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Research Coins: Feature Auction


Ex Trau Collection

CNG 111, Lot: 721. Estimate $10000.
Sold for $16000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Marcus Aurelius. AD 161-180. AV Aureus (19mm, 7.32 g, 12h). Rome mint. Struck AD 168. M ΛNTONINVS ΛVG ΛRM PΛRTH MΛX, laureate head right / TR P XXII • IMP V COS III, Aequitas, draped, seated left on low seat, holding scales in right hand and cornucopia in left. RIC III 189; MIR 18, 165-2/30; Calicó 2005 (same dies as illustration); BMCRE 465, pl. 61, 19 (same rev. die); Biaggi 900 (same dies); Jameson 131 var. (bust type – same rev. die); Mazzini 898 (same dies). Superb EF, toned with underlying luster.

From the Brexit Collection. Ex Rauch 106 (10 April 2018), lot 224 (hammer €11500); Franz Trau Collection (Gilhofer & Ranschburg–A. Hess, 22 May 1935), lot 1635.

The Trau Collection was formed and maintained by three generations of an Austrian family from circa 1870 to the 1930s. Carl Trau (1811-1887) was a chemist in Vienna who branched out into importing tea and other luxury goods from the Orient. A founding member of the Austrian Numismatic Society, his collecting interest focused on Medieval coinage. His son Franz Sr. (1842-1905) carried on the family business and refocused the numismatic collection on ancient coins, particularly Roman Imperial issues. Franz Jr. (1881-1931) oversaw the first Trau auction of about 2,300 coins, medals and books by Egger in January 1904 and continued to build the collection over the next two and half decades. The greater part of the collection was sold by Adolph Hess, with Gilhofer and Ranchshburg, at two auctions in 1935 and 1936. The Traus were quite eclectic and systematic in their collecting, acquiring Roman coins in all metals and denominations, including great rarities seldom offered before or since.