Featured An excellent Constantinian campgate with an important provenance

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Claudius_Gothicus, May 14, 2021.

  1. Claudius_Gothicus

    Claudius_Gothicus Well-Known Member

    While I normally put historical interest and rarity over grade and condition, it is undeniable that a common coin in an excellent state of preservation is still a fantastic addition to any collection. This is the case with this recent acquisition of mine, a very common type that not only does not show any sign of wear, and even has portions of silvering left, but also comes with an important provenance (it's my first coin with one):
    Constantine I, as Augustus (306-337), Follis, Trier mint.
    Obverse: CONSTAN-TINVS AVG, laureate head right;
    Reverse: PROVIDEN-TIAE AVGG, campgate, two turrets, 6 layers, star above. Mintmark PTR dot-in-crescent;
    RIC VII 475

    This coin comes from the Peter Weiß collection, which was auctioned a few weeks ago by Gorny & Mosch; it contained a great number of late Roman coins, including some very rare and impressive ones, and its owner had also written several articles regarding coinage from the Constantinian period. If anybody else picked up any coins from his collection in this sale, I'd like to see them!

    However, in my opinion, the reverse is also very interesting, despite the fact that many might overlook it due to how ubiquitous it is on late Roman coins: firstly, it is something new, which had never appeared on Roman Imperial coins before the creation of the Tetrarchy, and thus symbolizes very well the changing situation in the empire, which needed to be defended from the ever more frequent external threats. Secondly, the depictions of the campgates, just like the portraits, change significantly depending on the issuing mint, with differences such as the width, the number of layers and turrets, and the presence of doors, which can even be decorated, in certain cases. One could certainly build an impressive collection of them, especially if he expanded it to the campgates minted by rulers outside the Constantinian dynasty, who also had unusual depictions of them.

    Finally, I think it's cool that Trier, the city where this coin was struck, today has one of the best preserved Roman city gates, the Porta Nigra ("Black door"), the last surviving one of the four of the original walls, which was built in the second century AD, and was already there when this coin was struck. At 29 meters tall, it's without a doubt an impressive building, and I'd love to visit it someday; for now, though, I'll have to simply look at the photos.
    (Wikipedia; By Berthold Werner - Own work, Public Domain)

    As an anecdote, this building was also featured on a circulating commemorative coin made by Germany in 2017, which I happen to own; I know we're on the Ancients Forum, but I think this still fits in with the topic :).
    2 Euro.jpg

    Anyway, that's all for now: post your coins from the Peter Weiß collection (if you have any), your campgates, your coins from Trier or anything else you feel like might be relevant!
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  3. wittwolf

    wittwolf Well-Known Member

    Nice topic about an underrated reverse type. Here some from Constantines Sons:

    Crispus Caesar - Antioch mint:
    60.2 Crispus 9.png 60.2 Crispus 10.png
    Constantius Caesar - Rome mint:
    68 Constantius Caesar 1.png 68 Constantius Caesar 2.png
    Constantius Caesar - Thessalonica mint:
    68 Constantius Caesar 3.png 68 Constantius Caesar 4.png
  4. Shea19

    Shea19 Supporter! Supporter

    Very nice pickup, that's a beauty. I actually have one of the same type from Trier:


    Constantine I, AE Follis, Treveri(Trier), CONSTAN-TINVS AVG Laureate head of Constantine I to right./ Rev. PROVIDENTIAE AVGG / PTR(pellet-in-crescent) Campgate with two turrets, star above. RIC VII 475.

    At first glance, I thought that these might actually be an obverse die match, but after putting them side-by-side (and putting on my glasses), it's, uh, definitely not a die match :). Similar style elements, but I prefer the portrait on yours, much more realistic-looking.

  5. Andres2

    Andres2 Well-Known Member

    P1150046b.jpg P1140242 (2).JPG

    From the Trier mint:

    P1140646 (2).JPG
  6. Spaniard

    Spaniard Well-Known Member

    @Claudius_Gothicus ......Great looking example!
    Here's one of his sisters husband...Licinius I
    LIC MHTA.jpg
    Curtisimo, dlhill132, tibor and 12 others like this.
  7. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    I think the third ancient coin I ever bought was this Constantine I campgate with an incredible ~95% silvering intact, from Cyzikus. Although there are signs of wear (still a solid AU imo) and there is a flan crack which has some green corrosion poking through, I still think it's an incredible example of a nearly full-silvered coin in a period where the vast majority of surviving examples have little to no silvering.

    This sort of thing makes me wonder what it must have looked like to have a bag or pot full of these glittering, shiny, silvery coins. The fact that so many have lost all silvering makes it hard to visualize. The same phenomenon exists in ancient statuary; almost none of them have survived with the original polychromy so we moderns have a skewed picture of antiquity, at least through art and coins.

    Constantine I RIC 34 (2020_11_18 03_38_31 UTC).jpeg

    I've never seen another offered at this price point ($15). This is one of those coins that the one-per-emperor collectors would be happy to have as the exemplary example, methinks.
    Curtisimo, dlhill132, tibor and 12 others like this.
  8. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    And, as OP mentioned, the collecting strand goes very far and wide, and emperors as late as Arcadius minted these in a TINY module; this example is a whopping 11mm but still somehow manages to retain a good amount of detail on the scaled-down campgate. I do like the degeneration of the depiction of levels. Instead of clearly defined layers, this has mis-placed "blocks" that instead hint at multiple levels instead of portraying them. I suspect this was a good work-around to show a number of levels on such a small coin without crowding it too much.
    Last edited: May 15, 2021
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  9. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    Someone on this forum has a record-breaking number of levels on the gate, but I forget whom.

    Constantius II Thessalonica RIC VIII 158 (2020_11_18 03_38_31 UTC).JPG
    Constantius II from Thessaslonica has 9 levels, and (I literally just noticed this), two arched windows on the top level. This feature seems unusual, as none of my other campgates, and none of the other examples shared on this thread have these arched windows. Neat.
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  10. Victor_Clark

    Victor_Clark all my best friends are dead Romans Dealer

    the arches with dots go all the way across the top row, like the example below--


    this might be an attempt to portray crenellated walls...or just artistic license
    Last edited: May 15, 2021
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  11. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE

    RI Constantine I CE 306-337 Æ Follis 19mm 3.2g Siscia CE 326-7 AVG Laureate R - PROVIDENTIAE AVGG Camp gate 2 turrets no door star RIC 200
    Curtisimo, dlhill132, tibor and 10 others like this.
  12. Orange Julius

    Orange Julius Well-Known Member

    A few odd or interesting campgates:
    Elagabalus campgate
    Doors campgate
    1919 Campgate
    Cool clothes campgate
    The sole no headgear campgate type
    Curtisimo, dlhill132, tibor and 11 others like this.
  13. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander find me at NumisForums

    Congrats, CG, that coin is pretty much perfect!! :cigar:

    I was happy to pick up an ex Weiß coin from the same auction, a Constantine II with the rare "secret name of Rome" Roma/Eros mint mark:

    And here are my two favourite Constantine campgates. I bought the first because it is among the very earliest issues of the Constantinople mint (the silvering was an extra bonus), and the second because I liked the snazzy black'n'tan patina.
    constantine early constantinople.jpg
    constantine black n tan.jpg
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  14. NewStyleKing

    NewStyleKing Beware of Greeks bearing wreaths

    When I visited Trier 3 years ago I was disappointed that access to the upper stories wasn't possible. Luckily it was local boy made good 200th birthday and I got caught up in the tiny pro-demonstration. His name, Karl Marx!
    Claudius_Gothicus likes this.
  15. gsimonel

    gsimonel Well-Known Member

    Nothing from the Weiß collection to add. I just wanted to say how much I admire those two bright, shiny apples atop the campgate of the OP.
    Claudius_Gothicus likes this.
  16. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Well-Known Member

    My most photogenic is this Constantine II from Heraclea. I've had it some 25 years or so:

    Constantine II as Caesar, AD 317-337.
    Roman Æ Centenionalis, 3.86 gm, 18.2 mm.
    Heraclea, AD 327-329.
    Obv: CONSTANTINVS IVN NOB C, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust, right.
    Rev: PROVIDENT-IAE-CAESS, campgate with two turrets, no doors; star above. Dot left field; SMHЄ in exergue.
    Refs: RIC 96; RCV 17241; Cohen 164.
    Curtisimo, dlhill132, tibor and 8 others like this.
  17. Choucas

    Choucas Well-Known Member

    Excellent coin and nice provenance. Trier mint can never go wrong. I went to Trier almost ten years ago in a high school trip, the Porta Nigra is impressive. There's a quite a lot of nice ancient (and medieval) buildings and places to see in the city and its surrounding area. Worth the trip.
    Claudius_Gothicus likes this.
  18. Brian Bucklan

    Brian Bucklan Well-Known Member

    Haven't shown this in quite a while ... my closed-door camp gate of Constantine.

    Constantine Closed Door 1.jpg
  19. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Well-Known Member

    Claudius, Great score :D! The coin looks Gem Mint State ;). Last year I scored a nice looking bronze of Constantine II / Camp Gate, also from the Trier Mint.

    NGC 5767882-158, Epfig Hoard, Al Kowsky Collection.jpg
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  20. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    That's a nice coin. I'd really like to visit Trier someday...

    Here's a late campgate for Arcadius - very sketchy die-work and tiny flan:

    Arcadius - AE  campgate Thessalon Lot Feb 2020 (0).jpg
    Arcadius Æ 4 (11)
    (383-388 A.D.)
    Fifth Period, Officina 3
    Thessalonica Mint

    D N ARCADI[VS P F AVG], pearl-diademed, draped bust r. / GLORIA [REPVBLIC]E, camp gate, Γ to left, TES in exergue.
    RIC IX 62c / 3 (S).
    (1.14 grams / 11 mm)
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  21. gogili1977

    gogili1977 Well-Known Member

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