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Claudius Honors the Praetorians

Triton XXII, Lot: 1006. Estimate $20000.
Sold for $15000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Claudius. AD 41-54. AV Aureus (19mm, 7.65 g, 1h). Lugdunum (Lyon) mint. Struck AD 44-45. TI CLAVD • CAESAR • AVG • P • M • TR • P • IIII, laureate head right / IMPER RECEPT across top of front wall, view of the praetorian camp; in front is a wall with two small arched openings below and five battlements on top; above and behind it stands a soldier on guard left, holding a spear in right hand; to his right, an aquila; behind him is a pediment, in which is a crescent, on two pillars, flanked left and right by walls, each with a battlement above and an arch below. RIC I 25 (Rome); von Kaenel Type 21, – (unlisted dies); Lyon 40 (unlisted dies); Calicó 361b; BMCRE 23 (Rome); BN 43-4; Biaggi 206 . EF, toned, a few minor marks. Rare.

From the Heath Collection. Ex LHS 100 (23 April 2007), lot 466.

Upon Caligula’s assassination in January, AD 41, Claudius was the sole surviving Julio-Claudian male. When members of the Praetorian Guard found him cowering behind a curtain in the palace, they immediately acclaimed him as Emperor and brought him to the Castra Praetoria, their fortified camp on the outskirts of Rome. Claudius astutely awarded the Praetorians a substantial bonus, and, with 10,000 heavily armed soldiers backing him, he easily forced the Senate to accept him as the next princeps. On this aureus, Claudius clearly acknowledges his debt to the Praetorians, depicting the walled Castra the legend IMPER RECEPT -- “The Emperor Received.”