Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Not coins, but interesting

A partial eclipse last week was a chance to see something neat. We watched through strong glasses and in the shadows under our trees. I post some of the pics below so a friend (but not coin collector) can see them here. I think the slivers of light look like birds or bats. They change direction as the eclipse progresses.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

EID MAR Denarius!

I saw the coin at auction last year, but could not push the bid button. When I saw it in person, I decided that an EDI-MAR place holder coin is a pretty good thing!

EID.MAR Denarius
Contemporary Forgery of Cr 508/3
43 – 42 BC, Traveling mint in northern Greece

Marcus Junius Brutus (BRVT IMP) with Lucius Plaetorius Caestianus (L.PLAET.CEST, moneyer)
Silver denarius, probably an ancient forgery, original struck at mint moving with Brutus in Northern Greece  in 43-42 B.C.
Obverse –Bare head of Brutus to right; B[RV]T IMP above and right, clockwise; left and below L.PLAET.CEST
Reverse –Pileus between two daggers; below EID.MAR = Eidibus Martiis = Ides of March = March 15, 44 BC.

Flan cuts and some gouges, weakly struck on top of the head, through attempting piercing, edge filed in places, otherwise nearly fine and very rare.

3.17 grams, 18.1 mm  

  •          Cr – 508/3, dies = 30 / 33
  •          BMCRR – East 68 – 70
  •          Syd – 1301
  •          RSC – Brutus 15
  •          Bab – Junia 52, Plaetoria 13
  •          Sear – 1439
  •          Sear CRI – 216 – “Arguably the most famous of all the coin types of ancient Rome, The Eidbus Martiis coinage of Brutus – probably his final issue before Philippi – is an unashamed celebration of the very act of tyrannicide.”
  •          RBW -
  •          Cahn, EIDibus MARtiis, Q.Tic. 18, 1989, (dies not listed)  
  •       Roman History by Cassius Dio; Cassius was born in 155 AD and died in 235 AD. Dio published a Roman History (Ῥωμαϊκὴ Ἱστορία, Historia Romana), in 80 books, after twenty-two years of research and labor. The books cover a period of approximately 1,400 years, beginning with the tales from Roman mythology of the arrival of the legendary Aeneas in Italy (c. 1200 BC) and the founding of Rome by his descendant Romulus (753 BC); as well as the historic events of the republican and imperial eras through 229 AD. - Book 47, Paragraph 25, line 3 1  Note 1 – from Wikipedia

PP 25 lines:
1.  Now as soon as Brutus learned of the attempt of Mark Antony and of the killing of Antony's brother, he feared that some other insurrection might take place in Macedonia during his absence, and immediately hastened to Europe. On the way he took charge of the territory which had belonged to Sadalus, who had died childless and had left it to the Romans,
2.  and he also invaded the country of the Bessi, in the hope that he might at one and the same time punish them for the mischief they were doing and invest himself with the title and dignity of imperator, thinking that he should thus carry on his war against Caesar and Antony more easily. He accomplished both objects chiefly by the aid of a certain prince named Rhascyporis. And after going thence into Macedonia and making himself master of everything there, he withdrew again into Asia.
3.  In addition to these activities Brutus stamped upon the coins which were being minted his own likeness and a cap12 and two daggers, indicating by this and by the inscription that he and Cassius had liberated the fatherland.
Note 12 - The cap of liberty, given to slaves at the time of their manumission. 

·        Ex Noble Numismatics, Sale 113, Lot 4774, 22–25 Nov 2016; Sydney, Austrailia; Ex Dr. Adrian Carr Collection and purchased in 2001.

·        I found 41 examples, including this coin, on line. The average condition was high, probably because the coins were from auctions. The average weight was 3.47 grams with a St. Dev. = 0.3 grams. None of the coins weighed over 4.0 grams. Most of the coins lighter than mine were holed or plated. Most of the coins did not report die axis, but all but two reported a die axis of 12.

From the Noble's description:
Various communications by Dr. Carr are indicated and expanded below.
It is thought to be a contemporary forgery ie., at the time of Brutus. The coin was definitely a struck coin and not cast and has the weight and silver composition of other military pieces of the time of Brutus. Mapping shows the same alignment of the coin's obverse as a specimen recorded in Foss' book with the prominent epiglottis and thinner neck. This specimen is not from any dies noted by Cahn. The reverse has an interesting map in as much as the dagger on the right is slightly higher than that on the left which is unlike almost all illustrated by Cahn. It needs to be remembered that other military issue coins of the time show the work of some apprentice engravers with mistakes and variations in the dies. The coin was sold to Dr. Carr by its original owner as genuine.
Communication between the original seller and the agent for the coin states; 'the coin from which you bought from my consignor came from a very large collection from Alberta Canada in 1947 and had included many fabulous Roman and Greek rarities including a Carthage Decadrachm for which I bought the coin for $22,000 several years ago. Several Roman coins of Pertinax and P. Niger were in there as well, I own both of them. With the Eid Mar coin, unless I can positively 100% identify it as genuine I cannot sell as genuine.' David Sear said the following: 'The style of the portrait is certainly curious and seems to differ markedly from that of other published specimens. The piece definitely looks ancient, but I wonder whether it might be some type of 'contemporary forgery' struck unofficially in Imperatorial times in imitation of the regular issue. The rather caricaturish-nature of the features look to be somewhat more reminiscent of some of the early triumviral portraits of Antony and Octavian, so perhaps the coin may have been produced in the West by Republican sympathizers.'
The 'Eid Mar' denarius, one of the most famous rarities of all ancient coins, was struck in the summer of 42 BC at a mint moving with Brutus's army in Greece. The date (Eid[ibus] Mar[tiis]) takes on the character of a symbolic watchword, while the pileus represents liberty regained and the daggers are the messengers of the deed. 

The seller's pics:

A couple more of my pics: