CNG Bidding Platform


Products and Services

Research Coins: Feature Auction


Extremely Rare Restitution Denarius

CNG 84, Lot: 1018. Estimate $2000.
Sold for $6500. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Trajan. AD 98-117. AR Denarius (20mm, 3.01 g, 7h). Restitution issue of moneyer Faustus Cornelius Sulla. Rome mint. Diademed bust of Hercules right, wearing lion skin / Diana driving biga right, holding reins and lituus; crescent and two stars above, one star below. RIC II 793; RSC (Trajan Restored Issues) 23b. Good VF. Extremely rare.

The Restitution series of coinage under Trajan greatly expanded upon that which first appeared under his predecessors, the Flavians. This series spanned both gold and silver issues, and commemorated coinages not only from Augustus through Nerva (with some exceptions, notably Caligula and Nero), but also from the latter part of the Roman Republic. To this series the legend bearing Trajan’s name and titles appeared with REST or RESTITVIT, signifying their restoration.

One possible explanation for this series would be Trajan’s desire to see types emblematic of Rome’s past continue to circulate long after the dissappearance, through either wear, displacement, or recoining, of the prototypes. The fact that the Romans regarded their coinage with a certain degree of reverence is indicated by the idea of sacra moneta, and, with the help of propaganda, the emission of selective types from the past would further aid whatever view of history the restorer wished to convey.