Hadrien (117-138) Aureus - Rome (134-138) Probablement une œuvre d’Antoninianos d’Aphrodisias dit « maître de l’Alphée ». Le plus bel aureus d’Hadrien connu de par sa qualité et son incroyable style. Exemplaire de la vente Tkalec du 19 février 2001, N°282 Exemplaire illustrant le A. Pangerl (ed.), PORTRAITS. 500 Years of Roman Coin Portraits, Munich 2017, p. 85, N°216 7.26g - Cal. 1409 FDC Exceptionnel - GEM MS * This is a very rare coin, of which P. Strack only listed three specimens (in the Vatican, Paris and London museums). Other specimens have appeared since, such as Calicó 1409 and Stack’s 174, lot 5048, but it remains a great rarity. The legend VOTA SVSCEPTA (the vows taken) refers to Hadrian’s vicennalia, which was held in December AD 137, and this issue seems to have been struck around the transition of Caesars. Its medallic quality suggests that it was engraved by the ‘Alphaeus Master’ himself, who is responsible for exceptional portraits. This artist has been tentatively identified with Antoninianos of Aphrodisias, a sculp- tor active for Hadrian’s court in a Greek-classicizing style that was identified on various medallions of Hadrian and of Antinoüs, but also on a few exceptional sestertii; see Charles Seltman, “Greek Sculpture and Some Festival Coins”, in Hesperia 17 (1948), pp. 71-85. Choosing a Greek style was significant, as Hadrian had been nicknamed ‘the little Greek’ for speaking Greek better than Latin, and as he was the first Roman emperor to wear a full beard – supposedly in reference to Greek philosophers.