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Author Topic: The rare asses and sestertii of the "Viminacium" series of Valerian I /Gallienus  (Read 9367 times)

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Offline curtislclay

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Antoniniani of this series are fairly common, usually with the obverse legends

IMP VALERIANVS P AVG or

IMP GALLIENVS P AVG.

Only a couple of types of bronzes are known, each in very few specimens, all without the formula S C which was still regular on bronzes of the joint reign of Valerian and Gallienus struck at Rome.

A new type appeared in VAuction 275, 5 January 2012, lot 570, though misattributed to Rome and with the legends wrongly restored, not surprisingly since the condition is poor:

IMP GALLIENVS [P A]VG, bust laureate, cuirassed r., seen from front.

PROVID A[VG]G, Providentia standing l. holding wand over globe and cornucopia.

Copper As, 25 mm, 10.94 g, die axis 6-7h. Dark green patina, but the metal shows through in a few places and is definitely red copper. Dealer's picture below (Gitbud & Naumann).

Antoniniani with this reverse type are known for both Valerian I and Gallienus (Göbl 818, see second picture below, from CoinArchives Pro / H.D. Rauch), but this As of Gallienus is the first bronze coin to appear.

This series is usually attributed to Viminacium, but I doubt the attribution, as I have mentioned several other times on Forvm. This mint produced Valerian's very earliest coins, before he had made Gallienus co-emperor, and I think it must be the same mint that was apparently producing coins of Trebonianus Gallus and Volusian in Raetia or northern Italy for Valerian's campaign in Raetia, before he was proclaimed emperor. Of course the mint was probably relocated to supply some other campaign as the new reign progressed, but I don't consider shared obverse legends with the local mint at Viminacium to be sufficient evidence to locate the official antoninianus mint there too. It could be that the local mint copied its obverse legends from the imperial antoniniani, which were circulating in the area but had not necessarily been produced there, rather than vice versa.

Curtis Clay

Offline curtislclay

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Here are the other bronze coins known from this mint, with their Göbl numbers and the number of specimens noted by him, i.e. present in his photofile:

Obv. IMP VALERIANVS P AVG

1. MARTI PACIFERO, Mars rushing l., As, G. 796, 1 spec.

2. VOTIS DECENNALIBVS in wreath, As, G. 797, 3 spec.

Obv. IMP GALLIENVS P AVG

3. TEMPORVM FELICITAS, Felicitas standing l., As, G. 810, 1 spec. Another example below, collection kc, apparently from the same dies as the Gnecchi spec. known to Göbl.

4. SPES PVBLICA, Spes advancing l., As, G. 827, 1 spec., Laffranchi collection, illustrated by Gnecchi. Gnecchi appears to record a second specimen in the Monti collection, unless that's just the provenance of Laffranchi's coin.

4A. [MONETA AVGG?], the Three Monetae standing, As, not in Göbl, shown by Rupert below. Possibly from the same obverse die as my new PROVID AVGG As.

Obv. IMP GALLIENVS P F AVG

5. GERMANICVS MAXIMVS, trophy and two seated captives, As, G. 840, 2 spec. See image below from CoinArchives / Rauch, which is apparently a third specimen. I also previously had a poor specimen of this coin from the Hohenkubin collection of Roman middle bronzes, which is now in BM, and another mediocre specimen was recently shown in the German Numismatikforum. That makes five specimens, so this coin is tending toward commonness: it's only as rare as a 1913 Liberty-Head nickel!

Obv. CORN SALONINA AVG, Salonina

6. PVDICITIA AVG, Pudicitia seated l. Göbl 854, both a sestertius and an As in one spec. each. That sestertius of Salonina shows that sestertii were very probably originally struck for Valerian I and Gallienus too, but none have yet been recorded!

Obv. P LIC VALERIANVS CAES, Valerian II as Caesar

7. IOVI CRESCENTI, infant Jupiter on back of goat r. Göbl 860, antoniniani only, but a few specimens of the corresponding As are also known. I have a poor one, and I believe someone else also showed such an As on Forvm many years ago.

Curtis Clay

Offline curtislclay

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A member of the German Numismatikforum has a very nice "Viminacium" As in his collection, though I forget the types and can't quickly find it in a search. I hope he will see this thread and repost his coin here!
Curtis Clay

Offline benito

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How many antoniniani for Valerian II Iovi Crescenti. Quite a common coin IMO.

Offline kc

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Hello Curtis,
thanks for starting this theme. Here is the Göbl 810 As:

The portrait is very unusual for Gallienus.

Offline curtislclay

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How many antoniniani for Valerian II Iovi Crescenti. Quite a common coin IMO.

Göbl notes eight antoniniani with bust seen from front, 42 with bust seen from behind. So an interesting type, but not rare on antoniniani.

kc, thanks for showing your nice coin again! It appears to be from the same dies as the specimen known to Göbl, in the Gnecchi collection at Rome, illustrated in Gnecchi's Medaglioni Romani III, pl. 154.19.
Curtis Clay

Offline cliff_marsland

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Dr. Clay, you bring up an interesting point in passing: the military mint of Trebonianus Gallus.  Did that mint do any AEs for him?  Are those Ants the same ones that are attributed to Viminacium?

Offline curtislclay

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I'm referring to the IMP C C antoniniani of Gallus and Volusian that RIC, pp. 166-7 and 181-2, attributes to Milan.

There are no corresponding bronze coins for those issues.
Curtis Clay

Offline cliff_marsland

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Ok, thanks!

Offline Rupert

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Sorry, it's me again to lower the average condition of coins in this thread. And I state it clearly that this is NOT the "very nice Viminacium as" that Curtis mentioned above. But it's missing in this list, so I'll show it here. It has the obv. legend with P AUG and a Three Monetae reverse; from what is visible with the coin in hand, I guess the rev. legend is MONETAE AUGG, but I'm not sure.
I won this coin on German Fleabay from Lanz after a fierce bidding war; somebody bid one Euro, and I got it for 1.50. ::)

Rupert

PS: Technical data: 25 mm, 10.19 g, die axis 12 o'clock.
Ducunt volentem fata, nolentem trahunt.

Offline Julianus of Pannonia

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what a rare find Rupert,
I've never seen this type before as an As

I would take it for 5 Euros  ;)

Simon

Offline curtislclay

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Rupert's extraordinary As looks like it might be from the same obverse die as my new PROVID AVGG piece.

One would think that the specially created Three Moneta reverse type might suggest why the mint produced these very rare asses and sestertii alongside its standard antoniniani. I have to admit that I don't really get the message, however!

Curtis Clay

Offline curtislclay

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Is the below included in the 5 specimens of GERMANICVS MAXIMVS you mentioned?

https://www.forumancientcoins.com/board/index.php?topic=79163.0

I believe that is a new, sixth, specimen. I think I overlooked that Forvm thread last March.
Curtis Clay


Offline quadrans

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 Great article...+++

Joe/Q.
All the Best :), Joe
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Offline Tamas F

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In the meantime, another Salonina sestertius with Pudicitia reverse (second known specimen, the first one is in the British Museum according to Göbl, MIR 854d)

http://nummus.hu/spd/R952/Salonina-sestertius-PVDICITIA-RRR


Offline quadrans

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Great find 👍

Joe/Q.
All the Best :), Joe
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