Numismatica Ars Classica, Zurich   |   Auction 105   |   9 May 2018 Sort by Lot-NumberSort by Estimate
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Lot 14

Estimate: 12'500 CHF   |   Starting price: 10'000 CHF Price realized: 11'000 CHF
Claudius, 41 – 54. Aureus 45, AV 7.77 g. TI CLAVD CAESAR·AVG P M T·R·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. Von Kaenel 516 (this coin illustrated). RIC 25. CBN 43. Calicó 361.
Very rare. Struck on a full flan and complete, minor
edge marks, otherwise about extremely fine


Archer M. Huntington (1870-1955) Collection, sold by Numismatica Ars Classica, Zürich, auction 67, 17 October 2012, lot 119. Ex HSA 22215.

The accession of Claudius might best 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 it 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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