Clodius Albinus, head of the legions in Britannia (England), had been one of the pretenders before making alliance with Severus. When he ascended the throne in April 194 of our calendar, Severus chose Albinus as his Caesar with a right of succession.
At that time the Roman coins display superb portraits, highly detailed and artistic. Severus has realized an aureus at the effigy of Albinus, a beautiful general in his forties with a high forehead, curly hair and full beard.
The reverse of this aureus shows a standing god wearing a very slight pallium and carrying a trident and a caduceus. He is identified by the inscription Saeculo Frugifero which marks the auspices of a return to prosperity. The name is translated from the Greek god Aion Karkophoros who is the patron of Hadrumetum, the hometown of Albinus in present-day Tunisia.
This aureus was as ephemeral as the imperial career of Albinus. After a few months, Severus feels increasingly strong and changes his mind, desiring now to establish a hereditary dynasty. He abruptly evicts his former Caesar before he could disturb his ambitions. After two years of resistance, Albinus is defeated and commits suicide.
The aureus of Albinus is known in only three units. One of them is superbly struck, uncirculated, nearly fleur de coin. It is estimated CHF 350K for sale in Zürich on May 23 by NAC (Numismatica Ars Classica) in association with Stack's Bowers. The online bidding is available on Sixbid, lot 33.
SOLD for CHF 600K before fees