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Research Coins: Feature Auction


Ex Dattari Collection

Triton XXI, Lot: 49. Estimate $2000.
Sold for $2500. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

EGYPT, Alexandria. Trajan. AD 98-117. Æ Drachm (36mm, 27.87 g, 12h). Dated RY 12 (AD 108/109). AVT [TPAIA]N CEB ΓEPM ∆AKIK, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right / Isis enthroned right, suckling the infant Harpokrates; two hawks (Horus) seated on the corners of the throneback; L I B (date) across field. Köln 491 var. (obv. bust type); Dattari (Savio) 7067 (this coin); K&G 27.162 var. (obv. bust type); RPC III 4304.3/3 (this coin); Emmett 519.12; Staffieri, Alexandria In Nummis 43 (this coin). Near EF, dark brown patina with touches of green. Portrait of fine style.

From the Giovanni Maria Staffieri Collection, purchased from Renzo Canavesi, Sagno, 1996. Ex Renzo Canavesi Collection (Sagno); Dr. Piero Beretta Collection (Milan); Giovanni Dattari Collection, no. 7067.

Following Alexander’s conquest of Egypt, the cult of Isis spread across the Mediterranean, with its popularity reaching its zenith in the Roman period, when the “goddess of a thousand names” became one of the Mediterranean’s principal deities. It is generally recognized that the iconography of Isis nursing Harpokrates influenced Christian representations of the Madonna and Child, particularly the Virgo lactans type popular in Medieval Europe.