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Research Coins: Feature Auction


Antonia & Octavia
Among the Finest Known Didrachms

Triton XXI, Lot: 8. Estimate $1500.
Sold for $2250. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

EGYPT, Alexandria. Claudius, with Britannicus, Antonia, and Octavia. AD 41-54. BI Didrachm (20mm, 5.56 g, 12h). Dated RY 3 (AD 42/43). [TI KΛAY] KAI CEBAC ΓEPM, laureate head right; L Γ (date) before / Crossed cornucopias, each surmounted by female bust (Antonia and Octavia), vis-à-vis; between them, bust of a boy right (Britannicus), which is above AYTO/KPA in two lines. Köln –; Dattari (Savio) 118; K&G 12.24; RPC I 5135; Emmett 75.3 (R3); Staffieri, Alexandria In Nummis 6 (this coin); B. Lichocka, “Claudius’s Issue of Silver Didrachms in Alexandria: Emperor’s Children and Crossed Cornucopias” in Ètudes et Travaux XXVI (Institute of Mediterranean and Oriental Cultures, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, 2013), pp. 428-45 (this coin cited). Near VF, toned, some roughness. Extremely rare, and one of the finest known.

From the Giovanni Maria Staffieri Collection. Ex UBS 83 (8 September 2009), lot 171.

An extremely rare coin, and the only collectible didrachm (billon or otherwise) issued in Alexandria during the Roman Imperial period. (Erik Christiansen in The Roman Coins of Alexandria lists two unique didrachms for Nero, regnal years 3 and 4, the first in Athens, the second in Berlin.) Claudius also issued a billon drachm (RPC I 5136), which is of equal rarity.