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ID: Odd tiny little barbarous radiate, Victorinus perhaps?

 
 
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 Posted 09/13/2018  8:10 pm Show Profile   Check paralyse's eBay Listings Bookmark this topic Add paralyse to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
This was thrown in as a bonus coin with a recent purchase. I feel fairly confident it's a barbarous imitative issue.

Tiny little AE coin -- just over 11mm and 1.0-1.1 grams.

Obverse features an exaggerated radiate bust right with a clear legend of "VICTORINS" above, possibly an "A" after the S, all under a dotted circular border.

Reverse is odd, "INVI" or "INVVI" on the left of what appears to be a figure standing, a stick-figure style right arm extended above a cross or +. I suppose the legend could be a take on INVICTUS.

It has a nice glossy patina suggesting it didn't see much wear. I had to use my scanner because I don't have a coin-stand this small...



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 Posted 09/13/2018  8:33 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Finn235 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Very cool! It's especually tough to find a literate barb at this size.

I'm tempted to say the reverse is a garbled PAX. I have a number of coins with a literate obverse legend, but a reverse legend of all I's or squiggly lines.
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 Posted 09/13/2018  8:50 pm  Show Profile   Check paralyse's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add paralyse to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Pax is a definite possibility. From what I can tell it looks like the only letters on the rev. are "I" and "V" and the odd cross or + sign in the left field. But the obv. "VICTORINS" is clear as a bell!!

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 Posted 09/13/2018  9:40 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Kushanshah to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Pax occurred to me also. In later stages of imitation, the X of PAX often remains prominent after other design elements have disintegrated. But is it really an X? I think I have a more likely prototype:



Edited by Kushanshah
09/13/2018 9:55 pm
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 Posted 09/13/2018  10:52 pm  Show Profile   Check paralyse's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add paralyse to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Indeed, I think you nailed it, KS, with Invictus / Sol walking left with a whip and a star, not a cross. RIC V.2 114.

The real deal doesn't look like an overly common coin, and it's a less common emperor, so that makes it even more surprising that it ended up being copied, apparently by Gauls!
I found a similar example (on a larger 16mm flan but without legible inscriptions) listed as having been part of a French hoard, and dating it from 274-280 AD (after Victorinus' reign?)

Oddly, average prices that I can find for this particular "bonus barbaric" are more than I paid for the entire lot...go figure.
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Edited by paralyse
09/13/2018 10:54 pm
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 Posted 09/13/2018  11:37 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Kushanshah to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Yes, your coin was most likely produced in Britain or Gaul. Minting of the "barbarous radiates" began in the 260s and kicked into high gear during the reign of the Tetrici. The illicit mints disappeared, on the continent at least, after the introduction of Aurelian's reformed coinage in 275. In Britain, lawlessness and illicit minting seem to have continued a bit longer, perhaps until the arrival of Carinus who is believed to have campaigned on the island in 283. I used to collect barbarous radiates. I still find it all quite interesting.
Edited by Kushanshah
09/13/2018 11:38 pm
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