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    Description

    Rare Armored Bust

    Marcus Aurelius (AD 161-180). AV aureus (21mm, 7.29 gm, 6h).  Rome, AD 177-178. M • AVREL • ANTO-NINVS • AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust of Marcus Aurelius right, seen from front, drapery on far shoulder / TR P XXXII • IMP VIIII COS III P P, Annona standing left, holding two ears of grain in right hand and cradling cornucopia in left, modius of grain to left, ship's stern to right. RIC --, cf. 389 (bust draped and cuirassed). BMCRE --, cf. 771 (same). Cohen --. Calicó 2020a (this coin illustrated). An exquisite and virtually flawless piece, with a superb portrait of the aged emperor in full armor. NGC (photo-certificate) MS? 5/5 - 4/5, Fine Style.

    From The Andre Constantine Dimitriadis Collection. Ex Sotheby's (Zurich, 26 October 1993), lot 97; NAC 5 (1992), lot 502; NFA XXVII (4-5 December 1991), lot 135. 

    This attractive aureus is remarkable both on the merits of its soulful portrait of the "Philosopher Emperor" Marcus Aurelius, and for the detailed military bust, showing the emperor wearing a scale-armor cuirass with shoulder bands decorated with vine scrolls, and the officer's cloak, or paludamentum, pinned to his left shoulder. The artist, perhaps unwittingly, has illustrated the dilemma of Marcus' two-decade reign: A man of peace devoted to Stoic philosophy, he was forced by military necessity to spend 17 years in near-constant warfare against the Roman Empire's aggressive enemies. While the obverse points to Marcus' martial role as commander-in-chief, the reverse emphasizes the emperor's careful administration of Rome's food supply: Annona, personification of the harvest, stands next to a docked grain ship, upon which the Roman masses depended for their daily bread. 

    All Roman gold coins from the Dimitriadis Collection have been issued a photo-certificate by NGC. These may be sent in for encapsulation after the auction at the request of the buyer, free of charge. Please e-mail SamS@HA.com if you would like to utilize this option.




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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2014
    10th-16th Thursday-Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 15
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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