Numismatica Ars Classica, Zurich   |   Auction 97   |   12 December 2016
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Lot 85





Estimate: 10'000 CHF   |   Starting price: 8'000 CHF Price realized: 8'000 CHF
The Roman Empire
Nero augustus, 54 – 68. Aureus, Roma circa January-November 55, AV 7.55 g.
Description: NERO CLAVD DIVI F CAES [AVG] GERM IMP TR P COS Conjoined busts of Nero, bare-headed, and Agrippina II, draped, r. Rev. AGRIPP AVG DIVI CLAVD NERONIS [CAES] MATER Quadriga of elephants l., bearing two chairs holding Divus Claudius, radiate r., holding eagle-tipped sceptre and Divus Augustus, radiate r., holding patera and sceptre; in l. field, EX S C. References: C 3
BMC 7
RIC 6
CBN 10
Calicó 397 Condition:Very rare. A very interesting and intriguing issue with two finely engraved portraits, good very fine / about extremely fine Note: The last of Nero’s early issues, this aureus honours mother and emperor on the obverse and the deified Claudius on the reverse: as such we may consider it a compilation of the two separate coinages of Nero’s accession issue. The reverse scene is of great interest as it depicts four elephants drawing a wheeled platform with two seated figures. Clearly this is a depiction of Claudius’ funeral. He was only the second emperor to be deified, and the scene is virtually identical to the one on Tiberius’ sestertii dedicated to Divus Augustus. The scenes differ in that on the coins dedicated to Claudius the elephants have no riders (undoubtedly because the format was smaller) and Augustus’ statue is joined by another, which we must presume to be that of his divine companion Claudius. Some have described the seated figures differently: Cohen questioned if they were Augustus and Livia, and it has also been suggested that they are Augustus and Fides Praetorianum. However, these should be dismissed considering the direct iconographic link to the Tiberian sestertii and the remark by Tacitus, who notes that Claudius’ funeral ”…was modeled on that of the divine Augustus…”. He further relates that the senate placed his widow Agrippina in charge of his priesthood, and that in his funeral she imitated ”…the grandeur of her great-grandmother Livia, the first Augusta”.

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