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Roman Bronze Ae14?

 
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Rest in Peace
United States
1729 Posts
 Posted 11/10/2010  1:07 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add pls to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I bought this little lump as part of a a pig-in-a-poke lot in an online auction recently. The 2x2 it was housed in indicates: "Marc Anthony [sic] Rome AE14 and a price marked down from $100 to $75. Wow - really? Width is about 14 mm, and it appears to be bronze, no obvious inscriptions:



Skeptic that I am, I tried to find the same or a similar coin online at vcoins, Forvm, Wildwinds, and other venues. Quite a few displayed verified Marc Antony-era coins with similar depictions of galleys, but nothing like the other side (reverse or obverse?) as shown here. It's certainly not an eagle-on-a-stick or standards. What do you think? Do I have an ugly little treasure here or just an ugly little lump?
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United States
23599 Posts
 Posted 11/10/2010  5:00 pm  Show Profile   Check echizento's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add echizento to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I can't verify if it's a Marc Anthony either, lots of ancients depict galleys. Could be my eyes but I see what does looks like and eagle on a standard. I think it's worth further investigation. Wish I could help, maybe sap or one of the other ancients collector here has an idea. You might also want to send Wayne Sayles an image at MONETA, he might know what it is.
Rest in Peace
United States
1729 Posts
 Posted 11/10/2010  6:13 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add pls to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks, echizento. Now that you mention it ... there could be an eagle there, although all of the examples I saw depicted the eagle more to the center of the coin and with other standards on either side. Maybe this one was an off-center strike and is worn so badly that the other standards have been lost?

I need to check on those white specks - may be time to clean the glass on the scanner! I can always rescan, resize, retweak, etc., if anyone needs a better image to view. If this one is real, it would be my oldest Roman coin, so I have high hopes.
Rest in Peace
United States
1729 Posts
 Posted 11/18/2010  10:31 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add pls to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I'm shamelessly bumping this thread, as I have a feeling that some of our resident ancient coin experts have missed viewing it. Would you be so kind as to take a look and see if it resembles any known Marc Antony coin with which you're familiar? As echizento correctly stated, "lots of ancients deptic galleys", and my gut feeling is that the person who wrote "Marc Antony" on the 2x2 took one look at the galley and decided that was enough to attribute it. I just don't have enough expertise to agree or disagree. Thanks in advance for any help.
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Australia
13810 Posts
 Posted 11/20/2010  09:15 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Sap to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I didn't post when I saw this thread earlier, because I didn't know what it was. I still don't.

At the time of Marc Antony, Rome wasn't issuing much on the way of bronze coins, as you can tell from a glance at the Wldwinds page. On Wildwinds, the colour strip down the left side indicates the composition of the coins; for Antony, it's mostly grey (silver), very little brown (copper). Most of the Antonine "galley coins" are silver denarii. They're also usually very wordy. This "light as" is the closest Antonine bronze coin to yours, and it's not a very good match. These early Roman depictions of galleys tended to show them under full sail.

There was a much later issue of coins with galleys from the rebel pirate empires of Britain, from Postumus to Allectus, which showed the sails and mast much less prominently, like on yours. See here for examples, like this one. Your coin may well be a "barbarous imitation" of one of these, with the thing on the obverse a somewhat degenerate radiate portrait. I know the earlier large Postumus bronzes have barbarous copies; see here on FORVM.

The other option I can think of is a small Greek bronze, with the obverse being the remnants of a turreted portrait of Tyche, or maybe the Seleucid king. The cities of the Phoenician coast seem to have used such designs; Example from Tyre, example from Sidon. I think I can see some lettering that looks Greek, above your ship, but I could just be imagining it.
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
Rest in Peace
United States
1729 Posts
 Posted 11/20/2010  11:40 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add pls to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Hey, Sap - thanks so much for your generous research and sharing of knowledge. I wasn't aware that most coinage during Antony's time was not bronze. I did have that "gut" feeling that perhaps this coin wasn't attributable to him, and now I'm more sure. I'll follow up on this via your links and try to come to some sort of conclusion. I do have one barbarous imitation coin in my collection, but it was much more obvious and easily attributable. As crude as this coin is, you may have hit the nail on the head with your observation. And I'll look more carefully to see if I can see any Greek or other lettering on this piece - I really didn't see any before, though. Thanks again!
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