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5640864. SOLD $2750

Anonymous. Circa 225-212 BC. AR Didrachm – Quadrigatus (22mm, 6.40 g, 11h). Uncertain mint. Laureate head of Janus; • below neck / Jupiter, hurling thunderbolt and holding scepter, in galloping quadriga driven right by Victory; ROMA incuse on raised tablet in exergue. Crawford 31/1; Sydenham 64c; RSC 23a; BMCRR (Romano-Campanian) 101; Kestner 109; RBW 81. Toned, with hints of luster. In NGC encapsulation 6556519-001, graded Ch AU, Strike: 5/5, Surface: 3/5.

This type, the first truly extensive Roman coinage in silver, began shortly before the outbreak of the Second Punic War and continued until it was superseded by the denarius reform of circa 211 BC. Some early Roman imperial texts refer to a coin called a “quadrigatus” that was used to make payments during the war against Hannibal; this is clearly the type that commenced circa 225 BC, bearing a youthful, laureate janiform head on the obverse and a quadriga carrying Jupiter and Victory on the reverse. The issue was quite large and included a number of variant subtypes, indicating several mints were involved in the production. Later issues were struck on smaller flans in debased silver, no doubt due to wartime shortages.