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Research Coins: Feature Auction


Ex Huntington Collection

CNG 111, Lot: 759. Estimate $20000.
Sold for $26000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Caracalla. AD 198-217. AV Aureus (20mm, 7.00 g, 11h). Rome mint. Struck AD 202. ANTONINVS PIVS AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right / VICT • PART • MAX , Victory, winged, draped, advancing left, holding up wreath in extended right hand, and cradling palm frond in left arm. RIC V 144a; Calicó 2843 (same obv. die as illustration); BMCRE 295; Biaggi 11225 (same obv. die); Jameson –; Mazzini –. Superb EF, light reddish toning over lustrous surfaces. Well struck on a broad flan, with an artistic, youthful portrait.

From the Brexit Collection. Ex Archer M. Huntington Collection (Numismatica Ars Classica 71, 16 May 2013), lot 256 (HSA 1001.1.30066) (hammer 36,000 CHF).

This aureus celebrates the second Parthian campaign of Septimius Severus, circa AD 197-198. Severus raised three new Roman Legions for the purpose, I, II and III Parthica; he took I and III with him and left II Parthica in Italy to keep watch on Rome in his absence. Moving with great speed, Severus caught the Parthians unprepared. His passage to the Parthian capital of Cestiphon was nearly uncontested, and the city was duly attacked and plundered, yielding a vast trove of gold and gems, as well as 100,000 captives, who were sold into slavery. On January 28 AD 198, Severus accepted the title Parthicus Maximus and raised his eldest son Antoninus, known to history by his nickname Caracalla, to the rank of co-Augustus.