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Triton XXIII – Session Three – Roman Imperial Coinage Part II through World Coinage Part I

Lot nuber 851

Diocletian. AD 284-305. AV Aureus (19.5mm, 5.44 g, 6h). Uncertain (Cyzicus or Antioch) mint. Special issue, struck AD 293.


Triton XXIII – Session Three – Roman Imperial Coinage Part II through World Coinage Part I
Lot: 851.
 Estimated: $ 10 000

Roman Imperial, Gold

Sold For $ 13 000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

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Diocletian. AD 284-305. AV Aureus (19.5mm, 5.44 g, 6h). Uncertain (Cyzicus or Antioch) mint. Special issue, struck AD 293. DIOCLETIANVS AVGVSTVS, laureate head right / CONCORDI AE AVGG NN, Diocletian and Maximian seated left on curule chairs, each holding globe in right hand and parazonium with left, being crowned by Victory above. RIC V 313 (Antioch); Lukanc 7 (p. 150, 3 and p. 154, 6 [Antioch; same dies]); Pink, Goldprägung, p. 43 (Cyzicus); Depeyrot 13/1 (Cyzicus); Calicó 4430; Biaggi 1695 (this coin); NAC 80, lot 230 (same dies); cf. NAC 67, lot 210 (for type; same obv. die). Lustrous, metal flaw on obverse, graffito in field on reverse. EF.

From the J.B. Collection, purchased from Shanna Schmidt, Spring 2018. Ex Classical Numismatic Group 106 (13 September 2017), lot 804; Continental Collection (Triton XX, 9 January 2017), lot 846; Rauch 51 (20 September 1993), lot 462; Leo Biaggi de Blasys Collection, 1695; “Universal Collection” [Braun] (A. Hess 202, 28 October 1930), lot 2787; J. Hirsch XXIX (9 November 1910), lot 1298; H. Osborne O’Hagan Collection (Part III, Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge, 13 July 1908), lot 688.

Aurei with the CONCORDIAE AVGG NN reverse are known for Diocletian, Maximianus, Constantius, and Galerius, thus placing this issue in AD 293, the year the First Tetrarchy was fully established with two junior rulers (Constantius I and Galerius as Caesars), and when Diocletian (for the fifth time) and Maximianus (for the fourth time) held the joint-consulship.

Which mint struck these unsigned issues has long been debated. Pink, in laying out the gold issues of the First Tetrarchy, assigned the unsigned aurei to Cyzicus, including the CONCORDIAE AVGG NN reverse issue. Webb, however, assigned the coin to Antioch. Although he gave no specific reason for doing so, he did note in his discussion of the Cyzicus mint (p. 215) a close association between the two mints. He also noted the existence of Pink’s article, but did not incorporate its findings (p. 219). Since then, attributions for these unsigned issues have varied among numismatists and catalogers. One can see obverse stylistic affinities between these aurei and later marked issues of Antioch (Lukanc 5 [p. 175, 3]). Unfortunately, as Sutherland (RIC VI, p. 597 [Antioch]) points out in his discussion of the mint, these early issues have been studied out of context, and only a more detailed study of this early coinage (preferably a die-study) will provide a more satisfactory answer.

The final winners of all Triton XXIII lots will be determined at the live public sale that will be held on 14-15 January 2020. Triton XXIII – Session Three – Roman Imperial Coinage Part II through World Coinage Part II will be held Wednesday morning, 15 January 2020 beginning at 9:00 AM ET.

Winning bids are subject to a 20% buyer's fee for bids placed on this website and in person at the public auction, 22.50% for all others.