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Research Coins: Feature Auction


Ex Niggeler Collection

Triton XXII, Lot: 1011. Estimate $20000.
Sold for $26000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Claudius. AD 41-54. AV Aureus (19mm, 7.77 g, 5h). Rome mint. Struck AD 46-47. TI CLAVD CAESAR • AVG • P • M • TR • P • VI • IMP XI, laureate head right / DE BRITANN on architrave, triumphal arch, surmounted by an equestrian statue of Claudius left, between two trophies. RIC I 33; von Kaenel Type 27, 591, 732 (V493/R510 – this coin, illustrated); Lyon 52 (Lugdunum); Calicó 349; SCBC 633; BMCRE 32-4; BN 54-6 (Lugdunum). Good VF, underlying luster. Well struck for issue.

Ex Kallman Collection (Triton XX, 10 January 2017), lot 664; Collection of a Northern California Gentleman (Triton XIV, 4 January 2011), lot 646; Walter Niggeler Collection (Part 3, Bank Leu/Münzen und Medaillen AG, 2 November 1967), lot 1108; A. Hess (9 May 1951), lot 17.

Beginning during the latter imperatorial period during the campaigns of Julius Caesar, Roman interest and influence in Britan grew throughout the next three centuries. Many emperors were personally involved in campaigns, which were often commemorated on their respective coinages.

During the reign of Claudius, Verica, king of the Atrebates and ally of Rome, was forced into exile by invasions of the Catuvellauni, a neighboring tribe to the east. This served as the pretense for Claudius’ invasion of Britan in AD 43, led by the general Aulus Plautius, who subsequently served as governor of the region (the future emperor Vespasian also ranked among the commanders). While Claudius had some participation in the campaigns – bringing reinforcements and elephants to Camulodunum – and received a triumph after his return to Rome, he refused the title Britannicus. The success of these invasions was commemorated on various issues. One, an issue of aurei, depicts the two triumphal arches erected by the Roman Senate – one in Gaul and the other in Rome – in honor of these momentous victories. So momentous was the successful establishment of Roman rule in Britain that Claudius celebrated it even on a provincial issue from the far eastern mint in Cappadocia.