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Triton XXIII – Session Three – Roman Imperial Coinage Part II through World Coinage Part I

Lot nuber 735

Hadrian. AD 117-138. AV Aureus (20mm, 7.02 g, 12h). “Travel series” issue. Rome mint. Group 10, circa AD 130-133.


Triton XXIII – Session Three – Roman Imperial Coinage Part II through World Coinage Part I
Lot: 735.
 Estimated: $ 7 500

Roman Imperial, Gold

Sold For $ 7 500. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Go to Live

Hadrian. AD 117-138. AV Aureus (20mm, 7.02 g, 12h). “Travel series” issue. Rome mint. Group 10, circa AD 130-133. HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P, bareheaded and draped bust left / NILVS, Nilus, naked to waist, reclining left, holding cornucopia in right hand and reed in left, resting left arm on sphinx; to left, hippopotamus standing right; below, in water, crocodile right. RIC II.3 1549 (same dies as illustration); RIC II 308; Strack 3071ο; Calicó 1290 (same dies as illustration); BMCRE 855 (same dies); Biaggi 624 (same dies); Jameson –; Mazzini –; Künker 133, lot 8818 (same dies); NAC 41, lot 81 (same dies); CNG E-219, lot 447 (same dies). Toned. VF. Very rare.

From the Jonathan P. Rosen Collection. Ex Classical Numismatic Group 99 (13 May 2015), lot 632.

Struck from a single pair of dies, this very rare aureus was part of a larger issue of commemorative coinage struck in Rome following Hadrian’s return from the eastern provinces in AD 134 – a visit partly in connection with the Bar Kokhba revolt (AD 132-135). While Hadrian’s previous travels throughout the empire had been remembered on earlier Rome mint issues – most notably the galley coinage – the coins commemorating specific provinces were all struck between AD 134 and AD 136. Strack posited a date of AD 137 for this issue, supposing that the emperor was in the East to oversee the coup de grâce of Simon bar Kochhba and his followers at Betar in AD 135, returning sometime shortly after. Hadrian, however, who was suffering from increasingly poor health, was known to be in Rome during the last four years of his life, during which time he received an imperial salutation for the Roman victory over Bar Kochhba. In AD 136, he was present at the dedication of the Temple of Venus and Rome, and in AD 137, he appointed Aelius as his successor. Given Hadrian’s return to Rome prior to the actual conclusion of the war, this aureus, along with the issuance inter alia of the other “province” commemorative coinage, must have been struck between AD 134 and AD 136.

The province of Egypt, in accordance with its strategic and economic importance (and possibly reflecting the special place it held in the emperor’s heart), was commemorated with three reverse types: the province Aegyptus, the city of Alexandria, and the river-god Nilus.

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 Three – Roman Imperial Coinage Part II through World Coinage Part II will be held Wednesday morning, 15 January 2020 beginning at 9:00 AM 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.