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    Asian Trade Coinage?

    Imitative issue of Septimius Severus (AD 193-211). AV aureus (19mm, 6.91 gm, 5h). NGC Choice MS 5/5 - 4/5. Possibly struck in India, ca. AD 193-211. •IMPER•AE L•SEPTI-SEVER•PERT III, laureate head of Septimius Severus right / P•MI PT I-I P VIII-COS NIΛ VII, Victory advancing left, wreath upward in right hand, trophy cradled on left arm. C -. BMC -. RIC -. Calicó -. An apparently unrecorded type. A stunningly beautiful, crisply struck and perfectly preserved example with full mint bloom.

    The style of this coin has all of the hallmarks of an official issue - a superb portrait in the style of the mint of Emesa or Laodicea ad Mare, overall well executed legend forms and a flan that could easily pass for any Roman product. What gives the coin away as a contemporary imitation are the blundered legends. The obverse attempts variations on those on official issues with IMPER being a longer form of IMP; AE L missing the initial letter of the usual CAE L; SEPTI being one letter longer than the usual SEPT; SEVER expanding the typical SEV by two letters; PERT is fully correct; and III possibly referring to consul tertium (although consul secundum would have correct for the period) or perhaps imperator for the third time (relating to the beginning of the legend). Looking at the mint of Emesa, there are issues minted in AD 195 with the obverse legend IMP CAE L SEP SEV PERT AVG COS II, thus a possible candidate for a prototype. The reverse legend, however, is quite a bit more blundered. There are not any obvious prototypes from the eastern mints with a dated reverse legend, although the Victory advancing left with wreath and trophy type was used to celebrate the Severan victory over the inhabitants of Arabia and Adiabene against his rival there - Pescennius Niger - gaining the title of imperator three times. If the Arab-Adiab issues were the prototype for this coin, that would place the likely mint date of this coin to AD 195-197 (Rome) or up to 198 (Laodicea) if it were to circulate at the same time the official issues were struck. The portrait certainly supports a date in the early reign, even though the reverse legend has nonsensical later reign VIII and VII designations.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2019
    15th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 10
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 419

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