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Research Coins: Feature Auction


Agrippa Receives the Rostral Crown

CNG 109, Lot: 597. Estimate $2000.
Sold for $7500. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Augustus. 27 BC-AD 14. AR Denarius (19mm, 3.78 g, 2h). Rome mint; C. Sulpicius Platorinus, moneyer. Struck 13 BC. AVGVSTVS CAESAR, bare head right / C • SVLPICIVS PLATORIN, Augustus and Agrippa, bareheaded and togate, seated side by side, facing slightly left, on a bisellium, placed on a platform which is ornamented with three rostra; on left, staff or spear. RIC I 407; BMCRE 115; RSC 529. Near EF, toned. Rare.

From the Gasvoda Collection. Ex Numismatica Ars Classica 86 (8 October 2015), lot 75; A. Lynn Collection (Helios 4, 14 October 2009), lot 220; Classical Numismatic Group 60 (22 May 2002), lot 1494.

The prows on the reverse commemorate the occasion on which Agrippa received the rostral crown, the battle of Naulochus.

From the consignor: The coinage of moneyer C. Sulpicius Platorinus focused entirely on Marcus Agrippa, closest friend, advisor, and confidant of Augustus. Agrippa had been elevated to a role similar to the emperor and was intended to be the heir to the throne. This rare reverse type showing Augustus and Agrippa on equal footing was minted just a year before Agrippa’s untimely death, setting back the dynastic desires of Augustus for the first time, but not the last. A small group of these appeared in 2017, all in lower grade. A rare type for an important historical period.