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Research Coins: Feature Auction


Extremely Rare Obol of Aelius

Triton XXI, Lot: 105. Estimate $500.
Sold for $550. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

EGYPT, Alexandria. Aelius. Caesar, AD 136-138. Æ Obol (20mm, 6.70 g, 12h). Dated RY 22 of Hadrian (AD 137/138). Λ AIΛIOC KAICAP, bareheaded and draped bust right / Bust of Harpokrates of Pelusium right, slight drapery, wearing hem-hem crown; pomegranate before; [L K] B (date) across field. Köln –; Dattari (Savio) 8002; K&G –; RPC III 6260/3 (this coin, illustrated on pl. 318); Emmett 1354 (R5); Staffieri, Alexandria In Nummis 167 (this coin). VF, dark brown patina with touches of green and red. Extremely rare. The authors of RPC cite only three specimens: P FG 2498 (the abbreviation for the collection, P FG, is not listed in RPC under abbreviations, so the source is uncertain); Dattari-Savio 8002; and this coin.

From the Giovanni Maria Staffieri Collection. Ex Classical Numismatic Group 39 (18 September 1996), lot 1054.

When we cataloged this coin previously, we noted that “It uses a common reverse type for Hadrian from his regnal year 22 and can probably be die-linked to a Hadrian obol of this same type and year.” See RPC III 6256-7 for the Hadrian obol type.