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Research Coins: Electronic Auction

 
3130276
313, Lot: 276. Estimate $100.
Sold for $450. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Septimius Severus. AD 193-211. AR Denarius (18mm, 3.33 g, 6h). Rome mint. Struck late AD 203. Laureate head right / Dea Caelestis riding lion right, head facing, holding drum and scepter; below, water gushing right from rocks. RIC IV 267a; RSC 219a. Good VF, toned. Very rare variety.


The INDVLGENTIA type of Septimius is one of the most picturesque and also one of the most common (in silver) of the period. Most people do not realize, however, that there are four distinct reverse types: 1) Dea Caelestis, looking to front, riding a lion leaping to the right, holding a thunderbolt and scepter; 2) Dea Caelestis, looking right, riding a lion leaping to the right, holding a thunderbolt and scepter; 3) Dea Caelestis, looking to front, riding a lion leaping to the right, holding a drum and scepter; 4) Dea Caelestis, looking front, riding a lion leaping to the right, holding a drum, no scepter. The first two varieties are the most common. The third variety is very rare. The last variety is extremely rare. Similar types were also struck in the name of Caracalla in AD 203. Interestingly, the direction of the deity's head appears to have a chronological significance. An examination of the dated bronze and gold reveals that the examples with the facing deity were struck late in 203, while those with the right facing deity were struck early in 204.