A Distinguished Collection of Roman Bronze Coins, the Property of a Gentleman (15 February 2017)

Date of Auction: 15th February 2017

Sold for £2,600

Estimate: £600 - £800

Roman Imperial Coinage, Nero, Sestertius, Rome, c. 64, laureate bust left, nero clavdivs caesar avg ger p m tr p imp p p, rev. Emperor left on prancing horse, holding spear in right hand, soldier on horseback behind with vexillum over shoulder, s c in field, decvrsio in exergue, 27.61g (RIC 166; BMC 152; C 92). Struck in high relief, some light smoothing in fields, otherwise good very fine, dark green patina £600-800


Provenance: C.S. Bement Collection, Naville Auction VIII (Lucerne), 25-8 June 1924, lot 650; E.G. Spencer-Churchill Collection, Ars Classica Auction XIII (Lucerne), 27-9 June 1928, lot 1585; bt Spink after March 1930.

The Decursio was a military exercise and exhibition of equestrian skills instituted by Nero for the prætorian guard. Some coins show the horseman being led by a foot-soldier – a depiction hardly suitable for the portrayal of an emperor