Hybrid coins, mules

We know of 4 hybrids, coins with an atypical reverse.  They are in the British Museum in London and Cabinet Des Médailles of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France.  Two of the coins are restoring DIVO AUGUSTO, one DIVO VESPASIANO and one DIVO PIO (Ilust. 2 and 3).

In the first case the obverse dies are different, but they share the same reverse die, IVNONI MARTIALI with the temple of Juno.  This reverse type is characteristic to coins of Trebonianus Gallus and Volusian.  Tens of dies are known for this IVNONI MARTIALI reverse.  This hybrid has already been mentioned in RIC IV, although the existence of a specific type of reverse, by itself, is not enough to draw conclusions with certainty.

Fortunately, a Volusian antoninianus with the same reverse die as these hybrids is known from an auction of Numismatik Lanz in Munich.  This coin unequivocally establishes that these hybrids were struck during the reign of Volusian and his father Trebonianus Gallus.

The obverses of the hybrid DIVO AUGUSTO coins, as well, link with other DIVI series coins in our database, and show a continuity in the production of restitution coins and others dated during the reign of Gallus and Volusian that began in November of 251 A.D.

We know other hybrids with obverses belonging to our series. They are fourré coins, unlike those mentioned previously, that were minted on the conventional alloy.

The first of these two fourrés, restoring DIVO VESPASIANO shows a reverse of VICTORIA AVG type very common throughout the III century A.D. that could be attributed to Trajan Decius or to other previous or later emperors.  Unfortunately the coin’s preservation and the widespread use of this reverse type make it very difficult to locate a die-link with other datable coins. We have registered another coin, also fourré, with an obverse link to this one. The only case known, at the moment, for these series of die link between fourré coins.

The second fourré hybrid, with an obverse DIVO PIO, has a much more helpful reverse: it shows the two Pannoniae with the legend PANNONIAE.  Although this exact reverse die has not been any linked to any known coin, the type is limited exclusively to the reign of Trajan Decius, and more specifically, towards the latter half of his reign.

Illustration 2. Hybrid fourrés coins.
 Provenance:
British Museum Collection

Illustration 3. Hybrid coins with the same reverse die.
Provenance:
Numismatik Lanz- München - Auction 117 Lot 1135,
Cabinet des Médailles de la Bibliothèque Nationale de France,
British Museum Collection

 

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