Maximianus London Mint rarity

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by thejewk, Jan 15, 2020.

  1. thejewk

    thejewk Well-Known Member

    Maximianus Mule.png
    LMCC 5.03.009 - Not in RIC
    PLN in exergue, London Mint 307-310
    4.64g, 26mm
    Found in Ivinghoe, Buckinghamshire

    I spotted this coin on ebay and was puzzled. Finding no such reverse for Maximian in Coinage of Roman Britain, Spink's Coins of England, OCRE or Wildwinds, I started to look around for his 'compatriots'. I remembered reading on a website a month or two ago that Constantine, before Sol took centre stage, had claimed Mars for his patron diety, and I was able to discover this reverse for Constantine. Presuming that the coin was an interesting mule, I grabbed it.

    I came across this thread in the mean time: and wondered if my thinking was a little simplistic, and my faith in random internet articles a little optimistic. With this I bravely forced myself to make a Twitter account and decided to Tweet Lee Toone to ask if he had encountered this possible mule before.

    He promptly and graciously replied that the coin was not a mule at all, but was instead the third known example of the type, LMCC 5.03.009, with one being in the collection of the ANS ( and the other having been sold in Spink Auction 194, which unfortunately I have been unable to trace so far using internet sources. If anyone has access to this catalogue I would very much appreciate your assistance.

    It is now clear that I am going to need to purchase a copy of The London Mint of Constantius and Constantine.

    Please share anything you feel is relevant.
    Theodosius, Volodya, zumbly and 15 others like this.
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  3. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Supporter! Supporter

    Nice score :D! Great to know where it was found too ;).
    TIF and thejewk like this.
  4. Justin Lee

    Justin Lee I learn by doing Supporter

    Could it be this one??

    Spink Auction 8006, Lot #1186, 3/26/2008
    Maximian, AE Follis, c.307, laureate, cuirassed bust right, [d n ] maximiano p f s avg, rev. mart-i p-acif, Mars lunging left, holding out branch in right hand, a spear and shield in left, pln in ex. (RIC -, cf.94; Bastien, NC 1971, pl.34, 3), extremely rare, possibly only the second (?) recorded, minor edge-split, good fine
    Estimate £ 100-150

    Edit: Very cool coin, BTW! Great feeling when the gut ends up being right and gets you something really cool!!
    Bing, Gavin Richardson, TIF and 4 others like this.
  5. thejewk

    thejewk Well-Known Member

    That looks to be the one @Justin Lee , that was fast work! I've spent hours searching to no avail. Would you be kind enough to tell me your method?
  6. Justin Lee

    Justin Lee I learn by doing Supporter

    I just went to ACSearch and typed in "maximiano pln mars" in the search field. It was one of the last of the 11 results that it returned (not your coin type though)... I wasn't expecting it to pop up, but I didn't know if you had looked in ACSearch for the Spink 194 auction, so I was expected to hopefully see something from that auction that was referenced. But, nope, it was this one instead. Maybe Lee got it wrong? Maybe it sold again later? I first was trying to search in and on to see if there was anything for that Auction 194, but nothing there either. I was just lucky, I guess. :shy:
    Theodosius, TIF and thejewk like this.
  7. Gavin Richardson

    Gavin Richardson Well-Known Member

    What a score! Further evidence that the Tetrarchs would use whatever deity happened to suit their needs at a given time; there was no strict tutelary affiliation beyond the Herculian and Jovian houses of West and East. M.D. Smith summarizes: "What we can be certain of, at least as far as the numismatic evidence can take us, is that there was no consistent pattern in the religious coinage advertising a divine Tetrarchy paralleling and supporting its earthly counterpart. Rather, the Tetrarchy was vested with divine legitimacy by Jove and his divine/imperial partner, Hercules. Mars, of course, was useful, especially in time of war or when an Emperor wanted to bolster the morale of the legions; Sol, although appropriately honored, played at most a minor and insignificant role. When Diocletian and Maximian retired, Galerius and Constantius, now freed to pursue their own policies governing the minting of coinage, chose to follow in the footsteps of their mentors, emphasizing Jove and Hercules…" “The Religious Coinage of Constantius I,” Byzantion Vol. 70, No. 2 (2000), 474-490, at 489.
    Theodosius, Justin Lee and thejewk like this.
  8. Justin Lee

    Justin Lee I learn by doing Supporter

    Quite apropos, illustrating this tetrarchal tie to Jove and Hercules (and in contrast to Mars being used along the limes frontier in Britain), is this Diocletian I literally just grabbed from the mailbox 30 minutes ago.
    Diocletian, Ruled 285-305 AD
    AE Antoninianus (silvered), Struck 285 AD, Antioch Mint
    Obverse: IMP C C VAL DIOCLETIANVS P F AVG, bust of Diocletian, radiate, draped, cuirassed, right.
    Reverse: IOV ET HERCV CONSER AVGG, Jupiter, standing right, holding globe in right hand and sceptre in left hand, and Hercules, standing left, holding Victory in right hand and club and lion's skin in left hand, A officina designation above, mintmark XXI.
    References: RIC V 323
    Theodosius, zumbly, Bing and 4 others like this.
  9. Valentinian

    Valentinian Supporter! Supporter

    @thejewk , congratulations on your keen eye and knowledge.

    Anyone who cares about coins of that period will want RIC VI. Anyone who cares about coins of that period from London will want Cloke and Toone. I have it and consult it enough to make it worthwhile. However, don't pay the $1,587.65 asked for the one copy on Amazon! I got mine from Spink.
    it is only 50 pounds plus shipping.

    The OP coin is a "second-reign" coin of Maximian from a mint of Constantine. At the time, Constantine was also minting the next type for himself:

    26-24 mm. 5.98 grams.
    RIC VI London 109 "c. autumn 307 - early 310"
    Cloke and Toone 5.04.009 "307-310"

    We recently had a thread
    on which tetrarchs were associated with which gods. Coins like the OP coin of Maximian from London tell us more about the preferences of Constantine than they do about Maximian because London was a mint of Constantine.
  10. thejewk

    thejewk Well-Known Member

    @Valentinian I purchased a copy of the book direct from Spink not long after making this thread. I can't wait to get hold of it now.

    I just hope someone with the necessary knowledge produces something similar for Carausius and Allectus in the near future.
  11. thejewk

    thejewk Well-Known Member

    DSC00244 (2).JPG DSC00248 (2).JPG

    An attempt at a photograph after lightly brushing off some of the loose dirt.
  12. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Supporter! Supporter

    Wow :jawdrop:! This looks like a different coin, especially the obverse. You have revived important details that were hidden by time. Congratulations :D. Have you weighed the coin after removal of the dirt o_O?
    thejewk likes this.
  13. thejewk

    thejewk Well-Known Member

    I've lost 0.02 of a gram haha, although really that's not worth noting when it falls well within the margin of error of a low price portable scale. The soil remaining is fairly hard, but the surface deposits were quite light and all it took was a light poke or two with a wooden toothpick and some light brushing with an old toothbrush to remove the crumbs.

    Not like the underweight Hadrian Britannia As I'm working on at the minute. That has a 0.5 mm black, thick crust that comes away a fraction of a mm at a time, and I've been working on it for about 6 hours so far with very slow progress.
    Theodosius likes this.
  14. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

    That’s a great find, which has cleaned up very nicely, too. Congrats!
    thejewk likes this.
  15. thejewk

    thejewk Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the kind comments.

    I must correct my original attribution:

    I find it strange that the O is quite faint, and the P all but obliterated.
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