Fourrées: 2nd Century AD

(Continued from "Fourrées: The Twelve Caesars".) The first and second centuries AD produced a steady stream of silver-plated imitations. The motive was apparently profit, and many pieces are of good to excellent style. The style is often crude enough to alarm an experienced modern collector, but even those pieces were probably quite deceptive in their day as long as the original silver plate remained.

This page has coins of Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius, Faustina Sr., Marcus, and Commodus. It has two in solid silver.

Nerva (AD 96-98)
imitation Nerva   18 mm.  6:00.  1.83 grams (very light)
   much silver missing, obscuring types
    IMP NERVA CAES AVG PM TRP COS
    /IMP II - COS IIII PP, priestly implements
    simpulum, sprinker, ewer, and lituus
    Hybrid:  Obverse legned is first issue of 97, before Sept. 17, 97.
    reverse is from 98 (COS IIII) to Jan. 25.  BMC 72, p. 11, plate 3.3.

Trajan (98 - 117)

 Trajan   18 mm. 5:00. 3.03 grams.
Wonderful bold style, quite unlike official style. Outstanding preservation. No sign of copper, but at 1:00 the edge seems to fold over itself.
    IMP TRAIANO AVG GER DAC PM TRP
    /SPQR OPTIMO PRNCIPI   [PRINCIPI misspelled]
    woman (Felicitas?) holds up caduceus in right and cornucopiae in left, lighted altar at feet.
   Reference:  BMC 192 (page 59, plate 12.18) has the cadeuceus, #211 has the lighted altar (page 61, plate 13.3). obverse legend of "group V" (AD 107-111) with COS V PP SPQR OPTIMO PRINCIPI reverses (which is the next issue after this one)
    ex CNG 61

Trajan   18 mm. 6:00. 3.05 grams.
    Odd portrait with irregular letters. No break in the silver.
     IMP TRAIANO AVG GER DAC PM TRP, somewhat irregular lettering. Portrait with pointed nose and puffy cheeks and jaw.
    /PM TRP COS IIII PP, Victory right on prow. Slightly unusual lettering.
    Reference:  Hybrid. BMC reverse of 102 (page 44, plate 11.1) "AD 101-2" but obverse of group V (107-111), see plate 14.
    ex CNG 61

Trajan   18 mm. 6:00. 3.05 grams.
   No sign of copper even under 20x.
   IMP CAES NERVA TRAIAN AVG GERM  (first N backwards), marvelous wrinkly stern portrait, almost like a Republican portrait.
    /COS V PP SPQR OPTIMO PRINC    (usually ends PRINCIPI) Aequitas standing left with scales and cornucopiae.
   Reference:  reverse of BMC 285, page 71, plate 14.6 of AD 107-111, with obverse of 98-102.
    ex CNG 61  

Trajan  
18 mm. 5:30. 2.77 grams.
Very sharp strike and nearly full silvering, but both the lettering and portrait are not of official style.
IMP CAES NERVA TRAIAN AVG GERM, laureate head right
    /PONT MAX TR POT COS II, Pax standing left holding up branch in right and cornucopia in left
Prototype:  Sear 2:3152. BMC 14, page 33, plate 9.7 "AD 98-99". RIC 17.

Trajan   20-19 mm.  6:00.  2.43 grams
IMP TRAIANO AVG GER DAC PM TRP COS V P, unusual style
    /SPQR OPTIMO PRINICPI, Pax seated left, tiny Dacian kneels to left
    BMC 667ff are imitations, see plate 21.16-21.  BMC 220, page 62, plate 13.6, AD 104-107.

Trajan/Pax
          standing   18 mm.  6:30.  2.06 grams
...TRAIANO AVG GER DAC ...
    /SPQR OPRTIMO PRINCIPI, Pax standing left holding branch and cornucopiae
    setting foot on Dacian captive
    Sear --, RSC 405.  BMC 212 page 61, plate 13.4, struck AD 104-107.
    Excellent style and good silver where it remains, but much does not remain.

Trajan/Felicitas   18 mm.  5:30.
IMP CAES NER TRAIANO OPTIMO AVG GER [DAC]
    /SPQR OPTIMO PRINCIPI, Felicitas standing left with cadeuceus and cornucopiae (double?)
    BMC p. lxii says thsi obverse legend is late 115/early 116, but reverse types and legend is 104-107
    cf. bust style of plates 12.16, 13.3, 15.2, and others, mostly gold.
    RSC -- (403ff have this reverse, but not with this obverse legend)
 

Hadrian (AD 117-138)
Hadrian/Trajan hybrid   19 mm.  6:00.
A wonderful Hadrian/Trajan hybrid.
    IMP CASEAR TRAIANVS HADRIANVS AVG, laureate head right
    /SPQR OPTIMO PRINCIPI, legionary eagle between vexillum on left and standard on right
    The reverse is a well-known legend and type of Trajan!
    reverse BMC Trajan 458, plate 17.4 "112-117". Hill 580 "AD 113"
    The obverse legend is, according to Hill, on AE only and of 122-3.
    BMC has this obverse for AE only.

For numerous other Hadrian fourees, click on this link.
Including a DAC CAP Trajan reverse, ADOPTIO reverse, etc.

Antoninus Pius (AD 138-161)
Antoninus
          Pius imitation
excellent style
ANTONIN...PIV-S PP TRP COS III
(obverse legend seems recut near "VS AVG" and missing the "V")
/PROVIDEN - ....V
Providentia standing left, left elbow on column, holding sceptre in left and wand in right, globe at foot
18 mm. 6:00.
Obv legend of 140-144.  RSC and BMC do not have this reverse (PROVIDENTIA AVG) with Providentia standing. The reverse is recorded for Hadrian, BMC plate 60.14-16.

core  Antoninus Pius. 18-17 mm. 3.08 grams
 cast core, casting seam evident
ANTONINVS AVG PIVS PP TRP XXIIII, laureate head right
    /FELIC SAEC COS IIII, Felicitas standing left, raising right and leaning on column
Prototype RIC 309, BMC 1006 plate 21.16
Sear --, C361.



good silver
          Ant. Pius imitation  AR19-17.  7:00.  3.19 grams.
Good silver.  Not plated.
ANTONINVS AV - C PIVS PP TR [sic]
    /C - OS - IIII,  Salus holding patera feeding snake, and rudder in left
Sear --.  BMC 622 variety, plate 13.9 (obv. legend ends "TRP XI") AD 147/8, BMC 670, plate 14.10 is "TRP XII", page 96, AD 148/9.  Unusual style. I have seen one in similar style attributed to the north Black Sea region.
 



 Ant Pius r 

  AR18, fully silvered, but possibly fourree.  12:00. 3.22 grams.
  Note the bump at 3:00 on the rim of the obverse which looks like metal bubbling up above copper beneath. 
  Perhaps it is not a fourree, but I don't know how to explain the bump if it is not.
  The prototype is Sear 2.4075. BMC 668 plate 14.9 (3.26 grams) page 96.



APAP

2.21 grams, which is light, but it does not show signs of copper.
Crude lettering. ANTONINVS AVG - ...
/AEQVI-TAS AVG


Faustina Sr. 

FF

3.29 grams. Fairly good silver.
DIVA FAV - STINA/AVGV-STA


FF


2.43 grams. AE17. Black surface. Probably No silver at all, but possibly tarnished to black.
DIVA AVG - FAVSTINA/AETER-NITAS


imitation Faustina Sr.  18 mm.  6:00.
DIVA FAVSTINA
    /AETERNITAS, female figure standing
Sear 1348-9.


Antoninus Pius/Marcus Aurelius
imitation Antoninus Pius/Marcus  17 mm.  12:30.
Poor condition. Excellent style.
ANTONINVS.....
    /AVRELIVS CAES AVG P II F COS
    /young head of Marcus
RIC 415a, page 78.

Marcus Aurelius
Marcus,
          young   18-16 mm.  6:00.
No silver. Not many details Cast?
AVRELIVS CAE-SAR AVG [PI FIL]?, young bare head right
    /TRPOT III COS [II] providentia standing left, pointing with right at globe at feet, resting left on column
RSC 628.  BMC (A.P.) 696, page 100, plate 14.20. "AD 148/9"

Marcus  17mm. 12:00. 2.59 grams
Weakness typical of the cast it is, but it shows no seam at the edge.
M ANTONINVS AVG IMP II, laurete head right
     TRP[XV]III COS III, Felicitas seated right on curule chair, holding long sceptre and conrucopiae, tip turned from body
Prototype:  BMC 257, p. 417, plate 57.20 (Dec.163 - Dec. 164) 

MarcusrprototypeHONOS

Marcus Aurelius. Good silver imitation from the region of Serbia. 18 mm. 6:30. 2.67 grams.  And, its prototype, 19-17 mm. 12:00. 3.31 grams.
Prototype: AVRELIVS CAESAR AVG PM F COS / HONOS
Struck 140-144 with a young portrait. 
The lettering of the imitation is very crude, although bold. 
Good-silver imitations are very unusual. Perhaps they come from further outside the empire than fourrees and natives made them to have real value.  [This is just speculation.] 

 

Commodus (177 - 192)
imitation Commodus 18 mm.  6:30.  2.87 grams
 A wonderful and vigorous portrait of Commodus, excelling most "official" portraits.
    L AEL AVREL CO-MM AVG
    /PM TRP X I[MP]-COS VII[I]
    Fortuna seated left, holding rudder and cornucopiae
    Hybrid.  Obverse legend of 192, reverse of 185-188.
    BMC 22 plate 97.2 has a similar reverse legend PM TRP XIII IMP VIII with this type.
Several pieces have similar reverse but with with FORT RED in exergue. See plate 96.4 and 95.5 with close reverse legend PM TRP X IMP VII COS IIII PP

imitation Commodus  18-17 mm.  6:00.  2.33 grams
M COMMODVS ANTON AVG PIVS
    /PM TRP XIII IMP VIII COS V PP
    Aequitas standing, head left, holding scales and cornucopia
    Hybrid: RIC -- but reverseof RIC 164, Dec. 187 - Dec. 188. Obverse of AD 183-185
    BMC --. Obverse of Dec. 183 - Dec. 185/BMC 242, page 733, plate 97.1.  For obverse legend see plate 93.11-19.


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