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Research Coins: Feature Auction


Extremely Rare Diobol of Commodus
Ex Wetterstrom, Garrett, and Curtis Collections

Triton XXI, Lot: 186. Estimate $1000.
Sold for $900. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

EGYPT, Alexandria. Commodus. As Caesar, AD 166-177. Æ Diobol (23mm, 7.75 g, 12h). Dated RY 17 of Marcus Aurelius (AD 176/177). AVTOK • KAIC • Λ • AVΡΗΛΙΟC KOMMO∆OC, bareheaded, draped, and cuirassed bust right / Griffin, as Nemesis, seated left with right forepaw on wheel; L I Z (date) across field. Köln –; Dattari (Savio) 3833 & 9537; K&G 41.5 (this coin illustrated); Emmett 2503.17 (R5 – this coin illustrated with commentary on p. 111); Curtis, “The Coinage of Roman Egypt: A Survey” (reprinted from The Numismatist, January-August 1956), Pl. XXXVIII (this coin’s reverse illustrated); Staffieri, Alexandria In Nummis 186 (this coin). Good VF, dark brown surfaces with touches of green. Extremely rare, with only one other inferior example appearing at auction since 2000 (CNG E-Sale 243, lot 293).

From the Giovanni Maria Staffieri Collection. Ex Kerry K. Wetterstrom Collection (Classical Numismatic Auctions XIII, 4 December 1990), lot 131; John Work Garrett Collection (Part III, Numismatic Fine Arts/Bank Leu, 29 March 1985), lot 4840 (part of); Col. James W. Curtis Collection.

Commodus issued very little bronze coinage in Alexandria, both as Caesar, and as Augustus. This becomes apparent when Emmett’s charts are consulted, and almost every bronze type for every known regnal year is an R4 or R5.