Titus as Caesar AR Denarius 74 CE
Titus Silver denarius, 74 CE Rome
(3.160g, maximum diameter 19.3mm, die axis 180o )
Obv: T CAESAR IMP VESP counter-clockwise from lower right, laureate head right;
Rev: PONTIF TR POT (priest, holder of Tribunitian power) counter-clockwise from lower right, Titus seated right on curule chair, long scepter vertical in right hand, palm branch in extended left hand;
RIC II-2 695 [VESP] (R3, this coin and this coin illustrated in the plates),
RSC II- BMCRE II -, SRCV I -, Cohen I -, Hunter I -,
This is the RIC plate coin! no recorded sales of the type on Coin Archives for the last two decades; extremely rare
Ex Stack’s Bowers Galleries January 2019 NYINC Auction 11-12 January 2019 Lot 41006 (part of a large lot)
Purchased from Forvm Ancient Coins on Jan 12, 2020
Coin depicted in the Wildwinds.com database.
On first glance this worn denarius of Titus issued under Vespasian, does not seem very special. However, looks can often be deceiving and that is the case with this coin. This coin is an extreme rarity. RIC cites one example. I know where there is one other. There are only 2 known examples in total.
One reason for the rarity concerns the reverse legend PONTIF TR POT. This legend only occurs on 2 denarius types for Titus. One is this coin (RIC 695) and one other (694). RIC 694 is R2 (very few examples known) and RIC 695 is R3 (one example known to the authors at the time of publication).
So, okay it is rare but so what. It so happens that this coin is the RIC plate coin. You can find an image on plate 6 in The Roman Imperial Coinage (2007) by Carradice and Buttrey. Since most RIC plate coins are in museum collections, they do not appear in the open market very often. I feel very lucky to add yet another RIC plate coin. I already had 2 before this one arrived.My example of RIC 773 [VESPASIAN] is the RIC reference coin. There are 2 of these known. There is no corresponding plate for this coin. The other is RIC 597 [DOMITIAN].
I am extremely happy to add this coin to my collection. Not only is this coin a "white whale" for collectors of Flavian coins, as a RIC plate coin it would be a significant addition to any collections of Roman coins.