Roman Imperial coin highlights Freeman & Sear auction

Firm schedules Manhattan sale Jan. 3 with New York show
Published : 12/14/11
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A rare Roman Imperial coin from a short-lived reign during a civil war highlights Freeman & Sear’s Manhattan sale No. 3, scheduled for Jan. 3 in New York City.

The silver denarius of L. Clodius Macer, struck at Carthage circa April to October A.D. 68, is “extremely rare, apparently from an unpublished die pairing and one of only a handful of Clodius Macer portrait denarii known to exist.” The abbreviation S C (Senatus Consulto) “in this case mistakenly inverted,” plus his depiction without a laurel crown, suggests he was revolting against Nero and not the Senate, according to the catalog.

In Nearly Extremely Fine condition and “toned,” the coin has an estimate of $60,000.

It is the highlight from the firm’s auction, which is scheduled in conjunction with the New York International Numismatic Convention. The auction offers 236 lots of Greek, Roman and Byzantine coins, and 52 lots of Celtic coins “from Cabinet Q.”

An 18 percent buyer’s fee applies to all successful bids, with a discount to 15 percent for certain payment and bidding methods.

A PDF catalog is posted for free viewing at the firm’s website,

Telephone Freeman & Sear at 310-450-9755, write the company at P.O. Box 641352, Los Angeles, CA 90064 or email the firm at

Some additional highlights:

Celtic, North-Central Gaul, the Parisii, late second to early first century B.C. gold stater, 7.29 grams, Sills Mint B, Class 1a, Lot 14, “perhaps the finest known specimen.”

Greece, Sicily, Katane, circa 450 B.C. silver tetradrachm, 17.35 grams, Lot 59, “insignificant flan flaw on obverse, certainly among the finest known specimens,” Nearly Extremely Fine.

Greece, island of Naxos, circa 430 B.C. silver tetradrachm, 16.81 grams, Lot 63, “minor porosity in isolated areas, otherwise nearly Extremely Fine.”

Greece, Sicily, Syracuse, circa 490 to 485 B.C. silver tetradrachm, 17.14 grams, “dies by the ‘master of the Large Arethusa Heads,’ ” Lot 65, “deeply struck on a broad flan and attractive, lightly toned,” Good Very Fine.

Greece, Seleucid Kingdom, Alexander I Balas, circa 150 B.C. silver “marriage” tetradrachm, Ptolemais, jugate busts of Cleopatra Thea as Tyche and Alexander I, “scarcely” 20 of these “marriage” tetradrachms are known to exist, “they are struck from only three obverse dies, all exhibiting a freshness that would point to a very brief issue,” Lot 147, “a couple of light scratches, Very Fine plus.”

Roman Imperial, Clodius Albinus as Caesar, circa A.D. 194/195 orichalcum sestertius, Rome Mint, 27.71 grams, Lot 186, “detailed strike, nearly perfect black patina, certainly one of the finest sestertii of Albinus,” Good EF.

Roman Imperial, Maxentius, circa A.D. 307 to 309 silver argenteus, Lot 221, “light toning,” EF.

Roman Imperial, Constantius II, circa A.D. 337 to 361 silver ingot of one Roman pound, 319 grams, shaped like a double ax-head with flaring blades, Lot 225, “the image of Constantius II softly struck at the top of his head, one corner chipped,” Good VF.

Byzantine Empire, Constantine XI Palaeologus, circa 1448 to 1453 silver stavraton, Constantinople, 6.62 grams, “the last Byzantine emperor,” Lot 235, “some light encrustation, areas of striking weakness as is typical with this emergency coinage, otherwise Good Very Fine.” ■

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