Friday, February 09, 2007

Æ tetradrachm, Alexandria, Gallienus, Emmett 3711(4) 

AK Π ΛI OVAΛEPIANOC CEVEVC, Laureate cuirassed bust right | LΔ, Homonia standing left, raising right hand, holding double cornucopias in left. Regnal year across fields.

It seems I always wind up at Alexandria on a Friday when I can think of nothing to say. And today's no different. Earlier this week benefited from my return to buying, and I await the arrival of my next purchase. After the eye-opener of what my health costs would be without insurance, I won't return to buying at the frequency I did, but will buy at a reduced pace. For now, I'm avoiding eBay since it inspires my worst overbuying impulses, but more conventional sellers are due to profit, modestly.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Billon antoninianus, Gallienus, Rome, Göbl 173k 

IMP GALLIENVS P F AVG G M, Radiate cuirassed bust right, both ribbons behind | PAX AVGG, Pax standing left, raising branch in right hand and holding diagonal scepter in left. V in left field.

The conclusion of the obverse legend, G M, is an abbreviation for Germanicus Maximus, perhaps emphasizing the emperor's 255 victory over German tribes (followed and celebrated by more of the same though 258). The surfaces of this example suffer from damage that appears more physical than chemical, and the reverse suffers greatly from a worn, perhaps collapsing, die.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Æ23, Julia Paula, Nicaea in Bithynia, Recueil General no. 572 

IOVΛ KOPNΛIA ΠAVΛACE, Draped bust right | NIKAI_EΩN, Tyche standing facing, wearing modius, holding rudder with right arm and cornucopia with left.

Julia Paula was the first wife of Elagabalus, and not particularly for anything, she was dead within about a year of her marriage in 219, perhaps executed by him.

Short-lived, she had little time to appear on provincial coins like this, of which Curtis Clay said:
Recueil General no. 572 lists only a single coin of Paula at this mint, in Vienna, ill. with a drawing on p. 471, prob. from the same dies as yours.
The seller had advertised it as an issue for Salonina, wife of Gallienus, perhaps reading careleely and being mislead by Julia's sharing the name Cornelia with Salonina, though it doesn't commonly appear on her Imperial coins.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Æ25, Augusta Traiana in Thrace, Gallienus, uncataloged? 

ΓAΛΛIH_NOC AVΓ, Radiate head right | OVCT_HC TPAIA, Hera standing left, holding patera in right hand and long scepter with right. Peacock? at feet in left field.

This is the first coin I've purchased since my stroke in October, so I'm feeling pretty good about that. While I don't foresee buying at the same rate as I once did, or at a rate that doesn't require me to use some older items from my collection for new blog posts, nice fresh material is always a good thing.

I've adopted the dealer's description, since it's better than any alternative I can suggest, but Hera's peacock does look like a quadruped, like the hound with yesterday's Hera. I haven't found such an animal documented as appropriate for Hera, but I may have missed it. Until I find it, I'll consider this a peacock made to look four-legged by wear.

I'm particularly fond of the coins of Augusta Traiana, medium-sized coins that are often available at a modest cost, because I've found quite a variety of them, with reverses lacking in emphasis on the Emperor, instead featuring many mythological characters.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Billon antonianus, Gallienus, Mediolanum, Göbl 1146h(2) 

GALLIENVS AVG, Narrow radiate head right, one ribbon behind, one forward across shoulder | DIANA FELIX, Diana standing right, holding scepter with right hand and bow with left. Leaping hound at left foot.

There are two different portrait styles from Mediolanum on coins otherwise the same. A broad head and this narrower head. Since they are otherwise the same and since there's no other apparent reason for differing portraits, I think they're the work of two different engravers, each with their own preferred style. If I guess correctly, it's remarkable that we can remember, 1750 years after the fact, an otherwise forgotten pair of men, remembered for their work longer than we're like to be.

The hound at Diana's feet will be significant when considering the reverse on the coin I'll post tomorrow.

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