Estimate: 50 000 CHF
Price realized: 40 000 CHF
ROMAN IMPERIAL AND PROVINCIAL COINS
Augustus, 27 BC-AD 14. Aureus (Gold, 21 mm, 7.89 g, 8 h), Rome, under C. Antistius, c. 13 BC. CAESAR AVGVSTVS Head of Augustus to right wearing oak wreath. Rev. C ANTIST REGIN GABINVS /FOE DVS /P R QVM Two veiled priests standing facing each other, holding pig by the legs over a lit and garlanded altar. Babelon (Antestia) 17. Bahrfeldt 184.1 (this coin). BMC 118 = BMCRR 4660. BN p.113, *. Calicó 123 (this coin). Cohen 346. RIC 411. Of the greatest rarity, one of only two examples known. Some minor bangs and scratches, and a banker's mark (D?) on the reverse, otherwise, very fine.
Ex Numismatica Genevensis SA V, 3 December 2008), 210, from an American Collection, Numismatica Ars Classica 31, 26.October 2005, 15, and from the collections of V.J.E. Ryan, IV, Glendining, 20 February 1951, 1626, Sir A. J. Evans, Naville III, 16 June 1922, 21, 1, and T. Prowe, Hess 141, 28 November 1912, 281, ex Hirsch XXIX, 9 November 1910, 918 (consigned by Egger and subsequently bought in by Egger for RM 610 against a reserve of RM 600), from the collection of T. Prowe, Egger 28 November 1904, 2210, apparently from a sale of Hess in Frankfurt in 1898, from the collection of H. Montagu, Rollin & Feuardent 20 April 1896, 86, from the Borghesi Collection, and from the Ambenay (Normandy) Hoard of 1834.
This exceptionally rare coin celebrates the treaty of friendship between Rome and Gabii, a city to the east of Rome on the Via Praenestina halfway to Praeneste. This was the native city of the Antistia gens, the moneyer's family; the treaty was made between Antistius Petro of Gabii and Tarquinius Superbus, last king of Rome (c 535-509 BC). In some ways it seems rather odd that this treaty should be commemorated given that Tarquin's son Sextus, who was in control of Gabii, had executed or exiled all possible opponents in that city. It appears that when Sextus wrote his father to ask what to do, Tarquin, who was in his garden, said nothing but cut off the tops of all the tallest poppies that were growing there: i.e., get rid of the prominent!