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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 7, Lot: 194. Estimate CHF500. 
Closing Date: Tuesday, 14 May 2013. 
Sold For CHF2500. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Trebonianus Gallus. 251-253. Antoninianus (Silver, 4.62 g 12), Rome, 251. IMP C VIB GALLVS P F AVG Radiate and cuirassed bust of Gallus to right, with slight drapery on his far shoulder. Rev. CONCORD AVGG Concordia seated left, holding a patera in her right hand and a cornucopia with her left. Cohen -. J. Fitz, Der Geldumlauf der römischen Provinzen im Donaugebiet Mitte des 3. Jahrhunders (Budapest, 1978), pp. 390-1 and 411 n. 115 (probably this coin cited). RIC -. Aparently unique, a coin of great numismatic importance. Toned and with a most interesting portrait, good very fine.

From a Swiss collection, ex Hess-Leu 41, 24 April 1969, 464 and probably from the Korong (Hungary) Hoard of 1900-1903.

This coin is of considerable significance since it has so many unusual and unique features. In the first place, the portrait is not that of Gallus himself but has the features of Trajan Decius, his friend and the emperor whose death at the hands of the Goths brought about Gallus’s ascent to the throne. The obverse legend is a very much shortened version of the expected IMP CAE C VIB TREB GALLVS AVG, and is only vaguely paralleled by the IMP C GALLVS AVG that appears on his rare quinarii; the P F is a unique feature, harking back to Gordian III and forward to Aemilian. The reverse legend, with CONCORD not CONCORDIA, is also unusual; the AVGG indicates that at the time of striking there were two reigning emperors. In addition, the quality of the engraving, especially that of the obverse, is very fine. All these factors taken together suggest that this coin was Gallus’ first issue from Rome, at a time when his correct title was unsettled and his actual portrait was unknown. There is also a good possibility that this piece is a silver striking of a gold binio, or double aureus, since the portrait is so fine and the striking so carefully carried out. The portrait proclaims the new emperor’s closeness to the past one, and the AVGG on the reverse points to the fact that Hostilian was co-emperor. Shortly after this coin was struck more correct legends and portraits were introduced for Trebonianus Gallus and this early issue was probably recalled.