Leu Numismatik AG > Web Auction 29Auction date: 24 February 2024
Lot number: 1666

Price realized: 1,000 CHF   (Approx. 1,135 USD / 1,049 EUR)   Note: Prices do not include buyer's fees.
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Lot description:

L. Hostilius Saserna, 48 BC. Denarius (Silver, 19 mm, 4.07 g, 9 h), Rome. Bare head of Gallia to right, wearing long hair; to left, carnyx (Gallic trumpet). Rev. HOSTILIVS - SASERNA Diana (Artemis) of Ephesus standing facing, with long hair and laurel wreath, holding spear in her left hand and placing her right on the head of a stag leaping to left. Babelon (Hostilia) 4. Crawford 448/3. CRI 19. RBW 1570. Sydenham 953. A wonderful piece, beautifully toned and unusually well centered, and with a fine pedigree. Banker's mark on the obverse, otherwise, extremely fine.

From the collection of Dipl.-Ing. Adrian Lang, Leu 12, 15 May 2022, 1008, ex Numismatica Ars Classica 94, 6 October 2016, 6 and Numismatica Ars Classica 84, 20 May 2015, 1682, and from the collections of a 'student and his mentor', Part II, Numismatica Ars Classica 73, 18 November 2013, 186 and Dr. E. P. Nicolas, Leu 17, 3-4 May 1977, 665.

The denarii of L. Hostilius Saserna consist of three types, all relating to Julius Caesar's conquests in Gaul: the first, Crawford 448/1, depicts a female head, probably of Clementia, on the obverse, and Victory holding a trophy of Gallic arms on the reverse, whereas the second - and probably the most famous - Crawford 448/2, shows a Gallic chieftain on the obverse ('Vercingetorix') and a chariot carrying a Gallic warrior on the reverse. Our coin belongs to the third group, Crawford 448/3, showing on the obverse the personification of Gallia with dishevelled hair, or perhaps the head of a captive Gallic woman, accompanied by a carnyx, a musical reed instrument with a horn shaped into the head of a boar. Carnyces produced a harsh sound and were used by the Gauls in battle to instill fear in their enemies. The reverse of our coin, on the other hand, shows an archaic cult statue of Diana of Ephesus with a spear and a her stag at her side. This is probably a reference to the city of Massilia (modern Marseille), which housed a magnificent temple dedicated to Diana of Ephesus, and which Caesar captured on his way to Spain to confront Pompey.

Starting price: 200 CHF