TopicReplies: 4 / Views: 235Next Topic  
Pillar of the Community
1255 Posts
 Posted 05/27/2020  01:16 am Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add orfew to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Won this one in the last CNG sale. Note the Lituus beneath the triangular frame on the reverse. The normal reverse does not use a Lituus. In the first year of Domitian's reign, designs from the denarii of Titus were reused. In fact, on the Titus type with the triangular frame on the reverse there are also rare variants with the Lituus. I say variants because there are 3 different reverse variations. One has 3 palmettes on the triangular frame, one has five, and one has nine. So far I have 2 of these varieties and both have a Lituus.

This rare variant of RIC 3 for Domitian will be published in the upcoming addenda to RIC II Part 1. It so happens that I already have an example of this coin. In fact, I submitted this first example of mine as a new variety, and it was published in Koinon 1 2018 p.147.

This second example of mine is an upgrade to my first example. IMHO the portrait is excellent. I like that you can see Domitian's beard. This coin has an interesting history as well It was part of what CNG called "The Benito Collection". The name Benito was also used by the collector on Forum Ancient coins. In fact you can still find some of his collection under that name in the Forum galleries.

Here is a link to a forum thread about him. He was a career diplomat and rose to the level of ambassador to several countries. In addition he also worked on archaeological digs.

I am thrilled to add this interesting coin once owned by this interesting man.

Domitian. AD 81-96. AR Denarius
(17.5mm, 3.47 g, 6h). Rome mint.
Struck 13 September-31 December AD 81.
Obv: Laureate head right; IMP CAESAR DOMITANVS AVG
Rev: Pulvinar (throne) of Jupiter and Juno: square seat, draped, with tassels: it has a triangular frame on it, on which are three vertical bars on each side and one palmette in center, there is a lituus under the triangular frame; TR P COS VII.
RIC II.1 3 (Var); RSC 554a.
Light tone over hairlined surfaces. Good VF.
From the Benito Collection.
CNG electronic auction 468 Lot 411

"Cave ab homine unius libri"
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1895 Posts
 Posted 05/27/2020  03:53 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Palouche to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Beautiful coin orfew! ...Produced by a highly skilled engraver..
The beard detail, well the portrait in general is stunning!...
And on second look the reverse throne is nicely balanced with that soft drapery laid on it...
An impressive coin with lovely toning....Got to be one of my favourite coins in your Domitian collection.
Bedrock of the Community
17077 Posts
 Posted 05/27/2020  09:16 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add sel_69l to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The first bearded portrait of Domitian I have seen.
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United States
4987 Posts
 Posted 05/27/2020  09:55 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Bob L to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Outstanding and important coin, Andrew. Congrats.

For those who may be interested, Andrew's other example of this variant, as published in KOINON, The International Journal of Classical Numismatic Studies, Vol. I:

Pillar of the Community
1255 Posts
 Posted 05/27/2020  12:00 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add orfew to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Many thanks to all for the kind comments. A special thanks to Bob for posting that photo.

Also, take a look at both photos, the coins are a double die match for each other. This alone would suggest the rarity of this variety. I believe my new coin is the 5th known.
"Cave ab homine unius libri"
Edited by orfew
05/27/2020 12:01 pm
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