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Research Coins: Feature Auction


Magnificent Billon Tetradrachm of Commodus

Triton XXI, Lot: 187. Estimate $1500.
Sold for $3250. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

EGYPT, Alexandria. Commodus. AD 177-192. BI Tetradrachm (27mm, 13.47 g, 11h). Dated RY 24 of Marcus Aurelius (AD 183/184). M ANTωNINOC KOMMO∆OC AVC, bareheaded, draped, and cuirassed bust right / Draped bust right of Sarapis, wearing an ornate kalathos; L K ∆ (date) across upper field. Köln –; Dattari (Savio) 3880 (this coin – obverse illustrated on pl. III); K&G 41.54; Emmett 2555.24 (R5 – this coin cited); Staffieri, Alexandria In Nummis 187 (this coin). EF, toned. Extremely rare, with nice metal quality. Exceptional and artistic renderings for both Commodus and Sarapis, with nothing else of this quality appearing on the market since 2000.

From the Giovanni Maria Staffieri Collection, purchased from Dr. Piero Beretta, Milan, September 1973. Ex Dr. Piero Beretta Collection (Milan); Giovanni Dattari Collection, no. 3880.

Giovanni speculates in his book that this coin is almost certainly by the hand of a “notable engraver [who] does not seem to have left other traces of his work in Alexandria.”