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King John

Tyche di Costantinopoli su un medaglione di Costantino

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King John
Supporter

Buonasera, volevo farvi ammirare questa bellissima raffigurazione della Tyche di Costantinopoli su un medaglione da 4 miliarensi di Costantino. Che ve ne pare?

 

cgb.fr > e-Monnaies June 2016 Auction date: 28 June 2016
Lot number: 171

Price realized: 32,000 EUR   (Approx. 35,367 USD)   Note: Prices do not include buyer's fees.
 

Lot description:


CONSTANTINE I THE GREAT Médaillon d'argent de 4 miliarense légers
Type : Médaillon d'argent de 4 miliarense légers 
Date: émission inaugurale 
Date: 330 
Mint name / Town : Constantinople 
Metal : silver 
Diameter : 29 mm 
Orientation dies : 6 h. 
Weight : 16,82 g. 
Rarity : R3 

Slab
NGC : AU


Comments on the condition:
Exemplaire sur un flan épais bien centré des deux côtés. Magnifique portrait de Constantin Ier avec une tête massive. Revers de style fin. Belle patine grise. Conserve la plus grande partie de son brillant de frappe et de son coupant d'origine

Catalogue references :
C.136 (300f.) - RIC.53 var. - RSC.135 (20000£) 


Obverse
Obverse legend : ANÉPIGRAPHE.

Obverse description : Tête diadémée de Constantin Ier à droite (O'c) diadème perlé et gemmé.


Reverse
Reverse legend : D N CONSTANTINVS/ MAX TRIVMF AVG/ -|-// MCONS.

Reverse description : Tyche de Constantinople assise de face sur un trône à dossier, tourelée, drapée, tenant une corne d'abondance de la main gauche, le pied droit posé sur une proue de navire ; légende posée verticalement de chaque côté du sujet.

Reverse translation : "Dominus Noster Constantinus Maximus Triumfator Augustus/ Moneta Constantinopolis", (Notre seigneur Constantin le grand triomphateur auguste/ monnaie de Constantinople).


Commentary
Rubans de type 3 aux extrémités bouletées et perlées. Diadème richement ornementé formé d'un double rang de perles et de cabochons carrés gemmés, terminé par un gemme à cabochon rond. Même coin de droit que l'exemplaire de la vente Berk 100 (1998), n° 698. Nous n'avons pas relevé d'identité de coin pertinente pour le revers. Au total, dix-huit exemplaires sont recensés pour les deux types (Rome et Constantinople) dont trois seulement pour le type Rome. Sur les quinze exemplaires avec le type Constantinople, nous trouvons un exemplaire de notre type seulement, deux exemplaires pour la troisième officine, deux pour la quatrième, deux pour la cinquième un pour la sixième, deux pour la septième, un pour la neuvième, deux pour la dixième et enfin un exemplaire pour la onzième officine. Notre exemplaire s'intègre parfaitement bien dans cet ensemble de médaillons de la plus grande rareté dont la gamme de prix s'étage entre 25.000 et 200.000 FS (15.000 et 120.000 €) pour des exemplaires proposés dans les dix dernières années.

Estimate: 40000 EUR

 

https://www.coinarchives.com/a/lotviewer.php?LotID=1277989&AucID=2627&Lot=171&Val=49d85301c27370ed0cb6a1bcb6cf10e9

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Poemenius

È sulla misura di una tetradracma

Mi pare ci sia in merito un bell'articolo di Asolati

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King John
Supporter

Medaglione da 5 solidi di Costanzo Gallo con raffigurazione al rovescio simile a quella del post di inizio discussione.

Numismatica Ars Classica NAC AG., Auction 24, lot 310, 5/12/2002

The Roman Empire
Constantius Gallus Caesar, 351 - 354
No.: 310
Schätzpreis - Estimate CHF 300000.-
Medallion of 5 solidi, Antioch circa 351, 20.24 g. DN CONSTANTI - VS NOB CAES Bareheaded, draped and cuirassed bust l. Rev. GLORIA RO - MANORVM Constantinopolis, pearl-diademed and draped, seated l. on decorated throne, holding thyrsus in l. hand and Victory on globe in r.; her l. foot on globe. In exergue, SMANT. RIC p. 517, 71A (this coin). Wealth of the Ancient World 163 (this coin). Vagi 3326.
Unique. An outstanding medallion, bearing a portrait of great strength
and a finely executed and richly detailed reverse composition. Extremely fine
Ex Leu 28, 1981, 580; Sotheby's 19.6.1990, Nelson Bunker Hunt Collection, 161 and Sotheby's 8.7.1996, 185 sales. Without hesitation we may attribute this medallion to an engraver of the greatest skill, for it is an artistic masterpiece of Late Antiquity. The obverse confers a noble, godlike, status on Gallus, whereas the reverse is of monumental composition, and is enriched with detail rarely if ever equalled. If doubts had existed in the East about Gallus' qualifications to rule in place of the emperor Constantius II, who was campaigning against the rebel Magnentius in Europe, a medallion such as this might have helped assuage any fears. It no doubt was produced for his accession in 351, and was distributed alongside medallions of equal value bearing the likeness of Constantius II. Portraits from the Constantinian period - especially from late in the period - represent a departure from all earlier portrait styles. Over the course of centuries the Imperial portrait evolved from the realistic to the idealized, and eventually to the stylised. One can readily observe the change from the military emperors and the tetrarchy to the Constantinian era: rigorous, practical, bearded portraits with shortly cropped hair and hard edges gave way to clean-shaven, long-haired portraits comprised mainly of soft contours indicating Oriental opulence and divine majesty. On this medallion we have a pristine example of late Constantinian portraiture in all of its sublime glory. His is a monumental, 'holy countenance' that elevates the new Caesar above the world he rules. It is more than an image of a man, it is a representation of his divine power and his unique station between the human and the divine. Statuesque imagery such as this recalls the famous passage of Ammianus Marcellinus (16,10) wherein he describes the formal entry of Constantius II into Rome: "He looked so stiffly ahead as if he had an iron band about his neck and he turned his face neither to the right nor to the left, he was not as a living person, but as an image." The reverse is a stunning example of how deeply the courts of the Roman east had been influenced by Greek and Oriental cultures. This inscription - "the glory of the Romans" - originally was introduced by Constantine the Great in reference to himself as the source of Rome's renewed glory. On this piece it seemingly refers to the seated figure Constantinopolis, indicating that the city itself was the glory of the Romans and their empire. The seated figure is simply extraordinary, and we may delight in its overall composition, which is ingeniously aligned high and to the right. Not only does this preserve open space at the left, and give prominence to the bold mintmark that trumpets its value as sacred money of Antioch, but more importantly it shakes the usual temptation of die engravers to achieve perfectly central symmetry. Adding to the impact of the composition is the rich detail and ornamentation, and the artful blending of the soft, flowing image of Constantinopolis against the rigid, jewelled frame of the throne and stylised ship's prow. These incongruous elements, which might have clashed under the hand of a less-gifted artist, here merge seamlessly. There can be little doubt that this powerful image is indebted to Phidias' famous gold and ivory statue of Zeus (Jupiter), which earlier had been the model for the facing seated Zeus on aurei of Licinius and his son (lot 269). T. F. Matthews (The Clash of Gods, A Reinterpretation of Early Christian Art; Princeton, 1993) considers Phidias' statue not only to have been the source of Licinius' Zeus, but also the source of the enthroned cult images of Roma and Constantinopolis. Providing an element of immediacy to the engraver of this medallion, perhaps, was the fact that a famous copy of Phidias' statue of Zeus Olympios had been erected at Daphne, a sanctuary outside Antioch, more than 500 years before. Also, a large percentage of Licinius' Zeus aurei were struck at Antioch and, more recently still, sometime after 330 Phidias' great statue was moved from Olympia to Constantinople. (continues)
The figure of Constantinopolis - the personification of Constantine's new capital - became common to coins and medals after the city was dedicated on May 11, 330. She is shown on obverses as a helmeted bust, or on reverses as a seated or standing figure. Here she is enthroned with her foot on the prow of a warship, indicative of Constantine's naval defeat of Licinius late in 324. That is when Constantine determined to build his new capital on the site of the old Greek city of Byzantium. On this medallion the prow is adorned with a lion's head, whereas on the companion issue struck for Constantius II the prow terminates in an eagle's head. Constantinopolis holds two pagan objects: a Victory upon a globe and a thrysus. This comes as no surprise, for Constantine had made a career out of blending paganism and Christianity. The Victory is a Christianised version of Nike, whereas the thyrsus was still a thoroughly pagan object representing Bacchus (Dionysus). Here the thyrsus must allude to the familiar role Bacchus played as conqueror of the East. As such, it would reflect upon the importance of Constantinople to the empire, and perhaps even the perpetual dream of all emperors of the last century: conquering the Sasanians. The 'circulation' value of medallions (or whether they even circulated) has often been questioned. We have a perfect test case with this piece, which weighs almost precisely 4- solidi - a cumbersome figure by any reckoning. Attempts to valuate it in terms of other gold units, such as scruples, carats, fractions of a pound, and even 'festaurei', lead to dead ends. As such, we have a chance to examine the valuations of late gold medallions, especially in terms of their equivalency in silver and their gift value versus redemption value. Few contemporary sources shed light on monetary topics, but the Codex Theodosianus (13.2.1) equates five gold solidi with one pound of silver in terms of tax payments in 397 (a subsequent edict of 422, perhaps in response to a temporary condition, downgrades a pound of silver to four solidi: C.Th. 8.4.27). Ammianus Marcellinus (XX.4.18) tells us that upon his accession in 360 Julian II fixed his quinquennial augustaticum payments at five solidi and a pound of silver. Constantinus Porphyrogenetus (ceremoniis I, 91) reports these same figures for donatives of the years 473, 491 and 518. With the two sums - five solidi, and a pound of silver - being mentioned in this context, we should conclude that the two sums were valued as equals, and that the bonus was traditionally paid with appropriate quantities of the two metals. The combination of these pieces of evidence, spanning more than 150 years, suggests that, in the eyes of the late Roman government at least, five gold solidi generally held the same value as a pound of silver. Considering five solidi were 1/14- of a pound of gold, we arrive at a gold-to-silver ratio of 14:1. This is an ideal match for the generally held belief that during most of the 4th and 5th centuries the ratio of gold to silver was 14:1 or 15:1. Rarely do independent sources in this period offer confirmation this complete, especially when subjected to practical testing. In taking this to the next level, we would convert the intrinsic value of this 4- solidus medallion to 9/10 of a pound of silver. It is now worth asking: what reason would there be not to strike a medallion of this size, beauty and obvious importance at the full weight of five solidi, since that figure not only represented the benchmark of a full pound of silver, but also represented a fixed level of the accession bonus? The answer is simple: this medallion, which certainly was struck for Gallus' accession in 351, was valued at five solidi, and was the gold equivalent of a pound of silver. The ten percent differential between its 'donative value' and the intrinsic value of its gold was probably retained by the mint to cover costs, and perhaps even to generate a small profit. We must also remember that in the late Constantinian period the solidus (already a notch below the old aureus in the eyes of Rome's trading partners) had virtually lost its reputation to an epidemic of false and underweight solidi. Public confidence in Rome's once-venerable gold coinage was low, and the government's opinion was lower still (see the commentary for Valentinian I). Underweight coins and outright fakes were enough of a concern, but even the 'good' solidi of the age were only about 95 percent pure. Considering the five percent purity gap of solidi, the government's probable desire for profit (or at least to cover costs), and the likelihood that the five-solidus/pound of silver ratio was an obvious benchmark, it seems best to consider this a five-solidus medallion. If not, why would the mint not simply have increased its weight by ten percent to make perfect this otherwise beautifully conceived medallion?
In earlier times the situation might have been different, but in the late Constantinian Era it requires no great stretch of the imagination to believe that the government would have valued this piece at five solidi upon distribution, but only at its melt value of 4- solidi if it was later redeemed for tax payment.

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