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Research Coins: Feature Auction


Exceptional Triumphal Arch

CNG 99, Lot: 597. Estimate $7500.
Sold for $12000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Nero. AD 54-68. Æ Sestertius (36mm, 24.95 g, 6h). Lugdunum (Lyon) mint. Struck circa AD 66. IMP NERO • CAESAR • AVG • PONT • MAX • TR • POT • P • P, laureate head left, globe at point of neck / S C across field, triumphal arch, showing the front, with a wreath hung across it, surmounted by the emperor in facing quadriga accompanied by Pax and Victory, flanked by two soldiers; statue of Mars in side niche; the faces and plinths of the arch are ornamented with elaborate reliefs. RIC I 500; WCN 452; Lyon 191. Near EF, green patina, some brown and red. A superbly detailed arch.

Ex Triton XVII (7 January 2014), lot 654.

This monumental triumphal arch was erected by Nero to commemorate Roman military campaigns against the Parthians in Mesopotamia and Armenia. Although not particularly successful in a military sense, with Paetus losing almost his entire army at Randeia in Armenia, the war did end with a peace treaty favorable to Rome that was upheld for nearly fifty years. This coin type is vitally important for architectural historians as the arch’s appearance is only known through its depiction on the coins.