N.M.McQ. Holmes collection

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Pellinore, Apr 18, 2019.

  1. Pellinore

    Pellinore Supporter! Supporter

    Yesterday the collection of N.M.McQ. Holmes (also the owner of a fantastic set of initials!) was for sale at an electronic auction. Did any of you take a look? I immensely liked it because it was a very specialized collection of Roman coins, only of the time of Valerian and Gallienus, 253-268 AD. Here is the catalog (Issuu).

    These are not popular emperors, their coins often less well made compared to their predecessors. Valerian has a poor record for letting himself capture (and possibly murder) by the Sasanian king Shapur I. Gallienus has a (possibly undeserved) bad review from the old Roman authors and from Edward Gibbon. However, both emperors were good generals who have won many a war.
    They tried to establish a dynasty for saving the Roman Empire from anarchy. Immediately after his accession he made his son Gallienus co-emperor, and in his turn, Gallienus made his own young sons caesars when they were about sixteen years old, in 256 and 258, but both died shortly afterwards.
    The fateful year 260 saw the end of Valerian and his grandson Saloninus, but also the rise of the Gallic empire under Postumus, that is also covered in the N.M.McQ. Holmes collection.

    What I liked are all the well-explained reverse types and many rarities in the catalog. Also, I managed to buy several coins filling holes in my collection: a portrait of Saloninus (and that in a rare contemporary forgery with a reverse of a coin by Postumus) and an Alexandrian tetradrachm of Valerian II. A bronze in very poor style of Alexandria Troas, one of the last minted in that sad city, overrun by the Goths in 262. Think of those bold and beautiful Alexandria Troas coins of the early third century and weep when seeing this:

    Troas ct.jpg

    What I missed was one of the first coins of Postumus, where his name is misspelled as Postimus. And a double sestertius with Hercules Magusanus reverse. I hope someone here won it!

    If you divide your collection in Beauties and Beasts, the beasts being the ugly but historically interesting coins, most of what I bought yesterday is Beasts. Beauties next time.
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  3. Ken Dorney

    Ken Dorney Yea, I'm Cool That Way...

    It was an interesting collection and I was watching a couple dozen lots closely. I was wondering if such a specialized collection of generally ignored coinage would do well. They did. Some lots of course didn't fare well but I think overall it was a good day. Unfortunately the auction started closing much earlier in the day than normal so I missed half and lost out on everything else I tried to get. I really wanted the sestertius below, and I think it went for about half its value.

  4. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member

    ..Phillip or Trebonus Gallus?..
  5. Ken Dorney

    Ken Dorney Yea, I'm Cool That Way...

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  6. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member

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  7. Orfew

    Orfew Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus Supporter

    I almost bid on several because of the provenance but could not justify it because these coins would largely sit ignored in my collection and they do not deserve that.

    That said there were some very interesting coins that went cheaply imho.
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  8. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    I was curious how that sale would go. A large part of it were very specialized, ridiculously rare and low grade coins that would have great appeal to a few people and not much at all to many of the people that regularly patronize these sales. I would expect many of the rare (as opposed to super rare) coins in such large numbers might be hard to find a home all on one day. I really do not know how one is to liquidate a collection like that. If they were all EF items with only a hundred in existance, I would expect a strong sale but so many rough and rare (unique?) would have to seek bidders in advance.
  9. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

    I really enjoyed this particular auction and there were many more lots of interest to me than I had budget to try for. Most of what I did manage to win definitely falls into the "beasts" category, but here's one I'm really pleased with. It has a boar-hunting mythological reverse type (alluding to the founding of Ephesus) that has been on my want list for awhile.

    Gallienus - Ionia Smyrna Boar hunting.jpg
    IONIA, Ephesus. Gallienus. AD 253-268. Æ (27.5mm, 8.09 g, 6.5h). Struck AD 253-268. AVT · K · ΠO · ΛIKIN · ΓAΛΛIHNOC ·, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right / EΦ-ECIΩN · Γ · NEO, KOPON in exergue, Androklos facing right, wielding spear at boar standing left; hound at his side. Karwiese 1136 (this coin cited). VF, brown patina, some roughness. Very rare.
    Ex Marcel Burstein Collection (Peus 366, 25 October 2000), lot 636; G. Hirsch 171 (25 September 1991), lot 1273
  10. Orfew

    Orfew Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus Supporter

    That is a great reverse. Congrats!
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  11. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

  12. Carausius

    Carausius Brother, can you spare a sestertius?

    I didn't bid, but I received the printed catalogue, which I'll keep. Specialist catalogues like this are great research tools and often collectible too.
    Orfew and zumbly like this.
  13. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Cogito Ergo Sum

    Very interesting collection that I knew nothing about.
  14. Pellinore

    Pellinore Supporter! Supporter

    I ordered the printed catalog too, it's pricey. Still, very informative in its descriptions and its masterful introduction.
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