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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Sale: CNG 64, Lot: 921. Estimate $750. 
Closing Date: Wednesday, 24 September 2003. 
Sold For $550. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

AUGUSTUS. 27 BC-14 AD. AR Denarius (3.84 gm). Spanish mint (Colonia Patricia?). Struck circa 18 BC. Legionary eagle, toga picta over tunica palmata, and wreath / Triumphal quadriga right, ornamented with two Victories and small galloping quadriga. Cf. RIC I 99; cf. RSC 78. Good VF, partial flat strike. ($750)

From the Tony Hardy Collection.

The obverse depicts the elaborate regalia (ornamenta triumphalia) of a successful general awarded to him on the occasion of his procession through the streets of Rome as triumphator. The toga picta was an elaborate dress based on the attire of the Etruscan kings and is shown being worn over the tunica palmata, a tunic decorated with representations of palm leaves. On either side are seen a legionary eagle, symbolic of the Roman army, and a triumphal wreath, or corona triumphalis. This was worn by the triumphator as he paraded through the streets of the capital in the elaborately adorned chariot which is depicted on the reverse.

In 19 BC, Augustus returned to Rome after a three-year absence in Greece and Asia; this reverse type may then relate to the celebration of Rome's recent military and diplomatic successes, namely Tiberius' activities in Armenia and the recovery of the standards the Parthians had captured from Crassus in 53 BC.