Billon Tetradrachm. 12.6g, 23.2mm
MINTED: EGYPT, Alexandria, RY 18 (AD 154/5)
REF: Dattari-Savio Suppl. pl 14, 17 (this coin); Emmett 1426.18; RPC Online Temp #13832
OBVERSE: Laureate draped bust right.
REVERSE: L-IH, draped bust of Sarapis wearing kalathos and taenia, right.
Ex Robert L. Grover Collection of Roman-Egyptian Coinage, previously held by the Art Institute of Chicago (1981.460); ex Giovanni Dattari Collection
An excellent coin with a rare museum pedigree, sold with its original catalogue tag indicating the accession number (1981.460), used when was received into the museum's collection.
In addition, this coin was also from the famous Alexandrian collection of Giovanni Dattari.
Giovanni Dattari (1853-1923) was a well-known numismatist and antiquities dealer who lived in Cairo between the 1890s and his death in 1923. For decades, he monopolized the trade in Egypt of Roman provincial coins of Alexandria, selling tens of thousands of Alexandrian coins to museums and collectors. He once even claimed that two-thirds of all the coins in Egypt passed through his hands. In addition to being a collector and a dealer, Dattari was also a scholar, and the catalog of his vast collection of Alexandrian coins that he published in 1901 remains one of the standard reference works for the series. Dattari, however, did not only collect Roman Provincial coins, and writing in 1903, he noted that his collection not only included 6,835 Alexandrian coins, but also 19,320 Roman (Imperial) coins, 91 Archaic Greek coins, and 230 coins of Alexander the Great. By the time of his death, the size of his Alexandrian collection alone had more than doubled to over 13,000 coins. Today, coins from Dattari's famous collection can be found in the coin cabinets of numerous museums and public institutions, as well as the private collections of ancient coin collectors all over the world.
Almost Very Fine. Light roughness and porosity.
Egypt supplied as much as half of Rome’s annual grain supply, and was as such a hugely important province. Its economic and cultural heart was Alexandria, the second largest city in the Empire with a population of more than half a million during the time of Augustus. The coins of Roman Egypt were heavily used in daily commerce, and most often found in extremely worn condition. They are nevertheless highly collectible and interesting, sometimes featuring unique Egyptian-themed reverses and deities.
ANTONINUS PIUS . EGYPT, Alexandria . Bi Tetradrachm . **Ex Dattari Collection**
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