Pertinax, 1st January – 28 March 193. Aureus 193, AV 7.23 g. IMP CAES P HELV – PERTIN AVG Laureate and draped bust r. Rev. PROVID – DEOR COS II Providentia standing l., holding up both hands to large star. C 41. BMC 12. RIC 11b. A.M. Woodward, The Coinage of Pertinax, NC 1957, pag. 92, (a) 4, rev. –. Calicó 2390a (these dies).
Estimate: 40'000 CHF
Starting price: 32'000 CHF
Price realized: 38'000 CHF
Rare. An elegant portrait, the work of a very skilled master engraver
struck in high relief, good extremely fine
Sold by Credit Suisse, auction 3 December 1985, lot 553.
John Whitney Walter (b. 1934) Collection, sold by Stack’s, New York, auction 29 November 1990, lot 57.
A self-made man who rose to prominence through dedication and talent, Pertinax's career was illustrious. His father was a former slave and merchant whose wealth bought Pertinax a good education. Pertinax began his adult life as a teacher, but afterwards he embarked on a military career. He rose through the ranks serving in Parthia, Britain and Noricum, and he subsequently served as governor of several provinces. In 189 the emperor Commodus appointed him prefect of Rome, and he was still serving in that capacity when Commodus was assassinated on New Year's Eve, 192. Though Pertinax has often been portrayed as an unimpeachable moralist, he was more likely an opportunist who was intimately involved in the plot against Commodus. After his accession, Pertinax may have viewed himself as a benevolent dictator, but the praetorians nonetheless murdered him after a reign of just eighty-six days.