Maison Palombo Auction 17, 20/10/2018
Highlights

Lot 2
Sicile - Catane

Tétradrachme (c. 412-403)

Signé Evainète dans la tablette tenue par la Victoire.

Rarissime et magnifique exemplaire.

Exemplaire de la collection H. M. Robinow acheté chez Münzen & Medaillen le 23 mars 1968 et de la vente Morton & Eden 51 du 24 octobre 2001, N°31

16.90g - AMB 334 (mêmes coins) - Kraay/Hirmer 42 (mêmes coins)

Superbe - AU *

Katane had been long established when this coin was struck, having been founded by colonists from Chalcis in 729 BC. It had been renamed ‘Aitna’ in 476 BC, when Hieron I transferred the inhabitants of Naxos and Katane to Leontinoi; but the exiles returned in 461 BC when the Deinomenid dynasty fell.

The city unsuccessfully tried to free itself from the influence of Syracuse by siding with Athens, and this coin was struck by a city that was not autonomous, which explains why it was struck by a die-engraver working for Syracuse. On the reverse, the head of Apollo distinguishes itself from the severe heads of earlier classical engravers of Katane, and its delicate beauty finds parallels with Arethusa’s head on the contemporary Syracusan coinage. But this coin is most remarkable for its obverse, one of most famous of all the works of Euainetos (who supposedly trained in Athens), among the most beautiful and cele- brated of the Sicilian coins of the late fifth century, with these thundering horses – depicted at the precise dynamic moment when they are turning – which inspired other great Sicilian engravers of the period (contemporary celators include Choirion, Eumenos, Exakestidas and Kimon).
Estimate: 90'000 CHF | Starting price: 70'000 CHF Place bid | Add to watch list

Maison Palombo Auction 17, 20/10/2018
Highlights

Lot 5
Thrace - Abdère

Statère (c. 390 av. J. C.)

Rarissime dans cette qualité - Parfaitement centré.

Probablement le plus bel exemplaire connu.

Exemplaire de la vente Giessener Münzhandlung 44 du 3 avril 1989, N°148 et de la collection Abecassis vente Leu 81 du 16 mai 2001, N°127

Exemplaire illustrant le Lorber.

12.72g - May 313 - Lorber, Amphipolis, p. 176, d (cet exemplaire)

Superbe à FDC - CHOICE AU

Almost opposite the island of Thasos, on the coast of Thrace, Abdera was established in 541 BC by citizens of Teos (south-west of İzmir), who were fleeing Ionia invaded by the Persians. Among the city’s famous citizens, one finds Demokritos (the ‘laughing philosopher’) and the sophist Protagoras. Griffins (facing right) were depicted on the coinage of their lost home-city, which explains the choice of the iconography for the coinage of Abdera. These superb coins were issued after the failed revolt against Athens in 411 BC, not long before the exhaustion of the prolific silver mines of Thrace and a few years before the Abderan army was decimated by the Triballoi in 375 BC. The city introduced a series of coins – such as this one – the reverse of which bore the name of the annual magistrate, who had the choice of its type. In this case, the magistrate Malpegoras chose a pun on his own name, with a reference to dance. The Greek verb for “celebrating with dance and song” gave her name to Melpomene (the muse of chorus) and the graceful woman on the reverse is one of a company (a chorus in Greek) of singers and dancers, accompanied by the harp or the flute. The name of the dance, kalathiskos, came from the dancers’ headgear – named kalathiskoi (“little wicker baskets”). It was performed during the Spartan pastoral festival of Apollo Karneios (Apollo – when his lover the Arcanian seer Carneus was killed – struck the Dorians with plague, and they established a cult to the god to propitiate him), and this coin shows clearly the dancer’s headdress shaped like a modius.
Estimate: 30'000 CHF | Starting price: 25'000 CHF Place bid | Add to watch list



Maison Palombo Auction 17, 20/10/2018
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Maison Palombo Auction 17, 20/10/2018
Highlights

Lot 9
Grèce - Attique - Athènes

Décadrachme (467-465)

D’une frappe parfaitement centrée, d’un style remarquable et d’un haut relief exceptionnel - Un des plus beaux exemplaires connus - Entaille de changeur.

Exemplaire illustrant le Fischer-Bossert.

42.67g - Fischer/Bossert Athens 6b (cet exemplaire) - Kraay/Hirmer 358

Superbe - AU *



This coin is arguably the most important Greek coin ever struck; its type is much more recognizable and more iconic than the artistic gems engraved by a few masters in Sicily – such as the contemporary Demareteion Master, and it is a sign of its great rarity that is lacking in almost all major collections. Despite the discovery of thirteen dekadrachms in the “Elmali hoard” of 1984, only thirty-seven specimens are known, with eighteen in museum collections, struck with 16 obverse dies and 26 reverse dies. This coin is one of only two examples struck with the dies O4-R6, as numbered in the book by W. Fischer-Bossert (The Athenian Decadrachm, New York 2008, pp. 36-37), who then published an addenda (“More Athenian Decadrachms”, Schweizerische numismatische Rundschau 88 (2009), pp. 117-122, pls 7-8). It is an example of the luxury that could be found amongst the aristocrats of Athens, in the milieu of the strategos Kimon (son of the victor of the battle of Marathon), who excessively multiplied entertainments and donatives – leading to his trial on bribery charges in 463 BC, caused by the hostility of the democrats. It is tempting to assume that these dekadrachms were struck at the occasion of a donative evoked by Herodotus: “The advice of Themistocles had prevailed on a previous occasion. The revenues from the mines at Laurium had brought great wealth into the Athenians’ treasury, and when each man was to receive ten drachmae for his share, Themistocles persuaded the Athenians to make no such division but to use the money to build two hundred ships for the war, that is, for the war with Aegina” (Histories 7.144.1), but the current hoard evidence does not support such a minting date shortly after the victory at Marathon in 490 BC. It has also been believed, notably by E. Babelon (Traité II col. 770), that these coins were struck around 480-478 BC in commemoration of the battle of Salamis. In fact, they appear to have been issued around 467-465 BC, after the Athenian victory at the battle of the Eurymedon River when an enormous Persian booty was captured and distributed (Plutarch Vit. Cim. 13.6-8), or after the capture of Thasos and its rich mines in 463/462 BC (Plutarch 14.2). Whatever the exact striking date and reason, and whether or not B. V. Head was correct to write that they were ‘‘chiefly issued on special occasions or for the personal gratification of Tyrants or Kings, and not for common currency’’, it is obvious that these dekadrachms were an exceptional emission, as very few examples survive – whilst tetradrachms are known in many thousands. This suggests that these were not trade-coins made for export, though the fully facing depiction of the owl with its wings spread on those massive dekadrachms, as opposed to the owl in profile on the tetradrachms, gives a powerful statement of the strength of Athens as a victorious military force and leader of the Delian League.
Estimate: 400'000 CHF | Starting price: 300'000 CHF Place bid | Add to watch list



Maison Palombo Auction 17, 20/10/2018
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Maison Palombo Auction 17, 20/10/2018
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Maison Palombo Auction 17, 20/10/2018
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Maison Palombo Auction 17, 20/10/2018
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Maison Palombo Auction 17, 20/10/2018
Highlights

Lot 25
T. Quinctius Flamininus
Statère d’or - Chalcis (c. 196 av. J.-C.)
D’une insigne rareté et du meilleur style.
Exemplaire de la collection N. B. Hunt vente Sotheby’s (New York) des 19 et 20 juin 1990, N°111 et de la collection J. C. Guilliams acheté chez Tradart et de la vente NGSA V des 2 et 3 décembre 2008, N°162
8.50g - Cal. 29
Superbe à FDC - CHOICE AU

R.A.G. Carson, « The Golden Stater of Flamininus », The British Museum Quarterly XX.1 (1955), p. 11; A.A. Boyce, “The Gold Staters of T. Quic- tius Flaminius”, in Hommages à Albert Grenier I, Bruxelles, 1962, pp. 342-350; M. Crawford, Roman Republican coinage, Cambridge 1974, p. 544, n°548/1b; D. von Bothmer (éd.), Wealth of the Ancient World. The Nelson Bunker Hunt and William Herbert Hunt Collections, Fort Worth 1983, p.
218, n°109 (cet exemplaire); M. R. Alföldi., « Der Stater des T. Quinctius Flamininus », Numismatische Zeitschrift 98, 1984, pp. 19-26; C. Botrè et al., “Applicazione della spettroscopia con fluoroscenza a raggi X nello studio di antiche monete romane: implicazioni di carattere storico ed economico”, Bollettino di Numismatica 13 (1989), pp. 129-143; C. Botrè, “Lo statere d’oro di Tito Quinzio Flaminino: una coniazione straordinaria”, Rivista Italiana di Numismatica 96 (1994-1995), pp. 47-52, pl. 1 n°9 (cet exemplaire); C. Botrè, “Roma ed il regno di Macedonia. I loro conflitti nello studio di alcune documentazione numismatiche”, Schweizerische Numismatische Rundschau 76 (1997), pp. 65-73; A. Campana, “Monete d’oro della Repubblica roma- na. III – Aureo di Tito Quizio Flaminino (196 a.C.)”, Panorama Numismatico 142 (2000), pp. 17-21: p. 19, n°7 (cet exemplaire); Tradart, catalogue de la collection J.C. Guilliams, Bruxelles c. 2007, n°23 (cet exemplaire); F. De Callataÿ, “More Than It Would Seem: The Use of Coinage by the Romans in Late Hellenistic Asia Minor (133-63 BC)”, American Journal of Numismatics 23 (2011), pp. 55-86: p. 60, n°3 (cet exemplaire); A. Suspène, « En guise d’introduction: les enseignements du portrait monétaire de César », in Cahiers des études anciennes, vol. XLIX (2012), pp. 7-18: p. 8, note 3; L.
Amela Valverde, “La emisión de T. Qvincti (RRC 548)”, OMNI 5 (2012), pp. 38-42; P. Newey, Φιλοτιμότατος και φιλοδοξότατος, PhD-dissertation, Uni- versiteit Gent 2012; A. Stewart, Art in the Hellenistic World, Cambridge 2014, pp. 240-241; C. Rowan, “Ambiguity, iconology and entangled objects on coinage of the Republican World”, in The Journal of Roman Studies, 2016, pp. 1-45: p. 4, p. 25; A. Campana, La Monetazione di T. Quinctius Flaminius.
Un aureo ellenistico (RRC 548/1), Cassino 2016, p. 48, p. 50, n°3 (cet exemplaire); P.-L. Brisson, Titus Flamininus et la seconde guerre de Macédoine, MA-dissertation, Université du Québec à Montréal 2017, pp. 108-115; A. Campana, “L’aureo di T. Quinctius Flaminius (RRC 548/1): un’aggiunta e una rettifica”, Monete Antiche 96 (nov.-déc. 2017), pp. 23-28: p. 23, n°3 (cet exemplaire) When the British Museum acquired an example of this type in 1955, the curator R.A.G. Carson wrote that the coin was “one of the most notable acqui- sitions by the Department and ... certainly the most important single piece ever to be added to the Roman series”. In its catalogue of the Perfectionist’s collection in May 2005, the firm Leu Numismatik wrote of this type that “This is one of the most historically exciting and important Roman gold coins in existence”, and referred to this specific example as “the famous Hunt coin” (which was reportedly acquired in the early 1980s for US$ 400,000 – over 1,000 ounces of fine gold at the time).
Independent from its desirability as a perfect specimen of a very rare and beautiful coin, this gold stater is of the utmost importance because of the portrait it presents of Titus Quinctius Flamininus (c. 229-c. 174 BC). He was a prominent figure in the Roman Republican imperium, as explained below. But what is especially significant is that almost no living persons had been depicted previously; the privilege being reserved for deities. The Persians had done this in the late fifth century BC, but Alexander the Great himself hadn’t dared to do this, only his general, Ptolemy – king of Egypt and Pharaoh – in 305/304 BC. After the present coin with the effigy of Flamininus, it is necessary to wait a century and a half until a coin might present a comparable portrait: bronze coins struck in 57-55 BC in Nysa-Scythopolis in Syria during the governorship of Gabinius bear a male his portrait accompanied by the letters ΓΑ (ref. RPC I 4825-8): possibly Gabinius’ but possibly Philip Philadelphus. Then, Pompey had some aurei struck in 71 BC to celebrate his triumph; but those show his eldest son standing in a quadriga and do not present his bust (ref. Crawford 402 = Cal. 35). The real successor to this coin is the denarius commissioned by Julius Caesar in 44 BC (ref. Crawford 480/2-20). Because the identification of the marble bust from Delphi has been contested by M. Crawford, and because the ‘Hellenistic Prince’ found in 1885 on the Quirinal slopes is now understood to be the portrait of Quintus Caecilius Metellus Jnr. (after 143 BC), this coin remains the only certain portrait of Flamininus.
In the 270s BC, the Roman army defeated a Greek one – that of King Pyrrhus of Epirus – but this had taken place in Southern Italy, far from Greece. And, when the Romans fought the Illyrians in 228 and 219 BC, it took place in the Balkan peninsula, and it was King Philip V of Macedon (c. 238-c. 179 BC) who decided not to let the Romans get any closer. The Romans, in any case, had more pressing priorities, such as defeating Carthage (in the Battle of Zama in 202 BC), but around 200 BC they were asked by Greek and Asian allies to intervene against Philip. Over two years, the Romans had little success, but then a new consul was elected in 198 BC, namely, T. Quinctius Flamininus, who had notably served as military tribune in 208 BC and as propraetor in Tarentum in 205-204 BC (205-202 BC?). Flamininus, with the support of the Achaean League, defeated Philip V of Macedon at the battle of the Aous, and again – decisively – at the battle of Kynoskephalai (in Thessaly) by spring 197 BC. The terms for peace said that Philip would remain king of Macedon, but that he would have to free all Greek cities, so that in 196 BC Flamininus was able to proclaim the freedom of Greece at the Isthmian games, which were held on the Isthmus of Corinth, an event related by Livy (33.33) and repeated at the Nemean games at Argos.
Where and when these coins were issued remains unresolved. The choice to depict Flamininus’ bare head, without a wreath or a diadem, as opposed to traditional royal portraits, would have been understood by the Greeks as the symbol of their freedom, depicting him as an individual rather than a ruler.
Both Greeks and Romans would have been impressed by the quality of the style of this portrait, simultaneously realistic and idealized. And the Romans would have understood the Latin legend, and it has been said (though contested by Crawford) that some examples have been found in Magna Graecia and Sicily. They could have been issued in the occasion of his three-day triumph in 194 BC in Rome (cf. Livy 34.52), as indeed, Livy described the tri- umph of 194, and noted an important donative to veterans: “On the third day one hundred and fourteen golden crowns, gifts from the cities, were carried past; the victims were in the procession, and in front of the chariot there were many noble prisoners and hostages, among whom were Demetrius, the son of King Philip, and the Spartan Armenes, son of the tyrant Nabis. After them Quinctius himself entered the city. Following the chariot were throngs of soldiers, since the whole army had been brought back from the province. Each of these received in the distribution two hundred and fifty asses for the infantry, twice that amount for the centurions, and thrice for the cavalry” (Livy’s Hist. of Rome XXXIV 52.8-10), but that does not seem consistent with the fact that no example was ever found near Rome, and they were more likely brought back from Greece by veterans of the Second Macedonian War.
In the words of Crawford, “the reverse type is that of the gold staters of Alexander, still in circulation in Greece in the second century” (with the Mace- donian stylis replaced by a palm-branch), and this confirms his belief that the coin was struck in Greece – making it the only Macedonian gold issue of the period. They would have been struck as homage of gratitude, after his proclamation of 196 BC: according to the historian Polybius who reported the ceremony, the crowd cheered Flamininus in such a great way after the proclamation that the ovation shocked passing birds who fell from the sky.
Plutarch (Flam. 12) reports that among other honours received by Flamininus from the Greeks, he was deified in life in Chalkis in Euboea (in gratitude for his support of the invasion of Antiochus III of Syria), which had an active mint and it is therefore a possibility that this was the place where the coins were struck. But, after Cynoscephalae, Philip also had to pay a thousand talents (a weight unit: 26 kilograms of silver i.e. 2.6 kg of gold), forfeit most of his vessels, and deposit hostages at Rome – including his own son, Demetrius, who was restored to him in 190 BC. Might the Romans have had the idea of ordering him to pay in gold and strike a coin with the portrait of his defeater? A Macedonian or Greek strike seems quite likely, considering the choice of an Attic-standard stater-weight. And might Flamininus then have used them as donative to his legionaries? The emission was seemingly fairly-large, with five dies known each for the obverse and the reverse: Campana estimated the emission to have amounted to about 30,000 coins, but Callataÿ hypothesizes the use of a dozen dies and a total emission of over 100,000 coins. Undoubtedly, then, these coins were heavily melted – a fact coherent with the possibility of “Greek” coins being brought back to Roman republican territories. Moreover, a metal analysis was done of an example in private hands, and Botrè summarized the results as follow: “Dal tipo di lega aurea usata nella coniazione dello statere di Flaminino si è potuto stabilire che questa è praticamente identica alle leghe usate per coniare monete d’oro in Grecia e nettamente diversa da quelle usate successivamente a Roma in età repubblicana” (i.e. the gold used is almost identical to that of Greek coins whilst it is very different from that used in Republican Rome – notably because of the presence of nearly 1% of silver). Brisson even noticed, on the Berlin-museum example, that the Q in the legend is not well engraved and rather resembles the Greek letter rho.
D. von Bothmer noticed that “the lack of associated silver suggests its purpose was honorary or commemorative rather than practical”, and he elegantly described the obverse: “his portrait has the disheveled hair and upward gaze in vogue since Alexander and has been shown to be closely modeled on the coin portraits of Flamininus’ erstwhile enemy Philip V [i.e. his tetradrachms]. Its baroque style belongs to the Asian rather than the Alexandrian school.
It features rugged, expressive modeling, softened a bit since the days of the Diadochi. It also displays a sympathy for lean, aquiline features which is evi- dent in contemporary Seleucid as well as Macedonian portraiture”. And in the words of A. Stewart, the philhellene consul appears “in quasi-Hellenistic style, with flamboyantly tousled hair and a prominently aquiline nose; his receding chin and scruffy sideburns are realistic touches. The portrait matches Plutarch’s comment that he was equally passionate both in anger and in kindness, and always thirsting for honor and glory”.
When this specimen was published in 1983, there was only one other known in private hands. There are two varieties, both with the legend T QVINCTI going upwards or downwards (it must be noted that it was the Greeks – not the Romans – who traditionally used the nomen with a shortened prae- nomen). Of the downwards type (Crawford 548/1a), three examples are known: in the Berlin museum (inv. 18201660 supposedly found in 1883), in the London museum (inv. BM 1954-1009.1), and in a private collection (M&M 61 of 1982 lot 104 = NAC 4 of 1991 lot 110 = Leu 70 of 1994 lot 65 = Triton III of 1999 lot 815). Of the upwards type (Crawford 548/1b), eight examples are known: in the Paris museum (inv. FG 1637), in the Athens museum (inv. NM 1669), and in private collections (Leu 20 of 1978 lot 79 = Triton IV of 1999 lot 79 = NAC 39 of 2007 lot 85, Leu 81 of 2001 lot 187 = Leu 93 of 2005 lot 1 = NGSA 4 of 2006 lot 130, M&M 73 of 1988 lot 149 = NAC 83 of 2015 lot 264, NAC 100 of 2017 lot 210 = Oslo Myntgalleri 14 of 2018 lot 853, an example published by Boyce in 1962 and then by Botrè in 1989, and this specimen first published in 1983). This is the best-preserved example of all eleven known.
Estimate: 700'000 CHF | Starting price: 500'000 CHF Place bid | Add to watch list

Maison Palombo Auction 17, 20/10/2018
Highlights

Lot 26
La Guerre Sociale (91-87)
Denier - Corfinium (c. 90 av. J.-C.)
D’une insigne rareté surtout avec ITALIA à l’exergue de l’avers.
Exemplaire de la collection C. S. Bement vente Naville VIII du 25 au 28 juin 1924, N°54 Exemplaire illustrant le Campana.
4.19g - Sydenham 636 - Campana 5a (cet exemplaire) HN Italy 426b - Pagani 5
Pratiquement Superbe - CHOICE XF

This coin, struck in Corfinio in the Abruzzo, with the helmeted head of Italia on one side and the Dioscuri riding on the other, was issued circa 90 BC, when the Italian allies (socii) revolted against the power of Rome. Because its domination on the Italian peninsula was considered too binding, the allies, who had expected to receive Roman citizenship as compensation, seceded and proclaimed their independence. The allies initiated the so-called “social war”, with Corfinium as a capital city, with a Senate, and with two consuls: Q. Poppaedius Silo (leader of the tribe of the Marsi) and C. Papius Mutilus (leader of the Samnite army), the latter’s nomen being mentioned in the exergue of this coin. It is a variation of a denarius issued in 136 BC by the moneyer C.
Serveilus (type Crawford 239/1), on which the legend ROMA has been replaced by ITALIA. With it, the rebels chose for their shared coinage to show that their revolt was unified, and that Italy was not federated to Rome. Another type (Campana 3-4), with the cognomen Mutil(us) in Oscan, is known in 20 specimens, struck from 2 obverse and 2 reverse dies. Instead, this type with ITALIA is much rarer, with only seven examples known (including those in the Paris, London and Berlin museums), all struck from a single pair of dies, and this is the only coin that mixes Latin and Oscan legends. This coin seems to be the earliest attested use of the word ‘Italia’.
Estimate: 20'000 CHF | Starting price: 15'000 CHF Place bid | Add to watch list



Maison Palombo Auction 17, 20/10/2018
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Estimate: 5'000 CHF | Starting price: 4'000 CHF Place bid | Add to watch list

Maison Palombo Auction 17, 20/10/2018
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Estimate: 14'000 CHF | Starting price: 12'000 CHF Place bid | Add to watch list



Maison Palombo Auction 17, 20/10/2018
Highlights

Lot 38
Auguste (27-14)
Aureus - Colonia Caesaraugusta ? (19-18)
Très rare et d’une qualité exceptionnelle.
Probablement le plus bel exemplaire connu.
Exemplaire de la vente Leu 48 du 10 mai 1989, N°313 et de la collection A. L. Casden vente Leu 52 du 15 mai 1991, N°155 et de la vente NAC 25 du 25 juin 2003, N°346 et de la vente NAC 46 du 2 avril 2008, N°477
7.75g. - Cal. 249
Superbe à FDC - CHOICE AU *

The Iberic city of Salduie (today called Zaragoza) had been populated by an ancient Iberian tribe named the Sedetani. Around 20-15 BC, in order to settle army veterans from the Cantabrian wars, the emperor founded in its place a Roman colony which was called Colonia Caesar Augusta in his honour, and it is certainly for the same soldiers that this coin was struck. This existence of this mint, as different from that of Colonia Patricia (Cordova), was defended by both L. Laffranchi and H. Mattingly, but contested by R. Prideaux – who considered that this young colony was too close to Tarraco (Tarragona). Prideaux also contested J.-B. Giard’s suggestion of another mint at Nemausus (Nîmes), even though a die had been found in the fountain of the city. He admitted that, when Agrippa arrived in Spain in 19 BC to fight the Cantabrians, there was an immediate need of coins to pay the legions, and then of money to purchase land to found colonies for retiring veterans – such as Colonia Caesar Augusta, but he assumed that established mints and their experienced workers would have been used, and he suggested the mint of Emerita Augusta (Mérida). In any case, whilst the obverse of this aureus shows the bust of Octavian between laurel-branches, the reverse instead shows a wreath of oak-leaves, around the legend OB CIVIS SERVATOS – which refers to an award (for saving the life of a fellow Roman) that had been bestowed upon him by the Roman senate after he obtained in 20 BC from Phraates IV the liberation of thousands of Roman citizens that had been made prisoners in Parthia (it was a great success for Octavian, notably because he also obtained the standards which Crassus had lost in the battle of Carrhae – standards, which figure on the ‘Augustus of Prima Porta’ statue and which were stored in the Temple of Mars Ultor). This title was undoubtedly precious to Augustus’s eyes, as he chose the legend CAESAR COS VII CIVIBVS SERVATEIS – AVGVSTVS for what seems to be his first emission in gold (ref. Calicó 173). In the words of Cassius Dio, “Octavian had even before received many honours when the questions of declining the sovereignty and of allotting the provinces were being discussed. At that time, the privilege of placing the laurel trees in front of the royal residence, and of hanging the wreath of oak leaves [corona civica] above them, was voted in his honour to recognize in perpetuity his status as victor over his enemies and the savior of the citizens”. Recipients of the corona civica were entitled to various honours, one of which was having spectators rise as they entered a public theatre. The laurel branches were a sign of martial victory, that invoked his victory over Mark Antony and Cleopatra at Actium.
Estimate: 50'000 CHF | Starting price: 40'000 CHF Place bid | Add to watch list

Maison Palombo Auction 17, 20/10/2018
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Estimate: 50'000 CHF | Starting price: 40'000 CHF Place bid | Add to watch list



Maison Palombo Auction 17, 20/10/2018
Highlights

Lot 44
Antonia
Aureus - Rome (41-45)
Très rare et d’une qualité remarquable.
Exemplaire de la collection Sir H. D. Weber vente Sotheby des 29 et 30 juin 1893, N°277 et de la collection F. W. McClean vente Sotheby du 13 au 19 juin 1906, N°17 et de la collection F. R. Jameson et de la collection G. Mazzini et de la collection A. D. Moretti vente NFA XXII du 1 juin 1989, N°34 et de la collection « a Connoisseur of Portraiture » vente NAC 38 du 21 mars 2007, N°14
Exemplaire illustrant le von Kaenel.
7.85g - Cal. 319a - von Kaenel 350 (cet exemplaire)
Superbe à FDC - CHOICE AU

After Livia, wife of Augustus, Antonia the Younger (second daughter of Octavia and Marc Antony) was the first lady of the Impe- rial family to be named Augusta. Caligula had requested it during her lifetime (Suetonius Gaius 15), but she apparently declined the honour (despite a contradictory inscription found in Corinth). Caligula probably had her killed (or arranged her suicide), and she only became Augusta after her death, during the reign of her son (Suetonius Claudius 11). The portraits of these coins depict Augusta as Ceres / Demeter, mother-goddess of the harvest, wearing a crown of grain ears. The reverse legend, sacerdis divi avgvsti, presents Claudius’s mother as “Priestess of the Divine August” (Augustus was her uncle), and the coin shows two lit torches linked by a ribbon (or a garland?). The fact that there are two torches could reflect the duality of the two Augustae, and they probably refer to the cult of Augustus. Claudius particularly liked rituals and cults, even trying to relocate the Eleusinian Mysteries from Attica to Rome (Suetonius Claudius 25). The coin also evokes the nocturnal rites of Ceres, whose visits to the underworld were illuminated by torches, as her cult was popular in Rome, and involved annual celebrations (the Cerealia) and games (the Ludi Cereales) which were obviously a good occasion for the emperor to be liked by his subjects.
Estimate: 40'000 CHF | Starting price: 30'000 CHF Place bid | Add to watch list

Maison Palombo Auction 17, 20/10/2018
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Lot 45
Caligula (37-41) et Auguste
Aureus - Lyon (37-38)
Rarissime dans cette qualité hors norme.
Exemplaire de la vente Leu 10 du 29 mai 1974, N°46 et de la vente Leu 38 du 13 mai 1986, N°229 et de la vente NAC 54 du 24 mars 2010, N°328
7.74g - Cal. 331
Superbe à FDC - CHOICE AU

This coin was struck in Lyon, immediately after the arrival in power of Caligula (‘Little Boots’, the surname given to Gaius by his father when he was still a pleasant child). Despite his innumerable flaws, the new emperor honored his family piously, including his murdered parents, Germanicus and Agrippina Senior, and his murdered brothers, Nero Caesar and Drusus Caesar. This specif- ic coin deserves more study, as two varieties of this radiate portrait are found: anepigraphic (that is, no legend or inscription) but with two stars by its side, or without star but with a legend (as on this example). On the former type, the two stars are probably embodying Augustus and Julius Caesar – who had both been deified, and the portrait is likely that of Tiberius, his great-uncle whom he may have had killed, whom Caligula wanted to have deified. But he soon realized that the Roman citizens resented his predecessor, so he abandoned his project, and only went on striking the second type which identifies the divine Augustus father of the country, his great-grandfather.
It is regrettable that no corpus of this coinage has been compiled yet. Its rarity is not in doubt, but exactly how many specimens survive is not known. Quite incredibly, there were two examples in the collection of the 2nd Duke of Devonshire (1672-1729).
Unfortunately, the 1844 auction catalogue by Christie did not contain weights or images (as was usually the case at the time).
One of them reappeared recently (NAC 105, lot 11), which could be identified thanks to a provenance-note in the 1895 sale of the E. Bunbury collection, but the other example has probably lost its pedigree forever: could it be this coin? Similarly, in the absence of weight or illustration in the 1888 auction catalogue of the collection of A. de Belfort (lot 614), we cannot be certain whether it is – or not – this example.
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Maison Palombo Auction 17, 20/10/2018
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Maison Palombo Auction 17, 20/10/2018
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Lot 47
Néron (54-68) et Agrippine
Aureus - Rome (54)
Rarissime et d’une qualité remarquable.
Exemplaire provenant du trésor de Boscoreale (1894-1895) et de la collection du Perfectionniste (C. Vaudecrane) vente Leu 93 du 10 mai 2005, N°8 et de la collection « Millenia » vente Goldberg 46 du 26 mai 2008, N°88
Exemplaire illustrant Money of the World : coins that made history (2007) N°38
7.67g - Cal. 400
Superbe à FDC - CHOICE AU
This issue with the confronted busts of the emperor and his mother Agrippina is the first one struck during his Principate that depict Nero’s portrait, as the legend TR P dates it from AD 54, whilst the coins with the jugate busts of Nero and Agrippina bears the legend TR P COS which dates them from AD 55. This specific obverse die depicts a leaf (or a grain kernel?) behind Nero’s bust. Only six examples of this coin are known, and the significance of its obverse isn’t certain; it is also found on aurei of Nero with the jugate busts, and on aurei with Divus Claudius. A laurel leaf could evoke the funerary games that were held in honour of Claudius (who had been poisoned by Agrippina!), but Suetonius refers to an accession donative of 150 aurei per praetorian guard (Claudius 10.2), as well as “…a free monthly issue of grain” (Nero 10), and it has been hypothesized that this donative might have been given in gold – with these coins. Considering its toning, it can safely be assumed that this attractive coin be- longed to the Boscoreale hoard. Amongst the 1082 coins that were listed by Canessa in 1909 (and again by Campana in 2015), there were 643 aurei of Nero – but only two of this type (both in FDC). This confirms its great rarity, not the consequence of melting the coins predating the AD 64 monetary reform (reducing weight standards), but by the small size of the emission (only 1 observe-die known).
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Maison Palombo Auction 17, 20/10/2018
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Lot 48
Néron (54-68)
Denier - Rome (68)
D’un style exceptionnel et d’une qualité hors norme.
Probablement le plus beau denier de Néron connu.
Exemplaire illustrant D. Bocciarelli, “Un denier inédit des guerres civiles de 68-69 de n.è. : l’organisation de la révolte de l’armée du Rhin”, Cahiers Numismatiques 191 (mars 2012), pp. 21-37, fig. 2 et D. Bocciarelli, “La légitimation de l’empereur par le consensus exercitum pendant l’année des Quatre Empereurs”, Revue internationale d’histoire militaire ancienne 4 (2016), pp. 95-112, fig. 1.
Exemplaire acheté chez Münzhandlung Basel (1934-1941) et de la vente UBS 78 du 9 septembre 2008, N°1505
3.63g - C. 356 - RIC 68
FDC Exceptionnel - GEM MS
This coin is one of the last issues of Nero (see D. MacDowall, The Western Coinages of Nero, New York 1979, p. 163), and the type with the legionary eagle (aquila) and standards (vexilla), which would also be used by rebels such as Clodius Macer and Vindex,, evokes the forthcoming revolts: these coins are ‘restorative’, using the designs of previously struck coins, denarii of Marc Antony in this case. The choice was significant circa a hundred year after the battle of Actium of 31 BC that had ended Rome’s civil war. Hoards containing worn examples confirm that Antony’s coins were still in circulation, so the type would have been well known – by the Mint employees but also by the average citizen. It proved such a popular type that it continued to be struck occasionally until the early fourth century, and it is used here as a call for fidelity addressed to the army.
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Maison Palombo Auction 17, 20/10/2018
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Lot 49
Vitellius (69)

Aureus - Rome (69) Rarissime dans cette qualité - D’un style remarquable.

Exemplaire illustrant D. Bocciarelli, “L’expression de la légitimité du pouvoir de Vitellius d’après la typologie monétaire”, Revue numismatique 2018, forthcoming, fig. 27 Exemplaire de la Vente Rauch 75 des 6 et 7 mai 2005, N°352 et de la vente NAC 46 du 2 avril 2008, N°525

7.32g - Cal. 585

Pratiquement FDC - CHOICE AU *

Vitellius chose to evoke his priesthoods (on which see Suetonius Vit. 5.1) on this coin in order to highlight his ability at reigning; in a similar manner, Vespasian would use the legend AVGVR on denarii. Indeed, in addition to being supreme Pontiff (Pontifex Maximus), that is the chief high priest of the college of the Pontifices, Vitellius belonged to the Quindecimviri Sacris Faciun- dis, who supervised the Sibylline scrolls. The original scrolls were oracular utterances, supposedly acquired from the Cumaean Sibyl by the last king of Rome, Tarquinius, and had been kept beneath the Temple of Jupiter on the Capitol, until most of them were destroyed in the temple’s fire of 83 BC. They were replaced in 76 BC with similar sayings, collected from Ilium, Eryth- rae, Samos, Sicily, and Africa, and the new set was kept in the restored temple, until Augustus transferred them in 12 BC to the temple of Apollo Patrous on the Palatine. The Sibylline scriptures were written in Greek hexameters, so the college of curators was assisted by two interpreters whenever the Senate requested their consultation in order to avoid calamities such as comets, earthquakes, showers of stones, and plagues. Because of this, the XVviri Sacris Faciundis could be associated to Neptune, as they guided the Romans, and the dolphin is a symbol of the maritime god. There had previously been coin types, under Augustus and Nero Caesar, which depicted an instrument for each priestly college (simpulum, lituus, tripod and patera): the other two colleges being the Augures, who interpreted the will of the gods through the study of the flight of birds (such as the raven depicted on the reverse of this coin), and the Septimviri Epulonum, who were entrusted with the religious feasts and festivals (and would have used a bronze lebes – a Greek cauldron – such as the tripod seen here). But here, tripod, raven and dolphin are more likely chosen as Apollonian symbols (in whose temple the oracles were preserved). Another interpretation of this coin, but probably too far-fetched, would be that it was one of the last ones being issued by Vitellius, who, by choosing an iconography that evokes the priestly colleges, evoked the destruction by his opponents of the Sibylline scrolls in the burning of the Capitol (a shameful crime and a national disaster according to Tacitus Hist. III 72): after defeating Vitellius’s army at Betriacum (Calvatone in the province of Cremona), Vespasian troops had entered Rome in AD 69, leading to a confusion in which Vespasian’s brother was killed by a mob. The iconographic choice is unexpected, as the college of the Pontifices was the most prestigious of all colleges (and as emperor Vitellius belonged to all four), but he had become a XVvir whilst still a private citizen - at his return from Germania, and he may have wanted to insist on his dignity as such. He may also have simply reorganized the college, after unsatisfactory nominations by Otho, and celebrated this fact.
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Maison Palombo Auction 17, 20/10/2018
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Lot 51
Vitellius (69) Vitellius Germanicus et Vitellia
Denier - Rome (69)
D’une qualité exceptionnelle pour ce type.
Probablement le plus bel exemplaire connu.
Exemplaire illustrant D. Bocciarelli, “L’expression de la légitimité du pouvoir de Vitellius d’après la typologie monétaire”, Revue numismatique 2018, forthcoming, fig. 14 Exemplaire acheté chez Münzhandlung Basel (1934-1941) et de la vente UBS 78 du 9 septembre 2008, N°1551 et de la vente Sincona 1 du 29 juin 2011, N°81
3.57g - C. 4
Superbe - AU *
The coinage of Vitellius shows an unusual focus on dynastic emissions: he struck coins honouring these two children (in Rome, in Lyon, and in Spain), as well as others in memory of his late father. Aulus Vitellius Germanicus Iunior (whose name remains uncertain) and Vitellia were children of his second marriage, to Galeria Fundana, and he had left them in Rome in late AD 68 when he became governor of Germania Inferior. He only met his children again after becoming the new emperor, in Lyon in April 69, and on this coin, his son is obviously presented as his heir, and his daughter’s effigy is used to embody a new political stability: indeed, the c. 6 years-old-boy received the agnomen Germanicus and the title of imperator when in Lyon (Cassius Dio LXV.2a) and his daughter was betrothed His son is obviously presented as his heir, and his daughter’s effigy is used to embody this new political stability, having been betrothed to the governor of Gallia Belgica during the same time in Lyon – flattering both the western legions and the senatorial class in Rome. With this emission, Vitellius wanted to show to his soldiers that – after the recent violent regime changes (AD 69 was “The Year of the Four Emperors”) – he had now established a new stable dynasty that would replace the Julio-Claudians. This wasn’t to be, as Vespasian was proclaimed rival emperor in Alexandria on 1 July, and defeated him in Bedriacum (now Calvatone – near Cremona) on 24 October – Vitellius was then captured and killed in De- cember. Vespasian had dynastic ambitions too, for his Flavian dynasty (which did last for 37 years), so both the brother and the young son of Vitellius were also executed.
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Maison Palombo Auction 17, 20/10/2018
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Lot 53
Vespasien (69-79)
Aureus - Rome (76)
D’une qualité et d’un style remarquables.
Exemplaire provenant du trésor de Boscoreale (1894-1895) et de la collection G. Steinberg, vente NAC & Spink Taisei du 16 novembre 1994, N°298 et de la collection C. Sveaas vente NAC 24 « European Nobleman » du 5 décembre 2002, N°249 et de la vente NAC 54 du 24 mars 2010, N°369
7.39g - Cal. 622
Pratiquement FDC - CHOICE AU *
According to the authors of the British Museum catalogue, “the heifer is unquestionably the famous statue of Myron which had been placed by Augustus in the ‘Porticus Apollonis’ and was transferred by Vespasian to the temple of Peace” (to celebrate the end of the Jewish War), but this has since been questioned, because the animal depicted seems different from that shown on the coins which were struck under Augustus in the East (Samos? Pergamum?). It seems quasi-certain, though, that this reverse type commemorates the dedication in AD 75 of the Temple of Peace (a.k.a. Forum Vespasiani), which was decorated with numerous celebratory works displaced from other parts of Rome, amongst which Myron’s four heifers of c. 420 BC that had been brought to Rome from Athens by Octavian in 28 BC and placed on the Palatine before his Temple of Apollo. Considering that Augustus consecrated that temple as commemoration of his maritime victory at Actium, it does not seem coincidental that bulls were tra- ditionally associated with the sea-god Neptune / Poseidon. It must also be noted, though, that both Vespasian and Titus seem to have liked the depictions of animals – not just of this significant bronze sculpture. For a compendium of literary sources evok- ing Myron’s mythical statue, see H. Rambach and A. Walker, “The ‘heifer’ aurei of Augustus”, Schweizerische Numismatische Rundschau 91 (2012), pp. 41-57 and pl. 5-6; and for a recent scholarly study of Vespasian’s temple, cf. P. L. Tucci, The Temple of Peace in Rome, Cambridge, 2018.
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Maison Palombo Auction 17, 20/10/2018
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Maison Palombo Auction 17, 20/10/2018
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Maison Palombo Auction 17, 20/10/2018
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Lot 63
Hadrien (117-138)
Aureus - Rome (134-138)
Probablement une œuvre d’Antoninianos d’Aphrodisias dit « maître de l’Alphée ».
Le plus bel aureus d’Hadrien connu de par sa qualité et son incroyable style.
Exemplaire de la vente Tkalec du 19 février 2001, N°282 Exemplaire illustrant le A. Pangerl (ed.), PORTRAITS.
500 Years of Roman Coin Portraits, Munich 2017, p. 85, N°216
7.26g - Cal. 1409
FDC Exceptionnel - GEM MS *
This is a very rare coin, of which P. Strack only listed three specimens (in the Vatican, Paris and London museums). Other specimens have appeared since, such as Calicó 1409 and Stack’s 174, lot 5048, but it remains a great rarity. The legend VOTA SVSCEPTA (the vows taken) refers to Hadrian’s vicennalia, which was held in December AD 137, and this issue seems to have been struck around the transition of Caesars. Its medallic quality suggests that it was engraved by the ‘Alphaeus Master’ himself, who is responsible for exceptional portraits. This artist has been tentatively identified with Antoninianos of Aphrodisias, a sculp- tor active for Hadrian’s court in a Greek-classicizing style that was identified on various medallions of Hadrian and of Antinoüs, but also on a few exceptional sestertii; see Charles Seltman, “Greek Sculpture and Some Festival Coins”, in Hesperia 17 (1948), pp. 71-85. Choosing a Greek style was significant, as Hadrian had been nicknamed ‘the little Greek’ for speaking Greek better than Latin, and as he was the first Roman emperor to wear a full beard – supposedly in reference to Greek philosophers.
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Maison Palombo Auction 17, 20/10/2018
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Maison Palombo Auction 17, 20/10/2018
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Maison Palombo Auction 17, 20/10/2018
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Lot 75
Lucius Verus (161-169)
Aureus - Rome (161-162)
D’une qualité hors norme et d’un style exceptionnel.
Exemplaire de la collection E. M. Herzfelder vente Hirsch XXIX du 9 novembre 1910, N°1100 et de la vente Hess-Leu 49 (Lucerne) des 27 et 28 avril 1971, N°382 et de la vente Leu 50 du 25 avril 1990, N°65 et de la vente NAC 18 du 29 mars 2000, N°320 et de la vente NAC 54 du 24 mars 2010, N°462
7.24g - Cal. 2119 - BMC p. 411 note † (cet exemplaire cité)
FDC Exceptionnel - GEM MS
This type can be quite precisely dated, as it commemorates the accession of Marcus Aurelius, and his association of Lucius Verus as co-emperor. The succession of Hadrian (b. in January 76) was an issue, as he did not have any recognized child. In AD 136, he chose Lucius Ceionius Commodus (b. in January 101) who was renamed Lucius Aelius Caesar, but Aelius was then promoted governor of Pannonia, and he died there of tuberculosis in January AD 138. Hadrian then chose a new heir, Marcus Catilius Severus (i.e. Marcus Aurelius, b. in April 111), but he was then too young to rule. Finally, Hadrian decided on Aurelius’ uncle Titus Aurelius Fulvus Boionus Arrius Antoninus (i.e. Antoninus Pius, b. in September 86), shortly before his own death in July AD 138, but with the condition that Antoninus would adopt both his nephew and Aelius’s son Lucius Ceionius Commodus (i.e.
Lucius Verus, b. in December 130). Aurelius and Verus became co-emperor on 8 March AD 161; Aurelius’s daughter Lucilla was promised to Verus in order to strengthen their links (the wedding only took place in AD 164 – once she was 15), and this coin cel- ebrating the CONCORDIAE AVGVSTORI – The Harmony between the Augusts – was certainly struck in the following months.
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Maison Palombo Auction 17, 20/10/2018
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Maison Palombo Auction 17, 20/10/2018
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Lot 83
Septime Sévère (193-211)
Aureus - Rome (202)
D’une extrême rareté et d’une qualité remarquable.
Exemplaire du trésor de Karnak (1901) et de la vente Münzen & Medaillen 35 du 16 juin 1967, N°85 et de la collection du Perfectionniste (C. Vaudecrane) vente Leu 93 du 10 mai 2005, N°56
6.98g - Cal. 2428
Superbe à FDC - CHOICE AU
This coin belongs to the dynastic series, because – on the reverse which depicts a galley with five oarsmen, a vexillum at the prow, and two standards at the stern – one sees the seated figures of Septimius Severus, Caracalla and Geta. The legend AD- VENTVS AVGVSTOR (The Return of the Augusts) indicates that it was struck when Severus return from the East after a long absence of five years: the journey had started by sea in the summer of AD 197, after defeating Clodius Albinus in Gaul, and by January AD 198 Severus had defeated the Parthians, with all the men of Ctesiphon being executed and tens of thousands of women and children taken as slaves. The royal family remained in the East, Severus and Caracalla jointly assumed the consulate in Antioch on 1 January AD 202, and then they returned – this time by land. Severus was coming back in time for his decennalia, and Caracalla was planning his wedding to Plautilla in April AD 202, so it was a year of celebrations in Rome: not only games and spectacles, but also (according to Dio Cassius) a donative of ten aurei to each praetorian guard. Only four other examples of this type are known, from the collections of A. Du Chastel specimen (Brussels coin-cabinet no. 677), A. Evans (Naville III lot 87 = Lanz 50 lot 685), G. Mazzini (=Biaggi = NAC 34 lot 39), and an anonymous collector (NAC 92 lot 2301).
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Maison Palombo Auction 17, 20/10/2018
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Lot 84
Septime Sévère (193-211)
Denier - Rome (204)
D’une qualité remarquable et d’une grande rareté.
Flan légèrement fendu.
Exemplaire de la vente Tkalec du 23 octobre 1992, N°298 et de la collection « Athena Fund » vente Sotheby’s (Zurich) des 27 et 28 octobre 1993, N°1627 et de la collection P.F. Molina vente Aureo & Calicó « Imagines Imperatorum » du 8 février 2012, N°146
3.13g - C. 253 (60 francs or)
Superbe - NGC AU (5/5 4/5) flan flaw
Septimius wanted to highlight the parallels between his own victories and those of Augustus, and in AD 204 he organized the Ludi Saeculares on the model of the games which his predecessor had held in 17 BC in celebration of the foundation of Rome.
“The whole construction in the amphitheatre was made in the form of a ship, and was so conceived that 400 beasts might be re- ceived into it, and at the same time be sent forth from it. Then, when it suddenly collapsed there issued out of it bears, lionesses, panthers, lions, ostriches, wild asses and bison, so that seven hundred beasts, both wild and domesticated, were seen running about at the same time and were slaughtered.” (Dio Cassius LXXVI.1.1-5). The reverse of this coin illustrates this relation of the games held on the seventh and final day of the Ludi Saeculares in AD 204, with the central ship being the spina of the Circus Maximus, decorated with turning posts and a sail, around which chariot races and animal hunts were held. It is surrounded by four quadrigas, and a group of exotic animals that include an ostrich, a bear, a lion and a lioness, a wild ass, a panther and a bison, and indeed inscriptions say that some 700 beasts were killed (one hundred of each). laetitia temporum, a “happy time”, is the new Golden Age inaugurated by Septimius Severus the ‘second Augustus’, as indicated in what remains of the hexameter poem of fifty lines that was composed at the time by an unknown writer. In addition to those circus races, Severus organized gladiatorial games, and distributed a donative, for which this coin was most probably used – though C. Clay suggested in 2000 (Berk 115, lot 400) that the portrait indicate a strike in AD 206 rather than AD 204.
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Maison Palombo Auction 17, 20/10/2018
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Lot 91
Caracalla (198-217)
Denier - Rome (212)
Très rare et d’un style remarquable.
Exemplaire de la collection A. H. F. Baldwin vente Glendining des 20 et 21 novembre 1969, N°166 et de la vente Tkalec & Rauch des 16 et 17 novembre 1987, N°342 et de la vente Numismatic Fine Arts XXIX du 13 août 1992, N°392 et de la collection « Athena Fund » vente Sotheby’s (Zurich) des 27 et 28 octobre 1993, N°1636 et de la collection P.F. Molina vente Aureo & Calicó « Imagines Imperatorum » du 8 février 2012, N°166
3.36g - C. 208
Pratiquement FDC - NGC CHOICE AU * (5/5 4/5)
As the effective head of his family firm A. H. Baldwin, ‘Uncle Fred’ had access to some of the best coins on offer worldwide, and he achieved his goal to collect “in order to show a comprehensive series of Roman portraits in the best condition and style”. This specimen does indeed present a superb bust, but its reverse is even more exceptional for the quality of strike and preservation of the elephant. The animal depicted, probably one of those from the games held in AD 212, is shown in a military outfit (Ira and Larry Goldberg wrote that the Greeks used elephants “as the ancient version of the tank”), possibly the normal appearance for triumphal processions and public spectacles. “[The] elephant in intelligence approaches the nearest to man. It understands the language of its country, it obeys commands, and it remembers all the duties which it has been taught. It is sensible alike of the pleasures of love and glory, and, to a degree that is rare among men even, possesses notions of honesty, prudence, and equity; it has a religious respect also for the stars, and a veneration for the sun and the moon” (Pliny Nat. Hist. viii.1). The Romans’ first encounter with the animal had been by the legionaries who fought at the Battle of Heraclea against Pyrrhos of Epiros in 280 BC.
In AD 287, Diocletian and Maximianus Herculeius would use again such cuirassed war-elephants on an exceptional medallion of ten aurei.
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Maison Palombo Auction 17, 20/10/2018
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Lot 93
Caracalla (198-217) et Plautille
Aureus - Rome (202)
D’une insigne rareté et d’une qualité hors norme.
Exemplaire provenant du trésor de Karnak (1901) et de la collection F. R. Jameson et de la collection E. von Schulthess-Rechberg vente Hess-Leu 17 du 23 mars 1961, N°270 et de la collection du Perfectionniste (C. Vaudecrane) vente Leu 87 du 6 mai 2003, N°61 et de la collection P.F. Molina vente Aureo & Calicó « Imagines Imperatorum » du 8 février 2012, N°174
7.52g - Cal. 2858
FDC Exceptionnel - GEM MS
Caracalla’s wife, Publia Fulvia Plautilla, who may have been a year younger or three years older than her husband – sources disagree – belonged to the gens Fulvia and was related to the first wife of Julius Caesar; her father was a maternal first cousin to Septimius Severus (and fellow countryman of Lepcis) and the commander of the Praetorian Guard. She despised her so that, apparently, she would not even dine with him, but she nevertheless bore him a daughter in AD 204. Plautilla was said to be prod- igal, and indeed she seems to have been brought up in a rather extraordinary manner: for example, Cassius Dio (who attended the wedding) related that Plautianus had one hundred Roman men of good birth castrated so that his daughter would have a suitable number of eunuchs to school her in the finer arts of life, and that the dowry he offered was fifty times the normal amount for a roy- al woman. When, possibly on false grounds, Plautilla’s father was executed for treachery (a plot against the emperors) in January AD 205, Caracalla immediately divorced and exiled her, to Sicily first and then to the volcanic island of Lipari. She was finally strangled in AD 211 – once her protector Severus had died. In this context, it can be safely assumed that this coin was struck just after the wedding of Caracalla (who was Augustus since AD 198, but still only 14-year-old) to Plautilla in April AD 202.
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Maison Palombo Auction 17, 20/10/2018
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Lot 94
Geta (198-211) Septime Sévère et Julia Domna
Aureus - Rome (200-202)
D’une insigne rareté et d’une qualité hors norme.
Le plus bel exemplaire connu.
Exemplaire provenant du trésor de Karnak (1901) et de la collection Sir J. Evans vente Rollin & Feuardent des 26 et 27 mai 1909, N°219 et de la collection F. R. Jameson et de la collection L. Biaggi et de la vente Leu 22 du 8 mai 1979, N°308 et de la collection du Perfectionniste (C. Vaudecrane) vente Leu 93 du 10 mai 2005, N°73
Exemplaire illustrant le Calicó.
7.23g - Cal. 2927 (cet exemplaire)
FDC Exceptionnel - CHOICE MS *
Until the Egyptian find of Karnak in 1901, which contained some 1200 aurei dating from Hadrian to Elagabalus, no example was known of this type, and it remains very scarce: the author of the Leu 22 catalogue only knew of two other specimens, the lot 1261 in the Hamburger 76 auction of October 1925 and the lot 1754 in the Naville 15 auction of July 1930. This superb dynastic aureus displays an interesting iconography: the radiate crown worn by Septimius transforms him into the sun-god, whilst Domna is equated to the moon-goddess by resting upon a crescent moon, Sol & Luna – the imperial couple – representing therefore both night and day. More traditionally, Geta is depicted as a teenage Caesar: youthful (he was born in AD 189), but wearing a military cloak over a protective cuirass (as indicated by pteruges at the shoulders). With this coin, the Imperial propaganda showed a family that was both happy and able to reign with strength when confronted with military threats.
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Maison Palombo Auction 17, 20/10/2018
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Maison Palombo Auction 17, 20/10/2018
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Lot 101
Gallien (253-268)
Denier - Rome (264-265)
D’un style et d’une qualité exceptionnels.
Inédit - Unique ?
2.69g - C. manque - RIC manque - MIR manque cf. 945-946
Superbe à FDC - MS
This denarius, seemingly unique, can be dated to AD 264-265 because of the legend “Tribunicia Potestate tertium decimum Consul sextum”, as it is in AD 264 that became Consul for the sixth time (with Saturninus). Roma Numismatics (auction XIII lot 890 and auction XIV lot 796) and CNG (auction Triton XXI lot 832) have offered for sale three coins that closely resembles this example, but with a different reverse legend: instead of P M TR XIII C VI PP (on this coin), they bear the legend P M TR P XV C VII PP. The cataloger of CNG had misread TR P XX for TR P XV, and had noted that Gallienus only received the Tribunicial powers sixteen times (and the consulship seven times), which did not seem to make sense; instead “Tribunicia Potestate quintus decimum Consul septimum” indicates that it was struck in AD 266-268.
The reverse type of this coin has already been studied by Jean-Marc Doyen (Recherches sur la chronologie et la politique monétaire des empereurs Valérien et Gallien, vol. 2a: Etude des émissions monétaires de Milan, PhD thesis, Louvain-la-Neuve 1989, pp.
101-103, available online), and it is copied from a rare series of Antoninus Pius, struck in AD 140 (as ref. RIC 694a and aureus ref.
Calicó 1689) which celebrated with some advance the 900th birthday of Rome. It was first used by Gallienus in 260, with the legend TRIB POT VIII COS III and a laurelled bust to left, on a coin struck in Mediolanum / Milan (ref. MIR 945gg = Doyen 49), and again with the legend TRIB POT COS IIII (MIR 946 gg = Doyen 71). It shows Mars descending towards Rhea Silvia, daughter of King Numitor and a Vestal virgin who is depicted whilst sleeping in the forest, just before raping her. This mythological episode (told by Ovid Fast. III.V.11 and Livy Ab Urbe Condita I) is of the utmost importance for the story of Rome, as the intercourse led to the conception of the twins Romulus and Remus. The same iconography can be found on wall paintings from Pompeii and in the baths of Titus (see LIMC II/1 pp. 459-451 and II/2 pls 415-416), but also on mosaics, on reliefs, on silverware, and on gems.
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Maison Palombo Auction 17, 20/10/2018
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Lot 107
Maximien Hercules (285-310)
Aureus - Trèves (295-305)
Rarissime et d’une qualité exceptionnelle.
Exemplaire du trésor de Beaurains dit d’Arras (1922) et de la collection J. W. Garrett acheté en 1923 à W. Raymond et de la vente NFA/ Leu du 17 mai 1984, N°914 et de la vente Christie’s (New-York) du 9 décembre 1991, N°92 et de la vente Christie’s (Londres) du 13 octobre 1992, N°626 et de la collection « Athena Fund » vente Sotheby’s (Zurich) du 26 octobre 1993, N°124 et de la collection P.F. Molina vente Aureo & Calicó « Imagines Imperatorum » du 8 février 2012, N°308
Monnaie illustrant le Calicó et le Bastien.
4.81g - Cal. 4714 (cet exemplaire) Bastien (Arras) 238
Superbe à FDC - NGC AU * (5/5 4/5)
Maximian is named here “pacifier of the nations”. This depiction of the emperor, holding the palm branch of victory, is probably linked to his parades in Carthage and Rome in AD 298-299 as triumphator against Frankish pirates and Berber tribesmen of Maure- tania. The previous year, Maximian had crossed the sea from Hispania with a large army, and forced the Moors to withdraw to their homes in the Atlas Mountains. Then, after pausing at Carthage, he marched against them, and drove the survivors into the Sahara.
The design on the reverse also includes a female standing assistant, who holds one of the horses. Her identification is not obvious, as both Virtus and Roma are usually depicted the same way: helmeted Amazons with one bare breast. Virtus was the personification of Roman bravery and military prowess, which would be appropriate for a victorious emperor, but this figure carries a scepter – and only Roma was fit to rule. The question is significant, because the rare reverse legend is in plural – PACATORES GENTIUM, which could refer to the emperor and Roma (?), or to Maximian and Diocletian. If the latter, then the coin might refer to Diocletian’s triumph of AD 303 instead, when he celebrated the decennalia of the Tetrarchy, the vicennalia of his reign and his triumph over the Sasanian Persians.
The Arras provenance of this coin was supplied by Wayte Raymond in the letter of 31 July 1923 in which he offered it to John Gar- rett, and Garrett bought it on 1 September 1923 for 200 dollars. Garrett noted in his card catalogue that he only knew of one other specimen from the find, which is supposedly that which Garret had declined when it was offered by Schulman in April 1923 for 300 florins (less than $120).
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Maison Palombo Auction 17, 20/10/2018
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Lot 111
Constantin Ier le Grand (310-337)
Médaillon d’un solidus et demi - Thessalonique (327)
D’une insigne rareté et d’une qualité remarquable.
Exemplaire de la collection « de Guermantes » vente Leu 86 du 5 mai 2003, N°985 et de la vente NAC 52 du 7 octobre 2009, N°608
6.71g - Gnecchi p. 17, 23 et pl. 7, 5 Bastien, Donativa, cf. p. 80, note 2.
Pratiquement FDC - CHOICE AU *
Rather than the laurel wreath that identified emperors as commanders-in-chief, this remarkable anepigraphic portrait shows Constantine wearing a diadem – an innovation dating back to AD 324 which recalls royal Hellenistic portraits, looking upward in an attitude of prayer (his eyes turned up to the heavens) which was well noticed by Christians, as testified by Bishop Eusebius of Caesarea in his Vita Constantini (IV.15): “The great strength of the divinely inspired faith fixed in his soul might be deduced by considering also the fact that he had his own portrait so depicted on the gold coinage that he appeared to look upwards in the manner of one reaching out to God in prayer. Impressions of this type were circulated throughout the entire Roman world”. After forty years of internal wars, Constantine’s defeat of Licinius I at Chrysopolis in AD 324 had reunified the empire under a single emperor. In November that year he drew the plans of a new much-enlarged city of Constantinople (former Byzantius, and future Istanbul), which would then be inaugurated as the new capital city in May AD 330, and in AD 325 he convened at Nicaea and personally oversaw an ecumenical council of Christian bishops. These, and numerous administrative reforms, gave him much to celebrate, and this medallion belongs to the monuments that mark his successes. Its reverse depicts the Emperor standing be- tween two bound captives, and it was struck at the time of his vicennalia (he was to become the longest reigning Roman emperor since Augustus), which was also the decennalia of his son Constantine II Caesar (it was customary for emperors to celebrate their accession to the throne every five years, with festivities and donatives). This medallion was struck in Thessaloniki, which was a step of the emperor’s vicennial journey. Indeed, Constantine had left Nicomedia (Isnik in Turkey) in early AD 326 and arrived in Rome (the ‘old capital’) in July, and then left Rome in September to arrive back in Nicomedia in July AD 327, having visited Thessalonica, Sirmium and Ticinum on the way: “A stop in Thessalonika [in late February 327] is recorded in Codex Theodosianus for the return journey, and […] one might postulate that Constantine travelled the same route via Thessalonika also on the outward vicennial journey [in April 326]” (L. Ramskold, “Constantine’s Vicennalia and the Death of Crispus”, Niš & Byzantium conference XI (2012), pp. 409-456).
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Maison Palombo Auction 17, 20/10/2018
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Lot 112
Constant Ier (337-350)
Médaillon de 3 solidi - Trèves (342-343)
Unique et d’une qualité hors norme.
Exemplaire de la vente Münzen & Medaillen 53 du 29 novembre 1977, N°300 et la collection du Perfectionniste (C. Vaudecrane) vente Leu 93 du 10 mai 2005, N°141 et de la vente NGSA VI du 30 novembre 2010, N°201
12.83g - Gnecchi manque - Bastien, Donativa, cf. p. 85, note 2.
FDC Exceptionnel - CHOICE MS *
Constans (born c. AD 323), who was the youngest son of Constantine I and Fausta, and had been created Caesar in AD 333, was still very young when this large medallion (which is missing from all the scholarly references: RIC 1981, Bastien 1988, De- peyrot 1996), was struck as a donative to celebrate the second consulate (vicennalia) of Constans in AD 342. Its martial reverse type, with the legend TRIVMFATOR OMNIVM GENTIVM - victor over all peoples, indicates that Constans had power over the barbarians: the medallion commemorates the emperor’s victories over the Franks, that and the previous year. This very rare legend, advertising military success and the ability of the emperor to protect the empire, had already been used by Constantine the Great on a solidus struck in Ticinum (Pavia) when he went to war against Licinius in AD 316 (ref. Depeyrot 16/7). The title is also found on Constantinian inscriptions (e.g. “triumfator omnium gentium ac domitor universarum [factionum] qui libertatem tenebris servitutis oppressam sua felice v[ictoria nova] luce inluminavit” CIL VIII 7006), after his victory against Maxentius in AD 312. As noticed by the authors of the M&M 53 catalogue, the iconography of this coin cannot but evoke Psalm 91, which tells the followers of Christ that his angels will guard them and that ‘Thou shalt tread upon the lion. The young lion and the dragon, shalt you trample’. “Le mépris de l’ennemi, qui commence à s’exprimer avec les reliefs de la colonne Antonine (et qui était absent de la colonne Trajane), s’accroît avec le renforcement du sens de l’autorité et de la puissance que confère aux empereurs chré- tiens le sentiment d’être les champions d’un Dieu unique, vrai et tout-puissant. L’ennemi prisonnier est traîné par les cheveux, piétiné, ver minuscule qui se tord en vain, comme se tordit le dragon sous les pieds de l’Archange » (R. Bianchi Bandinelli).
Constans, Constantine’s son, also struck a medallion with the legend TRIVMFATOR OMNIVM BARBARVM – vanquishers of the barbarian nations where the emperor sets foot on a propra that may refer to his journey to Britain. Interestingly, that legend was also used on silver medallions of Constans, struck in AD 338 in Siscia (Sisak), where the emperor is seen holding a standard with the Christogram – the symbol of Christ.
This coin was cited in F. Panvini Rosati, “Tre zecche imperiali : Treveri, Mediolanum, Ravenna; struttura e funzionamento”, XXV Corso di cultura sull’arte ravennate e bizantina”, Ravenna 1978, pp. 211-228; new ed.: Bolletino di numismatica 37.1 suppl.
(2004), pp. 251-261: p. 255.
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Maison Palombo Auction 17, 20/10/2018
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Maison Palombo Auction 17, 20/10/2018
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