4th Century Rome (109th Caesar): Valentinian I Siliqua, c.364-375AD, NGC CHXF Ex.Harptree Hoard


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The East Harptree hoard was discovered in 1887 on the land of Mr. W. Kettlewell of Harptree Court, while a search for a new spring was being conducted. Mr. Kettlewell kindly made them available for study at the British Museum, and they were written up by John Evans for the Numismatic Chronicle of 1888, pages 22-46. The British Museum was given a few of the most interesting coins, and the rest were returned to the owner. Many years later they were given to the father of the consignor by Mr. Kettlewell’s son, and they have remained in their packing ever since. Evans noted “The coins when found were to some extent coated in dirt, and with what was probably a little chloride of silver. When carefully washed and brushed their remarkably good preservation became apparent, and there were none but what could be attributed to the emperor under whom they were struck”. The coins offered here are as they were when returned from the British Museum in 1887/1888. Many exhibit light deposit, which could be easily removed by a competent conservator, but at the expense of the mint bloom that is apparent on many. The overall quality is remarkable, and few, if any, are clipped. Large numbers look ordinary to the naked eye, but when tilted towards the light, or examined under magnification, reveal extraordinary quality.