Press Release - 5 December 2014
+44 (0)20 7495 9494| Alistair Jenkinson | email@example.com
Unassuming silver coin of Roman Governor is one of the rarest in the entire history of Roman Imperial Coinage.
London – The unassuming silver Denarius of Clodius Macer estimated at US$100,000 will go under the hammer in New York alongside other exceptional Roman Imperial Coins, ancient Judean coins and Part Two of the acclaimed David Sellwood Collection of Parthian Coinage. London auctioneers A.H. Baldwin & Sons Ltd, in association with Dmitry Markov Coins, Medals and M & M Numismatics and Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles Inc. will hold the sale during the International Numismatic Convention in New York on 6, 7 and 8 of January 2015.Clodius Macer (AD 68) was appointed provincial governor of North Africa during the reign of Nero (AD 54-68). Along with Senatorial rank, Macer also had the power to act as General in the Roman Army. Following Nero's suicide, Macer seized Carthage and began striking his own coinage. He amassed support legions against newly appointed Galba in the North coast of Africa and put pressure on Rome by threatening to cut off her grain supply.
Galba retaliated by having Macer killed and immediately recalled and melted all of Macer's coinage, accounting for their extreme rarity today. Fewer than 85 of Macer's coins survive today and only 20 feature his portrait, of which this is the finest known specimen. When this superb Silver Denarius goes under the hammer it is estimated to achieve US$100,000.
Macer's modest coins are reminiscent of those struck during the Republic of Rome. In modern times this has fuelled suggestions that he was attempting to re-establish the Roman Republic. Coins during this Republican period were decorated with iconic images that reinforced the glory of Rome and her history. They did not carry the portraits of living people until Julius Caesar’s image started to appear on coins in 44BC.
An outstanding early portrait Denarius of Julius Caesar from 40BC is offered in this sale. The Silver Denarius was struck shortly after the assassination of Caesar when his adopted son Octavian (later Augustus) was rising to power against Mark Antony. These coins were important for Octavian to help create his image. The portrait of Caesar was a visual manifestation of his power and the use of 'DIVI IVLI' (son of divine Julius) compounded Caesar's divinity and by association Octavian’s too. The coin is estimated to achieve US$80,000.
Later in the Imperial period dynastic coins, which reinforced a leader's heritage and family, became even more prevalent than before. A superb Gold Aureus of Septimus Severus, showing his wife Julia Domna and two sons, Geta and Caracalla on the reverse, is particularly fine example with good portraits. This coin is estimated to achieve US$25,000.
After the death of Septimus Severus in AD 211 the happy family image portrayed on this coin fell into disarray, with Caracalla murdering his younger brother Geta. In the aftermath of his brother's murder, Caracalla’s coinage portrayed the image of him as a powerful military leader. One excellent portrait Gold Aureus of Caracalla in military dress, holding Victory in this right hand is estimated at US$30,000.
A Gold Aureus of Licinius II (AD 315-326) is a remarkable facing portrait from the later Roman Empire. The Aureus commemorates the fifth anniversary of the young Caesar Licinius II as well as the tenth anniversary of his father Licinius I. Although early, the present facing portrait established the precedent for what would become a standard type of late Roman early Byzantine numismatic imperial iconography. The facing portrait coins of the Licinii are extremely rare and this example is estimated to achieve US$40,000.
Elsewhere in the sale is Part Two of the acclaimed David Sellwood Collection of Parthian Coins that received exceptional interest and bidding from collectors worldwide when Part One sold earlier in the year in London. Part Two will consist of nearly 200 of the finest and rarest coins from the collection. Among them is a beautiful Silver Drachm of Mithradates II (121-96 BC), which appeared in the first edition of David Sellwood’s Introduction to the Coinage of Parthia, 1971. It is estimated at US$1,800. Another highlight from the collection is a facing portrait Drachm of Phraates III (70/69-59/7BC) estimated to sell for US$5,500.
The sale also offers a group of ancient Judaean coins, including some high quality Shekels from the period of the first Jewish War (AD 66-70) including a quality example of a Silver Shekel is estimated at US$2,500.
The sale will be held on Tuesday 6, Wednesday 7and Thursday 8 January 2015 at the New York International Numismatic Convention. The catalogue will be available to view online at www.baldwin.co.uk.
PRESS CONTACT: Alistair Jenkinson| firstname.lastname@example.org | +44 (0)20 7495 9494