E-Auction 37

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Closing November 18, 2020
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    E37, Lot 55:

    In the name of Drusus Julius Caesar, son of Tiberius. Tiberius & Germanicus Gemellus. A.D. 19-37/8 and 19-23/4, respectively. Æ sestertius. 26.27 gm. 34 mm. Rome mint. Struck under Tiberius, A.D. 22-23. Confronting heads of Drusus's twin sons on crossed cornucopiae, winged caduceus between / DRVSVS CAESAR TI AVG F DIVI AVG N PONT TR POT II around large S C. RIC I 42 (Tiberius). Near Very Fine; glossy dark green patina; minor scattered roughness; scattered breaks in the patina mostly on the edges with corrosion; a bit of verdigris on the reverse at 12'; collector's number "28" written in ink on reverse. Rare.

    This collection of early Roman Imperial bronze was formed by an American collector in the Midwest, buying coins in the 1950's from major London coin houses. He affixed collector 'H' numbers written in ink on lacquer on many of the coins. We have correspondence dated in 1950 and 1951 with Leonard Forrer at Spink & Son, Ltd. and William French at Glendining & Co. Ltd. in London, as well as Earle K. Stanton in Los Angeles, Paul S. Seitz in Pennsylvania, and Edward Gans, Numismatic Fine Arts in New York City.

    Rare, with a fascinating but tragic story. The 'Tiberian dynasty' collapsed within months. Both Drusus and his son Germanicus Gemellus (the boy on the right cornucopia) died in A.D. 23. Drusus' wife Livilla became involved with Tiberius' prefect Sejanus, who induced her to poison her husband. She died shamefully in the aftermath of Sejanus's downfall in A.D. 31. The second grandson, Tiberius Gemellus, named co-heir of Tiberius with Caligula, was sidelined after Tiberius' death and then executed by Caligula, who would not tolerate a second heir to the throne.

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