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Home > Auctions > 4th June 2024 > Roman Emerald Gemstone with Portrait of Young Nero

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LOT 0145

Estimate
GBP (£) 5,000 - 7,000
EUR (€) 5,870 - 8,220
USD ($) 6,370 - 8,920

Opening Bid
£2,400 (EUR 2,818; USD 3,058) (+bp*)

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Bids: 0
ROMAN EMERALD GEMSTONE WITH PORTRAIT OF YOUNG NERO
51-55 A.D.
5/8 in. (2.17 grams, 17 mm).

Depicting Nero as a young boy, either as crown prince or within the first year of his reign in his first known portrait type, unequivocal with his long hair fringe.

PROVENANCE:
Ex Paul Munro Walker collection, Bournemouth, UK, 1970s.
Private collection of Alexander Cotton, Hampshire, UK, sold October 1986.
From a London gentleman's, UK, collection, in the 1990s.

This lot has been checked against the Interpol Database of stolen works of art and is accompanied by a search certificate number no.12104-216215.

LITERATURE:
For the bust type cf. denarius of Nero and Agrippina dating to 55 AD; Roman Silver Coins: RSC 4, Roman Imperial Coins: RIC 7, and Roman Coins and their values, Sear 2044.

FOOTNOTES:
Dr Ittai Gradel writes: 'Date is AD 51-55. On most glyptic portraits from shortly after he became emperor, so 54-55, he is shown laurelled ... However, on the coins he is shown also bare-headed even as emperor in 54-55 (second coin, denarius). Again, on coins his bust is shown draped only before he became emperor in 54 (first coin, aureus), but cameos show him draped also as emperor (as e. g. the Marlborough one: but there are several known). It is therefore not possible to say if the emerald shows him as crown prince or as emperor, and I cannot date it more precisely than 51-55.'

CONDITION