Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by jamesicus, Jul 14, 2020.
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To return to early examples of London mint coins, here are my best specimens of 6a Diocletian and 6 b Maximian
A conundrum: No. 17 or 6b?
RIC VI, Londinium, No. 17 (6b) ? Maximian Herculius, Augustus of the West:
IMP C MAXIMIANVS PF AVG ................. GENIO POPV -- LI ROMANI
Laureate, cuirassed, portrait facing right.
Is this the larger head, shorter neck? (No. 17).
Bust variations for No. 33 - Galerius Maximian, Caesar of the East:
Variation number 1:
MAXIMIANVS NOBIL C ………………..…….……… GENIO POPV - LI ROMANI
Variation number 2:
MAXIMIANVS NOBIL C ………………..…….……… GENIO POPV - LI ROMANI
Re the conundrum, did you mean 17 rather than 19 ? 19 is IMP MAXIMIANVS PF AVG, not IMP C MAXIMIANVS AVG like 6 b and 17?
Anyway, the authors of The London mint of Constantius and Constantine resolve it by assigning the same reference to 6 b and 17 2.01.007!
Yes, you are right, @Kiaora - I am getting too old to be doing this anymore - I am losing my grip! Nice catch, by the way.
I have corrected that post via edit.
Actually I was using that as an example of how difficult to use Sutherland has made his Cataloging of (especially early) London mint coins - hard to follow and confusing (as you pointed out earlier). I think Group I, class II is particularly irksome. I do not understand why he had to split it into (a) and (b) - why split it at all? He could have explained the classification and identification nuances quite easily by properly explaining them in the text. As it is, collectors and dealers are faced with the problem of determining what exactly are “small heads” (by laurel wreath size maybe?) and “tall necks” what is a “shorter neck”- (by how much - do you include cuirass height?). I think there has been an awful lot of misattributions of this series of coins due to assessing head size and neck length which is quite variable. Just look at my posted example of 6a (Diocletian) and compare it with the same coin in plate I of RIC, vol. VI. They both have about the same tall neck height. Now look at the neck height of your posted example of 6a - the neck height is proportionally considerably shorter - almost a “shorter neck” according to the RIC cataloging. I have encountered this kind of thing innumerable times over the years. I don’t think we should require collectors to measure (eyeball) head size and neck length this way in order to attribute their coins.
I wish Harold Mattingly would have lived long enough to write a Tetrarchic coin BMCRE Volume - I would bet his cataloging of the London mint coinage would have been a lot better organized - and far less confusing than RIC!
No. 20? - Constantius - Caesar of the west:
FL VAL CONSTANTIVS NOB C ..................... GENIO POPV -- LI ROMANI
Laureate, cuirassed, bust facing right
Note the large, well spaced and delicate letterforms on the reverse and the long wreath ribbon tie laying on the neck. - almost like that on much of the Invasion coinage. The letterforms on the obverse are small, thick and compact in the “London style”, however. All that has led some collectors to suggest that this is actually a Bastien intermediate issue and I even identified it as such at one time. I am still not so sure about all that now.
but if we then compare that to a 14 b of Galerius below, it has a clearly different neck / head style. And to add to the challenge, the LMCC authors, in contrast to combining RIC 14a and 20 into their 2.01.010, split 14b into two references, 1.03.010 and 2.01.014
All that really doesn’t surprise me - Hugh Cloke, Lee Toone and myself were having those kinds of conversations a few years ago on the AncientsInfo Forum. I appreciate you updating me on the LMCC cataloging - as I mentioned, I gifted my copy (believing I was not going to be treading this ground again) and so I am at a disadvantage when discussing their attributions.
The problem however is, that despite the excellence of LMCC, it appears that the great majority of US collectors and dealers (and others) use RIC vols. VI and VII, Sear (based mostly on RIC) and ERIC as their “go to” attribution references for London mint coins.
Per your request for coins that pose difficulties I would be interested in your thoughts on this coin of Maximianus, ex Sydenham: noted in LMCC under the section Reported Types Not Included in this catalogue as 'an apparent variety of 2.01.007:
IMP C MAXIMIANVS P F AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right
GENIO POPV-LI ROMANI, Genius standing left etc., altar left and drapery around waist
As LMCC notes, "The reverse of this coin with the altar and draped loins is more reminiscent of Lugdunum, but the obverse is clearly of London style (emphasis added) cf. RIC VI 17-22". It goes on to say "The laboured handling of the reverse design, especially of the drapery, suggests an attempt by a British forger, unfamiliar with this design, to copy a Lyon coin such as RIC VI 167. The engraver was careful to drop the right field mark and the mint mark, but retailed the altar in the left field, perhaps not realising it too was part of the Lyon mark". While the engraving of the letters is a bit clumsy, I must confess to not being convinced it is necessarily the work of a forger
I pulled the trigger on a Constantius as Caesar follis last night from the same source as my Galerius as Caesar follis posted on the first page of this thread. The seller hadn't been able to provide any provenance for the Galerius coin due to a computer failure causing the loss of some of his database, and I had had no luck in my search. Thankfully, the seller replied to my enquiry about the Constantius coin with a Spink sale reference and lot number.
Lo and behold, I discovered that the lot in question (Spink sale 8019, 24/9/08, Lot 109) included both the Galerius and the Constantius coins. After a little more digging I discovered that the sale was one of those of the collection of Dr. Vogelaar mentioned in the article you linked to me only a few days back.
I'm very happy to have a few coins from such an important collection.
Nice coin. I am going to think more about this.
That is a great find @thejewk, congratulations. The Dr. Vogelaar connection is wonderful. Be sure to record that provenance in your coin records. How about posting photos of your new acquisition?
As soon as it arrives I will, with pleasure.
Of course, everyone is invited to keep on contributing to this thread.
I have enjoyed my own participation in this thread very much. It started off with a discussion of one Bastien intermediate follis of mine which then grew into this general discussion of early London mint coinage.
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