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Research Coins: Feature Auction

CNG 112, Lot: 478. Estimate $200.
Sold for $360. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Anonymous. After 211 BC. Æ Semuncia (13mm, 2.61 g, 6h). Rome(?) mint. Draped bust of Mercury right, wearing winged petasus / Prow of galley right. Crawford 56/8; Sydenham 143f; cf. RBW 216 (for type); McCabe Group G1.Su.2 (this coin illustrated on p. 262). Dark green patina with touches of red. VF. Attractive.

From the Andrew McCabe Collection. Ex Titano 46 (21 September 1991), lot 94 (est. £It. 200,000).

This remarkably small coin, McCabe (Essays Russo) Group G1 (this coin illustrated on p. 262 = G1.Su.2) shows that the Romans consciously made a small module semuncia (10mm die circle diameter) to match the style and size of the reduced weight bronze coinage (below sextantal), which they issued shortly after the denarius introduction in 212-211 BC. As always with Roman struck bronzes, the die-circle module matters more than weight; thin lightweight but larger module semuncia in the style of RRC 41 are relatively abundant, but this rarity is the only true RRC 56/8 type. [Andrew McCabe]