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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Sale: Triton V, Lot: 1729. Estimate $3000. 
Closing Date: Wednesday, 16 January 2002. 
Sold For $3500. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

LYDIA, Sardis. Time of Gordian III. 238-244 AD. Æ 42mm Medallion (28.41 gm). MHTPOPOLIC CAPÐIC ACIAC LVÐIAC ELLAÐOC A, turreted, veiled and draped bust of Tyche right / EPI AVP POVFEINOV APX A T B CAPÐIANWN B NEWKORWN, Zeus seated left within Zodiac, holding Nike on outstretched right hand and long sceptre in left. SNG Copenhagen -; SNG von Aulock -; BMC Lydia -; Mionnet - (but cf. vol. IV, pg. 138, 788 for a similar coin without the Zodiac); Cornell 108 (this coin). Near VF, dark brown patina, obverse smoothed, reverse corrosion. ($3000)

From the David Simpson Collection. Ex Frank Sternberg Auktion XI (20 November 1981), lot 304.

In Treasures of Ancient Coinage: From the Private Collections of American Numismatic Society Members, Catharine C. Lorber catalogued a coin of Maximinus I Thrax from Anchialus in Thrace with a very similar reverse type to the present coin (see pg. 121, no. 110). Lorber summarized the type as "...a symbolic map of the cosmos. Zeus, chief of the gods, is the central figure... Surrounding this scene is a broad band containing the twelve signs of the zodiac. The entire design reflects the common belief of third-century Romans that their lives were shaped by higher powers. This schema and variations on it were employed by numerous mints for different emperors from the mid-second through the mid-third centuries."