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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 6, Lot: 134. Estimate CHF150000. 
Closing Date: Monday, 7 May 2012. 
Sold For CHF125000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Gaius (Caligula), with Agrippina Senior. AD 37-41. Aureus (Gold, 7.73 g 1), Lugdunum, 37-38. C CAESAR.AVG.GERM.P.M.TR.POT Bare head of Gaius to right. Rev. AGRIPPINA MAT C CAES AVG GERM Draped bust of Agrippina to right, her hair falling in a queue down her neck. BMC 7. Calicó 325a. Cohen (Agrippina & Caligula) 3. RIC 7. Very rare. With splendid portraits of the emperor and his adored mother; an exceptionally fine example. Some slight marks, otherwise, good extremely fine.

From the “Stack and Croesus” Collections, Stack’s 14 January 2008, 2347.

Gaius is usually known from his nickname, ‘Caligula’, which came from the soldiers’ boots he wore as a child when he was with his father Germanicus on campaign. After Germanicus’ assassination in 19, the family’s relationship with Tiberius became extremely tense: all the rest, including his mother Agrippina, were either murdered or starved to death on the orders of Tiberius. Nevertheless, as the only surviving heir Gaius became Tiberius’ heir, succeeded him in 37, and promptly proceeded to honor the members of his deceased family (thus this coin). Caligula’s reign started well but, apparently due to a severe infection, his personality changed and his actions became ever more bizarre and erratic resulting in his own murder in 41. This coin is exceptionally well preserved and provides us with splendid portraits of the emperor and his mother.