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Research Coins: Feature Auction


A Trial Series Based on Domitius Domitianus’ Coinage

Triton XXI, Lot: 256. Estimate $3000.
Sold for $4750. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

EGYPT, Alexandria. Diocletian, with Maximianus. AD 284-305. Potin ‘Argenteus’ (19mm, 3.58 g, 12h). Without a date, but struck circa May/June–September/October AD 298. ∆IOKΛHTIANOC CЄB, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right / ΜΑΞIMIANOC CЄB, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right. Köln –; Dattari (Savio) 10625 (this coin); K&G –; Emmett –; Staffieri, “Testimonianze sulla fine della monetazione autonoma alessandrina (296-298 d.C),” Proceedings of the XIII International Numismatic Congress (Madrid, 2005), pp. 937-45, Fig. 11 (this coin); Staffieri, Alexandria In Nummis 268 (this coin). EF, dark brown patina, with traces of silvering. Extremely rare. Only one inferior specimen has appeared at auction since 2000 (Gerhard Hirsch 261, 2009, lot 827).

From the Giovanni Maria Staffieri Collection, purchased from Dr. Piero Beretta, Milan, January 1974. Ex Dr. Piero Beretta Collection (Milan); Giovanni Dattari Collection, no. 10625.

In his book, Giovanni speculates that this coin may have been part of a pattern issue for an ‘argenteus’ or some other Roman denomination that was never issued. This so-called ‘trial’ coin would have been issued during the transitional period between the strictly Alexandrian-style coinage and the introduction of the new Roman-style coinage (e.g. folles, etc.).