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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Sale: Triton IX, Lot: 1475. Estimate $10000. 
Closing Date: Monday, 9 January 2006. 
Sold For $11000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

ANTONINUS PIUS. 138-161 AD. AV Aureus (7.43 g, ). Struck 151 AD. ANTONINVS AVG PI-VS P P TR P XIIII, bare head right / LAETITIA COS IIII, Ceres standing right, holding grain ears in right hand, left arm around Proserpina who is holding a pomegranate in her left hand. RIC III 199a; Strack 224; Calicó 1556b (this coin illustrated); BMCRE 724 note; Cohen 476. Superb EF, a couple light scratches. Rare. ($10,000)

Ex Triton IV (5 December 2000), lot 555.

Proserpina was the daughter of Jupiter and Ceres, who while gathering flowers near Enna, was captured and taken to Hades by Pluto, her half brother. Eventually, Pluto was persuaded to release Proserpina, but tricked her first into eating some pomegranate seeds which had the effect that she could only leave Hades for half a year at a time. She is shown here on this coin in the arms of her mother, holding the fateful pomegranate. This is her only representation on a Roman coin.