Rare octadrachm to feature Sept. 7 and 10

More than 1,100 ancient coins in Heritage auction
Published : 08/11/12
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More than 1,100 lots of ancient coins will be offered in Sessions 4 and 5 of Heritage Auction Galleries’ Signature Auction, set for Sept. 7 and 10.

Among the highlights of the ancient coin auction is Lot 24875, a rare silver octadrachm of King Getas (circa 480s to 460s B.C.) of the little-known Edones tribe of northern Macedon.

The silver coin, 32 millimeters in diameter and weighing 28.6 grams, was struck circa 476 to 473 B.C.

On its obverse it features a nude herdsman (perhaps the god Hermes) wearing a petasos (a type of Greek hat), standing between and guiding two oxen.

The reverse is of a simpler design, featuring a cross-spoked wheel within an incuse square.

The coin is characterized as extremely rare, and Heritage calls the piece in the auction “one of only two or three known specimens, and missing from most public and private collections. Well struck from dies of remarkable Archaic style on a broad, heavy flan.” Uncertified by any third-party grading service, its condition is being called “Good Extremely Fine.”

The coin has an estimate of $60,000 to $70,000.

Another coin of note is a gold aureus of the Roman Emperor Claudius, struck circa A.D. 46 to 47, Lot 25193.

Claudius was the son of the Roman general Drusus and Antonia, niece of the Emperor Augustus. Claudius ruled Rome from A.D. 41 to 54, and was poisoned by his wife Agrippina the Younger, setting the stage for the reign of Nero.

The obverse of the gold coin features the laureate head of Claudius, facing right. The reverse depicts Constantia (symbolizing steadiness, courage and steadfastness) seated left on a curule chair, with her feet on stool, right hand raised toward her mouth and her left hand holding a scroll.

Heritage describes this uncertified 20-millimeter, 7.79-gram coin as “sharply struck on an exceptionally broad flan from dies of wonderful style. Choice Extremely Fine,” and estimates the coin will sell for $50,000 to $60,000.

Lot 25202 is a JUDAEA CAPTA gold aureus of the Roman Emperor Vespasian (A.D. 69 to 79).

Struck in Rome in late A.D. 69 to early 70, the 19-millimeter, 7.33-gram coin features the laureate head of Vespasian facing right. The reverse of the coin depicts a military trophy with cuirass, helmet, greaves and two shields. A female Jewish captive sits right of the trophy in an attitude of mourning, symbolizing the crushing of the Jewish revolt against Roman rule.

The uncertified gold coin, graded “Choice Very Fine” is considered scarce in any condition, according to the auction house. Heritage calls it “superior to those found in most public collections,” and gives it an estimate of $40,000 to $50,000.

Other auction highlights include:

Lot 24894: Egypt, 336 to 323 B.C., Alexander III the Great, silver tetradrachm, uncertified, choice Extremely Fine (estimate $7,000 to $9,000).

Lot 24946: Athens, circa 465 to 454 B.C., silver tetradrachm, helmeted head of Athena, uncertified, choice Extremely Fine (estimate: $10,000 to $15,000).

Lot 24974: Crete, circa 450 to 375 B.C., silver stater, head of Ariadne, uncertified, Extremely Fine (estimate $10,000 to $15,000).

Lot 25059: Kushan Empire, circa A.D. 127 to 152, gold dinar, Kanishka I, uncertified, choice Extremely Fine (estimate: $16,000 to $22,000).

Lot 25210: Rome, A.D. 72 to 73, gold aureus, Titus as Caesar, uncertified, choice Extremely Fine (estimate: $40,000 to $45,000).

Lot 25218: Rome, A.D. 113 to 114, gold aureus, Trajan, Uncertified, Nearly Mint State/Good Extremely Fine (estimate: $13,000 to $16,500).

Lot 25236: Rome, A.D. 91, gold aureus, Commodus, uncertified no grade given (estimate: $20,000 to $25,000).

Lot 25246: Rome, A.D. 222 to 223, gold aureus, Severus Alexander, uncertified, choice Mint State (estimate: $9,000 to $12,000).

Lot 25331: Byzantium, circa A.D. 706 to 711, Justinian II gold solidus, uncertified, Good Extremely Fine (estimate: $10,000 to $13,000).

A 17.5 percent buyer’s fee will be added to all lots sold.

Session 4 of the auction, featuring Lots 24852 to 25349, will be held Friday, Sept. 7, beginning at 6:00 p.m. Pacific Time. This session will feature live floor bidding at the Long Beach Convention Center, Room 103A, 300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach, CA 90802. Bids for this session will also be accepted by telephone, Internet, fax and mail.

Session 5, featuring Lots 25350 to 25980, begins at 1:00 p.m. Central Time on Monday, Sept 10. This session features bidding only by Internet, fax and mail.

For further information about this auction or other sales, visit the Heritage Auction Galleries website at www.HA.com, email bid@HA.com, telephone the firm at 800-872-6467 or contact the company by fax at 214-409-1425. ■

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