Think you can match my Phoenix?

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Co1ns, Aug 8, 2020.

  1. Co1ns

    Co1ns Active Member

    I have a radiate phoenix on globe reverse type on a rather small 16mm flan, no mint mark in sight besides the star to right. There's also some obverse legend missing, but I am pretty sure it's Constans rather than Constantius based on letter spacing.

    20200809_002922.jpg 20200809_002734.jpg

    With the mint mark below the globe completely off flan and hardly certain on the ruler, I began looking for a die match to try and pin down a definitive ID.

    This coin from Antioch sold by Roma in 2017 was by far the closest I could find:

    Roma Numismatics / acsearch

    Though it's clearly not a die match, the style is very similar, especially considering how far off the other phoenixes I viewed were. As such, I am pretty certain my coin is also an example of RIC VIII Antioch 131.

    Does anyone have a closer match either supporting or refuting my attribution?

    Flaunt your Phoenixes :)
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  3. Justin Lee

    Justin Lee I learn by doing Supporter

    Nice, high fallutin' phoenix you got there!

    I've got a "small-necked" Phoenix standing on a pyramid (well a triangular pile o'rocks).

    Constans, Ruled 337-350 AD
    AE3, Struck 348-350 AD, Siscia Mint
    Celebration of Rome’s 1100th Anniversary

    Obverse: DN CONSTA-NS PF AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, cuirassed bust right.
    Reverse: FEL • TEMP • REPARATIO, phoenix, radiate, standing right on rocky mound.
    Exergue: ΓSIS•
    References: RIC VIII Siscia 232
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  4. Pellinore

    Pellinore Supporter! Supporter

    My phoenix is like that of @Justin Lee.

    2731 Phoenix.jpg

    Constans. 337-350. AE follis. Obv. Bust to right. DNCONSTA/ NSPFAVG. Rev. Phoenix on funeral pyre, wreath in beak. FELTEMPREPARATIO/ ASIS (sign 5, looks like x, see Wildwinds). Reddish, oval coin. 17.5 x 20.5 mm, 3.53 gr.
    Limes, Spaniard, Bing and 4 others like this.
  5. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    None in my collection where it's standing on a globe. This one stands on a pile of rocks. It's my most photogenic one:

    Constantius II, AD 337-361.
    Roman Æ 3 (1/4 maiorina?), 2.36 g, 18.7 mm, 11 h.
    Siscia, AD 348-49, fifth officina.
    Obv: D N CONSTAN-TIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed bust, right.
    Rev: FEL TEMP REPARATIO, Phoenix, nimbate, standing right on mound of rocks; ЄSIS(symbol 5) in exergue.
    Refs: RIC viii p. 366, 240; LRBC II 1133; RCV 18250; Cohen 58.
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  6. Co1ns

    Co1ns Active Member

    Nice coins!

    I like how they all clearly have spacing dots or don't.
    I think the two apparrent spacing dots in my legend are encrustation ala the Parthienesque royal wart on Constan's cheek. The dot following the first R in Repatrio is especially suspect.
  7. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter I dig ancient coins...

    I just pulled the trigger on one this morning - nice addition to the collection.
    Co1ns and Roman Collector like this.
  8. maridvnvm

    maridvnvm Well-Known Member

    Antioch would certainly seem the best fit stylistically. Constantius II would be most likely.


    Obv:– D N CONSTANTIVS P F AVG, Pearl diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right
    Rev:– FEL TEMP REPARATIO, Phoenix nimbate and radiate, standing right on globe,
    Minted in Antioch (_ | * //ANA). A.D. 348 - A.D. 350
    Reference:– RIC VIII Antioch 129 (S)

    Weight 2.78g. 19.42mm. 0 degrees

    Constatinople has a taller, thinner Phoenix

    Obv:– D N CONSTANTIVS P F AVG, Pearl diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right
    Rev:– FEL TEMP REPARATIO, Phoenix nimbate and radiate, standing right on globe,
    Minted in Constantinople (//CONSIA*). A.D. 348 - A.D. 350
    Reference:– RIC VIII Constantinople 93 (Rated S)


    The portrait style at Trier is quite distinctive


    Obv:- DN CONSTA-NS PF AVG, pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right,
    Rev:– FEL TEMP REPARATIO, Nimbate Phoenix standing right on globe
    Minted in Trier; (//TRS .),
    Reference:– RIC VIII Trier 234 (C2)

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  9. Co1ns

    Co1ns Active Member

    A nice selection to compare with.

    You may well be right re: Constantius. Though I can only see the bases of TA left of my portrait, I can't definitively say there's not a whisper of an N afterwards, only that there doesn't appear to be.

    The last S in my legend falls below the portrait's gaze, in a similar position to your first example from Antioch, but higher than the second, lower than your example from Constantinople and much lower than your example of Constans. That would suggest my legend says Constantius.

    Still not certain ...

    Moar Phoenixes I say!
  10. dltsrq

    dltsrq Grumpy Old Man

    The mullet (hair not fish) screams Constantius II.
    Co1ns likes this.
  11. Co1ns

    Co1ns Active Member

    Though I'm beginning to lean towards Constantius, both brothers seem to have gone through an ACDC phaze at one mint or another!

    Loosening my acsearch a little I found another interesting one from Antioch, this time Constantius. The skywards beak is arguably the closest to mine thus far, though the radiate style and star position are way off.


    "CONSTANTIUS II (337-361). Ae. Antioch. Obv: D N CONSTANTIVS P F AVG. Diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right. Rev: FEL TEMP REPARATIO / ANΘ. Radiate phoenix standing right upon globus; star to right. RIC 129. Condition: Extremely fine. Weight: 2.4 g. Diameter: 16 mm." - Numismatik Naumann / acsearch

    What strikes me about this reverse series is how few photographic examples there are on OCRE and acsearch. Apparrently they used to be quite common in uncleaned lots back in the day, but not so much anymore.
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  12. Valentinian

    Valentinian Supporter! Supporter

    acsearch lists auction coins. Very common coins are underrepresented because they are usually not worth enough to warrant an individual lot in an auction. I think the type is quite common, but not extremely common.
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  13. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    At this point I’ve gone through somewheee around 1500 “junk” ancient coins. Of those I think only maybe 10 were phoenixes of any kind. Doesn’t mean they’re valuable just means that they’re not SUPER common; at least compared to an FTR horseman for example
    Co1ns likes this.
  14. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    This is because the Phoenix type was the smallest of the three original FTR denominations and was soon discontinued as unnecessary. A bit later, the middle denomination (all types with left facing busts) was ended while the FH coins held on a few more years. At the same time, the Falling Horseman type began to be reduced in size until, at the end, it was smaller than the Phoenix was at the start. Those new to the subject might enjoy my page on the FTR coins.

    I might add that this page dates before I understood a few things so I would not say things that way today in some details. I would edit tis page but I have lost edit capabilities over my pages and Forvm has not (yet?) restored my ability to edit my pages. I wish I had a new home for my pages but am grateful for all the years of hosting Forvm provided before their new software requirements locked me out. If anyone is skilled in FTP matters and could possibly help me, I would appreciate contact.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2020
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  15. dltsrq

    dltsrq Grumpy Old Man

    To my eye, the obverse legend is DNCONSTAN-[TIV]SPFAVG. Too many letters for Constans and the wrong legend break.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2020
    Co1ns likes this.
  16. Co1ns

    Co1ns Active Member

    True, but nice examples of soldiers & standards, campgates etc abound the auction sites.

    I've found one in 175 so sounds about right.

    Re: value there's a few asking around $175 on vcoins, but one for $30 too. So like most bronzes, comes down to how well they've stood the test of time more than anything.

    Thanks for the trivia Doug, explains the relative scarcity!
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