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Research Coins: Feature Auction


To Earn the corona vallaris

Sale: CNG 76, Lot: 1301. Estimate $1500. 
Closing Date: Wednesday, 12 September 2007. 
Sold For $2000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

C. Numonius Vaala. 41 BC. AR Denarius (3.73 g, 2h). Rome mint. Bare head of Numonius Vaala right / Warrior standing left, holding spear and shield, attacking a vallum defended by two soldiers. Crawford 514/2; CRI 322; Sydenham 1087; Numonia 2. VF, old gray collection toning, areas of faint cleaning scratches beneath tone, banker’s mark and light Aramaic graffiti on reverse. Rare.

From the Karl Sifferman Collection.

As with many of the moneyers' types of the late 1st century BC, C. Numonius Vaala's reverse type refers to an historic event in his family's past. We cannot know which specific ancestor is referred to, but the scene depicts military action that brought a specific honor to the soldier involved. During the siege of a city or an enemy camp, the first soldier to breach the walls was awarded the corona vallaris, or "wall crown". The cognomen Vaala became a hereditary title among the Numonii, to be displayed proudly by the first member of the family to achieve the office of moneyer.