A Fine Selection of Roman Imperial Aurei to Appear in our August Global Showcase Auction

The forthcoming August 2024 Showcase Auction from Stack’s Bowers Galleries will feature a fine selection of high-grade Roman Aurei. A longstanding favorite among collectors throughout the centuries, this gold denomination often featured the pinnacle of Roman portrait artistry.

Particularly enticing is an exquisite Aureus of the emperor Vespasian. This piece boasts a stern, expressive portrait of the rugged military ruler in the striking veristic style popular in the 1st century.  Moving forward to the reign of Antoninus Pius, there is an Aureus issued at a time when Roman power was at its apex. On the obverse is a pensive portrayal of the peacetime emperor, while the reverse speaks to his role as Pontifex Maximus in the Roman religion. A generation later, the Pax Romana had decidedly ended. A stunning Aureus of Caracalla shows the famously bellicose autocrat in full military dress, ready to take on his enemies both at home and beyond the borders. Finally, an Aureus struck for Maximinus II shows that military strength was valued above all in the early 4th century. Die engravers abandoned any attempt to personalize their rulers, instead giving them a pared-down and almost iconic look meant to emphasize their distant and godlike power.

Each of these pieces offers a glimpse at the time and context during which they were made, providing insight into the messages that Roman rulers wished to convey through their highest-value gold denomination. The eternal nature of this noble metal enables the coins to convey to us the same symbolic power that they held nearly two millennia ago. Stay tuned for our August Showcase auction to go live in the upcoming weeks, where these pieces and many more Ancient and World coin treasures will be available for bidding.

We are always looking for consignments for future sales, including our Hong Kong and Showcase auctions and our Collectors Choice Online Auctions. If you have a consignment specialist you already work with at Stack’s Bowers Galleries, give them a call or email them to discuss your holdings. Otherwise email [email protected] or call one of our offices to speak to a consignment specialist today.

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