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Dupondius Domitian - victory against the Chatti


DOMITIAN. AE Dupondius. Rome, 85 AD. Obv. IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM COS XI Radiated head right Rev. VICTORIAE AVGVSTI SC Victory standing left, holding a palm and inscribing a Germanic shield set on tropaeum. RIC 268; Cohen 639 (3 F) Type belonging to the serie struck to commemorate the victory in the campaign against the Chatti, a German tribe, started in 83 AD. Domitian harboured an inferiority complex toward his brother and father. In the matter of military glory, the jealousy was acute: his brother had led the siege of Jerusalem, and his father had led most of the war in Judaea, and had won much glory in his earlier years, including a triumphia ornamentalia for his command in Claudius’ invasion of Britain. Domitian had always been eager for a military command, and Suetonius (Domitian 1) tells us that when his father established his government in Rome, Domitian greatly wanted glory so badly that he "…planned a quite unnecessary expedition into Gaul and Germany, from which his father’s friends managed to dissuade him". In actuality, his skills in the arts of war were enviable: he is said to have been able to shoot an arrow between the spread fingers of a hand without fail. His first campaign – which this well-composed issue celebrates – was against the Chatti in 83. Domitian led a perfectly successful campaign in which the Chatti were roundly defeated and the Roman border was extended beyond the Rhine. In honour of this victory Domitian was hailed Germanicus, won a triumph, and even had an arch erected. [NAC] Sharp strike from new dies; Tiber patina. Poindessault sale 32, 21 Dec. 2007, lot 197 Dr E.P. Nicolas collection, Paris Drouot auction (Platt) 9-10 March 1982, lot 305

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Jeff, here what says R. Kokotailo, http://www.calgarycoin.com/reference/grading/patina.htm :


"Tiber Patina is a third type of bronze preservation, referring to brass coins (the conditions that create them normally destroy copper and bronze) which are well preserved with no patination, but rather a very lightly pitted brassy surface. True Tiber patination is normally seen on coins recovered from river bottoms with oxygen free conditions, but there are some soil conditions that can cause this as well. The term is also loosely (and incorrectly) applied to coins found patinated but with their patinations stripped away to give a very similar appearance. Tiber Patina coins can be collectible though normally they are not as highly prized or valued as coins with other natural patinas."


However, I wouldn't say that this kind of patina is less interesting that the other natural ones; on the contrary, I find it very attractive; especially by the fact that the appearance of these coins is very close to how they were in the hands of the ancient owners, and that makes it touching.



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Thanks for the education, Jérôme. I wonder if the "Tiber patina" description could be applied to those featured in CNG auctions with "uniform brown color?"


Warm regards,


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You have a very beautiful coin, and I do like the patina. "Tiber" patinated coins, and especially the "toned Tiber" patinated coins, are my among my very favorites, and yes, they do appear more like the coins originally would have looked, when freshly minted and in use as currency.
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