Constantine I VLPP from Siscia with H6 bust (means it's rare)

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Victor_Clark, Feb 28, 2020.

  1. Victor_Clark

    Victor_Clark standing on the shoulders of giants Dealer


    I was pretty happy to recently acquire this coin of Constantine I. It is not listed in RIC and it is actually fairly rare. I had and then sold another example about 12 years ago on Vauctions that is an obverse die match with this one and always regretted selling it a bit, but this one is in much better condition.

    RIC does not list bust type H6 for any of the VLPP’s; but, with the obverse legend, it should come after Siscia 53

    Constantine I
    A.D. 318-19
    19mm 2.9g
    IMP CONSTANTINVS P F AVG; laureate helmet and cuirassed bust right with spear across right shoulder and shield/ buckler on left.
    VICTORIAE LAETAE PRINC PERP; two Victories stg., facing one another, together holding shield (wreath) inscribed VOT PR on altar.
  2. Avatar

    Guest User Guest

    to hide this ad.
  3. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    That's a very nice example. This is the closest I have to your coin from Trier

    Constantine I 1.jpg
    OBVERSE: CONSTANTINVS MAX AVG, laureate helmetedi & cuirassed bust right
    REVERSE: VICTORIAE LAETAE PRINC PERP, two Victories holding shield inscribed VOT /PR on an altar, STR in ex.
    Struck at Treveri 319 AD
    2.5g, 17mm
    RIC VII 216
  4. Justin Lee

    Justin Lee I learn by doing Supporter

    Very nice, Victor! It's always nice when the universe shines upon you and brings you something that fulfills a desire/need.

    Imitative coin of AE3 Constantine I, VICTORIAE LAETAE PRINC PERP / Two Victories holding shield surmounted on altar.
    Spaniard, Marsyas Mike, Ryro and 3 others like this.
  5. Finn235

    Finn235 Well-Known Member

    Nice pickup! The T-Rex arms on these 4th century busts are always a hoot
  6. Victor_Clark

    Victor_Clark standing on the shoulders of giants Dealer

    I casually collect the unofficial VLPP copying Siscia and currently have about 500, here's a few--

    kind of a horseman on shield


    smiley face reverse


    web reverse


    sombrero reverse


    pretty abstract


    I have 126 examples uploaded here--
  7. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    How often do you find die matches in these?

    rv5170bb2381.jpg rv5180bb2471.jpg
  8. Victor_Clark

    Victor_Clark standing on the shoulders of giants Dealer

    Pretty frequently...I just quickly looked through my data and I have around 50 obverse or reverse matches. I have several with multiple examples, like 5 die matched obverses. Only a few double die matches; but I do have 5 examples of one of them. It is actually not so hard to find die matches as the styles are so distinctive, so it is easy to recognize a match.

    here's a gif of a double die match that I have 5 examples of...I need to update the gif.

  9. gsimonel

    gsimonel Supporter! Supporter

    Excellent coin, Victor. I do not have that bust type anywhere in my entire CtG collection. Now I want one. Got any more?

    I do have these two unusual obverse types. Neither is particularly rare, though:
    Lugdunum (Lyons) mint, A.D. 320
    RIC 79 (var.)
    Rev: VICTORIAE LAET PRINC PERP - Two Victories holding shield inscribed VOT/PR above altar
    P[2 captives]L in exergue
    19 mm, 3.2 g.
    Treveri (Trier) mint, A.D. 322-323
    RIC 369
    Rev: BEATA TRAN-QVILLITAS - Globe on altar inscribed VO/TIS/XX; 3 stars above
    [dot]PTR[dot] in exergue
    20 mm, 4.2 g.
  10. Victor_Clark

    Victor_Clark standing on the shoulders of giants Dealer

    I only have one example now. H6 left is more common, but still tough to find. I do have an H2 bust, the difference being the helmet is not laureate. It's also not in RIC, or Bastien.

    Constantine I
    A.D. 320
    18mm 2.3gm
    CONSTANTINVS AVG; helmeted and cuirassed bust left, spear across r. shoulder and shield on l. arm.
    CONSTANTINI AVG in three lines around VO/TIS/XX
    In ex. •P•L•
    RIC VII Lyons --

    Constantine VOTIS XX Lyons.jpg
  11. gsimonel

    gsimonel Supporter! Supporter

    I, too, have a left-facing example, (such as my avatar), but no right-facing ones. In particular, no right-facing ones with the tyrannosaur arms like your OP. Great coin!
  12. Victor_Clark

    Victor_Clark standing on the shoulders of giants Dealer

    Since it is from RIC VI, technically it is not an H6 bust though. It is a BB bust. This bust type is much easier to find than the RIC VII equivalent.
  13. gsimonel

    gsimonel Supporter! Supporter

    Which brings up the question of why there are so many different bust types, especially from Siscia, and especially with this and the TRANQUILLITAS reverse types. Were they meant to signify different things? Was there a specific sequence (my suspicion)? Or was it just up to the whim or preference of the individual celator.

    BTW, Victor, what is the reverse of your new avatar coin?
  14. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    Kind of along the same lines, I was attributing a batch of low grade AEs and found that a Crispus from Siscia was not in RIC.

    I only know this because I found the FORVM site, "Not in RIC" (noted below):

    Crispus - AE Siscia VICTORAE lot Feb 2020 (0).jpg

    Crispus Æ 22
    (319 A.D.)
    Siscia Mint

    IVL CRISPVS NOB CAES laureate, cuirassed bust left, spear and shield on left arm / VICTORIAE LAETAE PRINC PERP two Victories holding shield w. VOT PR over altar [with S?]; ЄSIS• in ex.
    RIC 78 var. (Officina Є).
    (2.66 grams / 22 mm)

    Attribution Notes:
    Per FORVM "Not in RIC": "NOT IN RIC UNLISTED OFFICINA - Є. RIC lists only
    officinae A and Δ (p. 434)."
  15. Victor_Clark

    Victor_Clark standing on the shoulders of giants Dealer

    It is probably my current favorite coin. Not in RIC for the L2 l. bust, it should be listed after Lyons 61. It is, however, in Bastien, with one example noted-- Bastien 605. RIC describes the bust as Imperatorial gestus. The word gestus is a great German word for this bust type- a combination of physical gestures and "gist" or attitude… I call it my sign language coin.

    Constantine I
    A.D. 316
    19mm 3.5gm
    CONSTANTINVS AVG; bust left, laureate, cuirassed and raising right hand.
    SOLI INVIC-TO COMITI; Sol rad., raising r. hand, globe in l.; stg. l., chlamys across l. shoulder. A/S across fields.
    in ex. PLG
    RIC VII Lyons --; Bastien 605

  16. Victor_Clark

    Victor_Clark standing on the shoulders of giants Dealer

    For the Siscian VLPP issue for Constantine I, there are actually not many busts.

    D2-helmeted, cuirassed (it seems an error in RIC, busts are probably all D6)

    D6-Laureate, helmeted, cuirassed


    H11 - High-crested helmet, cuirassed, spear across right shoulder


    H12 - High-crested helmet, cuirassed, spear across right shoulder, shield on left arm


    coins with an H6 bust ( laureate helmet, cuirassed, spear across right shoulder, shield on left) are also known, but not listed in RIC.

    There are also very rare examples of Constantine wearing a Pannonia cap.

    So for Constantine there are really only three bust types from Siscia (D6, H11 and H12) with any others being rare. The three normal types are also helmeted. Constantine I is the only ruler depicted helmeted for the Siscian VLPP; which is an important distinction. This type was issued shortly after the 1st civil war with Licinius, and Constantine had just won the territory of Siscia; which was also the closest Constantinian mint to remaining Licinius territory. So the helmet seems to be a bit of military propaganda.

    While these coins were eventually issued for all five rulers at the time --Constantine I, Licinius I, Crispus, Licinius II and Constantine II; the first series,ASIS✶ [with the long reverse legend], was issued only for Constantine (RIC 47-51). The next series (RIC 52-58) was only issued for the Constantine family members; though I have seen some worn Licinius issues that might belong to this series. Overall it seems that this issue was meant to stress what a great warrior/ general Constantine I was, and, remember that it copies the billon type (Festmünzen) that was issued from Trier shortly after the defeat of Maxentius.

  17. Voulgaroktonou

    Voulgaroktonou Well-Known Member

    Wonderful posts and great photos. Thanks! Just want to note that "gestus" is a Latin, not German word, although I am sure that the Germans have appropriated it as a technical term in their scholarship. Its root meaning is "bearing", or "movement" of the body, often especially in reference to the hand. Perhaps its most salient interpretation is to express the act of speech. One of my favorite non-ancient coins has a clear example of this: a silver carlino of Charles I, King of Sicily, Count of Provence and Anjou, and titular king of Jerusalem, 1278-85. The reverse depicts the Annunciation, with the Archangel Gabriel addressing the Virgin: " Ave gratia plena, dominus tecum" (hail, [you] full of grace, the Lord [is] with you)
    nicholasz219 and Bing like this.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page