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Constantine the Great, Early 307 - 22 May 337 A.D.
In 321, Constantine I assigned convicts to grind Rome's flour in a move to hold back the rising price of food in an empire whose population had shrunk as a result of plague. RL89935. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Trier 266 (R3), SRCV IV 16317, Cohen VII 690, Hunter V 53 var. (2nd officina), Choice gVF, well centered, dark brown tone, weight 2.850 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 320 A.D.; obverse CONSTAN-TINVS AVG, helmeted and cuirassed bust right; reverse VIRTVS EXERCIT (courage of the army), trophy of captured arms with VOT/XX, flanked on each side at the base by a seated captive, captive on the left (veiled female?) raising hand to face in mourning, captive on the right with hands bound behind his back and head turned back left, PTR in exergue; rare; $9999.00 SALE |PRICE| $8999.00
Pompey the Great, Proconsul, Murdered in 48 B.C., Minted by his son Sextus Pompey
Struck by Sextus Pompey after his victory over Salvidienus and relates to his acclamation as the Son of Neptune. Although Sextus Pompey was the supreme naval commander, Octavian had the Senate declare him a public enemy. He turned to piracy and came close to defeating Octavian. He was, however, defeated by Marcus Agrippa at the naval battle of Naulochus (3 September 36 B.C.). He was executed by order of Mark Antony in 35 B.C.SH91677. Silver denarius, Crawford 511/3a, RSC I Pompey the Great 17, Sydenham 1344, BMCRR Sicily 7, Cohen Pompey the Great 18, Sear CRI 344, SRCV I 1392, VF, deep old-cabinet toning, slightly off center, banker's mark on cheek, weight 3.703 g, maximum diameter 17.7 mm, die axis 180o, Sicilian mint, 42 - 40 B.C.; obverse MAG PIVS IMP ITER, head of Pompey the Great right, between capis and lituus (augural symbols); reverse Neptune standing left, right foot on prow, nude but for chlamys on left arm, holding apluster, flanked by the Catanaean brothers, Anapias and Amphinomus, running in opposite directions with their parents on their shoulders, PRAEF above, CLAS ET ORAE / MARIT EX S C in two lines in exergue; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; scarce; $1250.00 SALE |PRICE| $1125.00
Constantine II, 22 May 337 - March or April 340 A.D.
All the references list this type with the reverse legend ending CAES, but our coin's reverse legend ends CAESAR. RIC lists only officina Z and Θ. Most of the officina number is off flan, but our coin does not appear to be either. There is possibly a pellet at the beginning of the mintmark, a possibility is not in the references. We are uncertain if the this is a variation of the referenced types or if the references are in error. We could not locate even one plate or online photo of another specimen of this type to compare. There are three auctions of this type on recorded on Coin Archives, but all of them are for this exact same coin.SH89742. Silver siliqua, RIC VII Constantinople 127 var. (CAES), RSC V 72 var. (same), SRCV V 17087 var. (same), Hunter V -, gVF, attractive youthful portrait with eyes to God, toned, light marks, weight 2.622 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 0o, 9th Officina(?), Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, as caesar, 336 A.D.; obverse Constantine diademed right, looking up to God, no inscription; reverse CONSTANTINVS CAESAR, Victory walking left, wreath in right hand, palm frond in left hand, CONS[...] in exergue; ex Heritage auction 271848 (2 Dec 2018), lot 36228; ex CNG sale 84 (5 May 2010), lot 1531; ex CNG Triton XIII (5 Jan 2010), lot 1523; ex White Mountain Collection; extremely rare; $1000.00 SALE |PRICE| $900.00
Chersonesos, Thrace, c. 386 - 338 B.C.
Chersonesos is Greek for 'peninsula' and several cities used the name. The city in Thracian Chersonesos (the Gallipoli peninsula) that struck these coins is uncertain. The coins may have been struck at Cardia by the peninsula as a league, or perhaps they were struck by lost city on the peninsula named Chersonesos. Chersonesos was controlled by Athens from 560 B.C. to 338 B.C., aside from a brief period during this time when it was controlled by Persia. It was taken by Philip II of Macedonia in 338 B.C., Pergamon in 189 B.C., and Rome in 133 B.C. It was later ruled by the Byzantine Empire and then by the Ottoman Turks.GS89040. Silver hemidrachm, McClean II 4120; Weber 2432; BMC Thrace p. 186, 50; HGC 3 1437; SNG Cop -, Choice gVF, fine style, well centered, tiny edge cut, weight 2.370 g, maximum diameter 13.6 mm, die axis 270o, Chersonesos (Sevastopol, Ukraine) mint, c. 386 - 338 B.C.; obverse lion forepart right, head turned back left, tongue protruding; reverse quadripartite incuse with alternating shallow and deeper sunken quarters, pellet above X in one sunken quarter, kerykeion in the opposite sunken quarter; ex CNG e-auction 249 (9 Feb 2011), lot 34 (realized $320 plus fees); $350.00 SALE |PRICE| $315.00
Decentius, Caesar, July or August 350 - 18 August 353 A.D.
In a religious context, votum, plural vota, is a vow or promise made to a deity. The word comes from the past participle of voveo, vovere; as the result of the verbal action "vow, promise", it may refer also to the fulfillment of this vow, that is, the thing promised. The votum is thus an aspect of the contractual nature of Roman religion, a bargaining expressed by do ut des, "I give that you might give." RL91659. Billon maiorina, RIC VIII Arles 168 (S), Bastien MM 238, SRCV V 18893, Cohen VIII -, LRBC II -, gVF, some legend weak, reverse slightly off center, tight flan, weight 4.589 g, maximum diameter 21.7 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Arelatum (Arles, France) mint, spring 351 - 18 Aug 353 A.D.; obverse D N DECENTIVS CAESAR, bare-headed, cuirassed bust right, A behind; reverse VICTORIAE DD NN AVG ET CAE (victories of our lords, Emperor and Caesar), two Victories standing confronted, together holding between them a wreath, VOT / V / MVLT / X in four lines within, FSAR in exergue; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; scarce; $250.00 (€220.00)
Constantine the Great, Early 307 - 22 May 337 A.D.
Because of his fame and because he was proclaimed Emperor while he was in Roman Britain, later Britons regarded Constantine as a king of their own people. In the 12th century, Henry of Huntingdon included a passage in his Historia Anglorum that Constantine's mother Helena was a Briton, the daughter of King Cole of Colchester. Geoffrey of Monmouth expanded this story in his highly fictionalized Historia Regum Britanniae, an account of the supposed Kings of Britain from their Trojan origins to the Anglo-Saxon invasion. According to Geoffrey, Cole was King of the Britons when Constantius, here a senator, came to Britain. Afraid of the Romans, Cole submitted to Roman law so long as he retained his kingship. However, he died only a month later, and Constantius took the throne himself, marrying Cole's daughter Helena. They had their son Constantine, who succeeded his father as King of Britain before becoming Roman Emperor. Historically, this series of events is extremely improbable. Constantius had already left Helena by the time he left for Britain. Additionally, no earlier source mentions that Helena was born in Britain, let alone that she was a princess. RL91202. Billon follis, RIC VI Londinium 246 (R), SRCV IV 15889, Cohen 144, Hunter V -, VF, well centered with full legends on a broad slightly oval flan, some scratches,, weight 3.651 g, maximum diameter 23.8 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Londinium (London, England) mint, 312 - 313 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINVS P F AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse FELICITAS AVGG NN (the good fortune of our two emperors), Roma seated left, helmeted and draped, branch in raised right hand, globe in left hand, star in left field, PLN in exergue; very rare reverse type; $200.00 SALE |PRICE| $180.00
Magnentius, 18 January 350 - 10 August 353 A.D.
Strabo wrote, "The Romans possess Lugdunum, founded below a ridge at the confluence of the Arar and the Rhone. It is the most populous of all the other cities except Narbo; for it is a center of commerce, and the Roman emperors strike their silver and gold coinage there." (4.3.2). Mint dates of operation: 15 B.C. - c. 90 A.D., 195 - 196, and c. 254 - 423. Mintmarks: LG, LVGRL91648. Billon heavy maiorina, RIC VIII Lyons 130, Bastien MM 182, LRBC II 223, Hunter V 43, SRCV V 18820, Cohen VIII 68, Choice EF, much silvering, excellent portrait, well centered and struck, tight flan, small green encrustations, weight 5.291 g, maximum diameter 21.0 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 18 Jan 350 - 351 A.D.; obverse D N MAGNENTIVS P F AVG, bare-headed, draped, and cuirassed bust right, A behind; reverse VICTORIAE DD NN AVG ET CAE (victories of our lords, Emperor and Caesar), two Victories holding wreath containing VOT V MVLT X, pellet over SV below, RPLG in exergue; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; $170.00 SALE |PRICE| $153.00
Germanic Tribes, Pseudo-Imperial Coinage, Mid 4th - Early 5th Century A.D.
Magnentius, usurper of the western provinces, made his brother Decentius caesar, to oversee the defense of Gaul and the Rhine frontier. After Magnentius was defeated at the Battle of Mons Seleucus by Constantius II and committed suicide, Decentius, who was leading reinforcements, hanged himself at Senonae. RB91842. Billon maiorina, for prototype cf. RIC VIII Lyons 122 (Roman, Decentius, caesar, usurper in Gaul, 351 - 353 A.D., Lugdunum mint), Choice gVF, slightly crude, tight flan, encrustations, weight 3.504 g, maximum diameter 20.3 mm, die axis 180o, tribal mint, 350 - early 5th century A.D.; obverse D N DECENTIVS NOB CAE (or similar, blundered), bare-headed and cuirassed bust of Decentius right; reverse VICTORIAE DD NN AVG ET C (or similar, blundered), two Victories standing confronted, together holding between them a wreath resting on a short column, IOT / HVL / X (blundered VOT V MVLT X) in three lines, SLG in exergue; $150.00 (€132.00)
Constantius II, 22 May 337 - 3 November 361 A.D., Issued by Vetranio
In 312 A.D., Constantine dreamed he saw a Christogram in the sky and heard the words IN HOC SIGNO VICTOR ERIS, meaning in Latin "In this sign, you will be the victor." He ordered the sign of Christ on his legions standards and shields. He won a great victory and later became the first Christian Roman Emperor.RL90728. Billon maiorina, RIC VIII Siscia 284 (S), LRBC II 1171, Voetter 48, SRCV V 18903, Cohen VII 3, gVF, oval flan, encrustation, flan split, weight 5.040 g, maximum diameter 23.2 mm, die axis 0o, 3rd officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, issued by Vetranio, 1 Mar - 25 Dec 350 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTANTIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right, A behind, star in front; reverse CONCORDIA MILITVM (harmony with the soldiers), Constantius standing half-left, in military dress, labarum (Chi-Rho standard) in each hand, A left, star above, •ΓSIS• in exergue; scarce; $140.00 SALE |PRICE| $126.00
Constantine the Great, Early 307 - 22 May 337 A.D.
Sol Invictus ("Unconquered Sun") was the sun god of the later Roman Empire and a patron of soldiers. In 274 the Roman emperor Aurelian made it an official cult alongside the traditional Roman cults. The god was favored by emperors after Aurelian and appeared on their coins until Constantine. The last inscription referring to Sol Invictus dates to 387 and there were enough devotees in the 5th century that Augustine found it necessary to preach against them. The date 25 December was selected for Christmas to replace the popular Roman festival Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, the "Birthday of the Unconquered Sun."RL89581. Billon follis, RIC VI Treveri 893, Hunter V 45, SRCV IV 16125, Cohen VII 514, gVF, well centered, dark green patina, lighter highlights, minor encrustations, weight 4.247 g, maximum diameter 23.9 mm, die axis 180o, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 310 - 313 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINVS P F AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right, from the front; reverse SOLI INVICTO COMITI (to the unconquered Sun, minister [of the Emperor]), Sol radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right seen from behind, no mintmark mark; ex CNG e-auction 233 (26 May 2010), lot 428; $140.00 SALE |PRICE| $126.00
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