Gaius (Caligula), with Agrippina Senior, 37-41. Aureus (Gold, 19 mm, 7.84 g, 12 h), Lugdunum, 37-38. C•CAESAR•AVG•GERM•P•M•TR•POT• Bare head of Gaius to right. Rev. AGRIPPINA MAT C CAES AVG GERM Draped bust of Agrippina Senior to right. BMC 7. Calicó 325a (same dies as illustration). Cohen 3. RIC 7. Very rare. A bold and attractive example of this difficult issue with a very old pedigree. The reverse struck somewhat off center and with a minor scrape on the edge, otherwise, extremely fine.
From the collection of Regierungsrat Dr. iur. Hans Krähenbühl, privately acquired from Bank Leu on 26 February 1966 (with a photocopy of the original invoice enclosed), and from the collection of C. Butler, Esq. of Warren Wood, Hatfield, and Connaught Place, W., Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge, 3-11 July 1911, 314.
Gaius' mother Agrippina Senior was a daughter of Julia, Augustus' daughter, and Agrippa, Augustus' closest friend and ally. Married to Germanicus, with whom she had nine children, she unfortunately got in the way of Tiberius' Praetorian prefect, Lucius Aelius Seianus, later in her life and spent her last years in house arrest on the island of Pandateria (Ventotene), where she died in 33, aged 47. It seems ironic that, when her enemy Tiberius, who had most of her family wiped out, passed away in 37, he was succeeded by Agrippina's sole surviving son, Gaius. The new emperor restored the memory of his mother and struck a series of coins, such as this one, bearing her portrait on the reverse.