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Research Coins: Feature Auction

CNG 111, Lot: 482. Estimate $200.
Sold for $275. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

GERMANIA INFERIOR. Æ As (25mm, 8.02 g). Countermarks applied during the reign of Tiberius, AD 14-37. VAR(?) monogram in rectangular countermark on an as of Augustus. Pangerl 52. Host Fair, c/m VF, rough brown surfaces, several small cuts.

From the Richard Baker Collection.

This countermark is traditionally attributed to P. Qunctilius Varus, Augustus’ famed general and governor of Germania, who suffered a devastating defeat when legions under his command were annihilated in the Battle of Teutoberger Forest. However, Martini (Pangerl p. l [for English version]) notes the existence of one example of this countermark applied over a Tiberian TIB stamp from Gaul, indicating that this type must date to after the defeat of Varus. Other suggested interpretations of the monogram include LAP (Legatus Augusti [pro] Praetori), AVR(elius), or V(ictoria) A(ugusta) R(omana), or that it does indeed refer to Governor Varus, but as some sort of posthumous commemorative. None of these explanations are particularly convincing. See Pangerl p. xlvii-li for a detailed discussion of the countermark and its context.