Galba. 68-69 AD. Denarius, 3.50gg. (5h). Tarraco. Obv: GALBA - IM[PERATOR] Head laureate right on globe. Rx: LIB - [ERTAS] - RESTITVTA Libertas standing left, apparently emptying a cup and holding scepter. BM 198, pl. 54.3. RIC 9 (R2), pl. 24 (the BM spec.). Cf. Paris 12, pl.III (apparently no globe below bust). Cohen 133 (120 Fr.). VF. Ex Jyrki Muona Collection.
Ex Gemini XIV April 2018 Lot 475.
Coin depicted in the Wildwinds.com database.
"On the Paris specimen of this coin the scepter on reverse has a thickened upper end, so Cohen thought it was a thyrsus and called the figure Ariadne. On the BM specimen the scepter has no bulge at the end, but Mattingly still followed Cohen in calling it a "thyrsus(?)", and suggested that the figure was a Bacchante, the type perhaps referring to "some kindness that Galba rendered to Spain in the form of removal of restrictions on the culture of vines" (Introduction, p. ccix). It seems more probable that the deity is just Libertas, as named in the legend, and that the cup she apparently empties on several dies, replacing her normal cap of liberty, is merely an engraver's whim or error."
(Description by Curtis Clay from original auction listing)
I have 3 denarii of Galba with a 4th on the way. I purchased this one because I really liked the portrait. The bust is of high relief and seems to almost jump off of the coin. As you can read in the attribution, this coin was purchased from the Gemini auction held by Harlan Berk. Before that this coin was the property of a well known collector-Dr. Jyrki Muona. This is my second Galba denarius from his collection. The other one is in an earlier post on this site.
Another interesting fact about this coin is where it was minted. This coin was minted in Spain, specifically in Tarraco. Spanish mint denarii of Galba are sought after and actively collected. I think that one of the reasons for this has to do the interesting portraits on these coins.
Of course the reverse on this coin is also interesting. Though the full legend is not on the reverse, it was supposed to read "Libertas Restitvta" or Liberty Restored. The suicide of Nero led to a civil war. As the next emperor it was in Galba's interest to present as rosy a picture of the empire as possible. The restoration of liberty would have been a popular message with the roman populace.