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Alexandrian Tetradrachms of Gallienus and Fam


Orange Julius
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I recently received this amazing Alexandrian tetradrachm of Gallienus. Who says artistry was declining in the 3rd century? Well, not in the mid-to-late 260s in Alexandria! 

In Gallienus’ late reign, there was a very talented die engraver working in Alexandria. For a few years, there are some very beautifully engraved dies alongside those of the more usual portrait style. For a short time, IMO the artistry of some coins rivaled or surpassed coins of earlier eras. I’d love to get more of these beauties!

Let’s see your Alexandrian tetradrachms of Gallienus and family!

F5683902-940E-47EB-ADCE-141321138D1C.jpeg.6ccffebc92971c87c0dfa7cbe641074d.jpeg

FDA11626-1E45-4E10-8983-5876D063BD42.jpeg.65f5765b97f49f4b14a411645ab38723.jpeg

Gallienus
AlexandriaTetradrachm
RY 13 = 265/6.
AYT Κ Π ΛΙK ΓΑΛΛΙΗΝΟC CЄΒ Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust of Gallienus to right, seen from behind.
Rev. L - ΙΓ Nike standing front, head to left, holding wreath in her right hand and palm frond in her left.
Dattari (Savio) 5253. Emmett 3823.13. K&G 90.89

Edited by Orange Julius
Added a cool coin profile photo
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galhom.jpg.b6bffae59176b05fd4396e7bff055de8.jpg

Gallienus (253 - 268 A.D.)
Egypt, Alexandria
Billon Tetradrachm
O: AVT K Π ΛIK ΓAΛΛIHNOC CЄB, laureate and cuirassed bust right
R: Homonoia seated left, right hand raised, left holding double cornucopia; IB/L to left, palm frond to right.Dated RY 12 (AD 264/265).
10.67g
22mm
Köln 2923; Dattari (Savio) 5249; K&G 90.80; Emmett 3817.12.solantet.jpg.27d46d4146a5a8e0ff8995ed6dee0a7e.jpg

Salonina (254 - 268 A.D.)

Egypt, Alexandria
Potin Tetradrachm
O: KOPNHΛIA CAΛWNEINA CEB. Diademed and draped bust right..
R: No legend. Eagle standing right, holding wreath in beak, palm above left; in right field, LIE (= regnal year 15 267-268 A.D).
Alexandria Mint
22mm
9.14g
Dattari; 5346, Milne; 4189, Curtis; 1642, BMC; 2280, Emmett 3854saltet.jpg.449c4298c6e70a00d2a4f64e7e6ee020.jpg

Saloninus (258 - 260 A.D.)

Egypt, Alexandria
Billon Tetradrachm
O: ΠO ΛI KOP CA OVAΛεPIANOC K CεB, Bareheaded, draped, and cuirassed bust right.
R: Eagle standing left, head turned, holding wreath, in field, L-S. Year 6 (258 - 259 A.D.)
Alexandria Mint
12.6g
23mm
Köln 3002; Dattari (Savio) 5376; K&G 93.3; Emmett 3776.6 (R2)

 

salserp.jpg.8cbd860090009059789e467b51d833e2.jpg

Saloninus (258 - 260 A.D.)

Egypt, Alexandria
Billon Tetradrachm
O: PO LI KOR CA VALERIANOC, Bareheaded, draped, and cuirassed bust right.
R:  Alexandria standing left, wearing turreted crown, holding bust of Sarapis and scepter; L Z (Year 7) across field.
Alexandria Mint (259 - 260 A.D.)
10.65g
23mm
Köln 3007; Dattari (Savio) 5353 var. (obv. legend); K&G 93.9; Emmett 3774.7, Milne 4030

 

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22 minutes ago, Kali said:

galhom.jpg.b6bffae59176b05fd4396e7bff055de8.jpg

Gallienus (253 - 268 A.D.)
Egypt, Alexandria
Billon Tetradrachm
O: AVT K Π ΛIK ΓAΛΛIHNOC CЄB, laureate and cuirassed bust right
R: Homonoia seated left, right hand raised, left holding double cornucopia; IB/L to left, palm frond to right.Dated RY 12 (AD 264/265).
10.67g
22mm
Köln 2923; Dattari (Savio) 5249; K&G 90.80; Emmett 3817.12.solantet.jpg.27d46d4146a5a8e0ff8995ed6dee0a7e.jpg

Salonina (254 - 268 A.D.)

Egypt, Alexandria
Potin Tetradrachm
O: KOPNHΛIA CAΛWNEINA CEB. Diademed and draped bust right..
R: No legend. Eagle standing right, holding wreath in beak, palm above left; in right field, LIE (= regnal year 15 267-268 A.D).
Alexandria Mint
22mm
9.14g
Dattari; 5346, Milne; 4189, Curtis; 1642, BMC; 2280, Emmett 3854saltet.jpg.449c4298c6e70a00d2a4f64e7e6ee020.jpg

Saloninus (258 - 260 A.D.)

Egypt, Alexandria
Billon Tetradrachm
O: ΠO ΛI KOP CA OVAΛεPIANOC K CεB, Bareheaded, draped, and cuirassed bust right.
R: Eagle standing left, head turned, holding wreath, in field, L-S. Year 6 (258 - 259 A.D.)
Alexandria Mint
12.6g
23mm
Köln 3002; Dattari (Savio) 5376; K&G 93.3; Emmett 3776.6 (R2)

 

salserp.jpg.8cbd860090009059789e467b51d833e2.jpg

Saloninus (258 - 260 A.D.)

Egypt, Alexandria
Billon Tetradrachm
O: PO LI KOR CA VALERIANOC, Bareheaded, draped, and cuirassed bust right.
R:  Alexandria standing left, wearing turreted crown, holding bust of Sarapis and scepter; L Z (Year 7) across field.
Alexandria Mint (259 - 260 A.D.)
10.65g
23mm
Köln 3007; Dattari (Savio) 5353 var. (obv. legend); K&G 93.9; Emmett 3774.7, Milne 4030

 

Oooh 😲, those are some great coins! I really like the Gallienus but also the Saloninus coins… I don’t have any of him or Valerian I or Valerian II.

Here’s my Salonina!

SaloninaAlexandriaEmmett3852.JPG.045451c0cc833c61d5731d21c73a80ed.JPG

Salonina, wife of Gallienus. Augusta Dated RY 14 of Gallienus (266/267 AD). 
Diademed and draped bust right
L/ID, eagle standing left with wreath in its beak; palm right.
Köln 2977; Dattari 5345; Milne 4153; Emmett 3852.

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I have both.valtet.jpg.231f341346730720ef262bf02de87e3e.jpg

Valerian I (253 - 260 A.D.)

Egypt, Alexandria
Billon Tetradrachm
O: A K Π ΛI OVAΛEPIANOC EV EVC, Laureate and cuirassed bust right
R: Tyche seated left, holding rudder and cornucopia; L Δ (Year 4, 256/7 A.D.) to upper left.
10.54g
24mm
Köln 2867; Dattari (Savio) 5174; K&G 88.28; Emmett 3721.4.

 

 

valiitet.jpg.dfdb0b9b89a874eae7c222cc2316e7e8.jpg

Valerian II, (256 - 258 A.D.)

Egypt, Alexandria
Billon Tetradrachm
O: P LIK KOR OVALERIANOC KAIC CEB, Draped and cuirassed bust of Valerian right.
R: Alexandria wearing mural crown standing left holding bust of Serapis and scepter, L E (Year 5) across fields.
10.35g
22mm
Emmett 3763 // Milne 3981

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1 hour ago, Nerosmyfavorite68 said:

That's a lovely example; nice artistry, great highlights, etc. The bust of Gallienus bears a regal expression.

I have a decent one but it's not photographed (only the vcoins/online dealers items are).

Thank you! Yes, this one has a really expressive style. I love it.

Ooh, snap some quick phone photos of it, I’d enjoy seeing it! 

1 hour ago, Kali said:

I have both.valtet.jpg.231f341346730720ef262bf02de87e3e.jpg

Valerian I (253 - 260 A.D.)

Egypt, Alexandria
Billon Tetradrachm
O: A K Π ΛI OVAΛEPIANOC EV EVC, Laureate and cuirassed bust right
R: Tyche seated left, holding rudder and cornucopia; L Δ (Year 4, 256/7 A.D.) to upper left.
10.54g
24mm
Köln 2867; Dattari (Savio) 5174; K&G 88.28; Emmett 3721.4.

 

 

valiitet.jpg.dfdb0b9b89a874eae7c222cc2316e7e8.jpg

Valerian II, (256 - 258 A.D.)

Egypt, Alexandria
Billon Tetradrachm
O: P LIK KOR OVALERIANOC KAIC CEB, Draped and cuirassed bust of Valerian right.
R: Alexandria wearing mural crown standing left holding bust of Serapis and scepter, L E (Year 5) across fields.
10.35g
22mm
Emmett 3763 // Milne 3981

That Valerian looks like it has good silver content! That Valerian II couldn’t have been too easy to find. Very nice coins.

I’d like to get the run of most (all but the really rare and expensive) emperors from Augustus to Constantius I as tetradrachms… I have a long way to go!
 

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1 hour ago, Orange Julius said:

Thank you! Yes, this one has a really expressive style. I love it.

Ooh, snap some quick phone photos of it, I’d enjoy seeing it! 

I'll be glad to share it, assuming I can take a fairly clear picture.

If no weather disasters happen tomorrow perhaps I can try and find it.  I have wet hands after washing dishes.

It was a birthday/Christmas present from the local coin store a few years back.

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another one:

normal_Gallienus_4.jpg.b8704c629a1ac931479e17e232c70554.jpg

Gallienus
Alexandria, year 15 = AD 267/268
Billon-Tetradrachm
Obv.: ΑVT K Π ΛIK ΓAΛΛIHNOC CЄB, laureate and cuirassed bust right
Rev.: LIЄ = year 15, eagle, wings closed, standing left on thunderbolt, wreath in beak, palm in field right
Billon, 11.96g, 22.8mm
Ref.: Geissen III 2944; Kampmann 90.97

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Here's my Salonina. I rather like the attractive portrait. I know that when I received it in the mail it was even better in hand than in the auctioneer photos. There is a lifelike aspect to it that makes it look like she is a real person, so I wonder if the same die-cutter who engraved your example's die @Orange Julius also did some of her...

EGYPT, Alexandria Billon Tetradrachm, 23mm, 9.8 grams, 12h Dated RY 15 (A.D. 267-268) Obverse: KOPNHALA CAAONEINA CEB; Diademed and draped bust right. Reverse: Eagle standing right, holding wreath in beak; palm in left field, L IE to right Reference: Koln 2983; Dattari 5346; Milne 4189; Curtis 1642; Emmett 3854 salonina1.jpg.1a0c661a7a72a841f98b07bd0168ebeb.jpg

 

salonina2.jpg.66a661a12bab625b4054e382e16c9c49.jpg

 

 

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I have another Gallienus Tet.

 

galtet.jpg.cefa4870608120972d8d66c1856affad.jpg

Gallienus ( 253 - 268 A.D.)

Egypt, Alexandria
Billon Tetradrachm
O: A K Π ΛI OY ΓAΛΛIANOC EY EY C, bearded, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right.
R: Nike (Victory) walking right, wreath extended in right, palm frond over shoulder in left, L - S flanking across field.
Alexandria Mint 258 -259 A.D.
21.6mm
9.13g
Savio pl. 271, 10525 (same dies); BMC Alexandria p. 286, 2194; Milne 3995; SNG Cop 768; Kampmann 90.31; Emmett 3736 (R2)

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That is indeed a lovely coin, @Orange Julius - I'm glad you shared it.  Although I only have two Gallienus tetradrachms, one of them is of a rather humdrum style, while the other one seems to have had a real artist working on it, as you suggest in your post:

Basic, workaday Late Roman tetradrachm:

1809863876_Egypt-GallienusTetHomonoiaOct2022(0).jpg.59c073d28694b648b09982a02f47205b.jpg

Egypt Potin Tetradrachm Gallienus Year LIΓ (13) (265/266 A.D.) Alexandria Mint AVT K Π ΛΙK ΓAΛΛIHNOC Β laureate and cuirassed bust right / Homonoia standing left, raising right hand and holding double cornucopiae in left; behind, palm; LIΓ in left field. Emmett 3816; Milne 4115-6; BMC 2185; Dattari 5245. (7.12 grams / 22 x 20 mm) eBay Oct. 2022                   $9.99

This one has a rather fine style, if not as spectacular as the OP.  The very kinetic, fluid rendition of Nike on the reverse really impressed me (Samothrace?).  With a lot of help from @DonnaML (thanks again, Donna!), it seems that this one is unrecorded (see notes and https://www.numisforums.com/topic/1406-egypt-tetradrachm-of-gallienus-nike-walking-right-dated-lie-i-need-help

1730743097_Egypt-GallienustetNikewalkingrightLIE-MINENov2018.jpg.2c6073d6b0839902d97b4c017f286763.jpg

 

Egypt  Potin Tetradrachm Gallienus Year LIE (15) (267/268 A.D.) Alexandria Mint ΑΥΤ Κ Π ΛΙΚ ΓΑΛΛΙΗΝΟ Β laureate and cuirassed bust right / Nike advancing right, holding wreath, palm across shoulder, date L/IE in left field. Unpublished? (see notes). (8.18 grams / 22 x 20 mm) eBay Nov. 2018         $22.00 BO 

Attribution:  Unpublished?  No examples online, Oct. 2022; queried Numis Forums 10/13/22see DonnaML's thorough reply! 

For Nike advancing left, LI-E across fields, see: Dattari (Savio) 5257; Emmet 3822; Köln 2951; K&G 90.106. 

For Nike advancing right, LIΔ across fields, see:  Dattari -; Emmett 3821 (R2); Geissen 2938; Curtis 1608; BMC Alexandria p. 286, 2196

It has crossed my mind that somebody at the Alexandria Mint was the Master Artist (or however you say that in Greek).

 

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Hi All,

Here are mine.

image.png.5c5289ce3e040cc89c2a4e47fabc2109.png

GALLIENUS (SOLE REIGN: ca Jun 261 - ca Aug 268 CE)
ALEXANDRIA, EGYPT Year 15 (267/268 CE)

Bi Tetradrachm
Size: 22x23 mm
Weight: 9.17 g
Axis: 11:00
Broucheion Collection R-1995-05-10.001

OBV: Gallienus laureate head facing right. Legend: AVTKΠΛIKΓAΛΛIHNOCCЄB. Dotted border.
REV: Selene bust facing right into crescent moon. In right field: I above LЄ. Dotted border.
Refs: Emmett-3834.15; Geissen-2941 var (Year); Dattari-5265; Curtis-Unlisted
Provenance: Frank Robinson 1995; Ex F J Rath (Jan 1973).


Next, a Pb tetradrachm of Salonina.

image.png.2b52e77739eb847b385cf55fe6affabc.png

SALONINA (SOLE REIGN: 263 - ca Aug 268 CE)
ALEXANDRIA, EGYPT Year 13 (265/266 CE)
Pb Tetradrachm
Size: 24x25 mm
Weight: 16.1 g
Axis: 0
Broucheion Collection R-1997-10-21.005

OBV: Salonina bust facing right. Legend: KOPNHΛIACAΛωNЄINA. Dotted border.
REV: Elpis standing facing left holding sprig in right hand. Left hand holds up chiton. In left field: palm branch; In right field IΓ above L. Dotted border.
Refs: EM-4286.13 (Unlisted Year); G-2970 var (Year 12 Billon); DAT-5332var (Billon).
Provenance: This Pb coin is Ex Alex G Malloy (NY, USA): Auction 47 (17 Oct 1997), Lot #359. Ex Sotheby (16 Mar 1972) - Marcel Jungfleische Collection.

Comments:  Marcel Jungfleisch (1879-1958) was one of the leading numismatists in the twentieth century. He was from Cairo, Egypt and wrote extensively on Egyptian numismatics. He was a professor of Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers and a member of the Institute of Egypt. His extensive writings covered Islamic bronze weights from Egypt, Ayyubid glass jetons, Islamic Art Network, Roman Egyptian coins, Nubians in Egypt (1946), Nomes of Egypt (1946), and wrote for the Revue Numismatique in 1955. Sotheby's sold his collection in two vast sales in 1972.

  • 16 Feb, 1972 M Jungfleisch collection Part 1: Ancient and Middle Eastern Coins, and a Fine Numismatic Library. 239 lots. 24 pages + 2 plates. 156 x 246mm. Sotheby.
  • 16 Mar, 1972 Marcel Jungfleisch collection Part 2: The Coinage of Roman Alexandria together with Ancient, English and Foreign Coins. 239 lots. 44 pages + 4 b&w plates. 156 x 246mm. Sotheby.

 

image.png.5ed68f88293facad309b329abeffaf48.png

VALERIAN I (ca Sep 253 - ca Sep 260 CE)
ALEXANDRIA, EGYPT Year 04 (256/257 CE)
Bi Tetradrachm
Size: 24x25 mm
Weight: 12.4 g
Axis: 11:30
Broucheion Collection R-2002-02-13.00x

OBV: Valerian laureate cuirased bust facing right. Legend: AKΠΛIOYΛЄPIANOCCЄYЄYC. Dotted border
REV: Eagle wings closed facing left, head turned to right with diademmed wreath in its beak. In left field: L; In right field: Δ. Dotted border
Refs: Emmett-3705.04; Geissen-2862; Dattari-5184; Milne-3945; SNG Copenhagen 757; BMC-2145; Vogt I 152
Provenance: Colosseum Coin Exchange Auction 119 (13 Feb 2000).

 

image.png.7fdc0063dc971767cc0096d3ab641bfd.png

VALERIAN II (CAESAR under GALLIENUS: 253 - 258 CE)
ALEXANDRIA, EGYPT Year 04 (256/257 CE)
Bi Tetradrachm
22x23 mm
10.70 grams
Axis: 12:30
Broucheion Collection R-1998-06-19.002

OBV: Valerianus II bare headed and cuirassed bust facing right. Legend: ΠΛIKKOPOYAΛЄPIANOCKAICCЄB. Dotted border.
REV: Eagle, holding wreath in mouth, facing left with head turned back to the right. In left field: L; in right field: Δ. Dotted border.
Refs: Emmett-3764.04; Geissen-2991; Dattari-5373 (Saloninus); Milne-3964; Curtiss-1545; ; SNG Copenhagen 825; BMC-2293 (Saloninus); Mionnet-3393 (Saloninus); Vogt I 202f; Vogt II 152;
Prevenance: Pegassi Coins (1998 NYSCS Show); Ex Kalmbach Collection

 

image.png.355079e55e7b03d4fb02afaa09e5b3b1.png

SALONINUS CAESAR (257 - ca Sep 260 CE)
ALEXANDRIA, EGYPT Year 07 (259/260 CE)
Bi Tetradrachm
Size: 21x22 mm
Weight: 10.7 g
Axis: 00:00
Broucheion Collection R-2018-12-09.002

OBV: Saloninus bare-headed, draped and cuirassed bust facing right: Legend: ΠOΛIKOPCAVAΛEPIANOCKCЄB. Dotted border.
REV: Alexandria wearing turreted headpiece, standing facing left, holding bust of Serapis with modius in outstretched right hand while left arm cradles spear/scepter. In left field: L; In right field: Z (retrograde). Dotted border.
Refs: Emmett-3774.07; Geissen-3007var (Retrograde Z); Dattari-5353var (Retrograde Z); Milne-4030
Prevenance: Naville Numismatics, Live Auction 45 (09 Dec 2018).


- Broucheion

Edited by Broucheion
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My first coin was a Sestertius of Valerian that had very little recognizable features - it took me a while to decipher the partial legend.  It took me a while to bump into my first Egyptian tetradrachm of Gallienus, which remind me of that first coin. I agree that there appear to have been some talented engravers in Alexandria during the reign of Gallienus.   More can be found here - with the explanation for the lacuna in minting for Gallienus in 260 AD (together with portraits for the family.

Here are a few of my favorites. 

423843665_GallienusAlexandriaRY7.jpg.d37c15d54d190198bd7af2bc3702ffdb.jpg

425725807_GallienusTetradrachm.jpg.c5c0bcc8c20eecb5cbb857bff1ea34ac.jpg

806680590_GallienusRY9Victory.jpg.b0a0fc317e9c064b04697fd5e65b81ee.jpg

2125742091_GallienusDattari5273.jpg.f0a34848aa548574c37b29c828823c8e.jpg

377957734_DattariGallienus.jpg.8a59367324783ecfa333bdc1a1e4f1ed.jpg

 

Edited by Sulla80
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I love the coins in this thread. Oddly enough, although I have a lot of coins of Gallienus and family, and a lot of Roman Alexandrian tetradrachms and other denominations, I have no coins that combine those attributes. I don't have a written "want list," but an Alexandrian tet for Gallienus is definitely on my mental want list. Preferably one with a reverse that depicts something other than the eagle that was so common by the time of his reign. This thread certainly gives me some types to look for!

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31 minutes ago, DonnaML said:

I love the coins in this thread. Oddly enough, although I have a lot of coins of Gallienus and family, and a lot of Roman Alexandrian tetradrachms and other denominations, I have no coins that combine those attributes. I don't have a written "want list," but an Alexandrian tet for Gallienus is definitely on my mental want list. Preferably one with a reverse that depicts something other than the eagle that was so common by the time of his reign. This thread certainly gives me some types to look for!

A few good ones to look for might be Helios with a radiate crown, Serapis, or Selene. I have a Helios type on my wish list. They are supposed to be rare but there seem to be a variety of them with different dies, so maybe not!

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There are so many great coins in this thread, thanks everyone for showing your coins off! 

Tetradrachms seem to reduce in size through the 240s, increase in size a bit as the metal debases further in the 250s, then in the mid-to-late 260s there are some of impressive size and style, then they continue their slide from some still nice Claudius II and Aurelian tetradrachms into the size around Probus that continues (with some weight loss) until they end with Diocletian’s monetary reform.

I guess what I’m saying is that I notice in my small sample size that there was a nice revival of larger size, better style and attention to quality in the late 260s and I like it.

Great coins all! Now I need to get the rest of the fam besides Salonina, who I have. Here’s my fake Valerian that gave me problems years ago!

FAKE VALERIAN… watch out for this one, it comes up regularly on eBay!

ValerianTet.JPG.c3654651c48d8d60c1fbbde665913f00.JPG

Edited by Orange Julius
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Roman Egypt, Alexandria. Gallienus, AD 253-268. Potin Tetradrachm (23.5mm, 8.91g, 11h). Dated RY 14 (AD 266/267). Obv: Laureate and cuirassed bust right. Rev: Radiate and draped bust of Helios right; palm frond before, [L]-IΔ (date) across field. Ref: Köln 2936; Dattari (Savio) 5239; K&G 90.92; Emmett 3813.14 (R2). Good Very Fine, brown surfaces with iridescent toning. Ex CNG eAuction 445 (5 June 2019), Lot 314. From the New Orleans Collection, purchased from Edward J. Waddell, Ltd.

image.jpeg.edf022b4a8b44781729f7b52547eb564.jpeg

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5 hours ago, Edessa said:

Roman Egypt, Alexandria. Gallienus, AD 253-268. Potin Tetradrachm (23.5mm, 8.91g, 11h). Dated RY 14 (AD 266/267). Obv: Laureate and cuirassed bust right. Rev: Radiate and draped bust of Helios right; palm frond before, [L]-IΔ (date) across field. Ref: Köln 2936; Dattari (Savio) 5239; K&G 90.92; Emmett 3813.14 (R2). Good Very Fine, brown surfaces with iridescent toning. Ex CNG eAuction 445 (5 June 2019), Lot 314. From the New Orleans Collection, purchased from Edward J. Waddell, Ltd.

image.jpeg.edf022b4a8b44781729f7b52547eb564.jpeg

That's what I'm talking about! There's a return to a level of artistry with late Gallienus tetradrachms that is notable and exciting. Your coin is amazing and every bit as cool as those long previous. What a cool coin. Gallienus has some Mark Antony in this portrait (stylistically) here and the reverse calls back to the styles you see on the coinage of the Diadochi! Anyway... if you see Gallienus tetradrachms for sale, don't buy them! ...as I'm bidding on them!

Side Note: I have another Gallienus tetradrachm coming tomorrow... but this one shows that not all were quality artistry that significantly deviated from the norm of the time. I'll post it when I can. 

Edited by Orange Julius
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