Numismatica Ars Classica, Zurich   |   Auction 97   |   12 December 2016 Sort by Lot-NumberSort by Estimate
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Lot 78

Estimate: 60'000 CHF   |   Starting price: 48'000 CHF Price realized: 100'000 CHF
The Roman Empire
Claudius, 41 – 54. Aureus, Roma 46-47, AV 7.78 g.
Description: TI CLAVD CAESAR·AVG·P·M·TR·VI IMP·XI Laureate head r. Rev. S P Q R / P P / OB CS within oak wreath. References: C 86
BMC 42
RIC 40
CBN 58 (Lugdunum)
Calicó 379a Condition:Very rare and in exceptional condition for the issue, certainly among the best preserved aurei of Claudius in existence. A simply perfect Fdc Provenance: Gorny & Mosch sale 146, 2006, 403
Heritage sale 3033, 2014, 23073
The Lexington Collection of Jonathan K. Kern Note: Claudius faced many challenges in his life, and though his physical disabilities ranked high on the list, perhaps even more trying were his four marriages. His first two attempts at marriage failed – the first because his would-be in laws fell out of favour, the second because his bride-to-be died on their wedding day. Of the four women Claudius actually married, he divorced the first three: one because she was the sister of the defamed Sejanus, the other two because of their adulterous affairs and apparent plans to murder him. His final, fatal marriage to his young niece Agrippina Junior, was similarly disastrous as it ended not only the life of Claudius, but also the life of his only son, Britannicus. According to Tacitus, Claudius’ famous statement that "it was his destiny first to endure his wives’ misdeeds, and then to punish them" may have expedited his own death, for upon hearing him utter these words, Agrippina wasted no time in murdering Claudius by serving him a dish of poisoned mushrooms. Adding insult to injury was Claudius’ precocious teenage successor Nero, who, after Claudius had been deified by the senate, rudely observed that mushrooms must be the food of the gods.

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