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Research Coins: Feature Auction


Nero’s Colossus

CNG 97, Lot: 620. Estimate $7500.
Sold for $6500. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Nero. AD 54-68. AV Aureus (19mm, 7.31 g, 7h). Rome mint. Struck AD 64-65. NERO CAESAR, laureate head right / AVGVSTVS GERMANICVS, Nero, radiate, togate, standing facing, holding branch upright in right hand and globe surmounted by Victory in left. RIC I 46; Calicó 402; BMCRE 56-9; Biaggi 221. VF, lightly toned. Struck from fresh dies.

Ex John F. Sullivan Collection (Classical Numismatic Group 70, 21 September 2005), lot 878.

The reverse depicts Nero’s Colossus, a roughly 120-foot tall bronze statue of the emperor as Sol that was created by Zenodorus for the vestibule of the Domus Aurea, or Golden House, the massive palace constructed by Nero after the fire of AD 64. Its memory was retained in the popular name of the amphitheater that went up close to the collossus – the Colosseum.