Superb Constantine SolidusConstantine I the Great (AD 307-337). AV solidus (20mm, 4.46 gm, 1h). Sirmium, AD 324. CONSTANTI-NVS P F AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right / SECVRITAS P-ERPTVA, Emperor, in military attire, standing left and holding spear, crowning trophy at foot of which lies cuirass and shield; SIRM in exergue. Cf. RIC 473 (bust type). Cf. Depeyrot 7/5 (same). Apparently a unique variety. Choice Mint State.
Ex Hess-Divo 307 (7 June 2007), lot 1743; previously purchased privately from Monnaies et Médailles SA, Bâle.
During the Tetrarchic Era (AD 284-306), the general quality of Roman numismatic portraiture plummeted as the new regime promoted an almost generic art style that virtually eliminated individualistic portraits. After the accession of Constantine I "the Great" there was a reversion to realistic portraiture and a decided improvement in numismatic art. This magnificent gold solidus, through struck in the low relief typical of the period, boasts a remarkable portrait of Constantine that emphasizes his qualities of decisiveness and determination.
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