mercoledì 26 novembre 2014

mercoledì 19 novembre 2014

Nero, sixth of the Twelve Caesars

AUREUS of Nero, Asta XLI #185



Nero was born Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus in Antium, the son of Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus and Agripinna the younger in 37 A.D. .  Nero's father died when he was about three years old.  His mother later married her uncle, the emperor Claudius, in 49 A.D. .  In his new position in the imperial court, he was given a strong education.  Agripinna used her persuasive powers to get Claudius to adopt her son, giving him a position in the line of succession.  His name at this point was changed to Nero Claudius Drusus Germanicus.

When Claudius died in 54 A.D., Agripinna sought the support of  the praetorian guard for the elevation of Nero to the throne.  She found it in the person of Sextus Afranius Burrus, a praetorian prefect.  Nero became emperor at age 16.  Early coinage of Nero shows a very childlike portrait of the emperor.  Agripinna became his regent, and as such was the first female ruler of Rome in Nero's place.  This power was soon taken from her by her son, who quickly pushed her out of the limelight.
Youthful image, DENARIUS, Asta XLI #182

Nero's reign started with stable administration by his advisers, and he initially granted the senate the power to exercise their office, unlike during the reign of Claudius.  An interesting, but short lived action he took was to ban the killing of gladiators and prisoners in public exhibitions.  This did not set well with the public.  They wanted blood.  There were protests and minor rioting, which caused the reversal of the policy.

Agripinna vocally protested Nero's love and patronage of the arts, along with his taste for Greek culture and manorisms.  In response to her criticisms, Nero had his mother killed, which met with approval of many of those in the government who despised her.  Nero's interest in the arts, especially the performing arts, began to gain him public ridicule.  He sang, acted, and danced on the public stage before audiences, and he forced the senators to attend his performances, which needless to say, did not set well with them.  He also authored plays and music for public performance.  He even went so far as to depict himself on coins as Apollo playing the lyre.  His excesses included the building of the largest palace ever built by a European monarch, even to this day, the Golden Palace of Nero.  The great fire of Rome was blamed on Nero by many as a means for him to acquire land on which to build the palace.
AS, Nero as Apollo, playing lyre

Protests over the emperor's excesses prompted the enforcement of anti-treason laws, especially against early Christians, who Nero blamed for the fires.  Mass executions ensued, including the killings of Saints Peter and Paul.  Food shortages and political unrest stirred further resentment when Nero went to Greece to collect and study art, as well as to publicly perform.  By the time he returned to Rome, the political scales had forever turned against him.  The senate had ordered his arrest, and sentenced him to death by flogging.

Nero learned of his sentence, and fearing the spectacle and outcome that would ensue, committed suicide by stabbing himself in the throat.
DUPONDIUS, high style, Asta XLI #186

Roman medallic  artistry reached its greatest height of execution in the coinage of Nero.  A golden era of portraiture began with his coinage, and artistry on the reverses of his coinage include one of the greatest masterpieces of all Roman coinage, that being the sestertius issued for the opening of the Port of Ostia. Reverses showing from seven to thirteen ships in the port even include sailors on the decks of the ships.

Other splendid reverse images include the Temple of Janus with its doors closed, signifying peace throughout the whole empire.  The emperor's virtues are extolled in images of him as a soldier riding a horse, with the legend Decursio, Nero playing the lyre, and an image of Nero's triumphal arch.  His coinage was not all self-promoting, however. A very popular and profuse coinage shows a reverse depicting Victory advancing, carrying a shield bearing the initials SPQR. There was also coinage giving honor to the state, depicting the seated figure of Roma in great style. The bronze issues of Nero tend to show exceptional detail and realistic imagery, and are widely collected.
AS, Temple of Janus, Asta XLII #164
SESTERTIUS, DECURSIO, Asta XLII #163

SESTERTIUS, Triumphal arch
AS, Victory advancing, Asta XLII #168



DUPONDIUS, ROMA seated, Asta XLI #186



giovedì 13 novembre 2014

Vintage Watch Auction

Asta di orologi da collezione
 
Siamo lieti di presentare la prossima asta di orologi, che si terrà presso la nostra sede al World Trade Center di San Marino, il giorno 14 Dicember 2014, a partire dalle ore 15:00. I lotti saranno visionabili dalle ore 10:00.
We are glad to announce our next vintage wataches auction. The auction will be held at World Trade Center San Marino, starting at 3:00pm (San Marino Time). Lots exhibition will start at 10:00am. 
 
 

 

Lot 1 - PATEK PHILIPPE , 'hooded lugs', 1947. 

Start price: € 4.000,00

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PATEK PHILIPPE ,
 

Lot 2 - PATEK PHILIPPE, around 1980. 

Start price: € 1.000,00

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PATEK PHILIPPE, around 1980."
 

Lot 3 - ZENITH 'Chronomaster' chronograph, around 1995.
Start price: € 1.600,00

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ZENITH
 

Lot 4 - ROLEX 'Turn-O-Graph', ref. 1625, around 1969.
Start price: € 1.300,00

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ROLEX

Lot 5 - LONGINES 'Tegolone', around 1950 for the American market.
Start price: € 500,00

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LONGINES
 

Lot 6 - UNIVERSAL GENEVE, around 1946.
Start price: € 300,00

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UNIVERSAL GENEVE, around 1946."
 

Lot 7 - Omega 'Seamaster', around 1970.
Start price: € 400,00

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Omega
 

Lot 8 - OMEGA, around 1946.
Start price: € 300,00

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OMEGA, around 1946."
 

Lot 9 - UNIVERSAL GENEVE 'Unicompax telesport' chronograph, around 1952.
Start price: € 700,00

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UNIVERSAL GENEVE
 

Lot 10 - VETTA chronograph, around 1955.
Start price: € 600,00

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VETTA chronograph, around 1955."
 

Lot 11 - LUCIEN ROCHAT chronograph, circa 1995
Start price: € 800,00

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LUCIEN ROCHAT chronograph, circa 1995"
 

Lot 12 - JARDUR chronograph, around 1950.
Start price: € 400,00

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JARDUR chronograph, around 1950."
 

Lot 13 - Eberhard 'Extra-fort' chronograph, around 1947.
Start price: € 900,00

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Eberhard
 

Lot 14 - LONGINES 'Admiral 5 stars ' around 1960 for the American market.
Start price: € 200,00

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LONGINES
 

Lot 15 - ROLEX 'Cellini', around 1990.
Start price: € 1.700,00

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ROLEX
 

Lot 16 - PIAGET, 1993. Round case
Start price: € 800,00

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PIAGET, 1993. Round case"
 

Lot 17 - VAN CLEEF & ARPELS, lady, 1985.
Start price: € 600,00

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VAN CLEEF & ARPELS, lady, 1985."
 

Lot 18 - LONGINES waterproof chronograph, around 1972
Start price: € 900,00

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LONGINES waterproof chronograph, around 1972"
 

Lot 19 - LONGINES chronograph, around 1958.
Start price: € 1.300,00

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LONGINES chronograph, around 1958."
 

Lot 20 - PAUL PICOT 'Monza' chronograph, 1998.
Start price: € 800,00

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PAUL PICOT
 

Lot 21 - HABER Type, around 1910. Pocket watch
Start price: € 600,00

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HABER Type, around 1910. Pocket watch"
 

Lot 22 - ANONYMOUS, around 1820. Pocket watch,
Start price: € 600,00

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ANONYMOUS, around 1820. Pocket watch,"
 

Lot 23 - BREITLING 'Navitimer' aviator chronograph, around 1967.
Start price: € 1.000,00

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BREITLING
 

Lot 24 - IWC 'INGENIEUR SL Quartz', around 1985.
Start price: € 500,00

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IWC
 

Lot 25 - VACHERON CONSTANTIN 'Alarm', around 1965.
Start price: € 17.000,00

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VACHERON CONSTANTIN
 

Lot 26 - TUDOR, 'Grantour' chronograph, 2010.
Start price: € 1.300,00

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TUDOR,
 

Lot 27 - AUDEMARS PIGUET 'Millenary' chronograph, around 2005.
Start price: € 4.000,00

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AUDEMARS PIGUET
 

Lot 28 - IWC chronograph, limited edition n. 045/150, around 1985.
Start price: € 3.500,00

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IWC chronograph, limited edition n. 045/150, around 1985."
 

Lot 29 - ROLEX 'Ovettone', ref. 6105, around 1953.
Start price: € 4.000,00

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ROLEX
 

Lot 30 - ZENITH 'Chronomaster Fly-back' chronograph, around 2005
Start price: € 4.000,00

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ZENITH
 

Lot 31 - JAEGER-LECOULTRE ' Atmos 561 Marc Newson', limited edition n. 205/888,
Start price: € 7.000,00

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JAEGER-LECOULTRE
 

Lot 32 - OMEGA 'Speedmaster Gemini - Apollo - Soyuz', Limited Edition, n. 333 of 500 pieces for the Italian market, 1975.
Start price: € 6.000,00

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OMEGA
 

Lot 33 - PATEK PHILIPPE, around 1930.
Start price: € 1.500,00

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PATEK PHILIPPE, around 1930. "
 

Lot 34 - TUDOR 'Submariner Snowflake', ref. 9401/0, around 1980.
Start price: € 1.500,00

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TUDOR
 

 

Lot 35 - BULGARI 'Aluminium', 2002.
Start price: € 500,00

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BULGARI
 

 

 
 
 
 
Artemide Aste s.r.l.
Via Consiglio dei Sessanta n. 99  47891 Dogana - Republic of San Marino

Claudius, fifth of the Twelve Caesars

CLAUDIUS' portrait in bronze, high style.
Claudius was born Tiberius Claudius Nero (later Germanicus) the son of Tiberius' brother, Nero Drusus and his wife, Antonia, in 10 B.C. .  A sickly child, of awkward appearance, he was thought to be mentally feeble.  He held no major political offices under either Augustus or Tiberius.  He was the uncle of Caligula, and under Caligula's reign he was named a consul in 37 A.D. .

Claudius went into hiding after Caligula was assassinated, but was found by praetorian guards and taken away to their camp.  Much to his dismay, he was favored by them as Caligula's successor, and was soon proclaimed emperor by the praetorian guard.  The senate initially opposed his elevation as a usurpation of their authority, but they eventually came to accept his authority, and he was eventually granted full imperium.

After putting down some minor rebellions in the provinces, Claudius sought to assert Rome's power by expanding the borders of the empire.  He invaded Britain and defeated the local forces, capturing their capital.  He established the province of Britannia in the territory he conquered.  The province was later expanded over time to include a much greater area.

Due to his distrust of the standing senate, Claudius tried to pack the senate with members who would favor him.  In doing this, he also set a precedent, by filling seats with senators from the provinces.  This had never previously been done, and raised further animosity among the old guard senators.  Claudius also fanned the fires by personally sitting as judge over cases of treason, which was previously in the domain of the senate. These actions further increased the power of the emperor at the expense of the senate.

Claudius had four wives, the third of whom was Valeria Messalina, who was descended from Augustus' sister, Octavia.  Valeria Messalina had a lover named Gaius Silius, and together they plotted to overthrow Claudius and put Claudius and Valeria's son, Britannicus on the throne.  It was their intention to serve as his regents, and thus have the power of the throne in their own hands.  The plot was uncovered, and Silius was arrested and executed.  Valeria Messalina was forced to commit suicide.

Claudius married his niece Agrippina the younger in 49 A.D., and she became his fourth wife.  Claudius had her named Augusta while she was still living, and she was the first woman to be so titled in life.  Hunger for power was not alien to Claudius' new wife, either.  She did everything she could to see that her son from another marriage, Nero, would be named as Claudius' successor.  Agrippina oversaw the engagement of Nero to Octavia, who was Claudius' daughter, thus securing his position in line.

It is an unsubstantiated rumor that Agrippina had a hand in the death of Claudius.  He died in 54 A.D., supposedly after eating poisonous mushrooms.  He was, though, indeed succeeded by Nero as per his mother's intention.
SPES AUGUSTA

LIBERTAS AUGUSTA
CERES AUTUSTA
CONSTANTIAE AUGUSTI

Claudius' numismatic legacy includes numerous reverses demonstrating virtues of the Augusta.  He also issued coinage to commemorate the support of the praetorian guard, showing their support of him, and his allegiance and gratitude to them. Another reverse that was widely used was "Constantiae Augusti", which meant "Perseverance of the Emperor", which was more or less a statement about Claudius' interactions with the senate. It is ironic, in the example illustrated here, that this inscription circles the letters SC.