Gallienus - Common coin with an uncommonly nice face

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Finn235, Oct 16, 2020.

  1. Finn235

    Finn235 Well-Known Member

    Title says it all - this was a lot find, but it didn't even get a nibble at a very reasonable start bid - so into the collection it goes!

    Gallienus Pietas excellent bust.jpg

    GALLIENVS AVG, radiate head right
    PIETAS AVG, Pietas standing left, lit altar at foot, both hands raised.

    Utterly common, but easily one of the most photorealistic portraits of everyone's favorite 3rd century neckbeard, especially from this late in his reign.

    Let's see those Gallienus coins with nicer than average portraits - especially the sole reign issues!
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  3. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter I dig ancient coins...

    Nice portrait I agree. Excellent pick-up @Finn235
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  4. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter I dig ancient coins...

    For the sole reign I'll show this portrait, which is on a ragged flan....

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  5. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member

    ..that is a nice portriat..i'm looking at getting another of him meself..:)
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  6. Spaniard

    Spaniard Well-Known Member

    @Finn235...Sweet coin and as you say, great looking portrait!
    I only have a joint rule coin of his but imo has a nice portrait too.
    RIC VI#18 variant obv legend dots.
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  7. SensibleSal66

    SensibleSal66 Well-Known Member

    Nice find .
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  8. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    I was always struck by how poorly executed most of Gallienus portraits on coins are, especially compared to how incredible his statuary is. Wonder why
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  9. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    It would be interesting to know how many dies were made for Gallienus. I would guess over a thousand --- possibly several times that. Of them, as shown in this thread, some were well done; others not. IMHO, the issue shown by Spaniard has some excellent work. My best:

    I find it interesting that some of the least inspiring portraits are found on the later Eastern coins that show the best striking and flan prep workmanship.
    rp1670bb2275.jpg rp1680b02276lg.jpg
  10. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter I dig ancient coins...

    That coin is nice as it has a silver appearance (still contained some good silver). A few years later they went for total debasement.
    Spaniard, Finn235 and +VGO.DVCKS like this.
  11. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter I dig ancient coins...

    Good points Doug. They seem to have been more careful making flans in the east than they were in the west.
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  12. +VGO.DVCKS

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    From here, just impressionistically, the transition from joint-reign Gallienus (with Valerian) to solo is a real tipping point, both for the engraving style and the composition. It's palpable in your example.
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  13. hoth2

    hoth2 Well-Known Member

    Even the hair in the OP is a cut above.
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  14. singig

    singig Well-Known Member

    very nice portraits

    AR antoninianus. Rome mint. AD 261. RIC 301, T
    GALLIENVS AVG, radiate, cuirassed bust right /
    VICTORIA AVG, Victory walking left, holding wreath and palm branch. T in left field. RIC V-1 (S), Rome 301 var (officina);

    AR Antoninianus. Cologne mint, AD 258-259. RIC 44[j]
    GALLIENVS P F AVG, radiate cuirassed bust left, holding spear and shield /
    VICT GERMANICA, Victory advancing left, carrying wreath and trophy, treading on captive left.

    Gallienus Billon Antoninianus. Antioch (Göbl) or Asia (RIC) mint.
    RIC 638L
    GALLIENVS AVG, radiate draped bust left /
    GENIVS AVG, Genius, with modius on head, standing left by altar, holding patera and cornucopiae. Mintmark palm branch.
  15. Shea19

    Shea19 Supporter! Supporter

    Very nice. This one from the joint reign has a great portrait, so they made sure to follow their usual quality control standards for the flan, and then paired it up with the oldest reverse die they could find lying around.

    Gallienus (joint reign), Antoninianus, Rome mint, 255-256 AD., RIC V 159.
  16. +VGO.DVCKS

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    Liking the contrast!
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  17. Finn235

    Finn235 Well-Known Member

    Thanks all, and some very nice examples posted!

    Prior to this one, I had two particularly nice Gallienus sole reign coins that I had saved

    This one doesn't even have a trace of copper visible, and IMO is an equally nice portrait in terms of realism Gallienus pax avg.jpg

    This one is a bit more cartoonish, but still great as far as sole reigns go - it is also fully struck and silvered Gallienus victoria avg.jpg

    I briefly owned this one from Antioch - a good example of the Eastern style that Doug mentioned earlier, and it appeared to be solid billon rather than silvered bronze
    Gallienus saeculares avg.jpg

    As others have shown, Gallienus' early coins from his joint reign with Valerian are much nicer, more artistic, and usually made better.

    I have these:

    Uncertain mint (Rome?) First year celebrating his elevation to Augustus. I believe the portrait is a modified Volusian for this one.
    Gallienus CONCORDIA AVGG clasped hands early issue.jpg

    Another, slightly later - no clue which mint this one comes from, but it has a striking portrait
    Gallienus virtus avgg.jpg

    Like @Spaniard I have a Cologne mint issue with trophy and captives, although not as nice as his!
    Gallienus Germanicvs Max V.jpg
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  18. SensibleSal66

    SensibleSal66 Well-Known Member

  19. Spaniard

    Spaniard Well-Known Member

    @Finn235......Wow! I don't know about others but I actually prefer the PAX reverse coin to the OP, Lovely portrait and a decent reverse with good detail, a very nice coin!...Also find the 'hand clenched reverse coin REALLY interesting..That is a thought provoking portrait!?

    I do like the lefty of @dougsmit and actually think the portrait is of better style than mine, especially the eye,nose and mouth areas. With a lovely curly beard depicted...Nice coin!
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  20. Clavdivs

    Clavdivs Supporter! Supporter

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  21. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    This one's nicely rendered.

    Gallienus, AD 253-268.
    Roman billon Antoninianus, 3.53 g, 20.1 mm, 1 h.
    Rome, AD 267-268.
    Obv: GALLIENVS AVG, radiate head, right.
    Rev: DIANAE CONS AVG, stag walking right; X I in exergue.
    Refs: RIC 179K; Göbl 745b; Cohen 157; RCV 10201.
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