CORN-C5BEF3: Wax impression of a Roman coin: solidus of Julian II (reverse)

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COIN

Unique ID: CORN-C5BEF3

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Awaiting validation Find awaiting validation

Wax impression of a gold solidus of Julian II (AD 360-363), VIRTVS EXERC GALL, mint of Lyons, RIC 226 Notes from Roger Bland's forthcoming book on Roman gold coins from the 4th century, "Roman gold coins found in Britain", published by the Royal Numismatic Society: "7.6 St Agnes (Beacon), SW7050 Julian II, AD 355-363

Description: Obv.: FL CL IVLIANVS P P AVG, bust, pearl-diad., dr., cuir., seen from front, r. Rev.: VIRTVS EX-ERC GALL; in right field: *; in exergue, LVG. Helmeted soldier stg. r., head l., holding a trophy over his l. shoulder, and placing his r. hand and the head of a captive kneeling on one knee to the r. Reference: RIC Lyon 226; P Bastien, P Bastien, Le monnayage de l’atelier de Lyon 337-363, Wetteren, 1985, p. 242, no. 267 var. (lacks * in reverse field). This coin provides confirmation that the type described by RIC does exist: see note below. Mint: Lyon Location: Not known; impression in St Agnes Museum Source: Cornwall HER 19416 (‘A Roman gold coin of Julian date was found on St Agnes Beacon in 1910.

It is not described further and its current location is unknown.’); VCH Cornwall I, 1906, pp. 12, 34 and 39; S M Pearce, Trans. Devonshire Association, 102, 1970, p. 26; Penhallurick pp. 1-2 (‘in about April 1910 a gold coin ‘in almost perfect condition was turned up while harrowing’ at Carn Gowla, immediately south of St Agnes Head. The lucky finder was W Tonkin. A letter dated 8 June 1910 from the Revd Alfred Rundall of St Agnes identified the coin as of Julian II...’) St Agnes Museum has an impression of this coin which came to it amongst a large amount of material given to the Museum by the family of Dr Whitworth, one of five generations of doctors in general practice in St Agnes. On a piece of paper preserved with the impression is the following account: ‘On […] 1910 Mrs John Tonkin of Carn Golla, north-west of the Beacon, picked up in a field recently enclosed from the Common, which had just been scuffed or harrowed, a Roman gold coin the size of a half-sovereign, bright and in perfect preservation … [Description follows.]’

We are very grateful to Clare Murton of St Agnes Museum for drawing this impression to our attention. Isaac 14, 12. Method and date of discovery: Chance find, 1910 Note: RIC 226 is listed on the authority of a single specimen sold by Münzhandlung Basel, Auction 6, 18 March 1936, lot 226, but on examination this coin, as Bastien points out, is clearly an ancient forgery. Bastien (op. cit.) 267, cited on the authority of a single specimen in the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, lacks the star in the field on the reverse and is therefore a different variety. This coin therefore provides the first confirmation that the type described under RIC 226 does, in fact, exist." References: John Kent, Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol. 8, AD 337-64, London, Spink, 1984. ANCIENT AND EARLY MEDIEVAL COINS FROM CORNWALL & SCILLY by R. D. PENHALLURICK (edited by P. Guest and N. Wells) which will be published this year by the Royal Numismatic Society. Roger Penhallurick was the late Senior Curator of the Royal Institution of Cornwall at the Royal Cornwall Museum: “Tonkin was prophetic in assuming more gold coins might be found. New Downs is the area immediately inland from St Agnes Head and Newdowns Head, and in about April 1910 a gold coin "in almost perfect condition was turned up when harrowing" at Carn Gowla (SW 699 512). The lucky finder was W. Tonkin.

A letter dated 8 June 1910 from the Revd Alfred Rundall of St Agnes identified the coin as of Julian II, sometimes referred to as "the Apostate" because of his preference for the old pagan religion rather than Christianity which he was forced to adopt. W. Tonkin was probably the son of Mrs Mary Tonkin of Carngullow, at whose home the coin was available for inspection "any day". Needless to say, the coin no longer survives, but Rundall‘s reading is sufficient to identify the solidus. JULIAN II (360-363) Obv. CL IVLIA-NVS P P AVG. Bd. h. r. Rev. VIRTVS EX-ERC GALL. Helmeted soldier std r., h. l, hld a trophy over his l. shoulder, and placing his r. h. on h. of captive kneeling on one knee to r. Ex. LVQ, a misreading for LVG, mint of Lyons.”

Subsequent actions

Current location of find: St Agnes Museum

Chronology

Broad period: ROMAN
Subperiod from: Late
Period from: ROMAN
Date from: Circa AD 360
Date to: AD 363

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Friday 1st April 1910 - Saturday 30th April 1910

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Ms Anna Tyacke
Identified by: Ms Anna Tyacke
Secondary identifier: Dr Roger Bland

Materials and construction

Manufacture method: Stamped

Coin data (numismatics)

Denomination: Solidus
Denomination qualifier: Certain
Ruler/issuer: Julian
Primary ruler qualifier: Certain
Reece period: Period 18 [348-364]
Mint or issue place: Lugdunum
Mint qualifier: Certain
Obverse description: bust, pearl-diademed, draped, cuirassed, seen from front, right
Obverse inscription: FL CL IVLIANVS P P AVG

Reverse description: Helmeted soldier standing right, head left, holding a trophy over his left shoulder, and placing his right hand and the head of a captive kneeling on one knee to the right
Reverse inscription: VIRTVS EX-ERC GALL; in right field: *; in exergue, LVG

Reverse mint mark: LVG

Coin references

  • RIC : 8 226

Spatial metadata

Region: South West (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Cornwall (Unitary Authority)
District: Cornwall (Unitary Authority)
Parish or ward: St. Agnes (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: SW6951
Four figure Latitude: 50.313576
Four figure longitude: -5.245964
1:25K map: SW6951
1:10K map: SW61SE
Grid reference source: From a paper map
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 100 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Fieldwalking
Current location: St Agnes Museum
General landuse: Cultivated land

References cited

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: CORN
Created: Monday 2nd March 2009
Updated: Thursday 24th February 2011

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