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Ceres Searches the Underworld

506291. Sold For $3500

C. Vibius C.f. Pansa. 90 BC. AR Denarius (19mm, 3.84 g, 9h). Rome mint. Laureate head of Apollo right; S• below chin / Ceres advancing right, holding torch in each hand; to lower right, pig advancing right. Crawford 342/3b; Sydenham 683; Vibia 6; FFC 1209 (this coin). Lightly toned. EF. Struck in high relief from dies of fine style. A beautiful coin!.

Ex Alba Longa (Jose Fernandez Molina) Collection; Triton VI (14 January 2003), lot 655.

This intriguing reverse type shows Ceres holding torches, searching for her daughter Proserpina in the darkness of the underworld, following Pluto’s abduction of Proserpina. The appearance of Ceres on this reverse is probably connected to a distribution of grain to the Roman people and to the Ludi Cereales games, which were part of the festival of the Cerealia, held each year in Rome to honor Ceres.