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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Sale: Triton IX, Lot: 1473. Estimate $5000. 
Closing Date: Monday, 9 January 2006. 
Sold For $4500. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

ANTONINUS PIUS. 138-161 AD. Æ Sestertius (25.39 g, 6h). Struck 143-144 AD. ANTONINVS AVG PI-VS P P TR P COS III, laureate head right / IMPE-[RA]-TOR II, BRITANNIA in exergue, S C across field, Britannia seated left on heap of rocks, holding military standard in right hand and cradling spear in left arm, leaning on round shield set on helmet. RIC III 745; Strack 926; Banti 48; BMCRE p. 264, †; Cohen 119. Good VF, dark brown patina, area of flat strike on reverse. Very rare. ($5000)

One of Pius' first actions as emperor was to send Q. Lollius Urbicus, a previous governor of Germania Inferior, to Britain to quell a number of revolts. While most of the sources note the Brigantes (located in Northumbria) as the primary focus of these events, circa 143-144 AD, most of his campaigning was against the lowland tribes of Scotland, the Votadini, Selgovae, Damnonii, and Novantae. His campaigns were successfully completed by 144, after which Urbicus and the Legio II Augusta built the Antonine Wall. This issue of sestertii was struck in commemoration of Urbicus' victories, for which Pius was likely acclaimed imperator for the second time.