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Research Coins: Feature Auction


Zeus-Sarapis Riding Ammon

Triton XXI, Lot: 87. Estimate $3000.
Sold for $4500. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

EGYPT, Alexandria. Hadrian. AD 117-138. Æ Drachm (34mm, 27.08 g, 12h). Dated RY 19 (AD 134/135). [A]VT KAIC TPAIAN A∆PIANOC CЄ[B], laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right / Zeus-Sarapis seated facing, head right, on a ram (Ammon or Khnum?) walking right, Zeus-Sarapis holding long scepter and wearing kalathos, ram looking back at him; L ЄN NЄAKΔ (date) around. Köln –; Dattari (Savio) 7780 (this coin); K&G –; RPC III 6033/5 (this coin, but not recognized as DS 7780); Emmett 1035.19 (R5); Staffieri, Alexandria In Nummis 81 (this coin). Near EF, dark brown surfaces with touches of green and red. Extremely rare. The authors of RPC cite five examples, but list this coin twice, since it was not recognized as the Dattari specimen, leaving us with four examples known: Staaatliche Münzsammlung Munich; Aufhäuser 12 (1986), lot 550; Matthijs Collection = Wetterstrom Collection (CNA XIII, 1990), lot 69; and Dattari 7780 = Staffieri Collection – this coin.

From the Giovanni Maria Staffieri Collection. Ex Kurpfälzische Münzhandlung 49 (13 December 1995), lot 360; Giovanni Dattari Collection, no. 7780.

Another great rarity of the Alexandrian series, it is known for only two regnal years for Hadrian (years 18 and 19). Regnal year 18 (RPC III 5905) is known from only two examples: one in the Demetrio collection (no. 1417), and one in the Marcel Jungfleisch Collection (Sotheby & Co., 1972), lot 70. Together with the four examples known for RY 19, this is an elusive rarity that is missing from most collections – public and private.