Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice

    Description

    Rarity, Brilliance, Beauty Combined

    Commodus (AD 177-192). AV aureus (20mm, 7.22 gm, 5h). Rome, ca. AD 183-184. M COMMODVS ANTON AVG PIVS, laureate and bearded head of Commodus right / P M TR P VIIII IMP VI COS IIII P P, Jupiter standing left, holding scepter and thunderbolt; at feet to left, eagle. RIC 70 var. (bust type). Calicó 2299 var. (same). Extremely rare. Well-centered and lustrous. NGC Choice MS 5/5 - 5/5.

    From The Lexington Collection of Jonathan K. Kern.

    Once again, the Lexington Collection has yielded a stunning rarity. This aureus of Commodus is a variety of RIC 70 and Calicó 2299; both of those types have an obverse bust type of Commodus laureate and cuirassed right, as opposed to this example, which is just laureate head right. What is interesting, however, is the relative rarity of these pieces. RIC lists that type as "Scarce" while Calicó calls it "Scarce 5," meaning it doesn't even register as "rare" in his reckoning. However, an examination of auction records reveals only a singular example of this type on the open market in the last ten to fifteen years; the Biaggi specimen, which sold in NAC 49 (21 October 2008), lot 295 and was subsequently resold in Gerhard Hirsch 263 (24 September 2009), lot 2811. That coin also happens to be the piece chosen by Calicó to illustrate the type in The Roman Aurei, which apparently was the nicest example he could find for that type, despite the fact that it is graded a solid Very Fine. The one other example of the type that we could locate is in the British Museum (BMCRE 116; pl. 94, 1). So despite the suggestions of Mattingly/Sydenham and Calicó to the contrary, it would seem that this type is actually quite rare, if not extremely so. Further adding to its rarity is the fact that the example from the Lexington Collection is an unpublished variety of what is already a very rare type. Above all is the stunning quality of this coin. Graded a superlative Choice MS by NGC, this coin possesses brilliant luster and a refined portrait in extreme high relief, making it a miniature masterpiece of Roman art. 




    View all of [The Lexington Collection of Jonathan K. Kern ]

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2014
    8th Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 6
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 691

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    17.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    VIEW BENEFITS
    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
      winnings 
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 24 days left to consign to the 2020 February 20 - 24 Long Beach Expo US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach!

    Learn about consigning with us

    The sale of some of my collection was an easy process, especially with your help. Heritage Auctions provides collectors a reliable service and is a useful way to manage their collections.
    David J. ,
    New Bern, NC
    View More Testimonials

    HA.com receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source: Similarweb.com)

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2019 December 5-7 US Coins Signature Auction - Dallas
    2019 December 5-7 US Coins Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED $9,490,536
    2019 December 5 - 6 HKINF World & Ancient Coins Signature Auction - Hong Kong
    2019 December 5 - 6 HKINF World & Ancient Coins Signature Auction - Hong Kong
    REALIZED SO FAR $3,848,341
    2019 December 4 - 6 HKINF World Paper Money Signature Auction - Hong Kong
    2019 December 4 - 6 HKINF World Paper Money Signature Auction - Hong Kong
    REALIZED SO FAR $1,667,605