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    Description

    Unique Augustus Aureus?

    Augustus (27 BC-AD 14). AV aureus (21mm, 7.82 gm, 4h). Colonia Patricia, ca. 25-22 BC. Bare head of Augustus left; AVGVSTVS below / Shield inscribed S·P·Q·R over CL·V within laurel wreath; OB CIVIS above, SERVATOS below. RIC 30b (R4-5; noted that confirmation is needed). Calicó 258 (R5). Extremely rare and possibly unique. NGC Choice VF 5/5 - 2/5, scuffs.

    The present offering represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to acquire one of the rarest Augustus aurei in existence. As far as our research has concluded, there have been no offerings of this type publicly in at least a decade, and it is likely that this is the first time this type has been sold at auction. Narrowing down this general type to just those with the head of Augustus on the obverse and a shield within a wreath on the reverse, it seems that there are four varieties (Calicó numbers 255 through 258). A study of auction records reveals that there have been two examples on the market recently of Calicó number 257, which is the same type as the present example but with the head of Augustus facing right (the more standard depiction); Numismatica Ars Classica, when they sold the most recent example from the Huntington Collection in 2012, noted in the description that there were only two known examples of that type. Likewise, there has been one example of number 255 sold recently, which is similar to 257 but with the obverse legend expanded to CAESAR AVGVSTVS. Calicó 256 (as 255, but facing left) has not appeared on the market, but an example was known to Calicó in his writing, as he has an actual picture depicting the type in his book. Though this survey is by no means complete, as there are a nearly infinite number of private catalogs that could be consulted, it does suggest that Calicó 258 is the rarest of the four varieties (so rare that Calicó had to use a simple line drawing in his work as he knew of no actual examples). In fact, Sutherland and Carson note in the footnote for this type in The Roman Imperial Coinage "Confirmation Need; noted by Mattingly in BMC but omitted by Giard's CBN." Therefore, the current offering should be considered the confirmation that was needed by Sutherland and Carson and, as such, a distinctive opportunity to obtain such a significant numismatic item.




    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2014
    8th Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 12
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 843

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