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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 6, Lot: 170. Estimate CHF1500. 
Closing Date: Monday, 7 May 2012. 
Sold For CHF2700. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Serdica, Thrace. Caracalla. 198-217. Assarion (Bronze, 20mm, 4.73 g 1), c. 215-217. ΑΥΤ Κ Μ ΑΥΡ CΕΥ ΑΝΤΩΝΕΙΝΟC Laureate and bearded head of Caracalla to right. Rev. CΕΡΔΩΝ (the first letter almost entirely effaced in the die) Lion standing right, raising his right paw so that Eros, standing left, can remove a thorn from it. Mouchmov 4851. Mouchmov, Serdika, 222. Varbanov 124. Rare. A splendid, sharp and beautifully preserved example with a fine green patina. Extremely fine.

From the M Collection, ex Triton IX, 10 January 2006, 1524.

This wonderful little coin shows a variant of one of Aesop’s best known tales, that of Androcles and the Lion. The general story is that a slave, Androcles, escaped from a cruel master into the woods, where he found a wounded lion. Overcoming his fear, he approached the lion, found a thorn in one of the lion’s paws, removed it, bandaged it up and made it well again. The lion was grateful and lived happily with Androcles, bringing him food. Later Androcles and the lion were both captured separately and Androcles was condemned to be executed in the arena. When Androcles was brought to the arena and the gate opened to let in the savage beasts, who should appear but his old friend the lion, who rushed up to him with all signs of happiness and friendship. Soon, after hearing the story, the Emperor, who had been watching the spectacle, freed both. Here, in a rather charming touch, Androcles is replaced by a figure of Eros.