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Research Coins: Feature Auction


Constantine Defeats the Franks

CNG 111, Lot: 804. Estimate $5000.
Sold for $20000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Constantine I. AD 307/310-337. AV Solidus (17.5mm, 4.18 g, 6h). Trveri (Trier) mint. Struck AD 310-313. CONSTAN TINVS P F AVG, laureate head right / GAVDIVM ROMANORVM, FRANCIA in exergue, Francia seated left on ground line, in attitude of mourning, wearing pointed cap and resting head on right hand, left hand placed on grounded bow; tilted trophy in background. RIC VI 824; Depeyrot 18/4 (this coin cited in inventory volume); Alföldi 153; Biaggi 1962 (this coin); Hunterian 34 var. (obv. legend break); Jameson 351 var. (same); Mazzini 168 var. (same). Near EF, compact flan, edge nicks, file marks. Very rare.

From the Brexit Collection. Ex Leo Biaggi de Blasys Collection (Numismatica Ars Classica 49, 21 October 2008), lot 461; Leu 33 (3 May 1983), lot 148; Gotha Collection (A. Hess [239], 9 May 1951), lot 278.

The dating on this issue, which for the first time depicts Francia, personification of the Franks, is an open question. The authors of RIC VI suggest it was struck AD 310-311 to celebrate Constantine’s recent victory over the Franks. Depeyrot assigns it to AD 312-313, with the proviso that it could be post-AD 315 as no examples appeared in the Arras-Beaurains Hoard assigned to that date.