Numismatica Ars Classica, Zurich   |   Auction 105   |   9 May 2018 Sort by Lot-NumberSort by Estimate
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Lot 61





Estimate: 75'000 CHF   |   Starting price: 60'000 CHF Price realized: 70'000 CHF
Caracalla, 198 – 217. Aureus 201, AV 7.28 g. ANTONINVS PIVS AVG – PON TR P IIII Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust of Caracalla r. Rev. CONCORDIAE AETERNAE Jugate busts r. of Septimius Severus, radiate and draped, and Julia Domna, diademed and draped, on crescent. C 1. BMC 260. RIC 52 var. (S. Severus also cuirassed). Calicó 2849.
Very rare and in exceptional condition for the issue, undoubtedly among the finest
specimens known. Three portraits of superb style perfectly struck in high relief.
Virtually as struck and almost Fdc

Provenance

Claude Vaudecrane (1915-2002) Collection, purchased privately in November 1967, sold by Bank Leu, Zürich, auction 93, 10 May 2005, lot 66.

The Severans, not unlike previous emperors, often associated themselves with certain deities. In general terms Septimius Severus likened himself to Serapis, Caracalla to Hercules, and Geta to Bacchus. On this dynastic aureus we find entirely different associations: Septimius wears a radiate crown, equating himself with the sun-god Sol, and Domna's bust rests upon a crescent moon, equating her with the moon-goddess Luna, the celestial consort of Sol. Such imagery reinforces the long-held idea that the very nature of men and women is polar: night and day. This form of expression for that distinction extends through much of Roman coinage, especially later in the empire when double-denominations are indicated, in which case if it is a coin depicting a male, he typically wears a radiate crown, and if the coin bears the portrait of a female, her bust usually rests upon a crescent.

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