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Coin Detail
Click here to see enlarged image.
ID:     38-27
     [UNVERIFIED]
Type:     Roman Imperial
Issuer:     Nero
Date Ruled:     A.D. 54-68
Metal:     Silver
Denomination:     Denarius
Struck / Cast:     struck
Date Struck:     AD 55
Diameter:     18 mm
Weight:     3.65 g
Obverse Legend:     NERO CLAVD DIVI F CAES AVG GERM IMP TR P COS
Obverse Description:     Jugate busts right of Nero, bare-headed and with drapery at back of neck, and of Agrippina II, bare-headed and draped
Reverse Legend:     AGRIPP AVG DIVI CLAVD NERONIS CAES MATER / EX S C
Reverse Description:     Quadriga of elephants left, bearing two chairs holding Divus Claudius, radiate right, holding eagle-tipped sceptre and Divus Augustus, radiate right, holding patera and sceptre; in left field, EX S C
Mint:     Rome
Primary Reference:     RIC 007
Reference2:     BMCRE 008
Reference3:     C 004
Reference4:     CBN 013
Photograph Credit:     Numismatica Ars Classica NAC AG
Source:     http://arsclassicacoins.com
Price Sold For:     30000 Swiss Franc
Date Sold:     03/21/2007
Grade:     gEF/EF
Notes:     NAC Auction 38, Lot 27 Very rare and among the finest specimens know. Two finely engraved portraits struck in high relief with an old cabinet tone, good extremely fine / extremely fine Ex NFA sale XXV, 1990, 356. This denarius honours mother and emperor on the obverse and the deified Claudius on the reverse: as such we may consider it a compilation of the two separate coinages of Nero’s accession issue. The reverse scene is of great interest as it depicts four elephants drawing a wheeled platform with two seated figures. Clearly this is a depiction of Claudius’ funeral. He was only the second emperor to be deified, and the scene is virtually identical to the one on Tiberius’ sestertii dedicated to Divus Augustus. The scenes differ in that on the coins dedicated to Claudius the elephants have no riders (undoubtedly because the format was smaller) and Augustus’ statue is joined by another, which we must presume to be that of his divine companion Claudius. Some have described the seated figures differently: Cohen questioned if they were Augustus and Livia, and it has also been suggested that they are Augustus and Fides Praetorianum. However, these should be dismissed considering the direct iconographic link to the Tiberian sestertii and the remark by Tacitus, who notes that Claudius’ funeral "…was modeled on that of the divine Augustus…". He further relates that the Senate placed his widow Agrippina in charge of his priesthood, and that in his funeral she imitated "…the grandeur of her great-grandmother Livia, the first Augusta".