A very ugly Gallienus that nobody needs or wants

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by seth77, Sep 30, 2020.

  1. seth77

    seth77 Well-Known Member

    Horrendous style, corrosion just enough to make it even uglier, and on top 32EUR.

    So why?

    AE20mm 3.20g, billon antoninian, Viminacium mint, sixth emission, 256-257.
    IMP GALLIENVS PF AVG; radiate, draped cuirassed bust right
    SPES PVBLICA; Spes advancing left, holding flower and raising robe
    cf. RIC 403F (Mediolanum), cf. Gobl 837, Cunetio 0784, Stevenage 547(J), S

    The short answer would be: it's such a quintessential product in silver billon from the (previously) provincial mint of Viminacium in Moesia Superior.

    Viminacium is known in ancient numismatics as the place where the large series of COL VIM bronzes was from, starting with 239, when Viminacium was raised to the rank of Colonia to 253, around or soon after Valerian raised his son Gallienus to the rank of Augustus. But the story of Viminacium as a mint does not end with the provincial coinage for Moesia Superior, but rather develops into a rather important Imperial mint, striking not just silver but bronze too, without the SC senatorial marking. The bronze is very rare and was probably issued for a brief period soon after scraping the provincial operation, but the silver antoniniani had 7 emissions, from 253 to ca. 257, although the mint could have stopped issuing by 256, as it did not mint for Valerian II -- see more about the emissions here.

    The series of Viminacium antoniniani is marked by a rather schematic style -- see as best example the representation of Spes on this specimen's reverse -- a feature that would follow the issues of this series.

    Also, I think that this bust type, with drapery over the cuirass (I think you can see the shoulder at 7 o'clock just behind the beginning of the obverse legend) is not recorded for the type. Unfortunately the corrosion at just the "right" place makes it hard to be certain, although I am pretty sure that it is not a truncated bust with cuirass only as it was regular for the type on the account of the very visible and rounded draped shoulder just mentioned.

    Similar specimen, but with the usual bust type, cuirassed only, here.
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2020
    dlhill132, ominus1, DonnaML and 16 others like this.
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  3. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Why? Because you'll not have the opportunity to acquire another example for ages. Gallienus' coins from Viminacium are uncommonly encountered. And, while I don't actively search auction listings for rare coins of Gallienus, as I do for Trebonianus Gallus or the Antonine women, I have several dozen coins of Gallienus and I don't have any from this mint. Nor do I have any with Spes reverses.

    So, I'll just post one from the branch mint in Cologne:

    Gallienus, AD 253-268.
    Roman billon antoninianus, 3.61 g, 21.1 mm, 12 h.
    Cologne, AD 257-258.
    Obv: GALLIENVS P F AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust, right.
    Rev: VIRTVS AVGG, Gallienus in military attire standing right, holding spear and standard.
    Refs: RIC 58F; Göbl 8821; Cohen 1309; RCV 10413; Hunter 58; ERIC II 1030.
  4. Victor_Clark

    Victor_Clark all my best friends are dead Romans Dealer

  5. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

    Here's another one from the sixth emission of Viminacium.

    Gallienus - ex Holmes Salus Viminacium 3538.jpg GALLIENUS
    Billon Antoninianus. 3.11g, 23.7mm. Viminacium mint, 6th emission, circa AD 256-257. MIR 36, 836o; RIC V (joint reign) 398 var. (bust type; Milan); Cunetio –; Eauze 1422. O: IMP GALLIENVS P F AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right. R: SALVS AVGG, Salus standing right, feeding from patera snake held in her arms.
    Ex N. M. McQ. Holmes Collection; ex Glendining’s (14 December 1989), lot 524 (part of)
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