Numismatica Ars Classica, Zurich   |   Auction 105   |   9 May 2018 Sort by Lot-NumberSort by Estimate
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Lot 89

Estimate: 60'000 CHF   |   Starting price: 48'000 CHF Price realized: 70'000 CHF
Probus, 276 – 282. Aureus, Siscia 279, AV 6.04 g. VIRTV – S PROBI AVG Helmeted and cuirassed bust r. Rev. P – M TR I – P Emperor, laureate and togate standing in slow quadriga r., holding eagle-tipped sceptre in l. hand; in exergue, COS III. C 453 var. (bust l.). RIC 579 var. (bust l.). Calicó 4177 var. (bust l.).
Apparently unique and unpublished. An absolutely spectacular portrait of masterly style
perfectly struck and centred on a full flan and a finely detailed reverse composition.
Virtually as struck and almost Fdc


Sold by Harlan J. Berk with Freeman & Sear, auction Gemini II, New York, 10 January 2006, lot 507.

‘Heroic bust’ composition, which harkens back to earlier numisimatic prototypes. Probus’ intention, no doubt, was to demonstrate the strength of his regime and to show the possessor of this beautiful aureus that Rome’s future was secured by the strength of his command. If the obverse was meant to communicate Probus’ unquestioned military supremacy, the elegant, noble reverse suggests the same level of confidence in the emperor’s legislative authority. Probus is shown in his chariot, holding an eagle-tipped sceptre (scipio) and guiding the reins of four horses who move forward in perfect synchronicity – the foremost with its head held high. Here Probus celebrates an unspecified tribunician power, and his third renewal of the consulship. We must presume this coin refers to the third or fourth renewal of his tribunician power, even though it is not designated, as his sequence of honors would accommodate that. Tribunician power designations on the coins of Probus, though unorthodox, is consistent: TR P is paired with COS; TRI P is paired with COS II and COS III; TR P V is paired with COS IIII; and TR P VI is paired with COS V.

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