World Coins

Market Analysis: Hands clasped in friendship and alliance

A Roman Provincial bronze coin minted in A.D. 43 to 44 by Agrippa I, with Herod of Chalcis and Claudius features clasped hands of friendship on the reverse and sold for $13,200 at CNG.

Images courtesy of Classical Numismatic Group.

Classical Numismatic Group offered in its May auction a bronze Roman Provincial coin struck in Caesarea Maritima, a mint in Judaea under Agrippa I, with Herod of Chalcis and Claudius, between A.D. 43 and 44.

The coin features a complex pictorial narrative. The obverse shows Claudius, wearing a toga, standing left, pouring libation over a small altar, between Agrippa I and Herod of Chalcis, each crowning the emperor with a wreath. The reverse displays text referring to a vow and treaty of friendship and alliance between the Great King Agrippa and Augustus Caesar, the Senate and the People of Rome with clasped right hands in the center.

Graded Very Fine with some minor roughness and a scratch on the reverse, the legends — while incomplete — are more visible than usual.

CNG adds, “This remarkable and rare issue not only explicitly refers to the alliance on the reverse, even using Agrippa’s new title “Great King,” but depicts the oath taking ceremony that occurred in the Roman Forum and is discussed in historical sources.”

It brought $13,200.

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