Jump to content

Misattributed Nummus of Galerius


Al Kowsky
 Share

Recommended Posts

About two years I posted a nummus on another website that I won at a Heritage auction, pictured below. The composition & style of the obverse immediately caught my eye 😲, & I was determined to add it to my collection 😊. The coin was described by Heritage as: Maximian (AD 286 - 305). BI follis or nummus (28 mm, 11.98 gm, 12 h). VF. Aquileia, AD 305. RIC VI 61b. I had some excellent examples of Maximian nummi in my collection but nothing as "eye popping" as this coin. The only problem with the coin was it wasn't Maximian 🙁, it was Galerius 🤔. The coin got a lot of attention & likes when posted, but a couple of members suggested the coin was in fact Galerius & not Maximiam. At the time I didn't think much about the controversy until recently when I took a closer look at the coin & did some independent research 😉. The coin portraits of Maximian & Galerius on coins are almost always indistinguishable, so collectors rely on the obverse inscriptions. The obvious pitfall with this coin is Galerius & Maximian both used this same obverse inscription 😏. After browsing through several websites, including the RIC website, I couldn't find any coins of this type attributed to Maximian, but I did find 5 other examples attributed to Galerius. At this point I'm confident the coin was issued by Galerius, & is in fact very rare ☺️.

 

1251547354_BillonnummusAWKCollection.jpg.a5a4d59de6ca67c52868612773927a6b.jpg

Galerius as Augustus, AD 305-311 (struck c. AD 305/6). Aquileia Mint. Billon Nummus: 11.98 gm, 28 mm, 12 h. Obverse: Bust of Galerius wearing helmet & cuirass facing left, holding a decorated shield & spear over shoulder, IMP MAXIMIANVS P F AVG. Reverse: Fides standing & facing left, holding two standards, FIDES MILITVM AVGG ET CAESS NN, in exergue AQP. RIC VI 61b. Very rare. 

Pictured below are 2 more examples of this coin type. The top coin was auctioned by Roma Numismatics, their photo, & the bottom example was pierced & repaired, from the ANS Collection, their photo. Notice all five of the coins pictured below show Galerius holding a baton over his shoulder, unlike my coin that shows him holding a spear over his shoulder.

652068101_GaleriusnummiRomaANS.jpg.c72f13d060d5e7ec61e7dec0b2e52eeb.jpg

 

Pictured below are 3 more examples of this coin type from the RIC website, their photos.273204412_GaleriusnummiRICCollection.jpg.e83a984e1958f094983e83a81ad97732.jpg

 

 

  • Like 10
  • Heart Eyes 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Victor_Clark said:

If you look in RIC VI at Aquileia 61b it is listed as Galerius. RIC includes spear or sceptre for obverse bust type.

If you look at the RIC website many examples of this coin type issued by Constantius I, Constantine the Great, & Severus II are illustrated with the emperor holding a spear over his shoulder, but I saw no other examples of Galerius holding a spear over his shoulder. If you have seen another example of Galerius holding a spear instead of a scepter or baton please post it for me. Thanks.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's very odd that RIC describes it as 'spear (or sceptre)', as if spear is more likely, but apparently it isn't. The same is the case for RIC VI 66b, except there the spear seems much more common and the sceptre not http://numismatics.org/ocre/id/ric.6.aq.66b

Presumably, 66b with a sceptre and 61b with a spear are technically mules?

Edited by John Conduitt
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, John Conduitt said:

It's very odd that RIC describes it as 'spear (or sceptre)', as if spear is more likely, but apparently it isn't. The same is the case for RIC VI 66b, except there the spear seems much more common and the sceptre not http://numismatics.org/ocre/id/ric.6.aq.66b

Presumably, 66b with a sceptre and 61b with a spear are technically mules?

John,that's an interesting idea 🤔, thanks for the link 😊.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It should be noted that there are two different issues being compared here. The "IMP MAXIMIANVS PF AVG" legend is RIC 61b, issued under Severus II as caesar, while the "IMP C MAXIMIANVS PF AVG" legend (IMP C vs IMP) is RIC 77a issued a year later under Severus II as augustus.

The choice of spear vs sceptre may have changed over time. I haven't researched the issue, but from photos above and a few I have on file, it seems the spear may be more common for the earlier RIC 61b, and sceptre for RIC 77a.

Here's a couple more of RIC 61b with spear.

image.png.283634d95f115a20165ede2980495735.png

 

image.png.df6f946fa1dc77fa439654a7491af39b.png

 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/29/2022 at 10:21 AM, Heliodromus said:

It should be noted that there are two different issues being compared here. The "IMP MAXIMIANVS PF AVG" legend is RIC 61b, issued under Severus II as caesar, while the "IMP C MAXIMIANVS PF AVG" legend (IMP C vs IMP) is RIC 77a issued a year later under Severus II as augustus.

The choice of spear vs sceptre may have changed over time. I haven't researched the issue, but from photos above and a few I have on file, it seems the spear may be more common for the earlier RIC 61b, and sceptre for RIC 77a.

Here's a couple more of RIC 61b with spear.

image.png.283634d95f115a20165ede2980495735.png

 

image.png.df6f946fa1dc77fa439654a7491af39b.png

 

Helio., Thanks for the images ☺️. The obverse on the 2nd coin is very close to my example 😉.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...