UNCERTAIN GERMANIC TRIBES, Pseudo-Imperial coinage. Late 3rd-early 4th centuries. 'Aureus' (Gold, 20 mm, 5.74 g, 1 h), 'Gordian Group'. Imitating Gordian III, 238-244. IMP GORDIVS AVG Laureate, bearded and draped imperial bust to left with a draped female bust behind. Rev. TDP VIM P III COS I Emperor on horseback to right, thrusting javelin; below, fallen enemy. Sergeev -, cf. 222 (a similar obverse, but with the name of Elagabalus). An exceptional piece, beautifully centered and of enchanting Germanic style. Two minor scratches on the obverse and the suspension loop broken off, otherwise, good very fine.
From the Aurum Barbarorum Collection and from an old Swiss collection, formed in the early 20th century (with collector's ticket).
This coin - the cover coin of Part II of the Aurum Barbarorum Collection - is perhaps the masterpiece of the artist of the 'Gordian Group': it attaches the somewhat blundered name of Gordian III to a beautiful jugate portrait of a bearded emperor and his wife on the obverse. Clearly his cannot be Gordian III and his wife Tranquillina, rather, the artist may have had Septimius Severus and Julia Domna in mind, whose dynastic issues were known in the 'Barbaricum' (see Aurum Barbarorum I, 791-792), or perhaps Aurelian and Severina (see Aurum Barbarorum I, 803-803), although that seems far less likely. The reverse, on the other hand, shows a Roman emperor on horseback to the right with a fallen enemy below, a common motive in Roman imperial iconography for centuries which cannot be linked to a specific prototype. It is worth noting that the use of Aurelian's name on some dies (Aurum Barbarorum I, 803-803) dates the 'Gordian-group' to after 270 and thus perhaps points towards one of the later barracks emperors or the first tetrarchs as prototypes for the reverse.
|Price realized||8'000 CHF|
|Starting price||1'600 CHF|