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    Description

    Mint State Festival of Isis Bronze

    Festival of Isis, 4th century AD. AE4 or BI nummus (13mm, 0.88 gm, 8h). NGC MS 4/5 - 4/5, lt smoothing. Rome, AD 364-375. D N VALENTINI-ANVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed but of Valentinian I right, seen from front / VOTA PVBLICA, Nilus reclining left on rocks, reed in left hand, ship outward in right. Vagi 3471. Alföldi, Festival of Isis, S. 70, 97 corr. and Plate III, 12.

    From the Morris Collection.

    The Festival of Isis was a major celebration in Rome in the 3rd and 4th centuries, heralding the arrival of the ship of Isis (navigium Isidis) from Alexandria on 5 March. Besides Isis and Horus, other members of the Egyptian pantheon appear - Serapis, Anubis, Harpocrates, and Nilus. Such coins or tokens with imperial busts were first struck by Diocletian at Rome to mark the arrival of the ship, and the tradition continued through the 4th century; the latest imperial bust to appear is that of Valentinian II. Alföldi proposes that in the Middle Ages the festival associated with the Isis ship (also known as carrus navalis) became the car naval or carnival. All Festival of Isis coinage is scarce to rare and is often found pierced as the coins/medallions were worn as amulets during the celebration. The portrait types, as opposed to the deity type obverses, are the most difficult to find and simply unheard of in mint state condition. This example is most probably the finest Valentinian I AE4 known.


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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2019
    6th-7th Sunday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 258

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