Nero. A.D. 54-68. Æ cast “sestertius." 22.97 gm. 35 mm. Paduan type. Early cast. His laureate head right, globe at point of bust; NERO CLAVD CAESAR AVG GER P M TR P IMP P P / Nero on horseback right, carrying spear, horseman behind holding standard; DECVRSIO S C. Klawans 3. Near Extremely Fine; handsome red patina; some light underlying corrosion. Particularly fine example.
"Paduan" medals are so named after Giovanni da Cavino of Padua (1500-1570), who during his lifetime produced high quality dies to strike imitations and fantasy versions of Roman coins. The dies were passed down through Cavino's family until being purchased by the antiquary to the king of France in the 17th century, 100 years after Cavino's death. It is quite likely that the dies were used in the years between Cavino's death and their sale, and many copies were also cast based on struck originals. Casts were also created using existing casts, these 'aftercasts' generally decrease in quality and fidelity the further removed they become from the original struck examples.
Whether or not they were made as intentional counterfeits is not conclusive (many scholars argue no). Various examples found their way into serious collections over time, but Zander Klawans's 1977 reference (and the many preceding works by Lawrence and others) mean that they are now rarely mistaken for real examples. Unlike many non-contemporary counterfeits Paduans are historic and collectible in their own right.
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