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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Sale: CNG 70, Lot: 853. Estimate $750. 
Closing Date: Wednesday, 21 September 2005. 
Sold For $700. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

AUGUSTUS. 27 BC-14 AD. AR Denarius (3.65 g, 12h). Rome mint. Restitution issue struck under Trajan, circa 98-117 AD. Laureate head of Augustus right with the features of Trajan / Caius and Lucius Caesars standing facing, shield and spears between them; above, simpulum on left to the left, and lituus on right to the right. Cf. RIC I 208; BMCRE 536 (pl. 13, 18; misattributed to the reign of Augustus); cf. RSC 43. VF, attractively toned, well-centered. Very rare. ($750)

The style and fabric of this coin suggest that it belongs to an anonymous restitution issue of either Trajan or Hadrian. The restitution issues of Trajan are well known since the coins are marked with Trajanic legends. The fact that this coin retains its original legend without any mention of the issuer suggests that it is not part of the great restitution series of Trajan, but part of an earlier or later anonymous issue. Apart from style, on all known specimens the lituus has a split base and is turned to the right, and the simpulum is large, rather bulbous and turned to the left, features not seen on the issues of Augustus. Only four other specimens have appeared at auction in the last decade, the first in the Gil Steinberg Collection (Numismatica Ars Classica, 16 November 1994), lot 181, the second in Numismatica Ars Classica 8 (3 April 1995), lot 754, the third in Triton I (2-3 December 1997), lot 1283, and the fourth in Classical Numismatic Group 63, (21 May 2003), lot 1213.