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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 3 & 4, Lot: 167. Estimate CHF2000. 
Closing Date: Monday, 9 May 2011. 
Sold For CHF2500. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

L. Hostilius Saserna. 48 BC. Denarius (Silver, 3.68 g 10). Bearded male head to right, his hair straggling out behind him; cloak around neck and Gallic shield behind. Rev. L.HOSTILIVS / SASERN Nude Gallic warrior, holding shield with his left hand and hurling spear with his right, standing left in a galloping biga being driven to right by a seated charioteer holding a whip. Babelon (Hostilia) 2. Crawford 448/2a; CRI 18; Sydenham 952. An interesting and historical coin, very well centered. Some slight porosity, otherwise, about extremely fine.

From the East Side collection, Switzerland.

The head on this famous coin has long been identified as that of Vercingetorix, the defeated Gallic leader who graced Caesar’s triumph in Rome. This can not be proven but the head does have remarkably individualistic and natural features, and it must surely represent an actual Gaulish captive seen by the die engraver.