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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 1, Lot: 167. Estimate CHF11000. 
Closing Date: Tuesday, 5 May 2009. 
Sold For CHF28000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Constantine II Caesar. 316-337. Solidus (Gold, 4.45 g 12), Nicomedia, 324-325. CONSTANTINVS IVN NOB C Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust of Constantine II Caesar to right Rev. VIRTVS CAESARI N / SMNH Constantine II, in military dress, on horseback to right, hurling spear at enemy kneeling before him; under horse, fallen enemy. Depeyrot 35/7 (this coin). G. Lacam, Civilisation et monnaies byzantines (Paris, 1974), pl. XXIV (this coin). RIC -, but cf. 84, the comparable piece for Crispus. Unique. Minor bang on the obverse, otherwise, good extremely fine.

From the collections of a Gentleman and of G. Lacam, Dürr/Michel, 8 November 1999, 8 and ex Finarte, 25 March 1971, 358.

Constantine II was the eldest son of Constantine I and his second wife Fausta and was born during the summer of 316. He was made Caesar as an infant in 317, along with his elder half-brother Crispus and Licinius II, and was involved with the army from an early age. At the death of his father he and his two brothers organized the destruction of a great number of relatives from the other side of their family, and then divided the empire among themselves. While he was the senior Augustus Constantine II only received Gaul, Spain and Britain; dissatisfied, he invaded Italy, the realm of his brother Constans, and was killed in an ambush in 340. This extremely rare coin was struck to commemorate the fall of the Licinii and portrays Constantine II Caesar as a successful warrior, which, at 8 or 9 years of age, was somewhat unlikely!