Friday, February 23, 2007

Æ25, Nicaea in Bithynia, Valerian, SNG von Aulock 718 

[...]VAΛEPI[...], Radiate draped cuirassed bust right. Male head countermark | OVAΛ / ΓAΛ.CEOV / AVΓOV / NIKAIEUN, Three prize crowns with palms.

This has been a week with few examples of beauty, and it ends that way as well. What's most interesting about this is the countermark, applied, of course, after the coin was struck. Only a few provincial cities struck coins after the time of Valerian and Gallienus, so I'm quite unclear on who's shown on the counterstrike. It may be one of the usurpers who flourished after Valerian's capture or it might be someone after the Romans, who used already-ancient coins as a convenient source of already-manufactured blanks.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Billon antoninianus, Gallienus, Rome, Göbl 487q¹ 

GALLIENVS AVG, Radiate cuirassed bust right | ANNONA AVG, Annona standing left, holding ears of grain in right hand over modius at feet left and holding anchor right. Q in right field.

As on Monday, this was an acceptable purhcase for me because I already have superior examples of similar coins, so this need only show off what makes it different. In its defense, adhering minerals are some of the worst of its appearance, they can be removed without irreparably marring the coin only with expert assistance.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

AR denarius, Julia Soaemias, Rome, RIC 241 

IVLIA SOAEMIAS AVG, Draped bust right | VENVS CAELESTIS, Venus standing facing, head left, holding apple in right hand and scepter with left. * in left field.

Julia Soaemias was the mother of Elagabalus and ruled the empire when her son was too young to do so. After he reached his majority his actions so outraged the Romans that Elagabalus and his mother were killed by the praetorians in 322.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Æ27, Serdica in Thrace, Gallienus, Varbanov (2002) 486 

AVT ΓAΛ_ΛIHNOC, Radiate cuirassed bust, with spear and shield, left | [OVΛΠIAC] CEPΔIKHC, Dionysus standing left, holding cantharus left and thyrsus right, panther at feet left.

After feeling sorry for myself yesterday, today I'll try to justify buying a coin in poor condition, which doesn't invalidate what I said yesterday. This is a cimple variation on a coin previously posted. I find much easier to tolerate a poor example when it's of interest mainly for one feature and the other deils can be better seen elsewhere.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Billon antonianus, Salonina, Mediolanum, Göbl 1232a 

SALONINA AVG, Diademed draped bust right on crescent | AVGVSTA IN PACE, Salonina seated left holding olive branch left and long transverse scepter. P in left field.

Sometimes, looking back at a purchase, it can be seen as a mistake. While it's desirable for its unusual reverse legend, it's in a poor state of preservation that makes it largely illegible, with the legends that can be deciphered only with good documentation. If I'd purchased with resake in mind, this'd have been a serious mistake, but even if I intend to hold for the rest of my life it's a bit of a disappointment, and represents money that wasn;t part-payment on a better-looking example.

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