Leu Numismatik

Auction 15  –  1 June 2024

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Leu Numismatik, Auction 15

Celtic, Greek, Roman, Byzantine Coins and Aurum Barbarorum

Sa, 01.06.2024, from 1:00 PM CEST
Pre bids are accepted until:
Sa, 01.06.2024, until 6:00 AM CEST

Description

★ From the Biaggi, Magnaguti and Niklovits collections ★

Hadrian, 117-138. Aureus (Gold, 19 mm, 7.38 g, 6 h), Rome, 136. HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P Bare-headed and draped bust of Hadrian to right, seen from behind. Rev. FIDES PVBLICA Fides standing front, head to right, holding two grain ears in her right hand and plate of fruits in her left. Biaggi 606 ( this coin ). BMC p. 320, 628 note = Cohen 715. Calicó 1256 ( this coin illustrated ). RIC 2198. A wonderful example, beautifully struck in high relief and with a magnificent portrait of fine style and an excellent pedigree. Very minor marks on the reverse, otherwise, good extremely fine.

From an American collection, ex Rauch 102, 7 November 2016, 67 and Numismatica Ars Classica 27, 12 May 2004, 395, from the collection of Leo Biaggi de Blasys (1906-1979) and the collections of Count Dr. Alessandro Magnaguti, Part III, Santamaria, 26 June 1950, 442, and K. Niklovits, Hamburger 76, 19 October 1925, 855.

Of all the Roman emperors, none was more infatuated with Greece than Hadrian. Even as a youth, he was known as 'Graeculus' ('Little Greek'), and as emperor, he not only established the Panhellenic League in 131/2, but was also an initiate of the Cult of Eleusis and undertook ambitious construction projects in Athens. This love for Greek culture and art is also apparent in the emperor's portraiture, both sculptural and numismatic, which is some of the finest produced in the Roman Empire. The emperor clearly spared no expense in attracting the best die cutters to work for him. While beautiful, the portraits are not veristic - rather, they show an idealized image of the princeps, a superhuman destined for immortality, with an appearance as ageless as that of the gods themselves.

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