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Rare Eastern Denarius

Lot 493: Hadrian. A.D. 117-138. AR denarius. Anomalous (""Eastern"") issue, after ca. A.D. 131.

AUCTION:  Triskeles - Auction 17 (Auction 320)

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  • Sold Winning Bid: $1,210
  • 20 Bid(s)

Hadrian. A.D. 117-138. AR denarius (18 mm, 2.82 g, 7 h). Anomalous (""Eastern"") issue, after ca. A.D. 131. HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P, bare head of Hadrian right / AFRICA, Africa reclining against stele left, holding scorpion and cornucopiae; at feet to left, modius with grain ears. Cf. RIC 299 (Rome); cf. BMC 813 (Rome); cf. RSC 140 (Rome). The rarest obverse legend for the anomalous issues, and seemingly unpublished. A hint of surface graininess. Extremely fine.

From the Scorpion Collection.

The ""Eastern"" mint denarii of Hadrian are all quite rare. There are two large assemblage of types published, but unfortunately neither are comprehensive: BMCRE vol. II, pp. 372-81, ppl. 68-71, and the section on Hadrian's Imperial coinage at the Beast Coins website. With the exception of the small subset of Antioch mint issues, Metcalf prefers to call these non-Rome mint denarii of Hadrian ""anomalous"" as they do not follow the same agenda as Hadrian's cistophori (Hadrian's cistophori combine Roman legends on the obverse with local Greek types on the reverse, the purpose being ""to restore federal government in the provinces and use the coinage as a tradition of the past functioning in a contemporary context"" (Beastcoins.com). In addition to BMCRE and the Beast Coins website, anyone wishing to study these anomalous denarii further should consult both P. L. Strack, Untersuchungen zur römischen Reichsprägung des zweiten Jahrhunderts (3 vols. Stuttgart, 1931-1937), and the Michael Kelly Collection of Roman Silver Coins (Spink, 18 November 1997), lots 1033-1042.

Lot Details
  • Offered By: Barry P. Murphy
  • Lot #: 493
  • Listing #: 177340
  • Closed: Friday, September 16, 2016 7:44:00 PM CT
  • Estimate: $300
  • Collection: Scorpion Collection