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Research Coins: Printed Auction

Triton XXII, Lot: 1018. Estimate $5000.
Sold for $7000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Nero. AD 54-68. Æ Sestertius (35mm, 27.68 g, 8h). 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; BMCRE 333-4; BN 139-40. Near EF, attractive muted green-brown patina. Well detailed reverse.

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.