The Lavinian Sow
Lot 268
Antoninus Pius, 138-161. As (Bronze, 28 mm, 12.64 g, 6 h), Rome, 143-144. ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P COS III Laureate head of Antoninus Pius to right. Rev. IMPERATOR•II / S C Lavinian Sow seated to right under holm oak, suckling four piglets; a fifth standing to right below her head. BMC 1625. Cohen 450. RIC 733. Rare and undoubtedly among the finest known examples of this popular issue. A beautiful and well struck piece with a wonderful reverse. Minor smoothing and with a small chip in the patina on the sow's hip, otherwise, about extremely fine.

Ex Schweizerischer Bankverein 28, 17 September 1991, 539 (expertly cleaned since).

According to the Aeneid (3.389-393), the great Trojan seer, Helenos, prophesized that Aeneas would found a city on the spot where a huge, milk-white sow was suckling thirty piglets in a grove, a prophecy later repeated by Tiberinus (Aeneid 8.42-48). Indeed, upon reaching Italy, Aeneas would eventually find the sow, whom he dutifully sacrificed to Juno. In the same spot he would found the city of Lavinium, named for his wife, Lavinia, the daughter of king Latinus. His son, Ascanius, would later found Alba Longa in the area, named after the white ('alba' in Latin) sow. This city in turn was the birthplace of Romulus and Remus, who would of course go on to found Rome itself, thus linking the city to the illustrious Trojan past.
2500 CHF
Starting price:
2000 CHF
Hammer price:
4800 CHF
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