CILICIA. Tarsus. Pupienus, 238. Hexassarion (Bronze, 37 mm, 22.84 g, 6 h). ΑΥΤ ΚЄC M ΛΟΔ (sic!) ΠΟΠΛΗΝΙΟC (sic!) CЄ / Π - Π Radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust of Pupienus to right, seen from behind. Rev. ΤΑΡCOY ΜΗΤΡΟΠΟΛЄ ΑΜ/K / Γ / Β Pupienus, radiate, standing front, head to right, holding inverted spear in his right hand and parazonium in his left; behind, trophy of arms with two captives at base. SNG Levante 115 = SNG von Aulock 6035 (this coin). Very rare and with a great pedigree. Some roughness and with very light doubling on the obverse, otherwise, very fine.
From the collection of Jean-Pierre Righetti, inv. no. 142 (with collector's ticket), privately purchased on 4 March 2013 and from the collections of E. Levante and H. von Aulock.
While Pupienus is depicted as a victorious commander on the reverse of this coin, in reality, his military successes during his short-lived reign were far more modest. His constant quarrelling with Balbinus left the two emperors vulnerable, and they met an untimely death at the hands of the Praetorian Guard. Interestingly, the captives under the throphy wear Phrygian caps, typical for Persian prisoners. Since Pupienus is not known to have performed any military campaigns in the East, this must be seen as a symbolic depiction of the emperor protecting the frontiers of the Empire, regardless of any concrete historical events.