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    Description

    Outstanding Rarity

    Gordian I Africanus (AD 238). AR denarius (19mm, 3.23 gm, 5h). Rome, March-April, AD 238. IMP M ANT GORDIANVS AFR AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right / SECVRITAS AVGG, Securitas seated left, holding short scepter in right hand. RIC 5. BMCRE 11. RSC 10. Very rare, with an outstanding portrait! NGC AU 4/5 - 5/5, Fine Style.

    An enduring mystery is the excellent quality of the Roman coinage of Gordian I and II, whose reign totaled 21 days, during which neither emperor left North Africa. Despite their brief production run, coins of Gordian I and II are notable for their fine portraiture and careful quality control. Both portraits are distinctive, carefully engraved, and clearly modeled on the actual rulers. There seems to have been no "interim phase" during which the imperial portrait was simply a modified version of the predecessor (as with Trajan and Maximinus I, both of whom were absent from Rome when raised to the purple). Two possibilities suggest themselves: (1) The "spontaneous" revolt of the Gordians in Africa had actually been carefully planned in advance, with coin dies prepared in secret from busts provided to the mint workers by their backers in the Senate; (2) the production of coins for Gordian I and II extended well beyond their brief reign, perhaps running concurrently with the coinage of Balbinus, Pupienus and Gordian III as Caesar, allowing time for proper effigies of the deceased rulers to be provided to the mint. 


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    September, 2016
    8th-13th Thursday-Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 8
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 257

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    The pre-sale publicity was more than I imagined, and the actual catalog better than I had expected - and my expectations were high!
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