The perpetual search for a great portrait of Valerian

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Clavdivs, Sep 5, 2021.

  1. philologus_1

    philologus_1 Supporter! Supporter

    I'm late to the party, but... after trading "up" through 3 different Valerian portraits I finally stopped when I got this one. In hand his moustache really pops.
    Valerian I, (Publius Licinius Valerianus), AD 253-260.
    Antioch mint; silver Antoninianus.
    Obv.: IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS P F AVG; Radiate draped cuirassed bust, right.
    Rev.: RESTITVT ORIENTIS; Valerian standing, receiving wreath from Orient.
    Diam.: 21 mm. Weight: 3.3 gr.
    Attrib.: Cohen 189. RIC 287, page 60. (Scarce.)

    Perhaps it goes without saying, but in this period (the start of the Crisis of the Third Century) the silver content really took a nosedive. Unfortunately, the silver content was so low that not many nice examples are extant -- and several of those that do remain have surface/metal issues.
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2021
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  3. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    Valerian I 5.jpg
    OBVERSE: IMP LICI VALERIAN, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right
    REVERSE: VCOL AVG TRO, horse grazing right
    Struck at Alexandria Troas, 253-60 AD
    4.86g, 21mm
    SNGCop 191v
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  4. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander Blame my mother. Supporter

    I agree that really nice Valerian portraits are hard to come by. Some nice ones in this thread, though! (Including the OP sestertius and the ants posted by @Cucumbor, @Mat, and @Alegandron. @gsimonel's is pretty impressive for Antioch!)

    I bought this Viminacium first issue for the portrait, and I haven't seen many (except in gold) that I like better:
    valerian portrait.JPG
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  5. Orielensis

    Orielensis Supporter! Supporter

    There are some splendid coins of Valerian in this thread! I have been on the same search as @Clavdivs , and this is the best portrait I could find:

    Rom – Valerian I, Antoninian, Apollo.png
    Valerian I, Roman Empire, AR antoninianus, 253-254 AD, Rome mint. Obv: IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS AVG; bust of Valerian, radiate, draped, cuirassed, r. Rev: APOLINI PROPVG; Apollo, nude except for cloak flying behind, standing r., drawing bow. 22mm, 3,58. Ref: RIC V Valerian 74; Göbl 44d.
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  6. Ignoramus Maximus

    Ignoramus Maximus Nomen non est omen.

    To summarize: sad looks, poor portraits, taken captive.
    Looks like the poor man never got a break...
    And to add insult to injury, his nemesis made great coins!

    I hope it's all right to post this one here, @Clavdivs. The thread's not about him, but, well, he's the elephant in the room. And it's only appropriate since it was you who pointed the guy out to me.:)
    So here we go:
    Shahpur I, drachm.png
    (ok, mine's not the best example, but he made some really great coins!).
    I'll probably never buy gold, (for one thing, it's cost-prohibitive), but if I would, a Shapur I dinar would be on top of my want list.
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  7. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    This is the best Valerian portrait I have -- not bad, I think, given how poor so many of them are:

    Valerian I - Virtus AVGG - jpg version.jpg
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  8. eparch

    eparch Well-Known Member

    This sestertius has a better portrait than any of my antoniani

    Valerianus I (253-260). AE Sestertius (), Rome, 253/254 AD.
    Obv. IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS AVG, Laureate and cuirassed bust to right.
    Rev. VIRTVS AVGG / S - C, Virtus standing left.
    RIC 182; Göbl 38k
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  9. Orange Julius

    Orange Julius Well-Known Member

    Great coins all, this is probably my most life-like portrait on a coin.
    And this is probably my best example of "eastern style" which is not life-like and stylized.
    A pretty consistent feature in all portraits is a jowly face, saggy neck, with somewhat of a recessed chin, maybe a bit overweight.
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  10. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & Eccentric Moderator

    This one is the only coin of Valerian I have owned to date. It was purchased from Incitatus in 2007 for my first novice collection of Romans.

  11. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Supporter! Supporter

    Many attractive coins of Valerian I were struck at provincial mints, unfortunately too many of these coins have been impaired by wear & striking weakness; the coin pictured below is a good example. I bought this coin because of the interesting reverse composition & because it's dated :happy:. I removed the coin from the slab but kept the NGC insert.
  12. Harry G

    Harry G Well-Known Member

    Here's one of my better ones. Please excuse the terrible cropping

  13. Clavdivs

    Clavdivs Supporter! Supporter

    I just picked up this inexpensive example.. reverse isn't great but the portrait is on the nicer side ..

    Obverse: IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS P F AVG, radiate, cuirassed bust right
    Reverse: FELICI-TAS AVGG, Felicitas standing left, holding caduceus and scepter
    Size: 21.56mm
    Weight: 3.21 grams
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