Ancient and Medieval Coins Canada
Ancient and Medieval Coins Canada, Auction 1

Ancient and Medieval Coins

Sa, 01.12.2018, from 06:00 PM CET
The auction is closed.

Description

Elagabalus (218-22), Fourrée Denarius, imitative issue. Unknown (eastern?) mint, 3.29g, 18mm. Rare.
Obv: ΛNTONINVS PIVS FEL ΛVG; Laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right.
Rev: CONCORDIΛ; Two standards between two aquilae; NILIT in ex. (N retrograde).
Imitates RIC IV 187. See CNG E-Auction 281, 20.06.2012, lot 369 (same dies; realized 120 USD).

This clearly would not have fooled a citizen of the empire, and so must have been produced for use outside of it. The style is similar to imitations found in relatively large numbers in the region of modern Ukraine and Moldova, though these are not usually fourrée. In the 2nd century and later this corresponds to territory held by the Sarmatian tribe known as the Roxolani (closely related to the Alans, though they may have had an additional Slavic component to their confederation). Archaeologically, the style is associated with the Chernyakhov culture, thought to be comprised of some mix of Sarmatian, Geto-Dacian, Gothic and Slavic populations.

IMPORTANT EDIT: It has come to our attention that the imitations of Elagabalus and Julia Soaemias using the dies of lots 225 and 226 are subject to some controversy as to their authenticity. While the firms CNG (where both lots were acquired), Harlan J. Berk (Curtis Clay), and others are of the opinion that they are authentic ancient imitations, several knowledgeable German collectors and dealers have expressed doubts. Please see the thread at bit.ly/elagjsom for discussion.

We have seen five examples, and some have extremely hard red deposits that would be difficult to reproduce. Some green deposits came off relatively easily. The silvering is extremely thin, so if they are authentic, they must have been produced after about 250 CE when at least one method of applying thin layers of silver (perhaps via mercury amalgam) was widely known, and used in official mint products. The style is difficult to evaluate, and their condition and state prior to cleaning is consistent with a hoard find with multiple coins sharing dies.

Returns of either coin will be accepted at any time, no questions asked.

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