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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 5, Lot: 253. Estimate CHF45000. 
Closing Date: Monday, 24 October 2011. 
Sold For CHF82000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Probus. AD 276-282. Quinarius (Gold, 2.84 g 12), Rome, 281. PROBVS P AVG Laureate and cuirassed bust of Probus to right. Rev. MARS VLTOR Mars, wearing armor and helmet, striding right, holding shield and transverse spear. Cohen 348. King 4. RIC 148. Extremely rare, perhaps the finest of all gold quinarii of Probus known. A superb and elegant piece, struck on a broad flan and with a splendid portrait. Virtually as struck.

From a European collection, acquired privately during the 1980s.

The gold quinarii of Probus were made solely for donative use and must have been produced in very small numbers. King only knew of 8 examples, of which 4 were in museums (2 each in London and Paris): thus, this is apparently the ninth known piece. The known examples all bear types that are military related: Fides Militum, Mars Ultor, and Victoria Ger. While the reverse die of this piece is known (it was used for one of the quinarii in London) the obverse, with the plain edges on the ptergys at the shoulder, seems to be new.