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Mint State

Magnia Urbica, Wife of Carinus. Aureus, 4.19g (6h). Lugdunum, 284 AD. Obv: MAGNIA VR - BICA AVG Draped bust right, wearing stephane. Rx: VENVS GE - N - ETRIX Venus standing left holding apple and scepter. Bastien, Supplément II, 604Βa, pl. XIII (private collection, same dies). Calicó 4411 (this coin). RIC 336 (R3). Cohen 10 (Wiczay, 500 Fr.). Wonderful example of this rare empress in gold. Particularly rare from Lugdunum and utterly Mint State.

Ex Numismatica Genevensis 3, 30 November 2004, lot 159. Ex Triton VII, 12 January 2004, lot 1036.

The "commonest" aureus of Magnia Urbica is from the mint of Rome, with reverse VENERI VICTRICI, Venus standing right. Our aureus, in contrast, is far rarer, being apparently only the second recorded aureus of Urbica from the mint of Lugdunum, with her standard Lugdunese reverse type, VENVS GENETRIX, Venus standing left. In his relevant Lugdunum-mint volume of 1976, Bastien could find no specimen at all of this aureus, and suspected that the piece reported by Cohen from the Wiczay Collection, published in 1815, might just have been the known Becker forgery, Hill 255. However, a genuine specimen of Urbica's Lugdunese aureus surfaced in Leu 25, 23 April 1980, lot 415, ex Biaggi Collection 1689, and was then published in the second supplement volume to Bastien's Lugdunese series in 2003, as residing in a private collection. The same piece subsequently appeared in NAC 33, 6 April 2006, lot 580. Our second specimen, from the same die pair as the first, was published in the English edition of Calicó's Roman Aurei, 2003, and then in two prominent auctions, named above, in 2004. It is interesting that the same obverse die of the aurei was also used to strike denarii of Urbica in the same issue, Bastien 607, pl. LXI, and Supplément II, pl. XIII (two additional specimens).

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Auction Dates
April, 2011
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