Numismatica Ars Classica, Zurich   |   Auction 105   |   9 May 2018 Sort by Lot-NumberSort by Estimate
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Lot 66

Estimate: 150'000 CHF   |   Starting price: 120'000 CHF Price realized: 240'000 CHF
Diadumenian caesar, 217 – 218. Aureus late 217, AV 7.36 g. M OPEL ANT DIADVMENIAN CAES Bare-headed and draped bust r. Rev. PRINC IVVENTVTIS Diadumenian standing facing, head r., holding in r. hand standard and in l. sceptre; behind, two standards. C 2. BMC p. 509 note †. RIC Macrinus 101 var. (draped and cuirassed). Faces of Power 445 (this coin). Calicó 2982.
Extremely rare and in exceptional condition for the issue, undoubtedly among the
finest specimens known. A superb portrait of masterly style struck in high
relief on a full flan. A perfect Fdc


Enrico Caruso (1873-1921) Collection, sold by Cesare and Ercole Canessa, auction III, Naples, 28 June 1923 and following days, lot 463, to Adda.

Victor Adda (1885-1965) Collection.

Sold by Bank Leu, Zürich, auction 38, 13 May 1986, lot 318.

Gerald Hoberman (1943-2013) Collection, sold by Dix Noonan Webb, London, auction 29 September 2008, lot 6044.

For the majority of his father Macrinus’ brief reign, young Diadumenian held the title Caesar, but near the bitter end he was raised to the rank of Augustus. When the tide finally turned against their regime, loyal supporters of his father attempted to smuggle Diadumentian to Parthia for safe keeping, but he was captured en route at Zeugma and executed shortly thereafter. Although we can determine Diadumenian’s appearance from coin portraits such as this, there is an unusually personal literary account in the Historia Augusta, wherein he is described as: ”…beautiful beyond all others, somewhat tall of stature, with golden hair, black eyes and an aquiline nose; his chin was wholly lovely in its modeling, his mouth designed for a kiss, and he was by nature strong and by training graceful.”

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