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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Triton XXI, Lot: 214. Estimate $150.
Sold for $475. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

EGYPT, Alexandria. Gordian III. As Caesar, AD 238. Potin Tetradrachm (22mm, 12.76 g, 12h). Dated RY 1 (AD 238). M AN ΓOPΔIANOCOC (sic) CЄB, bareheaded, draped, and cuirassed bust right / Athena Nikephoros seated left, holding a spear with her left hand and a crowning Nike in her extended right hand; shield at side of throne, L A (date) to left. Köln –; Dattari 10190 (this coin); K&G 72.5; Emmett 3381.1 (R4); Staffieri, Alexandria In Nummis 215 (this coin). Good VF, dark brown surfaces, some porosity. Very rare.

From the Giovanni Maria Staffieri Collection. Ex Carlo Fontana Collection (Finarte Casa D’Aste 995, 26 November 1996), lot 1185; Ars et Nummus (Giuseppe Nascia – Milano) FPL 1981; Giovanni Dattari Collection, no. 10190.

It is difficult where to place this obverse die, which seems to be the result of some confusion. It could be either the earliest die for Gordian as Caesar, in which case the engraver gave him the wrong imperial title, or the earliest die as Augustus, albeit with a continuation of the use of the bare head for the Caesar issues (the legend shows no signs of being re-engraved over an earlier legend). In either case, the name is clearly blundered, and a first issue as Caesar would seem a more logical time for such an error to occur.