February London auction features Roman bronze coin collection

Roman coins returning to market after decades
By , Coin World
Published : 01/09/17
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Dix Noonan Webb’s Feb. 15 auction in London offers the return of 194 Roman bronze coins to market, some 75 years after the collection was formed.

A Distinguished Collection of Roman Bronze Coins, the Property of a Gentleman, composes the sale. The coins in this collection were assembled over a remarkably short period of eight years (1933 to 1941). Among the 194 lots are pieces from the great continental sales of the 1920s and 1930s, including the collections formed by Clarence Bement, Franz Trau, Sir Arthur Evans, Capt. Edward Spencer-Churchill, Howard Levis, Paul Vautier and many others, according to the firm. 

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One of the highlights is the 134 to 138 bronze sestertius of Emperor Hadrian. 

The coin shows the exalted ruler on the obverse, with a scene of the renowned traveling ruler addressing his soldiers on the reverse.

The coin has been described as the finest known example of the issue, according to the auction house, and exhibits a dark patina on a Very Fine coin.

“The design of Hadrian haranguing his soldiers is found on a series of bronzes from the mid-130s,” the catalog notes. “Showing the armies of provinces across the empire, from Germany and Moesia to Spain and Syria, the British issue is one of the rarest.”

The coin was acquired during the July 4 to 6, 1939, auction of the G.C. Drabble Collection, Part I, conducted by Glendining.

The coin has an estimate of £3,000 ($3,728 U.S.).

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