Numismatica Ars Classica, Zurich   |   Auction 105   |   9 May 2018 Sort by Lot-NumberSort by Estimate
Online bidding ends:  8 May 2018 18:00 CEST

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Lot 31





Estimate: 40'000 CHF   |   Starting price: 32'000 CHF
CHF  
Aelius caesar, 136 – 138. Aureus 137, AV 7.25 g. L AELIVS – CAESAR Bareheaded and draped bust r. Rev. TRIB POT – COS II Concordia seated l., holding out patera and resting l. elbow on cornucopiae; in exergue, CONCORD. C 9. BMC Hadrian 998. RIC Hadrian 443b. Kent-Hirmer pl. 86, 301 (this coin). Mazzini 9 (this coin). Calicó 1443 (this obverse die).
Very rare. A magnificent portrait of great elegance struck in high relief.
Almost invisible marks, otherwise good extremely fine

Provenance

Giuseppe Mazzini (1883-1961) Collection, sold to Mario Ratto.

Athos D. Moretti (1907-1993) Collection, sold by Numismatica Fine Arts, Beverly Hills CA, auction 22 (An important collection of Roman gold coinage), 1 June 1989, lot 61.

A "Distinguished American Collection", sold by Bank Leu, Zürich, auction 52, 15 May 1991, lot 201.

Sold by Numismatica Ars Classica, Zürich, auction 59, 4-5 April 2011, lot 1005.

Aelius Caesar, formerly known as L. Ceionius Commodus (Aelius Spartianus recounts his life in Historia Augusta) was of Etruscan origin. He became consul in AD 136, having been adopted by Hadrian in the summer of that year. His appointment came as a general surprise: according to the gossip, Hadrian chose him for his beauty, or perhaps because he considered him a suitable caretaker who would make way for his own favourite, M. Annius Verus, just fifteen years old at the time. In the opinion of Carcopino, Aelius had been adopted because he was Hadrian’s illegitimate child. A wan figure with delicate constitution, he suffered a heavy fall while making an address of thanks for Hadrian and died of haemorrhage. The Historia Augusta (Vita Ael 7) tells us that "Hadrian had gigantic statues raised to Aelius Verus in all regions of the empire, temples too in some cities, and desired that Aelius’ son Verus, who had remained within the imperial family after his father’s death, be adopted as his grandson, by Antoninus Pius together with Marcus."

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