Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 46

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Lot 125

Rome. Elagabalus, 218-222 AD. Gold Aureus (7.13 g), Rome, struck late summer 218 AD. Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust of Elagabalus right. Reverse: Victory striding right, holding wreath and palm branch; VICTOR ANTONINI AVG. Fr-463; RIC 154; Biaggi 1295; BMCRE 31; Calicó 3038; C. 288; Sear II 7485. The portrait of Elagabalus particularly refined and delicate for his series. Rare. NGC graded Choice Uncirculated.

This writer (P.R.) well remembers his boyhood visits to Santa Barbara and its picturesque and well-endowed museum, which was entered by going through a garden. Above an outside portico with an entangling, flowering vine, was a large Capital Plastics holder with a few dozen Roman gold aurei flashing in the sun. At that time, aurei in collectible F-VF condition were fetching at least $300, so of course the grade-school student knew they must be gold foil replicas. While he couldn't study or see them too well (the plastic holder was fastened by screws to the flimsy wood, at a height of about ten feet), they were glittering reminders of the Caesars. Many years later, he would discover that they were the real McCoys, unprotected, perhaps this very coin among them, and be able to more intimately appreciate their beauty and hear the songs they sing.
Estimated Value $15,000 - 18,000.
Ex "Perfectionist Collection," Leu 93, 10 May 2005, lot 78; ex collection of the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Numismatic Fine Arts I, 20 March 1975, 382, originally purchased in the period from 1910 to 1925, and almost certainly from the Karnak Hoard of 1901. Illustrated in Money of the World, coin 50.

Realized $32,200

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