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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Triton XXI, Lot: 200. Estimate $500.
Sold for $700. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

EGYPT, Alexandria. Elagabalus. AD 218-222. Potin Tetradrachm (24mm, 13.81 g, 12h). Dated RY 5 (AD 221/222). A KAICA[P MA AVP] ANTωNINOC ЄVCЄB, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right / Nilus reclining left, holding a cornucopia with his left hand, from which emerges a genius and a second genius supports the cornucopia, and a reed with his right hand; to left, a Nilometer as an obelisk with two genii attendants; three additional genii by the reed; L Є (date) in exergue. Köln 2347 var. (number and positions of Genii); Dattari (Savio) 12324; K&G 56.65; Emmett 2947.5; Staffieri, Alexandria In Nummis 200 (this coin). Good VF, reddish brown patina. Very rare. An exceptional depiction of a Nilometer, with one of the attendants marking the water level. Comparable to the specimen we sold in CNG 105, lot 615, with the reverse of this coin better centered.

From the Giovanni Maria Staffieri Collection. Ex Historical Coin Review (Victor England) Vol. XIII, No. 2 (Spring 1988), no. 72 (and featured on the front cover).

The Nilometer, in this case a stone obelisk that measured the inundation of the Nile, was a prominent landmark in Egyptian culture. It was vital as a calendar to mark the passing of the seasons and for assessing the fertility of the land, which depended on the annual Nile flood. It occurs frequently in Egyptian art, surrounded by attendants and the fruits of the fertile river.