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Research Coins: Feature Auction


Extremely Rare Pescennius Niger Tetradrachm
Ex Dattari Collection

Triton XXI, Lot: 785. Estimate $10000.
Sold for $8500. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Pescennius Niger. AD 193-194. BI Tetradrachm (24mm, 12.53 g, 12h). Alexandria mint. Dated RY 2 (AD 193/4). AYTOK KAI [Γ ΠЄ-C]K NIΓЄP IOYCTO-[C] CЄB, laureate head right / Dikaiosynes standing left, holding scales in right hand and corncuopia in left; L B (date) to right. Köln –; Dattari (Savio) 3982 (this coin); K&G 47.2; Emmett 2657 (R5). Good Fine, minor porosity. Extremely rare, this coin one of only three Alexandrian tetradrachms for this ruler in CoinArchives.

Ex Classical Numismatic Group 70 (21 September 2005), lot 613; Giovanni Dattari Collection, 3982.

Following the death of Pertinax in AD 193 and the “sale” of the Roman throne by the Praetorian Guard to Didius Julianus, Pescennius Niger, the governor of Syria, was hailed emperor by the legions under his command. Septimius Severus, who had been proclaimed emperor by the Danubian legions at about the same time, first secured his power by subduing Rome, then marched to encounter Niger. In the ensuing battles, Severus proved to be the stronger adversary and Niger was overtaken as he attempted escape to Parthia. He was executed and his head was sent to Severus, who then ruthlessly slaughtered the rest of Niger's family.