Search in Feature Auction


CNG Bidding Platform

Information

Products and Services


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

Lot nuber 818

Gordian III. AD 238-244. Bimetallic Medallion (37mm, 52.24 g, 12h). Rome mint. Struck AD 243-244.


Triton XXIII – Session Three – Roman Imperial Coinage Part II through World Coinage Part I
Lot: 818.
 Estimated: $ 30 000

Roman Imperial, Bronze

Sold For $ 120 000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Go to Live

Gordian III. AD 238-244. Bimetallic Medallion (37mm, 52.24 g, 12h). Rome mint. Struck AD 243-244. IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FELIX AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust left, with both pteryges visible / ADLOCVTIO AVGVS TI, Adlocutio scene: Gordian, assisted by soldier behind him, standing right on low daïs, addressing four soldiers, two of whom hold spears and shields, standing left; vexillum, signum and aquila behind. Gnecchi II, 4 (pl. 103, 3); Grueber 9; Froehner p. 185; Cohen 6; Banti 4; Firenze 83 [same obv. die]); Bardin Group 6, 24. Wonderful dark green patina with traces of red, a few very minor scratches. EF. Magnificent high-relief portrait. Spectacular in hand.

Gordian III is not usually thought of as a military leader, but a Roman army under his nominal command achieved a signal victory on the Eastern front in AD 243, an event commemorated on this impressive medallion. In AD 241, the 16-year-old Gordian appointed as Praetorian Prefect the capable Gaius Furius Sabinus Aquila Timesitheus, whose daughter Tranquillina became his bride. Timesitheus proved a beneficent mentor who kept Gordian’s weak government on an even keel. But in the same year, the Sasanian Persians, under Shapur I, crossed Rome’s desert frontier, occupied several Roman border cities, and threatened the great metropolis of Antioch, forcing young Gordian to take up arms. En route to the east, Gordian and Timesitheus successfully repelled an an invasion by the Carpi in Moesia. Gordian’s army finally engaged Shapur at Rhesaena in Syria early in AD 243 and inflicted a severe defeat on the Persians, forcing their retreat. The Romans were able to reoccupy the cities of Carrhae, Nisibis, and Singara, and relieve beleaguered Edessa. This superb medallion, depicting Gordian in general’s garb addressing his legions (the soldier behind him is likely Timesitheus), was likely struck at this flood tide of success.
It was not to last. The Romans next marched toward the Persian capital of Ctesiphon, but the death of Timesitheus in the winter of a sudden illness brought their progress to a grinding halt. What happened next is unclear: Persian sources claim Gordian was defeated and died in combat, while Roman historians maintain he was murdered by his own disaffected army at the behest of Philip, the new Praetorian Prefect and Gordian’s successor as emperor.

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.