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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Sale: Triton V, Lot: 1896. Estimate $30000. 
Closing Date: Wednesday, 16 January 2002. 
Sold For $26000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

CLODIUS MACER. April-October 68 AD. AR Denarius (3.19 gm). Carthage mint. Bare head of Macer right / Galley with seven oarsmen sailing right. RIC I 39; BMCRE pg. 285 note; A. Gara, "La Monetazione di Clodius Macer," RIN (1970), pg. 67, 7 var. (number of oarsmen); Rev. K.V. Hewitt, "The Coinage of Clodius Macer," NumChron (1983), pl. 13, 59 (same reverse die; obverse die apparently unpublished); RSC 13b. Darkly toned VF, reverse scratch. Extremely rare. ($30,000)

Clodius Macer was the propraetor in Africa, and as opposition to Nero grew and the power of the central government dwindled, Macer acted as little more than a pirate, sweeping the north African coast hoping to increase his power by cutting into the grain supplies of Rome. By April of 68, Macer had decided not to support Galba, and in June when Nero died, Macer began striking coins in his own name. All of Macer’s coins are of rather crude style, an indication of the lack of skilled die engravers and the haste at which they were produced. By October, Galba had solidified his power in Rome and ordered Macer’s execution. All of Macer’s coins are extremely rare, with fewer than 85 coins of all types known, of which fewer than 20 are portrait types.