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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

 
90070159
Sale: Nomos 7, Lot: 159. Estimate CHF7500. 
Closing Date: Tuesday, 14 May 2013. 
Sold For CHF6000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Augustus. 27 BC-AD 14. Sestertius of heavy weight (Orichalcum, 36.90 g 6), Rome, under the moneyer C. Gallius Lupercus, 16 BC. OB / CIVIS / SERVATOS in three lines above, within and below an oak wreath flanked by two laurel branches. Rev. C.GALLIVS.C.F.LVPERCVS.IIIVIR.AAAFF around large SC. BMC 171 note. BN 414. Cohen 434. RIC 377, note. Very rare, possibly only the third known example - including the mounted example in Paris. An impressive piece with even surfaces. With a ‘Tiber ‘or ‘River’ patina and some porosity, otherwise, good very fine.


From a Swiss private collection, ex Triton I, 2 December 1997, 1284.

During the reign of Augustus a number of curious coins were produced, usually termed trial pieces or patterns. They tend to be of very much heavier weight than usual (the present piece is between 45-50% heavier than normal coins of this type), or struck on much larger flans (such as a quadrans struck on the flan of a dupondius). Exactly why they were struck is uncertain, but it is probable that they served as presentation pieces, either for officials or for friends and family of the moneyer’s. In that sense they were probably not overvalued for circulation (which the medallions of the 2nd and later centuries certainly were) but simply were impressive coins designed to be used by select people. This is quite an fine example of one of those Augustan issues - a remarkably medallic looking example of this type is in the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge (CM-RI.58.R) - and one can imagine how the possessor of such a coin would carefully save it for a special purchase.