Billon Antoninianus. 3.14g, 23.4mm
MINTED: Cologne mint, AD 258-259
REF: RIC 5
OBVERSE: VALERIANVS P F AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right.
REVERSE: DEO VOLKANO, Vulcan standing right within tetrastyle temple, holding tongs and hammer.
Almost Very Fine. Toned, with some iridescence on obverse.
From a series issued at the Cologne mint associating the worship of Vulcan, Mars and Segetia with Valerian, Gallienus and Salonina respectively. An interesting and scarce issue.
Ex E.E. Clain-Stefanelli Collection
Elvira Eliza Clain-Stefanelli (1914-2001) was born in Romania, and during World War II, she and her husband Vladimir were sent by the Gestapo to Buchenwald concentration camp. They survived their 3-year imprisonment and when the war was over, moved to Italy, where they worked in the numismatic trade. In 1951, they moved to the United States, where their knowledge and passion for numismatics led to them becoming curators of National Numismatics Collection at the Smithsonian. Together, they were also authors of numerous important reference works and curated an excellent personal collection of coins.
Emperor Valerian was a senator with an illustrious career prior to his ascending the throne in 253. He ruled together with his son Gallienus at a time when the Empire was facing onslaughts on many fronts. In 260, an army he led against the Persians was defeated and he was treacherously taken captive while attending a peace parley. He was then held captive at the court of the Persian king, Shapur the Great, and treated as a slave for many years. Shapur eventually tired of his royal captive and had him flayed alive. His skin was stuffed with straw and kept as a gruesome trophy.
VALERIAN . AD 253-260 . Antoninianus . "DEO VOLKANO" . Ex E.E. Clain-Stefanelli
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