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Vespasian AR Denarius 73 CE

Vespasian, 69-79 Denarius circa 73,

AR 19.5mm., 3.25g.

Obv: Laureate head r. ; IMP CAES VESP AVG CENS

Rev:. Vespasian seated r. on curule chair, with feet on footstool, holding scepter and olive branch; PONTIF MAXIM

RIC 546. C 387.

Ex: E.E. Clain-Stefanelli collection

Ex: Naville Numismatics Live auction 50 Lot 467 June 23, 2019

A common coin with an interesting portrait. The reverse has some mineral deposits, and the coin has a fair amount of wear. Sometimes it is the story behind the ownership of the coin that gets me interested in that coin. Collectors of ancient coins often say they wonder whose hands these coins passed through. Now usually what is meant is ancient hands, but more recent ownership of the coins can also provide interesting stories.

This coin was owned by E.E. Clain-Stefanelli. She and her husband were in charge of coins at the Smithsonian. They grew the collection from 60,000 coin to almost a million. She was also a renowned author and an advisor to the US Mint. A list of her publications is below.

I cannot help but think that her ownership of the coin provides some rich background to the story of this coin. I enjoy having coins with provenance. If you have an idea of where the coin has been you can more fully enjoy the history behind it.

I have several coins that once belonged to her and I am always on the lookout for more.

  • The Beauty and Lore of Coins, Currency, and Medals (with Vladimir ClainStefanelli), Riverwood Publishers Ltd, 1974.

  • Chartered for Progress : two Centuries of American Banking; a pictorial essay (with Vladimir Clain-Stefanelli), Acropolis Books, Ltd., 1975.

  • Das Grosse Buch der Münzen und Medaillen (with Vladimir Clain-Stefanelli), Munich, Battenberg, 1976.

  • Highlights from the Money Collection of the Chase Manhattan Bank, Washington, DC, Smithsonian Institution, 1979.

  • "Italian Coin Engravers since 1800", Smithsonian Institution, Bulletin 229 (Contributions from the Museum of History and Technology, Paper 33), 1970.

  • Life in Republican Rome on its Coinage, Washington, DC, Smithsonian Institution, 1999.

  • Medals Commemorating Battles of the American Revolution (with Vladimir Clain-Stefanelli), Washington, DC, Smithsonian Institution, 1973.

  • Monnaies européennes et monnaies coloniales américaines entre 1450 et 1789 (with Vladimir Clain-Stefanelli), Fribourg, Office du Livre, 1979.

  • Numismatic BibliographyMunich, Battenberg, 1984.

  • Select Numismatic Bibliography, Stack’s, 1965

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