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Research Coins: Feature Auction

 
721148
Sale: CNG 72, Lot: 1148. Estimate $500. 
Closing Date: Wednesday, 14 June 2006. 
Sold For $1000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

KINGS of PONTUS. Polemo II, with Agrippina Junior(?). AD 38-64. AR Drachm (3.59 g, 1h). Dated RY 24 (AD 51/2). Diademed head of Polemo right / Diademed and draped bust of Agrippina Junior right; I D (date) to right. RG 33; RPC I 3825; SNG Copenhagen 239 var. (RY). VF, toned, minor hairline flan crack, scratch under tone on reverse. Very rare.



Burnett in RPC I identified the female on these drachms as Antonia Tryphonaea, the mother of Polemo II, based on the portrait’s similarity to those silver and bronze issues which also bear her name. These drachms, however, have no such identifying legend and from the known regnal dates, were struck during the period AD 49-54. Stylistically, they fit within the series bearing clearly identifiable portraits of Claudius and Nero, as well as two examples, dated AD 55/6 and AD 56/7, with a portrait which Burnett tentatively identified as that of Britannicus. As Polemo owed his installation as king to Agrippina Junior’s brother, Caligula, it is quite possible that Claudius’ marriage to his benefactor’s sister in AD 49 prompted him to begin striking these coins which continued, as evidenced by the regnal dates, during her period of influence at court.