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Research Coins: Feature Auction

CNG 103, Lot: 1295. Estimate $5000.
Sold for $20000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

ROMAN IMPERIAL. temp. Valerian to Carus. AD 260-283. Lot of approximately five thousand four hundred-fifty-three (5453) antoniniani of the mid to late 3rd century. All coins: Antoniniani from Valerian to Probus. Majority are of Gallienus and the Gallic emperors, including one Laelianus. Also included are issues mostly of Claudius II Gothicus (including some Divus issues), with issues also of Quintillius, Aurelian, Salonina, and Probus. Remainder consists of a number of illegible coins, fragments, and associated surface finds. R. Bland, “Coin hoards and hoarding,” BNJ 85 (2015), 445 and 514 = Coin Register 2013, 65 and 66 = PAS DOR-148AF3 and DOR-148E55. Coins average Fine, all with patina. Coins are grouped in large brown paper envelopes, each envelope noted with general attribution. Lot includes the intact bottoms of two pottery vessels that contained the coins, as well as additional fragments of the vessels .

In October 2011, the two separate pottery vessels, each containing antoniniani from the mid to late third century AD were found together near Pamphill in Dorset. The vessels themselves were broken, with only the bases intact. In addition to the deposited coins, approximately eight additional coins were found on the surface in the area of the pots and another six coins were discovered following the extraction of the vessels from the ground.

The coins themselves were subsequently cleaned in the Department of Conservation and Scientific Research at the British Museum. The number of coins listed here is only an approximation based on the numbers in the original publication of the hoard. Purportedly since the discovery, a few coins have gone to the British Museum or elsewhere.

Owing to the content of these vessels, with the latest recorded coin being an issue of Carus, a date of AD 282 or slightly later for their burial is plausible. It is uncertain whether they were buried concurrently or sequentially, with the the first vessel preceding the second. What is clear, however, is that both vessels, and the coins they contained, were related to one another.