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Research Coins: Electronic Auction

 
2470336
247, Lot: 336. Estimate $150.
Sold for $160. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Tacitus. AD 275-276. Antoninianus (22mm, 4.21 g, 12h). Rome mint, 6th officina. 1st emission, November AD 275. IMP C M CL TACITVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right / CLEM-ENTIA TEMP, Mars advancing left, holding branch, shield, and spear; Z to right. RIC -; BN 1549 var. (officina in exergue). EF, some silvering remaining, area of flat strike on obverse. Extremely rare.


This coin is from Tacitus' rare first issue at Rome, the mint city closest to his location at the time of his accession. No coins of this issue were known until the discovery of the Venèra hoard, which contained five examples. Since that time, only a few more have come to light, but enough to establish the makeup of the entire emission, with all officinae represented, A-Z. This particular coin is only the second known coin, however, where the officina mark is in the field rather than in the exergue. The other piece, of the same officina and type, is in the BM. Estiot (BN) places these coins in the same emission as those with officina marks in the exergue, but as all following emissions place the mark in the exergue, and the previous issues under Aurelian (& Severina) place the it in the field, is likely that those with the mark in the upper field are earliest of Tacitus' coinage.