Author Topic: Constantine I SPQR OPTIMO PRINCIPI from Arles  (Read 508 times)

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Offline Victor

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Constantine I SPQR OPTIMO PRINCIPI from Arles
« on: April 12, 2017, 10:01:22 AM »
RIC only lists workshops P and S for laureate and cuirassed.

Ferrando has examples of P, S and T (15- 17).



Constantine I
A.D. 313
23mm  4.1gm
IMP C CONSTANTINVS P F AVG; laureate and cuirassed bust right 
SPQR OPTIMO PRINCIPI; three standards surmounted by hand, eagle and wreath, respectively; middle standard with drapery.
in ex QARL
RIC VII Arles 9

Offline Lech Stępniewski

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Re: Constantine I SPQR OPTIMO PRINCIPI from Arles
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2017, 11:50:16 AM »
Hi Victor,

are you sure that this bust is B5? Judging from this picture, I would say that it is B3, bust seen from back. If it is B5, where is the left arm?

Another B3 from Arles (the same issue)



Obvious B5 from the same issue

« Last Edit: April 12, 2017, 11:59:48 AM by Lech Stępniewski »

Offline Victor

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Re: Constantine I SPQR OPTIMO PRINCIPI from Arles
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2017, 12:53:25 PM »
I am only pretty sure, but not 100%

The seller described it as draped, so it might be a B4.

if you look closely, the right shoulder seems to have pteruges, which B3 does not have. It also looks like the rivets at the top of the cuirass, near the neck, are visible; which B3 also would not have.

Hopefully when I get it, I can get a better picture.

I don't think that the picture you show as B3 is really a B3, or it is certainly ambiguous.

Offline Genio popvli romani

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Re: Constantine I SPQR OPTIMO PRINCIPI from Arles
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2017, 01:19:12 PM »
I have always considered it as a B3 bust.
But now I will wait you receive the coin.  :D
ROMA CAPVT MVNDI REGIT ORBIS FRENA ROTVNDI

Offline Victor

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Re: Constantine I SPQR OPTIMO PRINCIPI from Arles
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2017, 01:40:04 PM »
I have always considered it as a B3 bust.

Yes, I first thought it was, mainly from the line of the neck muscle; but looking at the cuirass (or what I think I am seeing), convinced myself otherwise.

I will reserve further speculation until I have it in hand and make better pictures.

As always, I reserve the right to be wrong!  :D

Offline Lech Stępniewski

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Re: Constantine I SPQR OPTIMO PRINCIPI from Arles
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2017, 02:03:52 PM »
I don't think that the picture you show as B3 is really a B3, or it is certainly ambiguous.

I agree that it is ambiguous and quite different from the most common B3. BTW this attribution is supported by the owner, who is an experienced collector and carefully examined his coin.

Maybe this arrangement of bust is typical only for this early period of Arles mint. On the other hand, I am also pretty sure that it is not a typical B5. Yes, there is something like petruges near right shoulder but the whole arrangement is different (head, neck, left shoulder)

B4 would be a better guess but right now I am inclined to believe that it is a B3.

Offline Victor

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Re: Constantine I SPQR OPTIMO PRINCIPI from Arles
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2017, 02:10:54 PM »
Yes, I was thinking that the bust types might not be so well-defined at the opening of the Arles mint, possibly due to training of new engravers.

Offline Genio popvli romani

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Re: Constantine I SPQR OPTIMO PRINCIPI from Arles
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2017, 02:14:31 PM »

Yes, I first thought it was, mainly from the line of the neck muscle;

Yes and also the "groove" on Constantine's neck which - talking about SPQR series, including Rome and Ostia - only appears on B3 busts.

But wait and see...

P.S. First picture is an ex-Victor Clark.  :)

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Offline Lech Stępniewski

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Re: Constantine I SPQR OPTIMO PRINCIPI from Arles
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2017, 03:53:56 PM »
the "groove" on Constantine's neck which

It's probably a muscle and suggests that the head in turned right more than usual. If you try to imitate emperor's pose, you can even feel it.

Offline tenbobbit

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Re: Constantine I SPQR OPTIMO PRINCIPI from Arles
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2017, 12:44:44 PM »
Here is a good example of the neck twist groove, shame about the d/ strike almost ruining it.



Offline Victor

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Re: Constantine I SPQR OPTIMO PRINCIPI from Arles
« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2017, 06:09:20 PM »
in hand it is not much clearer, but I think it is seen from back...mainly because of the neck muscle.

Constantine I
A.D. 313
22x24mm   4.1gm
IMP C CONSTANTINVS P F AVG; bust laureate, draped and cuirassed, seen from the back.
SPQR OPTIMO PRINCIPI; three standards surmounted by hand, eagle and wreath, respectively; middle standard with drapery.
in ex QARL
RIC VII Arles 7