Roma Numismatics Ltd > Auction XXXAuction date: 21 March 2024
Lot number: 424

Price realized: 6,500 GBP   (Approx. 8,234 USD / 7,581 EUR)   Note: Prices do not include buyer's fees.
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Lot description:

Otho AR Denarius. Rome, AD 69. IMP M OTHO CAESAR AVG TR P, bare head to right / SECVRITAS P R, Securitas standing to left, holding wreath and sceptre. RIC I 8; BMCRE 17; RSC 17. 3.32g, 19mm, 6h.

Extremely Fine.

Ex Artemide Aste s.r.l., Auction LVII, 30 May 2022, lot 480 (hammer: EUR 3,200).

It is well known that the emperor Otho regularly wore a wig to hide his hair loss, a fact that can be clearly seen on this coin. The abrupt transition from hairline to face along with the regular, pattern-like waves makes it clear to the viewer that the portrait subject is bewigged. There was more to Otho's decision to don this item than to merely appear distinguished; the association of hair loss with lack of virility and inviting derision is well documented in Suetonius when discussing Julius Caesar's baldness. Gleason (1990) expands further on this evidence suggesting that hair loss may also have been considered to lead to 'dangerous effeminisation', a quality not desirable in a Roman Emperor.

Estimate: 1500 GBP