A collection of Roman portrait coins, created by Steve Markoff to
show the history of Roman rulers on coinage, realized 8,510,114 Swiss
francs ($9,210,080 in U.S. funds) including the 17.5 percent buyer’s fee.
The auction was conducted Oct. 6 by Numismatica Ars Classica and
offered a run of coins bearing portraits of every significant male
figure in Roman history, including the Republican period, on coinage.
Leading the way was a circa 310 to 312 gold aureus of Emperor
Maxentius from the ancient harbor city of Ostia. Described as “one of
the most beautiful Roman coins in existence,” according to the
catalog, the gold aureus in the auction features “a spectacular
portrait struck on a full flan.” In Good Extremely Fine condition, the
coin realized 734,375 Swiss francs ($796,296 U.S.).
The coin, one of only two examples known, was discovered in the
Arras Hoard. The other example is part of the British Museum’s fabled collection.
Every one of the 133 lots in the collection was sold.
Numismatica Ars Classica’s buyer’s fees begin at 17.5 percent; an
additional 1.5 percent is added for telephone and Internet bidders.
Prices listed here include only the beginning fee.
For more information about the auction, telephone the firm at
(011) 41 44 261 1703, email it at firstname.lastname@example.org
or visit its website, www.arsclassicacoins.com.
Some additional highlights:
Roman Republic, Gaius Cassius Longinus, circa 43 to 42
B.C. gold aureus, mint moving with Brutus and Cassius, “undoubtedly
the finest specimen known,” Good EF, 141,000 Swiss francs
Roman Republic, Marcus Junius Brutus, circa 43 to 42 B.C.
Eid Mar silver denarius, L. Plaetorius Caestianus moneyer,
“struck on a very broad flan and lightly toned, minor areas of
porosity, otherwise” EF, 282,000 Swiss francs ($306,019 U.S.).
Roman Republic, Sextus Pompeius with Cnaeus Pompeius and
Cnaeus Pompeius Junior, circa 42 to 40 B.C. gold aureus, Sicily,
“three handsome portraits,” EF, 170,375 Swiss francs
Roman Republic, Quintus Labienus Parthieus, 40 B.C. silver
denarius, mint moving with Labienus in Asia Minor, Good EF,
223,250 Swiss francs ($242,265 U.S.).
Roman Republic, Marcus Antonius and Cleopatra, circa 36
B.C. silver tetradrachm, Antiochia ad Orontem Syriac secondary mint,
“lovely old cabinet tone,” Good Very Fine, 82,250 Swiss
francs ($89,256 U.S.).
Roman Empire, circa 15 to 13 B.C. gold aureus, Octavian,
Lugdunum, “possibly the finest specimen known,” “perfectly
struck and centered on a full flan,” Good EF, 111,625 Swiss francs
Roman Empire, Britannicus (son of Claudius), circa A.D. 50
to 54 bronze sestertius, Thracian Mint, “undoubtedly the finest
specimen known by far,” “dark green patina,” EF, 146,875
Swiss francs ($159,385 U.S.).
Roman Empire, Galba, April to late autumn A.D. 68 gold
aureus, Gaul, Good EF, 129,250 Swiss francs ($140,259 U.S.).
Roman Empire, Vespasian, A.D. 71 Judea Capta bronze
sestertius, “very gently smoothed on obverse, otherwise”
Good EF, 135,125 Swiss francs ($146,634 U.S.).
Roman Empire, Titus Caesar, A.D. 70 gold aureus, Judaea,
“unique,” “one of the very few Roman issues to be struck in Judaea
and possibly the most important coin of the whole series,”
“slightly off-centre, otherwise” About EF, 528,750 Swiss
francs ($573,787 U.S.).
Roman Empire, Aelius Caesar, A.D. 137 gold aureus,
Good EF, 199,750 Swiss francs ($216,764 U.S.).
Roman Empire, Marcus Aurelius Augustus, A.D. 163 to 164
bronze medallion, “apparently only the third specimen known,”
“untouched dark patina,” Good EF, 323,125 Swiss francs
Roman Empire, Didius Julianus, March 28 to June 1, 193,
gold aureus, Good EF, 164,500 Swiss francs ($178,030 U.S.).
Roman Empire, Clodius Albinus Augustus, circa 195 to 197
gold aureus, Lugdunum, “only the second specimen known of this type
and only the fourth aureus of [the ruler] known,”
“insignificant die break on reverse, otherwise virtually as struck and
almost FDC,” 705,000 Swiss francs ($765,049 U.S.).
Roman Empire, Uranius Antoninus, 253 to 254 gold aureus,
Emesa, “virtually as struck” and almost Fleur de Coin,
164,500 Swiss francs ($178,511 U.S.).
Roman Empire, Salonius Caesar, 256 gold aureus,
EF, 99,875 Swiss francs ($108,382 U.S.).
Roman Empire, Julian I of Pannonia, circa 284 gold aureus,
Siscia, Good EF, 135,125 Swiss francs ($146,634 U.S.).
Roman Empire, Constans, 342 to 343 silver medallion of 4
heavy siliquae or 3 light miliarenses, “light iridescent
tone, almost invisible marks, otherwise” EF, 193,875 Swiss francs
Roman Empire, Magnentius, circa 351 gold medallion of 3
solidi, Aquileia, “minor marks, otherwise” EF, 117,500
Swiss francs ($127,508 U.S.).
Roman Empire, Vetranio, March to December 350 gold
solidus, Siscia, Good EF, 188,000 Swiss francs ($204,013 U.S.).
Roman Empire, Theodosius I, circa 389 silver medallion of
3 light miliarenses, “only the third and by far the finest specimen
known,” “an almost invisible trace of double striking on
obverse, otherwise” EF, 135,125 Swiss francs ($146,634 U.S.).
Roman Empire, Arcadius, January 387 silver medallion of 3
light miliarenses, “apparently unique and unpublished,”
Good EF, 152,750 Swiss francs, ($164,761 U.S.).
Roman Empire, Priscus Attalus, 409 to 410 gold solidus,
EF, 340,750 Swiss francs ($369,774 U.S.).
Roman Empire, Avitus, July 9, 455, to Oct. 17, 456, gold
solidus, About EF, 105,750 Swiss francs ($114,757 U.S.). ■