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CNG Feature Auction 114

Lot nuber 624

Moneyer issues of Imperatorial Rome. L. Hostilius Saserna. 48 BC. AR Denarius (18.5mm, 4.09 g, 9h). Rome mint.


CNG Feature Auction 114
Lot: 624.
 Estimated: $ 3 000

Roman Republican, Silver

Sold For $ 7 000. 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 (18.5mm, 4.09 g, 9h). 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 galloping 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. Crawford 448/2a; CRI 18; Sydenham 952; Hostilia 2; RBW 1569. Toned, some horn silver (or a die break?) on the reverse. Good VF. Well centered for the issue.

From the Ancient Miniature Art Collection.

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 CNG Feature Auction 114 lots will be determined during the live online sale that will be held on 13-14 May 2020. This lot is in Session 2, which begins 13 May 2020 at 2 PM ET.

UPDATE: As the CNG staff and many of our clients remain under social distancing and other restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, CNG 114 will be held as an internet only auction. The sale will take place as scheduled on 13-14 May 2020.

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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