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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 5, Lot: 255. Estimate CHF125000. 
Closing Date: Monday, 24 October 2011. 
Sold For CHF190000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Maximianus. First reign, AD 286-305. Medallion (Bronze, with traces of silvering or, perhaps, billon, 34mm, 31.44 g 12), Rome, c. later 280s - early 290s. IMP C M AVR VAL MAXIMIANVS P F AVG Laureate bust of Maximianus to left, wearing elaborately embroidered imperial robes, holding Victory on a globe in his right hand, and an eagle-tipped scepter in his left. Rev. MONETAE AVGG The three Monetae standing facing, heads to left, each holding scales in her right hand and a cornucopiae in her left (unlike the others, the Moneta at the center wears a conical headdress and her scale has a long handle); at each of their feet below scales to left, pile of coins. Cohen 403. Gnecchi II p. 128, 11 and pl. 126, 10 (this coin). L. M. Tocci, I medaglioni romani e i contorniati del medagliere Vaticano (Rome 1965), pl. 30. 90. Extremely rare and of superb style, the finest example known. Good extremely fine.

Ex Numismatica Ars Classica 18, 29 March 2000, 713 and Leu 20, 25 April 1978, 392, and from the collections of H. Platt Hall, II, Glendining & Co., 16 November 1950, 1989, C. S. Bement, Naville VIII, 25 June 1924, 1456 and P. Barron, Hirsch XXX, 11 May 1911, 1245.

This is probably the finest surviving base metal medallion from the period of the Tetrarchy, and bears a portrait of Maximianus of the very best style. The imperial robes he wears are given in great detail and the medal itself undoubtedly was struck to commemorate the supposedly victorious nature of the emperor’s rule. The idea that this portrait is that of Diocletian (!), as suggested in the commentary to NAC 18, is extremely unlikely and has been accepted by no subsequent commentators.