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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Sale: Triton IX, Lot: 1512. Estimate $5000. 
Closing Date: Monday, 9 January 2006. 
Sold For $6500. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

SEPTIMIUS SEVERUS. 193-211 AD. Æ 38mm (21.35 g, 12h). Abydus in Troas mint. Faba Proclus, archon. AV KAI L CEPTIMIOC CEOVHPOC PERTIN, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind / E[PI] ARC FABA PR-OKLOV, ABVDHN in exergue, Leander swimming right across Hellespont toward tower containing Hero standing left, who holds a lighted lamp in extended right hand; below Leander, two dolphins swimming right, one left. Cf. Kraft pl. 56, 21 (for obv. type); BMC 60 corr. (ABVDH) and pl. III, 2; SNG Copenhagen -; SNG von Aulock -. Near EF, green patina with traces of red. ($5000)

The tagic love-story of Hero and Leander was a popular theme with Classical and Renaissance poets and playwrights. Leander was a young man from Abydus, located on the Asian side of the Hellespont. Across the water in Sestus lived Hero, a virgin and priestess of Aphrodite. Enamored of Hero, Leander would swim each night two miles across the strait to woo her and, in the early morning, swim back to Abydus. To guide him in this dangerous journey, Hero would climb a tower on the shore near Sestus with a lamp. One stormy night, however, Leander, drowned when his strength failed him. When Hero became aware of his death, she cast herself in despair from the tower into the waters below, and too was drowned.