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    Superb Augustus Cistophorus

    Augustus (27 BC-AD 14). AR cistophorus (25mm, 11.77 gm, 12h). Ephesus, ca. 24-20 BC. IMP-CAE-SAR, bare head of Augustus right / AVGVSTVS, garlanded altar decorated with two stags. RIC 482. RPC 2215. Scarce. NGC Choice AU? 5/5 - 4/5.

    The cistophorus, introduced by the Attalid kings of Pergamum in the 190s BC, was struck exclusively at mints in western Anatolia and was intended for circulation only within a closed economic region. Its name derives from the cista, or sacred basket containing serpents, that appeared on the obverse. The Pergamene Kingdom was later bequeathed to Rome in 133 BC as Asia Province and the local coinage continued, with the local design gradually supplanted by portraits of the Roman rulers. It was theoretically a tetradrachm (4-drachm piece) on the reduced Asian standard of about 3 grams per drachm; however its weight was also equivalent to three Roman denarii and so it could also have passed current in the Western empire as a triple denarius piece. Whether such coins were used in the west in this fashion is still a matter of debate.

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2014
    8th Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 583

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