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Research Coins: Feature Auction


Moon in Cancer

Triton XXI, Lot: 127. Estimate $5000.
Sold for $8000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

EGYPT, Alexandria. Antoninus Pius. AD 138-161. Æ Drachm (33mm, 26.33 g, 12h). Zodiac series. Dated RY 8 (AD 144/145). AYT K T AIΛ A∆P ANTωNINOC CЄB ЄYC, laureate head right / Moon in Cancer – Draped and diademed bust of Selene (Moon) right; star of eight rays before, crescent moon below, crab beneath all; L–H (date) to either side. Köln 1494; Dattari (Savio) 2964; K&G 35.270; Emmett 1681.8 (rev. of this coin illustrated on p. 74A); Staffieri, Alexandria In Nummis 144 (this coin). Good VF, lovely dark brown patina with traces of green. Rare. As nice as the specimen that appeared in Triton XVIII (2015), which is the only other example of comparable quality to appear since 2000.

From the Giovanni Maria Staffieri Collection. Ex Kerry K. Wetterstrom Collection (Classical Numismatic Auctions XIII, 4 December 1990), lot 159; John Work Garrett Collection (Part I, Numismatic Fine Arts/Bank Leu, 16 May 1984), lot 795; Frederick S. Knobloch Collection (Stack’s, 10 June 1970), lot 565.

An enormous crab came to the aid of the Lernaean Hydra in its battle with Herakles by nipping Herakles’ foot with a claw. In reward for the crab’s service, Hera set its image among the twelve signs of the Zodiac.