Portrait of Vercingetorix?
Lot 2509
L. Hostilius Saserna, 48 BC. Denarius (Silver, 18 mm, 4.00 g, 12 h), Rome. Draped male bust (Vercingetorix?) with wild hair and long plaited beard to right; cloak around neck and Gallic shield behind. Rev. L•HOSTILIVS - SASERN Nude Gallic warrior, holding shield in his left hand and hurling spear with his right, standing left in a galloping biga being driven to right by a seated charioteer holding a whip. Babelon (Hostilia) 2. Crawford 448/2a. CRI 18. RBW 1569. Sydenham 952. An unusually well centered example. A few light marks, otherwise, very fine.


From the Red Ox Collection and the collection of the Czech musician Adolf Picek (circa 1885-1978), and formerly in the possession of an Italian banker, whose life was saved by Mr. Picek in the Battles of the Piave River on the Italian Front in 1917-1918 and who presented his savior with 'four socks of old coins' in reward.

The bust on the obverse of this issue has long been identified as that of Vercingetorix, the famous chief of the Arverni and Caesar's greatest foe in his conquest of Gaul. There is no clear evidence for this and the image most likely serves as a personification of the defeated Gaul in general, but the individuality of the portrait does suggest that it was modelled after a specific person. Vercingetorix, who was the most famous Celtic prisoner of war and who was incarcerated in Rome until his execution in 46 BC, seems the most likely candidate.
Starting price:
200 CHF
Current bid:
280 CHF
Bid increment:
20 CHF
Minimum bid:
300 CHF
Number of bids:
Time left:
Closing time: 19-Dec-21, 16:42:00 CET
All winning bids are subject to an 18.5% buyer's fee.