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    Description

    The Flavian Amphitheater

    Titus (AD 79-81). Orichalcum sestertius (31mm, 22.82 gm, 6h). Rome, AD 80-81. Oblique overhead view of the Colosseum (Flavian Amphitheater); the exterior displaying four tiers of arches, the top three containing statuary, and the interior showing spectators arrayed in sectioned seating; to the left, fountain on base (Meta Sudans); on right, porticoed building (Baths of Titus?) / IMP T CAES VESP AVG P M TR P P P COS VIII, Titus seated left on curule chair, holding branch and scroll; below, on either side, pile of arms. In field, S - C.  RIC 184. Hendin 1594. Very rare. Only minor smoothing in the fields, and overall one of the better depictions of the Colosseum than one usually finds. Green patina. Good Very Fine.

    From The Dr. Patrick Tan Collection. Ex Gemini VI (10 January 2010), lot 441; Barry Feirstein Collection Part IV (Numismatica Ars Classica 45, 2 April 2008), lot 108; previously purchased privately from Harlan Berk.

    Among the most famous monuments of Antiquity is Rome's Colosseum, formally known as the Flavian Amphitheater, so named after the dynasty that built it. Flavius Vespasianus (A.D. 69-79), began its construction in AD 71 on the site of Nero's sumptuous Golden House. It was Rome's first permanent outdoor amphitheater, and it was built on a scale not to be exceeded for the next eighteen centuries. Vespasian dedicated the partially completed structure in AD 75; however the final touches, including the top tiers of arches and seating, were not completed until June, AD 80, under his son and successor Titus. This remarkable coin was issued to mark the occasion. The die engraver did a exemplary job depicting the mammoth structure in surprising detail, carefully depicting the exterior tiers of arches and the decorative statuary within each arch, as well as the spectators crowded within. Even the interior staircases arched entrance ways and the Imperial box are depicted. To the left of the central structure stands a huge, conical fountain called the Meta Sudans; to the right is a porticoed building usually identified as the Baths of Titus, formerly part of Nero's Golden House.  




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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2014
    10th-16th Thursday-Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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