Commodus, 177-192. Medallion (Bimetallic, copper and orichalcum, 60 x 9 mm, 206.00 g, 12 h), with raised edges, Rome, undated, but c. 189- 191. Laureate and heroically bare 3/4 bust of Commodus with the attributes of Jupiter to left, slight drapery over his shoulders, holding, with his right hand, orb bearing Victory standing to right, and, with his left, thunderbolt; around, an inner circle of pellets, separated by a flat area from the raised edge. Rev. TSOF Mountain, (surely Mt. Argaeus in Cappadocia) of triangular shape, formed of what seem to be large boulders: two, of large size, at the base (at the left and right), along the slope, and, at the top (a cairn-like group of smaller stones); at the center, the opening of a cavern or grotto; at the top, quadriga of galloping horses driven by a male charioteer (Commodus as Sol?) – heroically nude save for a cloak around his waist – his right arm outstretched to left and his left, held behind his back, holding the reins (?); on the left slope, between two trees, rider (Phosphoros/Lucifer, the Morning Star?) galloping upwards to left, holding a long torch in his outstretched left hand; on the right hand slope, again between two trees, rider (Hesperos, the Evening Star?) galloping downwards, holding a torch in his right hand; pouring forth from the cavern to the left, a cascade (?) over which is the lupa romana standing right, with twins below (?); at the bottom center, omphalos (?) flanked by two upwardly moving crocodiles; above omphalos, boar at bay to right; in field to left, seven six-pointed stars; in field to right, above horseman, seven six-pointed stars; around, an inner circle of pellets, separated from the raised edge by a flat area. Apparently unpublished and unknown, but for medallions with heroic busts of Commodus, see Gnecchi II, pp. 52-53, 7 passim = Banti 62-63 (left facing, with aegis and spear); Gnecchi II, p. 61, 88 = Banti 286 (left facing, with shield, aegis and spear); Gnecchi II, p. 61, 87 = Banti 284 (right facing, with aegis); Gnecchi II p. 65, 125 = Banti 388 (right facing, with aegis). Of the highest rarity, unique. A spectacular and impressive medallion, with an extraordinarily fine bust of Commodus and an especially unusual reverse. With a dark, blackish-green patina. Very professionally cleaned and freed from very heavy deposits; some very minor double-striking, otherwise, about extremely fine.
Hammer Price: 150000 CHF