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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Triton XXI, Lot: 720. Estimate $3000.
Sold for $2750. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Nero. AD 54-68. Æ Sestertius (34mm, 27.73 g, 6h). Lugdunum (Lyon) mint. Struck circa AD 65. NERO • CLAVD • CAESAR • AVG • GER • P • M • TR • P • IMP • P • P, laureate head left, globe at point of neck / Triumphal arch, hung with wreath across front; above, Nero in facing quadriga escorted on right by Victory holding wreath and palm frond and on left by Pax holding caduceus and cornucopia; just below the quadriga on extreme left and right, two small figures of soldiers; on left side of arch in niche, figure of Mars standing facing, holding spear in right hand and round shield in left; ornamental reliefs on the faces and plinths of the arch. RIC I 393; WCN 414; Lyon 74; BMCRE 330; BN 77 var. (laureate head right). Good VF, brown patina, some red, a few minor pits, light smoothing in fields.

Ex Triton IX (10 January 2006), lot 1397.

This monumental triumphal arch was erected by Nero to commemorate Roman military campaigns against the Parthians in Mesopotamia and Armenia. Although not particularly successful in a military sense, with Paetus losing almost his entire army at Randeia in Armenia, the war did end with a peace treaty favorable to Rome that was upheld for nearly fifty years. This coin type is vitally important for architectural historians, for the arch was dismantled after Nero's ignominious end in AD 68, and is only known through its depiction on the coins.