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Research Coins: Feature Auction


Exceptional Britannia As of Hadrian

Triton XIV, Lot: 713. Estimate $3000.
Sold for $5500. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Hadrian. AD 117-138. Æ As (27mm, 9.65 g, 6h). Rome mint. Struck circa AD 119-120. IMP CAESAR TRAIANVS HADRIANVS AVG, laureate head right / PONT MAX TR POT COS III, S C across field, BRITANNIA in exergue, Britannia seated slightly left, head facing and resting on right arm, with spear lying on left arm and right foot set on rocks; round shield to right. RIC II 577a; Strack -; SCBC 635; BMCRE 1174. Near EF, dark green-brown patina. Rare. Among the finest known for the type.

From the Collection of a Northern California Gentleman.

This impressive and rare as was struck during the long series commemorating Hadrian’s travels around the empire. Between the years AD 119 and 136, the emperor traveled throughout the Roman Empire, visiting various provinces to take stock of his inheritance and calm the disquiet which had arisen in the later years of Trajan's reign. His travels can be divided into two major episodes, and this coin was struck in commemoration of the first of these. This tour was designed to shore-up Rome's northern borders and began sometime around AD 119 when Hadrian first visited the provinces of Gaul and Germania Inferior and Superior. The emperor then crossed the Channel to Britannia where, during his stay, construction began on a seventy-three-mile long wall across the north of the province, known to this day as Hadrian's Wall. In AD 122-123, Hadrian spent time in Hispania, then travelled east to Asia Minor. The remainder of this first tour was spent in the Balkans and Greece, touring such areas as Dacia and Achaea, before returning to Rome, via Sicily, in AD 126.