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CNG Feature Auction 118

Lot nuber 1054

Trajan. AD 98-117. AV Aureus (19.5mm, 7.33 g, 7h). Restitution issue of Divus Vespasian. Rome mint. Struck circa AD 107 or 112/113.

CNG Feature Auction 118
Lot: 1054.
 Estimated: $ 7 500

Roman Imperial, Coin-in-Hand Video, Gold

Sold For $ 11 000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Go to Live

Trajan. AD 98-117. AV Aureus (19.5mm, 7.33 g, 7h). Restitution issue of Divus Vespasian. Rome mint. Struck circa AD 107 or 112/113. DIVVS • VESPASIANVS •, laureate head of Vespasian right / IMP CAES TRAIAN AVG GER DAC P P REST, pulvinar (throne) of Jupiter and Juno: square seat, draped, surmounted by horizontal winged thunderbolt. RIC II 829; Woytek 8662 (same dies); Komnick 67.0; Calicó 707; BMCRE 703; BN 482; Biaggi 353. Underlying luster, a few minor marks. Good VF. Rare.

From the Rosen Collection. Ex Classical Numismatic Group 72 (14 June 2006), lot 1424.

Although several Roman emperors re-issued types struck by their predecessors, which modern numismatists call restitution coinage, such coinage of Trajan is somewhat of an enigma. Unlike his Julio-Claudian and Flavian predecessors, whose restitution series was limited to bronze issues of specific emperors, Trajan struck only aurei and denarii. Issues of certain previous emperors, including Trajan’s immediate predecessor Nerva, as well as certain Republican issues, such as an early didrachm that had been long out of circulation. In general, the striking of restitution coinage was meant to legitimize the new regime in the eyes of the populace through an expression of pietas to the “good” emperors who deserved to be remembered, as was the case of the Flavians, who included bronze coins of Galba, while omitting Caligula, Nero, Otho, and Vitellius (see BMC II, p. lxxviii). In the case of Trajan’s restitution issues, however, legitimacy appears not to be the sole reason, since he had been appointed to succeed Nerva prior to the latter’s death and was thus Nerva’s legitimate successor.

Relative to dating Trajan’s restitution coins, the traditional dating of AD 107 is based on Eckhel’s theory linking the restitution coinage with the general recoinage that Dio places after Trajan’s return from the Second Dacian War. Bernhard Woytek disagrees, and places their issue in AD 112/113, surmising that the appearance of Divus Nerva in this coinage must be contemporary to his appearance on an aureus securely dated to that period. Curtis Clay, however, pleads for the traditional dating of recoinage which, according to Dio, began circa AD 107. He states that “If the restored coinage was connected with the recoinage, and the recoinage began circa AD 107, how likely is it that Trajan would have waited until AD 112-3 to issue the restored coins resulting from that recoinage?”

Only with further study of the coinage itself might the purpose of Trajan’s restitution coinage be fully understood.

The final winners of all CNG Feature Auction 118 lots will be determined at the live public sale that will be held on 13-14 September 2021. CNG Feature Auction 118 – Session Three – Roman Provincial Coinage Part 2 through Roman Imperial Coinage Part 1 will be held Tuesday morning, 14 September 2021 beginning at 9:00 AM ET.

Winning bids are subject to a 20% buyer's fee for bids placed on this website and 22.50% for all others.

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