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Triton XXIII – Session Two – Greek Coinage Part II through Roman Imperial Coinage Part I

Lot nuber 602

Moneyer issues of Imperatorial Rome. L. Hostilius Saserna. 48 BC. AR Denarius (17.5mm, 3.97 g, 6h). Rome mint.


Triton XXIII – Session Two – Greek Coinage Part II through Roman Imperial Coinage Part I
Lot: 602.
 Estimated: $ 2 500

Roman Republican, Silver

Sold For $ 3 125. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

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Moneyer issues of Imperatorial Rome. L. Hostilius Saserna. 48 BC. AR Denarius (17.5mm, 3.97 g, 6h). Rome mint. Head of Gallic captive (Vercingetorix?) right, wearing hair flowing back and long, pointed beard, and a chain around his neck; Gallic shield to left / Two warriors in biga right: one driving, holding whip in right hand and reins in left, and the other, facing backward, holding shield in left hand and brandishing spear in right; L • HOSTILIVS above, SASERN below. Crawford 448/2a; CRI 18; Sydenham 952; Hostilia 2; BMCRR Rome 3994-5; Kestner 3538-40; RBW 1569. Lightly toned, minor die rust on the obverse. Good VF.

The portrait on the obverse has sometimes been identified as the famous chief of the Arverni, Vercingetorix, whom Julius Caesar captured in 52 BC in Alesia. It is difficult to imagine anyone placing such a dramatic portrait of a defeated foe on their coinage, but it is clear from surviving sources of the period that the Romans had a good deal of respect for the Gauls as honorable warriors. Crawford and Sear believe this identification is unlikely, but the large, distinctive, and carefully engraved head suggests the die cutter worked with an eye toward creating an individualized portrait, rather than a stylized personification of a Gaul. The reverse is also of particular historical interest, in that it depicts the manner in which chariots were used in Celtic Gaul, and perhaps in Britain as well.

The final winners of all Triton XXIII lots will be determined at the live public sale that will be held on 14-15 January 2020. Triton XXIII – Session Two – Greek Coinage Part II through Roman Imperial Coinage Part I will be held Tuesday afternoon, 14 January 2020 beginning at 2:00 PM ET.

Winning bids are subject to a 20% buyer's fee for bids placed on this website and in person at the public auction, 22.50% for all others.