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Probus style - or show me your coins


Prieure de Sion
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Probus AD 276-282. Siscia Billon Antoninianus, 3,77g IMP PROBVS P F AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right. Rev CONCORDIA AVG, Concordia standing left, holding patera and double cornucopia; VII to right; XXI in exergue. RIC 661. 

Source: https://www.biddr.com/auctions/portuscallenumismatica/browse?a=2848&l=3187113

 

First. This is not my coin! 
 
I saw this Probus Antoninianus this evening, when I looking for another coins. I am little „surprised“ about this Style. This Epoche is not my favorite - and I don’t see every day Probus coins. Like this coin style - the Porträt design at the obverse with the emperor. 
 

Which of you would like to show off your Probus coins? I have the impression - that we haven't seen so many here in the forum?! Where are the Probus collectors?

 

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I love those robes. My Probus coins are simpler.

Probus Antoninianus, 277
image.png.ed9bfe8c9ca8044173f00656371ff691.pngLugdunum. Bronze, 24mm, 4.18g. Radiate and cuirassed bust right; IMP C PROBVS P F AVG. Mars walking right, holding spear and trophy; MARS VICTOR / II in exergue (RIC V, 38). From the Pamphill (Dorset) Hoard 2011.

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I've always felt Probus has some of the most visually interesting Roman Imperial Coins. Also among the most varied (if not the most varied): ERIC II (R. Suarez, 2010) lists 2,400 types of Antoninianus for Probus; the 19th cent. Austrian collector Alexander Missong reportedly had 10,000-11,000 different types of Probus coins. (Now at the Kunsthistorishes Museum, it's probably the largest Probus Collection ever.)

None of these are terribly special, but here are my 10 best (I have lots of lower grade ones from big group lots, most of which I haven't fully cataloged, or photographed):

Unfortunately I don't have many of the really cool, dramatic obverses, but a couple interesting types:

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Serdica (RIC 911);
Double-struck, possibly Serdica (RIC 878).

And, of course, some of Probus' many captives & enemies types (which were, appropriately for him, often equestrian in nature), including his ADVENTVS type:

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Siscia (RIC 632);
* The right coin above is also part of AEQVITI series, Rome (RIC 223).

 

Some that are a bit on the boring side (at least as far as Probus goes) but in attractive condition with nice silvering/surfaces (but the left one below does have a pretty cool bust):

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Serdica (RIC 838);
Siscia (RIC 733).

Below is one from Lugdunum with Abundantia. I wanted this particular one because it was from the famous Probus collection of Philippe Gysen (1950-2019), #5 in his inventory, so one of his first, and also a plate coin in Hiland & Oliva (2013), Le Règne de l'Empereur Probus, Histoire et Numismatique (276-282 apr. J.-C.) (Page 79, No. 9) and cited in Bastien (2003) Le Monnayage de l'Atelier de Lyon - Supplément II (196e) --

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Lugdunum (RIC 17).

A couple from the Rev. Richard J. Plant (1928-2020) Collection (author of Arabic Coins & How to Read Them, Greek Coin Types..., and other books) 

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Siscia (RIC 651);
Rome (RIC 173).

 

And here's one more that I particularly like:

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Rome (RIC 200), ex Kricheldorf 1989 (?), possibly 1988, XLI?

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I'm not actively collecting Probus, but I have two coins. I bought the first one because of the consular bust and for being part of the EQUITI-series:

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Probus, Roman Empire, AE antoninian, 281 AD, Ticinium mint. Obv: IMP C PROBVS AVG; radiate bust of Probus l., wearing imperial mantle, and holding eagle-tipped sceptre. Rev: MARTI PACIF; Mars walking l., holding olive-branch, spear and shield; in fields, I – *; in exergue, QXXI. 22mm, 3.38g. Ref: RIV V Probus 508.

 

I acquired the second coin for the portrait and the interesting mint:

1645321784_RomProbusTripolisantoninianusClementiaJupiterundKaiser(neuestesFoto).png.40ab942dd073bbdae636322c648da21f.png

Probus, Roman Empire, AE antoninian (traces of silvering), 276–282 AD, Tripolis mint. Obv: IMP C M AVR PROBVS AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right. Rev: CLEMENTIA TEMP. Emperor standing right, holding eagle-tipped sceptre, receiving globe (or pileus?) from Jupiter, holding sceptre. Crescent in lower centre; mintmark KA. 23 mm, 4.13 g. Ref: RIC V-2, 928 (crescent).

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Three from Alexandria, one from Rome

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Probus
Egypt, Alexandria
Billon Tetradrachm
Obv.: K M AYP ΠΡΟΒΟC CEB, Laureate and cuirassed bust right.
Rev.: L - B = year 2 (AD 276-277), Eagle standing left, head right, wreath in beak.
Billon, 6.77g, 20.5mm
Ref.: Geissen 3126, Kampmann/Ganschow 112.5

 

 

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Probus
Egypt, Alexandria
Billon Tetradrachm
Obv.: K M AYP ΠΡΟΒΟC CEB, Laureate and cuirassed bust right.
Rev.: LΔ, year 4, 278-279, Tyche standing left, rudder in right, cornucopia in left.
Billon, 7.78g, 20mm
Ref.: Geissen 3141-43, Kampmann/Ganschow 112.21

 

 

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Probus
Egypt, Alexandria
Billon Tetradrachm
Obv.: K M AYP ΠΡΟΒΟC CEB, Laureate and cuirassed bust right.
Rev.: L - Δ, year 4, 278-279, Eagle standing right, wreath in beak, palm on wing
Billon, 7.47g, 19.34m
Ref.: Geissen 3135, Kampmann/Ganschow 112.17

 

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Probus (276-282)
Antoninianus, Rome
Obv.: IMP PROBVS AVG, Radiate bust left in imperial mantle, holding sceptre surmounted by eagle.
Rev.: SOLI INVICTO, R /crescent and star/ E in ex, Sol driving quadriga left, raising hand, holding globe and whip
4.43g, 22.4mm
Ref.: RIC 202

 

 

Edited by shanxi
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Probus, AD 276-282. Æ Antoninianus (22mm, 4.07g, 11h). Rome mint. Struck AD 281. Obv: IMP PROB-VS P F AVG; Radiate bust left, wearing imperial mantle and holding eagle-tipped sceptre. Rev: ROMAE AETER; Roma seated left within hexastyle temple, holding Victory and sceptre; R(thunderbolt)Δ in exergue. Ref: RIC V 184. Very Fine, some slivering remains.

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This is no longer my coin. I sold it in Gemini XI when I dispersed my Imperial collection. One of the very few coins I sort of regret parting with. The gorgon head on the cuirass is special

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Edited by Phil Davis
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On the plus side here, I wasn't fooled by the seamless hole plugging 😄

IMP PROBVS AVG - Helmeted and cuirassed bust left, holding spear over right shoulder and shield on left
SOLI INVICTO COMITI AVG - Radiate and draped bust of Sol right
Mint: Rome (281-282 AD)
Wt./Size/Axis: 5.86g / 20mm / 12h
References:
  • RIC 138 (Probus)
  • Calicó 4204
  • Cohen 696
Provenances:
  • Ex. Nomos AG, obolos 12, 31 March 2019, lot 803;
  • Ex Numismatik Naumann, Auction 69, 2 September 2018, lot 423
Acquisition: Roma Numismatics Online auction E-Sale 74 #1077 20-Aug-2020
Notes: Mar 30, 21 - Holed and repaired at some stage.

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I do have a Probus collection... with varying numbers of coins per mint....

Lugdunum ~ 250 examples

Rome ~ 100 examples

Ticinum ~ 90 examples

Siscia ~ 200 examples

Serdica ~ 50 examples

Cyzicus ~ 50 examples

Antioch, Tripolis etc ~ 20 examples

Alexandria ~ 50 examples

I have also sold many over the years. This is the one I probably regret selling the most:-

Obv:– IMP C M AVR PROBVS AVG, Radiate, cuirassed bust left in elaborate cuirass decorated with Medusa medallion & holding Vitoriola (Victory on globe, facing left, holding wreath) in right hand, palm up
Rev:– VIRTVS AVG, Soldier standing left, holding Victory and spear and leaning on shield
Minted in Ticinum(QXXT) Emission 2 Officina 4. A.D. 276
Reference:– Cohen unlisted. RIC 435 var. (This bust type not listed in RIC or Cohen)
Die match is illustrated in Bastien's Buste Monetaire... pl. 126 number 11

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Probus has some cool bust types! Here are my only left-facing Probus issues:

[IMG]
Probus, AD 276-282.
Roman billon antoninianus; 3.78 g, 20.1 mm, 11 h.
Rome, AD 277-280.
Obv: IMP PROBVS P F AVG, radiate bust right in consular robe, eagle tipped scepter in right hand.
Rev: ROMAE AETER, temple, statue of Roma seated facing inside; in exergue, R * A.
Refs: RIC 183; Cohen 533; RCV 12027 var.

[IMG]
Probus, AD 276-282.
Roman billon Antoninianus 3.25 g; 21.7 mm.
Ticinium mint, AD 280-82.
Obv: VIRTVS PROBI AVG, Radiate, helmeted, cuirassed bust, left, holding spear and shield.
Rev: SALVS AVG, Salus standing right, feeding serpent held in arms. V in left field; * in right field, TXXI in exergue.
Refs: RIC-500; Cohen 584.

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6 minutes ago, maridvnvm said:

I do have a Probus collection... with varying numbers of coins per mint....

Lugdunum ~ 250 examples

Rome ~ 100 examples

Ticinum ~ 90 examples

Siscia ~ 200 examples

Serdica ~ 50 examples

Cyzicus ~ 50 examples

Antioch, Tripolis etc ~ 20 examples

Alexandria ~ 50 examples

This is why Probus collectors are underrepresented. maridvnvm has them all 🤣 It's amazing, like an encyclopaedia of Probus.

I'm struggling now for Probus...

Probus Antoninianus, 276-282
image.png.7b6573d69a171bcfee4616e90d1c23e7.png
Lugdunum. Billon, 20mm, 4.38g. Radiate, cuirassed bust right; IMP C PROBUS [dot] P [dot] F [dot] AVG. Pax, draped, standing left, holding olive branch in right hand and sceptre in left hand; PAX AVG, D in left field (RIC V.2, 119f). From the Linchmere (West Sussex) Hoard 1924 of 812 coins in a earthenware pot.

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19 minutes ago, maridvnvm said:

There are 10s of thousands of major variations of Legends, types, busts and mintmarks. That is before you delve down to the next layer of sub-detail of Medusa on chest, shield decoration types etc etc

Sounds like an interesting collecting area.... and a life task 🙂 

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I used to collect Probus types but my collecting has shifted to the later Roman Empire and Early Byzantine. Went back to look at some pics of coins that I longer own but were favorites back in the day. Here's one of them:

Probus, AD 276-282, AE Antoninianus, Ticinum Mint, RIC 318

Ox: IMP C M AVR PROBVS AVG; Radiate, draped, cuirassed bust right

Rx: PRINCIPI IVVENTVT; Probus standing left, holding globe and spear; in exergue, PTI

1946633141_ProbusPRINCIPIIVVENTVT.jpg.b3f290c724032190e871a8e60eda5ba0.jpg

 

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Here are my comparatively small number of six Probus coins. Is my understanding correct that there are probably more coins of Probus uncatalogued in RIC -- apparently thousands of them -- than for any other emperor? In my very limited experience, I've found the website https://probuscoins.fr/ to be extremely useful in identifying Probus coins. 

Also, could someone please explain to me the difference, if any, between the imperial mantle on Probus coins (as on the first and fifth coins below), and consular robes?

Probus, 276-282 AD, silvered billon Antoninianus, Cyzicus Mint 280 AD. Obv. Radiate bust left wearing imperial mantle and holding eagle-tipped sceptre, IMP C M AVR PROBVS P F AVG / Rev. Sol standing facing in spread quadriga, with right hand raised, holding globe and whip in left hand, the horses spread, two on l. and two on r., SOLI INVICTO. CM in lower center above XXI Q in exergue (Officina 4 - Quarto). RIC V-2 Cyzicus 911, Sear RCV III 12041 (ill), Cohen 682, Pink [Karl Pink 1949], p. 44, series 3.  23 mm., 4.1 g.

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Probus, silvered billon Antoninianus, Serdica [Sofia, Bulgaria] Mint, 3rd Officina, 4th emission, 280-281 AD [Gysen]. 277 AD (Sear). Obv. Cuirassed bust left wearing radiate helmet, holding spear and shield, transverse leather strap across chest, IMP C M AVR PROBVS PF AVG / Rev. Probus on horseback, shield in left hand, galloping right, about to slay an enemy with a lance held in right hand; the enemy is on his knees under the horse's front hooves with his hands thrust upwards, his shield on the ground under the horse, VIRTVS PROBI AVG; in exergue, KA•Γ• (Serdica Mint, Officina 3) (KA= XXI =[20/1 copper/silver ratio of alloy]. RIC V-2 Probus 877G( Γ) (p. 113); Cohen 917; Probuscoins.fr  2667 (https://probuscoins.fr/coin?id=2667); Pink [Karl Pink 1949], 277, 4th emission; P. Gysen type: VIR-1 [Philippe Gysen, New data concerning the Serdica workshop during the reign of Probus, in Revue belge de numismatique , CXLVI, Brussels, 2000] (re-dating Serdica Emission 4 at 280-281 AD). 24.31 mm., 3.26 g.

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Probus, silvered billion Antoninianus, Serdica [Sofia, Bulgaria] Mint, 1st Officina, 4th emission, 280-281 AD (Gysen), 277 AD (Sear). Obv. Cuirassed bust left wearing radiate helmet, seen from ¾ in front, holding spear over right shoulder with right hand, and shield covering left shoulder with left hand, IMP CM AVR PROBVS AVG / Rev. Probus on horseback pacing left, with right hand raised and holding long scepter with left hand, captive is seated left under raised right hoof of horse, leaning forward to left with his arms bound behind his back, VIRTVS PROBI AVG; in exergue, KA•A• (Serdica Mint, Officina 1) [KA= XXI = 20/1 copper/silver ratio of alloy]. RIC V.2 Probus 887 (p. 114); Cohen 925/926; Probuscoins.fr 2201 (https://probuscoins.fr/coin?id=2201) (BustType E); P. Gysen Type: VIR-adv [adventus scene] [Philippe. Gysen, New data concerning the Serdica workshop during the reign of Probus, in Revue belge de numismatique , CXLVI, Brussels, 2000] (redating Serdica Emission 4 at 280-281 AD); Pink, Emission 4 [Karl Pink, Numismatische Zeitschrift, Der Aufbau der Romischen Munzpragung in der Kaiserzeit, VI / 1 Probus (Wien, 1949)]; cf. Sear RCV III 12075 (ill.) (same except obv. legend has “PF” before AVG; see RIC V-2 886). 23 mm., 4.26 g. Purchased from Kirk Davis, Feb. 2021; ex. York Coins, UK, 2010.

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Probus, billon/AE Antoninianus [no remaining silvering], Rome Mint, 279 AD. Obv. Radiate, helmeted, & cuirassed bust left, holding spear and shield, IMP PROBVS AVG/ Rev. Probus riding left, extending arm in salute & holding scepter, horse’s right front hoof raised over bound captive seated left, ADVENTVS AVG. In exergue: R - pellet in crescent - ς (digamma/stigma) [Officina 6]. RIC V-2 157(ς); Cohen 37; Pink VI/1 p. 57. 23 mm., 2.75 g. [See http://www.wildwinds.com/coins/ric/probus/RIC_0157_digamma_dot_in_cresc_left.txt.]

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Probus, silvered billon Antoninianus, 278-280 AD, Rome Mint [4th Emission, 2nd Officina]. Obv. Radiate bust left in imperial mantle, holding eagle-tipped scepter, IMP PRO-BVS AVG / Rev. Sol in quadriga leaping left, with right hand raised and holding globe and whip in left hand, SO-L-I INVIC-TO; in exergue, R- ᴗ [crescent]-B [Rome Mint, Officina 2]. RIC V-2 202B, Sear RCV III 12038, Cohen 644, see also https://www.probuscoins.fr/coin?id=11.

 image.jpeg.d7341e10fbea5566d9c24f0fabc33056.jpeg

Probus, billon tetradrachm, 277-278 AD (Year 3), Alexandria, Egypt Mint. Obv. Laureate and cuirassed bust right, A K M AV ΠPOBOC CEB / Rev. Eirene [= Pax] standing left, wearing long chiton and peplos, holding long scepter obliquely with left hand and olive branch with right; L Γ [Year 3] in lower left field. Dattari 5529, Emmett 3986, Milne 4550 at p. 109 [Milne, J.G., Catalogue of Alexandrian Coins (Oxford 1933, reprint with supplement by Colin M. Kraay, 1971)], Köln (Geissen) 3132, Sear RCV III 12124 (ill.). 23 mm., 8.7 g., 12 h.  Purchased from JAZ Numismatics Auction 183, May 2021, ex. Sallent Collection, ex. Bertolami e-auction 41, lot 292, April 30, 2017.

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The last one, of course, also works for the Alphabet Game thread as "E is for Eirene"!

Edited by DonnaML
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13 hours ago, Prieure de Sion said:

Very nice Probus coins you have there. It seems to me that the Probus field of collecting is still a little underrepresented. Which can be good for a collector - if it is not so widespread.

Wide variety of wonderful types and quite inexpensive in good condition (until you go after rarities, etc). Probus coins are certainly an excellent collecting choice.

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22 hours ago, John Conduitt said:

This is why Probus collectors are underrepresented. maridvnvm has them all 🤣 It's amazing, like an encyclopaedia of Probus.

That may explain why I have not added a Probus coin for over 20 years.  I bought several in the 1990's when they were cheap and unpopular but was bothered by never seeing most of the specific ones I wanted.  In most cases these were fancier decorated shields but it certainly included the obverse with horsehead.  Those were both rare and attracted attention of non-specialists.  I never got into Probus to the point of caring about rarity but always liked the fancy dress obverses.  Here are ten assorted military busts.  They seem a bit more varied than the other fancy type showing consular robes.  Those who feel I should have posted ID's here for these can visit my 1997 page on Probus or the 1999 page on the EQVITI series. 

https://www.forumancientcoins.com/dougsmith/probus.html

https://www.forumancientcoins.com/dougsmith/equiti.html

Rarest Probus?  Who has the Calliope?  I recall Harlan Berk sold one 'back then' but not to me, for sure.

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