Numismatica Ars Classica, Zurich   |   Auction 98   |   12 December 2016 Sort by Lot-NumberSort by Estimate
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Lot 1069

Estimate: 20'000 CHF   |   Starting price: 16'000 CHF Price realized: 23'000 CHF
The Roman Empire
Claudius, 41-54
Aureus 44-45, AV 7.71 g. TI CLAVD CAESAR AVG P M TR P IIII Laureate head r. Rev. IMPER RECEPT inscribed on praetorian camp, at the door of which stands a soldier with a standard. C 43. BMC 23. RIC 25. CBN 43. Calicó 361a.
Very rare and in unusually fine condition for the issue. Struck on a broad
flan and exceptionally complete. Extremely fine Ex Künker 71, 2002, 708 and Gadoury 1st December 2012, 88. Illustrated on, section imagines imperatorum
It is unusual to find such excellent portraits in this period, and the reverse is of high historical importance: in my opinion, a perfect coin. AMP.
The accession of Claudius might best be described as an unplanned coup, for he was swept into office by a praetorian guard that believed he was an ideal replacement for Caligula. Just as they had insulated him from harm for the previous five decades, his physical disabilities and reputation for mental ineptness worked in his favour under these dire circumstances. For Claudius this must have been an alarming moment, for he just as easily could have been executed on account of his blood relation and close association with Caligula. Instead, he was hailed emperor by the praetorian guardsmen, who made certain the senate supported their decision. As a result, Claudius dedicated some of his early coinages to the praetorian guardsmen to whom he owed his principate. Previously, Caligula had acted similarly by striking a brass sestertius depicting himself addressing the praetorians. This particular aureus depicts Claudius standing safely within the praetorian camp, the walls of which are inscribed IMPER RECEPT. A companion issue in gold shows Claudius clasping hands with a praetorian (presumably the praetorian prefect).

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