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Gemini, LLC > Auction XIIAuction date: 11 January 2015
Lot number: 421

Lot description:

Valerian I. AE 43, Medallion, 40.31g (12h). Mytilene, Lesbos. Obv: AVT K Π ΛΙΚ ΒΑΛEPIANOC AVT K Π ΛIK ΓAΛΛIHNOC Vis-à-vis busts of Valerian on the left and Gallienus on the right, each laureate, draped, and cuirassed. Rx: EΠI CTP - BAΛ APICT - O - MA - XOV around, OMO - NOI / A in two lines in upper field, MVTIΛHNAIΩN / ΠEPΓAMHN / EΦECI in three lines in exergue, City-goddess of Mytilene seated facing, wearing mural crown and holding patera and herm of Dionysos, between (a) standing figure of Asklepios of Pergamum on left, holding rod with serpent entwined around it, and (b) archaic cult-image of Artemis of Ephesus on right. Unpublished, but cf. Franke/Nollé 1343-4 (the same rev. die, coupled with an obv. type of Zeus). Choice EF

A rare reverse type showing Mytilene in alliance with both Pergamum and Ephesus, apparently unique and unpublished in combination with this obverse type of Valerian I and Gallienus together. Our reverse type was hitherto known on only two medallions, in Paris and in the von Aulock collection, both from the same reverse die as our medallion, but coupled with a "quasi-autonomous" obverse type of Zeus Boulaios (Franke-Nollé 1343-4). Under the same strategos Val. Aristomachos, Mytilene indeed struck smaller bronze coins for both Valerian I alone and Gallienus alone, but our medallion die combining the portraits and titles of both emperors was hitherto unknown. Cohen reports provincial medallions of Valerian I and Gallienus together only from two mints, Temenothyrae in Phrygia (e.g. SNG Aulock 4012) and Tripolis in Lydia (Mionnet III, p. 396, no. 541); the reported pieces have different legends and bust types than our medallion, so are from different obverse dies. The alliances commemorated on provincial coins were normally only between two cities; types like ours that commemorated an alliance among three cities were unusual. See H. von Aulock, Die Homonoia-Münzen von Mytilene, JNG XIX, 1969, pp. 83-88, pl. 7-8

Estimate: 9000 USD