Hadrian, 117-138. Aureus (Gold, 20 mm, 7.37 g, 7 h), Rome, circa 124-125. HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS Laureate head of Hadrian to right, with slight drapery on his left shoulder. Rev. COS - III She-wolf standing left, suckling Romulus and Remus. BMC 448. Calicó 1233b (this coin). Cohen 422 var. (no drapery). Pembroke (1746), pl. XVII, 114 (this coin). RIC 709. A beautiful and very sharp piece with an exceptionally old pedigree going back to the 1700s. Thin flan crack, otherwise, extremely fine.
From the collection of Regierungsrat Dr. iur. Hans Krähenbühl, privately acquired from Bank Leu on 18 April 1963 (with a photocopy of the original invoice enclosed), ex Hess-Leu 19, 12-13 April 1962, 463, from the collections of E. Caruso, Canessa III, 28 June 1923, 307, J.G. Sandeman, Esq., Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge, 13 June 1911, 505 and Thomas Herbert, 8th Earl of Pembroke and 5th Earl of Montgomery (1656-1733), Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge, 31 July 1848, 714.
This wonderful coin comes from the collection of the famous Operatic tenor, Enrico Caruso (1873-1921), an international celebrity of his time and one of the earliest music stars to be commercially recorded. One of the greatest singers of his era, Caruso was also an avid collector of gold coins and renowned for his ability to outspend even the King of Italy after laying his eye on a certain piece for his collection.
Furthermore, the coin also once resided in the collection of J.G. Sandeman, sold by Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge in 1911, and in that of Thomas Herbert, 8th Earl of Pembroke and 5th Earl of Montgomery, a British statesman of the late 17th and early 18th century. Thomas Herbert held a variety of offices, being the 8th President of the Royal Society in 1689-1690, First Lord of the Admiralty in 1690-1692, Lord Privy Seal in 1692-1999 and Lord President of the Council in 1699-1702. His collection of coins was published in 1746 and auctioned by Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge in 1848.