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Domitian AR Cistophorus 95 CE RIC 854

Domitian AR Cistophorus 95 CE

(26mm 6h)

Obv: laureate head of Domitian right; IMP CAES DOMITIANVS

Rev: Distyle temple inscribed ROM ET AVG containing figure of Augustus, standing facing, spear in right hand, being crowned with right hand by female figure of Roma (on right), cornucopia in left hand

RIC 854

2020 September 9-10 Wednesday & Thursday World & Ancient Coins Weekly Online Auction #232037 Lot #62175

These 1st century Cistophori have taken off as far as price goes. Coins like the one above have always been expensive, but now they are ridiculously expensive. The portrait is very nice. The Cistophorus had a value of 3 denarii. The weight of this coin is almost equivalent to 3 denarii as well.


Considering that this coin was minted in 95 CE, outside of the period of exceptional portraits from 84-88 CE, this portrait has a lot off charm.The portrait is quite sympathetic and the engraver has given Domitian a soft yet regal appearance. This is not at all what the historical sources say about him of course.


The portrait is nice but the real star of this show is the reverse. It was the reverse that made me buy this coin. On the reverse is the temple of Augustus. The 2 figures inside are Augustus and a personification of Rome. Roma is crowning Augustus.


There are some Citophori that are relatively common, but they is not one of them. RIC lists this as R2 (very few examples know) and they got that right. Go ahead on look this up online and see how many you find. I found 5 examples plus mine. If you like one of these be prepared for some competition. This is a rare and desirable type and will always attract some determined bidders.