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Domitian AR Denarius 81CE (Group 3)

Rome mint, 81 AD Obv: IMP CAES DOMITIANVS AVG PONT; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r. Rev: COS VII DES VIII P P; Curule chair, wreath above RIC 21 (R2). Not in RIC plates. BMC p. 299 note. RSC 58 Ex: Harry N. Sneh Collection

Ex: David Atherton Collection

Though I already had an example of RIC 21, when this became available I had to have it. First of all it is a rare PONT denarius. This refers to the use of PONT in the obverse legend. The speculation is that PONT was used before Domitian was officially named Pontifex Maximus.

Another reason I wanted the coin is the condition. Just look at that expressive portrait. These early portraits of Domitian have a lot of character.

Another reason I wanted the coin is that it was once owned by Mr. Harry Sneh. After Mr. Sneh passed away his collection was dispersed to many other collectors through auctions. Mr. Sneh certainly had good taste in coins. He also had many rarities such as this coin.

This coin rates as R2 or very few examples known to the authors of RIC II part 1 (Carradice and Buttrey, 2007). I have 2, there is one in Vienna, one in Copenhagen (RIC), and one at Albert-Ludwigs university (OCRE). I have not been able to find any others.

I would love to add more of these PONT denarii to my collection.

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