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Classical Numismatic Group > Electronic Auction 435Auction date: 2 January 2019
Lot number: 229

Lot description:

IONIA, Ephesus. AR Denarius (17mm, 2.77 g, 6h). Countermark applied during the reign of Vespasian, AD 74-79. (IMP) • (VE)S in rectangular countermark on a Roman Republican denarius of C. Vibius C.f. Pansa (Crawford 449/1a). Howgego 839; Pangerl 100. Host Fair, c/m Fine, flan crack.

From the Richard Baker Collection.

A denarius of Vespasian (Classical Numismatic Group 45 [18 March 1998], lot 1965), dated to the emperor's fourth consulship (72-73 AD) and countermarked MP VES, suggests a starting date of 74 AD for this countermark's use. This countermark appears mostly on late Republican and Imperatorial denarii, although denarii of Augustus and denarii of the Flavians struck at Ephesus are also recorded. The MP VES countermarks circulated specifically within the province of Asia Minor. Martini noted that the output of silver coinage in relation to the civic bronze for this region was much smaller during the Julio-Claudian period. This suggests the denarii were countermarked to validate locally circulating silver coinage at an acceptable weight while the regional mints opened by Vespasian were gearing up production, a theory which the countermarking of cistophori with the contemporary MP VES AVG countermarks seems to support. The similarly countermarked Flavian denarii struck at Ephesus can be accounted for then as examples accidentally countermarked by unobservant mint workers during the transition.

Estimate: 200 USD