Featured Valerian Sestertius - the Celators of Rome Still Had it

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Blake Davis, May 6, 2021.

  1. Hrefn

    Hrefn Well-Known Member

    A drachm of Shapur. He looks implacable. I could see him having a Roman emperor executed, skinned, and stuffed. upload_2021-5-7_14-25-12.jpeg
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  3. Clavdivs

    Clavdivs Supporter! Supporter

    RIC V Valerian 74 = one of the best portraits of Valerian I have seen.. I have searched far and wide for a nice one. Congratulations on that. @Cucumbor has some very special coins as well.
  4. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    I lucked into a Valerian sestertius in an undescribed eBay lot a couple years ago - I never photographed it, but this thread was an inspiration.

    Rough, but I think it has an interesting, expressive portrait. He looks a little worried - he should be:

    Valerian - Sest. Felicitas RIC 157Jul 2018 (0).jpg
    Valerian Æ Sestertius
    (255-258 A.D.)
    Rome Mint

    [IMP C P L]IC VALERIANVS PF [AVG], laureate and cuirassed bust right / [FELICI]TAS A[VGG], SC, Felicitas standing left, holding long caduceus in right hand and cornucopiae in left.
    RIC 157; Sear 10011.
    (15.09 grams / 26 mm)
  5. Cucumbor

    Cucumbor Dombes collector Supporter

    Here's a rare middle bronze of his, showing how skilled the celator was, again (at least the one who did the obverse) :

    Valerian, As - Rome mint, AD 255-258
    IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS P F AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right
    IOVI CONSERVATORI, Jupiter standing left, holding thunderbolt and scepter. S - C in field
    10.0 gr
    Ref : RCV # 10032, Cohen # 96

  6. Orielensis

    Orielensis Supporter! Supporter

    The changing mint attributions for Valerian are indeed confusing. Our discussion on this topic has made me consult Göbl's catalogue at the library. Göbl assigns your coin (MIR 36, 811d) to Viminacium but dates it to 253/254 (i.e. before the relocation of the mint).

    Also, after reading up on this, I couldn't resist buying this coin, partly for the mint reattribution, partly for the Mercury reverse. Mercury is rarely found on Roman imperial coins. RIC attributed it to Viminacium, but Göbl makes a good argument for Antioch:
    Rom – Valerian, Antoninian, Merkur.png
    Valerian I, Roman Empire, AE/BI antoninian, 253–255 AD, Antioch mint (RIC: Viminacium) mint. Obv: IMP C P LIC VALE[RIANVS P] F AVG; bust of Valerian, radiate, draped, cuirassed, r. Rev: FORTVNA REDVX; Mercury, nude except for cloak draped over l. shoulder, standing left, wings on head, holding purse in r. hand and caduceus in l. hand. 22mm, 3.59g. RIC V Valerian 214; MIR 36, 1561a. Ex Savoca, Blue Auction 102, lot 1052.
  7. Blake Davis

    Blake Davis Well-Known Member

    Beautiful coin! And RARE!
    Cucumbor likes this.
  8. Steppenfool

    Steppenfool New Member

    I recently decided I was going to get a Valerian coin to fill the gap in my (key) third century crisis emperors collection. To my shock, any within my price range were very ugly. Contributing to this feeling is my general dislike of the portrait style of Valerian and his sons.

    With that said there are some beauties in this thread! Particularly the example posted by @Spaniard. It gets Valerian's features in without becoming too uncanny, a hard balancing act!

    On the contrary to Valerian, I have coins of Philip and Decius that are beautiful and were very affordable.
  9. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    A couple days ago a Valerian showed up in a lot from eBay, and it is one I already had. Although not from the Rome mint, these two do somewhat demonstrate the wobbly quality levels from Valerian's era. Of course this difference may be more due to the newest one suffering more from burial.

    My new one - it appears to be entirely base metal - maybe a limes (2.48 grams):

    Valerian - Ant. Saturn lot May 2021 (0a).jpg

    The one I already had has fairly decent silver for the era (3.63 grams):

    Valerian - Ant. Saturn lot Mar 2021 (0).jpg

    That's Saturn on the reverse - usually described as a scythe, it looks more like a harpa he's holding. But I don't know much about these ancient implements.

    Valerian I Antoninianus
    (254-255 A.D.)
    Viminacium (RIC) or Antioch Mint (Göbl)

    IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS AVG, radiate, draped [and cuirassed?] bust right / AETERNITATI AVGG, Saturn veiled, draped, standing right, holding scythe
    RIC 210; Göbl 1559a.
    Blake Davis and Bing like this.
  10. Steppenfool

    Steppenfool New Member

    That's a great Valerian and the kind of thing I've got my eye out for. I'm quite keen on ironic reverses as well. I've seen "Libertas" and "Oriens" reverses which tick that box.
    Marsyas Mike likes this.
  11. Hrefn

    Hrefn Well-Known Member

    That looks like an elephant goad, though I have no idea if such an identification is otherwise plausible. Here’s a picture from the Met. Fair use.
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  12. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    An elephant goad! That does look like the object on the coin, but I doubt RIC is going to change their description. :angelic:

    Thanks for sharing that. It is a beautiful object.
    Hrefn and Blake Davis like this.
  13. Blake Davis

    Blake Davis Well-Known Member

    This really is a beautiful reverse- I THINK a similar type is illustrated in the Sayles book on provincial coins - a wonderful series, by the way. One of my interests at one time was finding the "last provincial" - which would be of Aurelian, I think. I did have one - quite nice too - but unhappily sold it in order to afford coins in my collecting interest, which is again changing.
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