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Classical Numismatic Group > Triton XXIIAuction date: 8 January 2019
Lot number: 763

Lot description:

EGYPT, Alexandria. Nero. AD 54-68. Æ Drachm (38mm, 36.04 g, 12h). Dated RY 14 (AD 67/8). NEPΩ KΛAV KAIΣ ΣEB ΓEP AV, laureate head right; L I∆ (date) below chin / ΖΕΥΣ ΚΑΠΕΤ[ΩΛΙΟΣ], Zeus enthroned left, holding long scepter and thunderbolt; at feet, eagle standing left, head right. Köln –; Dattari (Savio) 281 = Staffieri, Alexandria In Nummis 20 (this coin); K&G 14.118 corr. (obv. legend); RPC I 5285 (this coin cited; attributed to RY 11 in error); Emmett 140.14 (R5). EF, dark brown surfaces with traces of green, twice holed in antiquity (which does not affect any significant part of the design). Exceptional and one of the classic rarities of the series. The authors of RPC cite only two examples: this coin, and an example in the ANS collection.

Ex Giovanni Maria Staffieri Collection (Triton XXI, 8 January 2018), lot 20; Kunst und Münzen AG FPL 50 (November 1982), lot 151; Giovanni Dattari Collection, no. 281.

This coin is one of the great rarities of the Alexandrian series, with only one other specimen having been offered for sale (Marcel Jungfleisch Collection, Sotheby's, 1972, lot 26, which also was holed twice in antiquity). Another, heavily worn example resides in the collection of the American Numismatic Society in New York City (mistakenly attributed to regnal year 11).

Nero issued a prodigious amount of billon tetradrachms at the Alexandria mint. It has been speculated that this was part of his fund-raising campaign to rebuild Rome after the devastating fire of AD 64 (he melted down the higher silver content tetradrachms already in circulation, and replaced them with the lower silver content billon tetradrachms). As a result, bronze coinage in general was neglected during Nero's reign in Alexandria, especially the larger denominations – hemidrachm and drachm.

Estimate: 7500 USD