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: 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.