Wednesday 20 March 2013

Proculus Coin Up For Sale (1)

The coin the British Museum insisted was a fake is now up for sale - Dix Noonan and Webb Ancient Coins 10th Apr 2013. The coin dealers Dix Noonan Webb bought it just days after it came out of the ground but after the opinion had been expressed by the British Museum and PAS this coin is a Renaissance fake ("PAS Says Proculus Coin a Fake?" Wednesday, 21 November 2012). Several attempts to contact the PAS asking for clarification of the recent status of their records of this identification were simply ignored.There is nothing in the sales description to say that it is a fake, or that the British Museum has flagged it as a fake. On the contrary:

lot 694 Lot No. 694 ANCIENT COINS Roman Imperial Coinage
Proculus (Usurper c. 280-281), billon Radiate, uncertain Gallic mint, IMP C PROCVLVS AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right, rev. VICTORIA AVG, female figure standing left, holding wreath and sceptre, 2.97g/12h (Vagi, Coinage and History of the Roman Empire, 2470). Very fine, dark tone, edge a little ragged; only the second known coin of this usurper, extremely rare and the only example available to commerce £50,000-70,000
Provenance: Found near Stamford Bridge, N. Yorkshire, November 2012 (UKDFD 39525). Estimate: £50000-£70000

It is interesting that the seller gives only a UKDFD number, and not a PAS record for this object. Attempts to contact the PAS for information about its PAS record number and current status were unsuccessful, the object was brought by the finder and apparently rejected by the PAS which is going to create a lot of bad feeling among its "partners". The reasons why the finder met such a rejection of his find are as yet unclear. Why is the PAS keeping this to itself?

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