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Bi-Metallic Medallion of Commodus

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In all my years of collecting, I've never seen a bi-metallic ancient. Sold for $32,500




Commodus. AD 177-192. Æ and Orichalcum Medallion (41mm, 60.04 g, 12h). Rome mint. Struck AD 189-190. M COMMODVS ANTONINV-S PIVS FELIX AVG BRIT, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust left / VOTIS FELICIBVS, Commodus standing left, sacrificing over tripod placed at entrance of a harbor;to left, five vessels advancing right; pharos to right; slain bull below. Gnecchi 174; MIR 18, 1139-1/38; cf. Banti 522; Grueber 136; Froehner p. 125; Tocci -; Dressel -. Good VF, ricer patina, minor roughness. Exceptional scenery. Very rare.


Ex Leo Benz Collection (Lanz 94, 22 November 1999), lot 674.


The extremely artistic imagery on the reverse of this medallion represents the African fleet established by Commodus in AD 186. This fleet was created for seeking out grain in Africa should the harvest in Egypt fail. Upon the successful return of the fleet, the vows, votis felicibus, had been granted.


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Wow! Not even considering it's bi-metallic, that scene is incredible!


And I assume that is THE Pharos Lighthouse at Alexandria, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It sure looks like it. Although the description only says "pharos on right". That's a subdued description.


Thanks for posting that. I had never heard of it before.

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simply fabulous...incredible detail and preservation--thanks for sharing this



PS: the fact that it depicts a sailing fleet is a super bonus also..man, if I had an extra $35K laying around I would have bumped the bid..

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