Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 72

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Lot 4144

Trajan, AD 98-117. AE Sestertius (25.8g) minted at Rome, AD 104-106. IMP CAES NERVAE TRAIANO AVG GER DAC P M TR P COS V P P. Laureate head of Trajan right. Reverse: SPQR OPTIMO PRINCIPI S C. General view of the Circus Maximus, as seen from the Forum Boarium: porticos with two entrances, with monumental gate crowned by quadriga, triumphal arches, curved wall, temple of Sol, spina with obelisk flanked by equestrian statue of Trajan and shrine of Cybele in background. RIC 571; BMC 853; Cohen 546; Hirmer pl. 76, 267.

Very rare and recognized as the finest known specimen. Lovely untouched apple-green patina, complimented by a large and flawless flan perfectly struck from new dies of very neat execution. Superb Extremely Fine.

The Circus Maximus, Rome's great chariot-racing arena adjoining the Palatine Hill, dates back to the fourth century BC. The wooden seating surrounding the track was frequently consumed by fire during the Julio-Claudian and Flavian periods, and Trajan undertook a major restoration of the structure early in the second century AD. This was commemorated on the coinage, thus providing the first detailed representation of the building. The great central obelisk is clearly visible as are various other details of the interior. Brought from Heliopolis in Egypt by Augustus, this obelisk of Rameses II now stands in the middle of Rome's Piazza del Popolo. A similar view appears on coins of Caracalla issued in AD 213 following a further restoration. Constantine the Great undertook the final refurbishment of the building and the last recorded event in the Circus took place under the Ostrogothic king Totila in AD 550 (cf. Hill, The Monuments of Ancient Rome as Coin Types, pp. 47-8). The restoration of the Circus Maximus in AD 103 was commemorated by Trajan on sestertii from AD 104 thru 106. Although the type itself is not extremely rare, this popular type is seldom found in such choice condition.
Estimated Value $25,000 - 35,000.
The Hunter Collection; Ex Superior Stamp & Coin, NYINC Auction, December 8-9, 1995, lot 908; Numismatica Ars Classica 8, lot 723.

Realized $71,875

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