World Coins

Bronze medallion of Maximianus realizes $253,700

A circa A.D. 286 to 305 bronze medallion of the Roman emperor Maximianus led all bidding during Nomos AG auction No. 5, the firm’s first fall sale.

The auction, which was held Oct. 25 in Zurich, Switzerland, featured 269 lots of European medals, and Greek, Roman and Byzantine coins.

The 34-millimeter medal “undoubtedly was struck to commemorate the supposedly victorious nature of the emperor’s rule,” according to the cataloger. The medal is the finest example known and “probably the finest surviving base metal medallion from the period of the Tetrarchy,” according to Nomos AG.

In Good Extremely Fine condition, the medal has traces of silvering or billon. It realized 224,200 Swiss francs ($253,700 in U.S. funds), including the 18 percent buyer’s fee (all prices reflect the 18 percent fee, but do not include a 3 percent fee that applied only to live Internet bids).

The auction realized 2,610,886 Swiss francs ($2,954,430 in U.S. funds) and a total of 246 lots, or 91.4 percent, were sold.

The auction catalog is posted online both at the firm’s website at and at

For more information, email the company at or write to it at Nomos AG, Postfach 2664, CH 8022 Zürich, Switzerland.

Some highlights:

Holy Roman Empire, Maximilian I, circa 1508 to 1519 silver medal, on the pardon of Franz von Sickingen, “actual maker of the medal is unknown, but the design was probably that of Hans Burgkmair the Elder,” “unevenly toned, otherwise” Extremely Fine, 70,800 Swiss francs ($80,116 U.S.).

Spain/Italy, Charles V, circa 1549 silver medal, diameter of 75 millimeters, in honor of Isabella of Portugal (wife of Charles V), by Leone Leoni, “a very fine contemporary cast,” Nearly EF, 82,600 Swiss francs ($93,469 U.S.).

Italy, circa mid-1550s gold medal, 34.5 millimeters, in honor of Faustina II, “an original struck example,” by Giovanni de Cavino, Padua, “designed to pass as an ancient medallion,” “references refer to the bronze or silver versions,” “possible traces of mounting and of wear probably artificially induced to suggest great age, otherwise” Very Fine, 70,800 Swiss francs ($80,116 U.S.).

Italy, Milan (?), Charles V, circa 1551 to 1556 silver medal, 97.4 millimeters, cast and chased, possibly by Leoni “but this is debated,” “probably the only known example in silver,” “very minor bangs and, on the edge, possible traces of having been inset into a holder, otherwise” EF, 53,100 Swiss francs ($60,087 U.S.).

Greece, Bruttium, Kroton, circa 500 B.C. silver stater, “an alliance issue with Temesa,” Good VF, 47,200 Swiss francs ($53,411 U.S.).

Greece, Bruttium, Rhegion, circa 445 to 435 B.C. silver tetradrachm, “some minor traces of overstriking on the reverse, otherwise” EF, 41,300 Swiss francs ($46,734 U.S.).

Greece, Sicily, Morgantina, circa 214 to 213 B.C. gold 25 litrai, the Sikeliotes, “apparently unknown and unique,” “a few very minor marks, otherwise virtually as struck,” 51,920 Swiss francs ($58,752 U.S.).

Greece, Boeotia, federal coinage, circa 287 B.C. silver tetradrachm, Thebes, “minor areas of striking flatness on the beard, otherwise” Nearly EF, 59,000 Swiss francs ($66,763 U.S.).

Greece, Arkadia, circa 500 to 495 B.C. silver hemidrachm, EF, 59,000 Swiss francs ($66,763 U.S.).

Greece, Mysia, Lampsakos, circa 394 to 350 B.C. gold stater, “formerly in the Cabinet des Medailles in Paris,” “struck from worn dies with some very slight die rust on the obverse, otherwise” Nearly EF, 44,840 Swiss francs ($50,740 U.S.).

Roman Empire, Augustus, 27/26 B.C. silver cistophorus, Pergamon Mint, 12.07 grams, “vast majority of those issued under Augustus were re-minted as tetradrachms of Hadrian,” Good EF, 70,800 Swiss francs ($80,116 U.S.).

Roman Empire, Probus, A.D. 281 gold quinarius, Rome Mint, 2.84 grams, “apparently the ninth known piece,” 96,760 Swiss francs ($109,492 U.S.). ¦

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