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A selection of new unreduced folles of the first Tetrarchy


thejewk
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Not been about much for the last few months due to a combination of a few postal disasters and a lack of material that caught my eye within my price range.  I'm happy to report that I am now back in the game with the first part of a project I've had in the works over the last 8 months or so, which will probably take a few years to come to fruition; namely an unreduced follis from the first Tetrarchy from every mint, with an effort to capture something unique about each mint in the process.  I hope eventually to create some sort of wall display or a glass covered unit showing each coin and the location of the mint on a map.

Here's what I have so far:

RIC VI Lugdunum 167A

CONSTANTIVS NOB C / GENIO POP-VLI ROMANI / -/A//PLC

10.86g, 26x28mm

Ex Freeman and Sear, Manhattan Sale 4, Lot 194, misattributed as RIC 166A

From Lugdunum I wanted a left facing bust with a sceptre over the shoulder as well as a Genio reverse with an altar, and this fits the bill nicely

image.jpeg.f552075f101d88762a72592e3a30bbfc.jpeg

 

RIC VI Aquileia 31B

IMP MAXIMIANVS PF AVG / SACRA MONET AVGG ET CAESS NOSTR / -/V//AQP

10g, 27.5mm

I wanted a good quality Moneta type or two in the set, and this one is beautifully rendered with the silvering acting as a highlight

1530635772_MaximianusAquileiaSacra-1.jpg.cda8fd09f98e795d38dae8c1fcbd166a.jpg

RIC VI Ticinum 55B

IMP C MAXIMIANVS PF AVG / FIDES M-I-LITVM / -/./TT

10.54g, 29mm

I was very pleased to find this lovely example of a less common type for not much money, along with the following coin, from Munzhandlung Ritter on Vcoins, and the coins arrived in no time to the UK.  Superb strike and surfaces, with a sliver of silvering on the SW of the reverse.

1144795452_MaximianusTicinumFides-1.jpg.0f46d8f7c82e9b7be7f4b9424177dc0b.jpg

RIC VI Carthage 31B

IMP MAXIMIANVS PF AVG / SALVIS AVGG ET CAESS FEL KART / -/-//B

8.9g, 32x25mm

I'm a sucker for flan oddities that don't detract from the overall image of a coin, and this one has a wonderfully rendered reverse (if you excuse the rather squashed B).  I have wanted a 'Carthage holding fruits' reverse for a long time, and this one called to me and the price was right.  I am going to have to break my 'one per mint' rule for Carthage because I also need that FELIX ADVENT reverse too.

983715283_MaximianusCarthageSalvis-1.jpg.7d5db1bfe15e734734a4d1825547ce58.jpg

RIC VI Antioch 50B

IMP MA MAXIMIANVS PF AVG / GENIO POPV-L-I ROMANI / *on*/ Crescent on A//ANT

8.43g, 27.5mm

Not a great deal of innovation was happening at Antioch, with only Genio types available, but I managed to get a nice one with a well proportioned obverse and reverse and everything clear, if a little pleasantly worn.

1173956311_MaximianusAntiochGenio-1.jpg.14f4e36b825603d4c18b95a4daa4cfcb.jpg

 

Please share your Tetrarchic folles, or whatever you feel is relevant.  Any pointers regarding particular things to look out for in my project would be much appreciated too! 

 

 

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And I now how doubts whether the Ticinum coin is actually Maximian, I think it might be Galerius, pushing him out into the second Tetrarchy.  

Edit: Yes, it's Galerius as Augustus, but still a beauty and still within the scope of my collection so happy to have it.  Just means I can start hunting for those lovely unreduced folles of the next wave of Caesars as well.

Edited by thejewk
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5 hours ago, thejewk said:

Not a great deal of innovation was happening at Antioch, with only Genio types available

You'll have the same problem with Londinium. It's Genios all the way down. Also a lot of Galerius as Augustus misattributed as Maximian. Then there are the Carausian coins featuring Diocletian or Maximian, with Pax on the reverse, but they're smaller.

Uncertainty has been expressed as to where the 'unmarked' folles were struck - London, the 'C' mint or France. RIC says, "The folles without a mintmark in the exergue can be divided into:
I. Lugdunum;
II. [possibly] Britain either from a travelling mint, or even from the "C" mint of Carausius and Allectus, with which there are perhaps some stylistic affinities; and
III. in everyway more sophisticated in style, and it may well be that they were produced at London, though lack of signature would be difficult to account for: probably it is best to class them as a British series which, for reasons unknown to us, was struck elsewhere."

On the other hand, there were no London mintmarks until a decade after the mint opened, so all first Tetrarchy folles are going to be in one of these groups.

Maximian I 'Group II' Follis, 300
image.png.8e3f177ed57ff9c971b929a410ed724a.png
Londinium(?). Bronze, 26mm, 9.36g. Laureate and cuirassed bust right; IMP C MAXIMIANVS P F AVG. Genius standing left, holding patera and cornucopiae; GENIO POPVLI ROMANI; no mintmark (RIC VI, 6b).

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Nice coins. You know what?

I have no Carthage-minted coins for any of the tetrarchs. A sad hole in the collection I must remedy. I guess the motto CARTHAGO DELENDA EST is stuck in my brain. You'd think that by sewing salt in the fields and destroying everything that the place would never recover. 

Edited by Ancient Coin Hunter
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8 hours ago, thejewk said:

Not been about much for the last few months due to a combination of a few postal disasters and a lack of material that caught my eye within my price range.  I'm happy to report that I am now back in the game with the first part of a project I've had in the works over the last 8 months or so, which will probably take a few years to come to fruition; namely an unreduced follis from the first Tetrarchy from every mint, with an effort to capture something unique about each mint in the process.  I hope eventually to create some sort of wall display or a glass covered unit showing each coin and the location of the mint on a map.

Here's what I have so far:

RIC VI Lugdunum 167A

CONSTANTIVS NOB C / GENIO POP-VLI ROMANI / -/A//PLC

10.86g, 26x28mm

Ex Freeman and Sear, Manhattan Sale 4, Lot 194, misattributed as RIC 166A

From Lugdunum I wanted a left facing bust with a sceptre over the shoulder as well as a Genio reverse with an altar, and this fits the bill nicely

image.jpeg.f552075f101d88762a72592e3a30bbfc.jpeg

 

RIC VI Aquileia 31B

IMP MAXIMIANVS PF AVG / SACRA MONET AVGG ET CAESS NOSTR / -/V//AQP

10g, 27.5mm

I wanted a good quality Moneta type or two in the set, and this one is beautifully rendered with the silvering acting as a highlight

1530635772_MaximianusAquileiaSacra-1.jpg.cda8fd09f98e795d38dae8c1fcbd166a.jpg

RIC VI Ticinum 55B

IMP C MAXIMIANVS PF AVG / FIDES M-I-LITVM / -/./TT

10.54g, 29mm

I was very pleased to find this lovely example of a less common type for not much money, along with the following coin, from Munzhandlung Ritter on Vcoins, and the coins arrived in no time to the UK.  Superb strike and surfaces, with a sliver of silvering on the SW of the reverse.

1144795452_MaximianusTicinumFides-1.jpg.0f46d8f7c82e9b7be7f4b9424177dc0b.jpg

RIC VI Carthage 31B

IMP MAXIMIANVS PF AVG / SALVIS AVGG ET CAESS FEL KART / -/-//B

8.9g, 32x25mm

I'm a sucker for flan oddities that don't detract from the overall image of a coin, and this one has a wonderfully rendered reverse (if you excuse the rather squashed B).  I have wanted a 'Carthage holding fruits' reverse for a long time, and this one called to me and the price was right.  I am going to have to break my 'one per mint' rule for Carthage because I also need that FELIX ADVENT reverse too.

983715283_MaximianusCarthageSalvis-1.jpg.7d5db1bfe15e734734a4d1825547ce58.jpg

RIC VI Antioch 50B

IMP MA MAXIMIANVS PF AVG / GENIO POPV-L-I ROMANI / *on*/ Crescent on A//ANT

8.43g, 27.5mm

Not a great deal of innovation was happening at Antioch, with only Genio types available, but I managed to get a nice one with a well proportioned obverse and reverse and everything clear, if a little pleasantly worn.

1173956311_MaximianusAntiochGenio-1.jpg.14f4e36b825603d4c18b95a4daa4cfcb.jpg

 

Please share your Tetrarchic folles, or whatever you feel is relevant.  Any pointers regarding particular things to look out for in my project would be much appreciated too! 

 

 

thejewk, You scored some outstanding nummi (folles) 🤩! These coins have become very popular during the last decade especially for collectors looking for a less expensive alternative to other Roman coins. High grade examples are not easy to find today & they're getting expensive. They've been a favorite collecting type for me too 😉. I've posted many of mine in the past but will post some favorites for your thread. The first four nummi came from Freeman & Sear.

1957324168_2491170-016AKCollection.jpg.17f87a17aebfab22c673a3aaf79adf6a.jpg

666773737_2491170-017AKCollection.jpg.4ffb7ceb2335a473099aa557e6b59d22.jpg

477415878_2491170-019AKCollection.jpg.3cdd0b73ee68f843f14e597fb5d9ff55.jpg

1636374025_NGC2491170-027AlKowskyCollection.jpg.041203959d8df697418a0708d7f803f9.jpg

1230631315_ConstantiusasAugustusTicinum(2).jpg.278b631fa44b84b3f8143cd3b0526eae.jpg

190560488_NGC4252553-039AKCollection.jpg.5928207781d3be39034cf027b8fbaaee.jpg

 

 

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10 hours ago, John Conduitt said:

You'll have the same problem with Londinium. It's Genios all the way down. Also a lot of Galerius as Augustus misattributed as Maximian. Then there are the Carausian coins featuring Diocletian or Maximian, with Pax on the reverse, but they're smaller.

Uncertainty has been expressed as to where the 'unmarked' folles were struck - London, the 'C' mint or France. RIC says, "The folles without a mintmark in the exergue can be divided into:
I. Lugdunum;
II. [possibly] Britain either from a travelling mint, or even from the "C" mint of Carausius and Allectus, with which there are perhaps some stylistic affinities; and
III. in everyway more sophisticated in style, and it may well be that they were produced at London, though lack of signature would be difficult to account for: probably it is best to class them as a British series which, for reasons unknown to us, was struck elsewhere."

On the other hand, there were no London mintmarks until a decade after the mint opened, so all first Tetrarchy folles are going to be in one of these groups.

Maximian I 'Group II' Follis, 300
image.png.8e3f177ed57ff9c971b929a410ed724a.png
Londinium(?). Bronze, 26mm, 9.36g. Laureate and cuirassed bust right; IMP C MAXIMIANVS P F AVG. Genius standing left, holding patera and cornucopiae; GENIO POPVLI ROMANI; no mintmark (RIC VI, 6b).

London Mint coins have been my main collecting focus for the last few years, so I already have some nice coins I could use to represent London, but I am hoping to find a nice 'Group 2' Constantius with the characteristic hooked nose.  I think the portraits are what I need to use to differentiate the London coins from the rest, so a nice long neck and small head would work well.

I already have Maximian and Constantius 'Invasion' coins, so they will definitely be included.  I also have a Diocletian and a Maximian under Carausius, but I don't feel like they fit here.

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6 hours ago, thejewk said:

@Al Kowskyand @Romancollector beautiful examples!  Al, your helmeted Diocletian from Trier is a stunner.  I have found the price to be a tricky thing to navigate on my budget.  Lots of waiting and watching.

thejewk, Thanks for the kind comments 😊. The most I ever paid for a Diocletian era nummis was the Maximian coin pictured from the Freeman & Sear auction. I grossly overpaid for the coin after getting caught-up in the bidding frenzy 🙄, however, to this day I haven't seen a better portrait of Maximian on a nummus 😉. You aren't the only one to be duped mistaking a Galerius nummus for a Maximian coin, I was too 🤣. The coin pictured below I won at a Heritage auction, & it was mistakenly attributed to Maximian. When I posted the coin on the CoinTalk website a couple of astute members quickly corrected the attribution.

             1407179186_GaleriusRICVI61b.jpg.cca1418433d837b8aaa37b58087b1664.jpg

Galerius as Augustus, AD 305-311. Aquileia Mint, 1st Officina. Billon Nummus: 11.98 gm, 28 mm, 12 h. Rare. RIC VI 61b.

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28 minutes ago, Hrefn said:

I bought this over 30 years ago from William Warden.  It still has a few wisps of silvering.  I believe it is London mint, first officina.

image.jpeg.d41cebadcfc1b50ffd0f23f0ec6fbedb.jpegimage.jpeg.671ba79a1a41461f884b1a30feba1716.jpeg

Nice coin. It's hard to get these in good condition. As we've been discussing in another thread, PLN is mostly likely the only officina at Londinium, so P probably stands for Pecunia.

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2 hours ago, John Conduitt said:

Nice coin. It's hard to get these in good condition. As we've been discussing in another thread, PLN is mostly likely the only officina at Londinium, so P probably stands for Pecunia.

Good to know.  Thank you.  I like to think that the London celator captured the most accurate portrait of Constantius;  it certainly is the most individualistic.  That is, there is no mistaking this for one of the other members of the tetrarchy.  The engraver clearly had talent, and opportunity, since Constantius spent his last months in Britain.  (As I am sure you know.)

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Some great eye candy and rarities in this thread, including several coins that are both!  We have some amazing follis/nummus collectors on the board, for sure.

I'm a generalist, but have something of a concentration in this area.  In particular, I'm working on a set of the very first follis/nummus issue from each mint, e.g.:

image.jpeg.cc5fcd1dba3f154084987cfe29862cc5.jpeg

^^ First issue at Alexandria (ignoring the LIB ones, which may or may not have been first). The key feature to look for here are the parallel wreath ties. Lots of coins are misidentified as first issues when they aren't... the wreath tie curves and extends onto the neck/bust on those.

image.jpeg.d3ee59e1050ef936af680c4efe0da3ef.jpeg

^^ First issue from Ticinum.

image.jpeg.5f255daa0d49201ed828f966b90207a4.jpeg

^^ First issue from Trier. This was hard to find! If you're looking for one, watch out for clogged dies, which seem to be fairly common on early Trier coins. The coin must be totally free of field marks.

Some other favourites:

image.jpeg.6b4cc7b5121ebb02751f13e0ab2edb50.jpeg

^^ I love the portrait and patina on this one (Constantius, Cyzicus).

image.jpeg.541ba5b4169ad41ac08e808cb87dae21.jpeg

^^ Constantius, Alexandria; issued under Domitius Domitianus.

image.jpeg.d2ad17a670f821e1e11cff249353eb73.jpeg

^^Galerius, Antioch, ex Dattari

For London, my favourites are:

image.jpeg.3bebd50ae83ced19442800122e2378fe.jpeg

^^Maximian, LON mint mark, loins covered. LMCC 1.01.002A (this coin). This is probably very early in the LON run, with its messed up "N" and draped loins... before they'd standardized things, or when they were training a bunch of new mint workers!

image.jpeg.44b8d84a6a658f82744b2fa6ef232cb0.jpeg

Constantine the Great's first coin! RIC 66, from the Rauceby hoard. LMCC 

On 1/24/2023 at 12:54 PM, John Conduitt said:

On the other hand, there were no London mintmarks until a decade after the mint opened, so all first Tetrarchy folles are going to be in one of these groups.

Except for the LON coins, right?

On 1/24/2023 at 12:54 PM, John Conduitt said:

Uncertainty has been expressed as to where the 'unmarked' folles were struck - London, the 'C' mint or France. RIC says, "The folles without a mintmark in the exergue can be divided into:
I. Lugdunum;
II. [possibly] Britain either from a travelling mint, or even from the "C" mint of Carausius and Allectus, with which there are perhaps some stylistic affinities; and
III. in everyway more sophisticated in style, and it may well be that they were produced at London, though lack of signature would be difficult to account for: probably it is best to class them as a British series which, for reasons unknown to us, was struck elsewhere."

I was surprised to hear there's still significant uncertainty on this point, but I guess you're right. Personally I think the Cloke & Toone position is well supported.  So first we have the invasion folles like this one, with bare busts and large lettering:

image.jpeg.74b560259f845fdd0bfd23399b065f53.jpeg

These weren't minted in London, they were brought over by the invasion force.  Then come the LON folles and/or the first unmarked London mint folles with bare busts and small "London style" lettering; to be followed by the unmarked folles with armoured busts (like your Max that you showed above). All of these seem to be London or at least British mint products based on considerations of continuity with what comes later.  The only doubt would be about the very earliest unmarked bare bust folles with small lettering... if they preceded the LON coins, it's possible they were also invasion coins, along with the continental style large lettering coins like this one.

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Bronze coin (AE Follis) minted at Rome T=Tertia (3rd Officina) during the reign of CONSTANTIUS I between 300 - 301 A.D. as Caesar. Obv. CONSTANTIVS.NOB.CAES.: Rev. SACRA.MON.VRB.AVGG.ET CAESS.NN.: Moneta standing l., holding scales & cornucopia. RCS #3675. RIC VI #99a. pg.361. DVM #28.

image.png.c4258c7a4b995db26d223b41e9e0fd21.png

image.png.6a55923847f2a64889b195c17da56538.png

Bronze coin (AE Follis) minted at ALE = Alexander during the reign of GALERIUS between 308 - 310 A.D. Obv. IMP.C.GAL.VAL.MAXIMIANUS.P.F.AVG. laur. hd. r. Rev. GENIO.IMPERATORIS. Genius standing l., pouring out patera & holding cornucopia, in ex, ALE. C. 48 RCS #3719. RICVI #101a pg.678.

image.png.7e6af1d4dffc566778626e49aaea03c4.png

image.png.b6687873a7006986f262a6af477290e1.png

13 Diocletian BI Nummus. Serdica, AD 305-306. D N DIO[CLETIAN]O B[AEATI]SSIMO SEN AVG, laureate bust to right, wearing imperial mantle, holding olive branch and mappa / PROVIDENTIA DEORVM QVIES AVGG, Providentia standing to right, extending right hand to Quies, standing to left, holding branch and leaning on sceptre; S-Δ-F across fields, •SM•SD• in exergue. RIC VI 14a. 9.26g, 27mm, 12h.

image.png.c52f833a0b0a52f1a5723400017f4ffc.png

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6 hours ago, Severus Alexander said:

Some great eye candy and rarities in this thread, including several coins that are both!  We have some amazing follis/nummus collectors on the board, for sure.

I'm a generalist, but have something of a concentration in this area.  In particular, I'm working on a set of the very first follis/nummus issue from each mint, e.g.:

image.jpeg.cc5fcd1dba3f154084987cfe29862cc5.jpeg

^^ First issue at Alexandria (ignoring the LIB ones, which may or may not have been first). The key feature to look for here are the parallel wreath ties. Lots of coins are misidentified as first issues when they aren't... the wreath tie curves and extends onto the neck/bust on those.

image.jpeg.d3ee59e1050ef936af680c4efe0da3ef.jpeg

^^ First issue from Ticinum.

image.jpeg.5f255daa0d49201ed828f966b90207a4.jpeg

^^ First issue from Trier. This was hard to find! If you're looking for one, watch out for clogged dies, which seem to be fairly common on early Trier coins. The coin must be totally free of field marks.

Some other favourites:

image.jpeg.6b4cc7b5121ebb02751f13e0ab2edb50.jpeg

^^ I love the portrait and patina on this one (Constantius, Cyzicus).

image.jpeg.541ba5b4169ad41ac08e808cb87dae21.jpeg

^^ Constantius, Alexandria; issued under Domitius Domitianus.

image.jpeg.d2ad17a670f821e1e11cff249353eb73.jpeg

^^Galerius, Antioch, ex Dattari

For London, my favourites are:

image.jpeg.3bebd50ae83ced19442800122e2378fe.jpeg

^^Maximian, LON mint mark, loins covered. LMCC 1.01.002A (this coin). This is probably very early in the LON run, with its messed up "N" and draped loins... before they'd standardized things, or when they were training a bunch of new mint workers!

image.jpeg.44b8d84a6a658f82744b2fa6ef232cb0.jpeg

Constantine the Great's first coin! RIC 66, from the Rauceby hoard. LMCC 

Except for the LON coins, right?

I was surprised to hear there's still significant uncertainty on this point, but I guess you're right. Personally I think the Cloke & Toone position is well supported.  So first we have the invasion folles like this one, with bare busts and large lettering:

image.jpeg.74b560259f845fdd0bfd23399b065f53.jpeg

These weren't minted in London, they were brought over by the invasion force.  Then come the LON folles and/or the first unmarked London mint folles with bare busts and small "London style" lettering; to be followed by the unmarked folles with armoured busts (like your Max that you showed above). All of these seem to be London or at least British mint products based on considerations of continuity with what comes later.  The only doubt would be about the very earliest unmarked bare bust folles with small lettering... if they preceded the LON coins, it's possible they were also invasion coins, along with the continental style large lettering coins like this one.

I don’t know if there can be no doubt until mintmarks appear, and even then there might be some doubt with some of them. The sequence and dating aren’t particularly clear either. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't call them London coins (or not).

The LON mintmark is interesting. It was only used for Diocletian and Maximian in 297, if RIC is to be believed. Obviously, mintmarks had been used extensively by Carausius and Allectus, including on coins featuring Diocletian and Maximian, which makes it a bit odd that they stopped using them - except for a handful of issues where they randomly decided to use LON. It seems there's something left to explain there.

The quality of the engraving is strange too. The London mint already had moneyers under Carausius and Allectus who'd started out making coins that looked barbarous, and ended up making good, standardised coins. Did they all just get kicked out? What about the moneyers who made the invasion coinage? Could the poorly-engraved coins be barbarous?

Edited by John Conduitt
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Constantius I. 305-306 AD. AE Follis. Ticinum mint. CONSTANTIVS NOB CAES, Head of Constantius Chlorus, laureate, right / GENIO POPV-LI ROMANI, Genius, wearing modius, nude, chlamys draped over left shoulder, standing left, holding patera in right hand and cornucopiae in left hand. RIC VI 35a. 28mm 10.35g.

ticnium.jpg.2f96500f57fc21ec50152c2ab9210880.jpg

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On 1/27/2023 at 7:11 PM, John Conduitt said:

The LON mintmark is interesting. It was only used for Diocletian and Maximian in 297, if RIC is to be believed.

 I believe the LON mintmark is found on coins of Constantius and Galerius as well.  Here is an example of Galerius from a recent CNG auction (not my coin).

image.png.f96446e1d0f67f7613e22bc3ec57c85d.png

Examples of these earliest London mint coinage of the 1st tetrarchy have shot up in value as of late and are bringing near $1000 or more.

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