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In Focus

The following objects represents a selection of topical, unusual or interesting records from our collection. These records have been selected by our team of curators.

ID number:  BIRBI-R3095
Title / Object name:  Solidus
Category:  Numismatics
Object type:  Coin
Artist / Maker:  Constantine I (306-337)
Place made:  Mint of Nicomedia
Date made:  335

Obverse: Head of Constantine, wearing a rosette diadem, looking upwards and right.
Reverse: Victory seated on a cuirassed shield inscribing VOT XXX (Vows of the thirtieth year) on a shield held by Genius.

The obverse of this coin shows Constantine in the jewelled diadem that had become common by his time, replacing the wreath of earlier times. The inscription on the shield (shown on the reverse) is in reference to the thirtieth anniversary of the ascension of Constantine to the throne. Despite his reputation as the first Christian emperor, the pagan goddess Victory is still shown on the coins of Constantine.   [More Info]

ID number:  BIRRC-H0011
Title / Object name:  Commemorative Postcards
Category:  Miscellaneous
Object type:  Miscellaneous
Date made:  c. 1909

These postcards are an example of those produced for the official opening of the University of Birmingham by King Edward VII in 1909. They adhere to the same format with pictures of King and Queen overlaid onto an image of the Aston Webb building. The colour postcard features separate pictures of each, and also a picture of the then Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Sir George Hamilton Kenrick. Picture postcards, like ribbon plates, were a popular souvenir at seaside resorts and from 1894 were permitted to be sent via Royal Mail. The colour postcard in our collections is an interesting example of early colour printing. It was not until 1939 that the colour 'chrome' postcard was solely printed in replacement of black and white.   [More Info]

ID number:  BIRUG 50245
Title / Object name:  Macrocephalites macrocephalus
Category:  Palaeontology
Object type:  Ammonite

   [More Info]

ID number:  BIRBI-2014.5
Title / Object name:  Nude, Miss Bentham
Category:  Visual art
Object type:  Painting
Artist / Maker:  Bellows, George (1882-1925)
Place made:  New York, NY
Date made:  1906

Bellows painted this striking nude when he was studying at the New York School of Art. It demonstrates his confident ability to apply paint directly and quickly as well his admiration for earlier European realist artists, such as Manet and Courbet. Bellows was the outstanding American talent of his generation and part of the group later known as the ‘Ashcan School’, a reference to their commitment to finding subject matter in the people and scenes offered up by the bustling modern city.   [More Info]