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The 3148-lot sale was held on March 8 and 9 and for the most part the offerings were of coins which turn up relatively frequently. So, this catalogue has a use as a price guide for the fairly commonplace. It should not be gleaned from this report that Künker only sell low-priced coins – this is far from the case.

From such a long sale there is only space to offer a representative selection.

The city of Metapontum in the toe of Italy struck a long series of silver coins which are incuse on one side. This was to make the silver go further and create a larger coin to express civic pride. Making some of their coins in this way strengthened the coin, in the same manner that roofing is sometimes of corrugated iron rather than flat sheets. There was a nice example here with the ubiquitous barley ear and struck c.500-480 BC. Estimated at €250, it made €300 (£210).

The Punic wars between Carthage and the cities of Sicily gave rise to a rich coinage – mercenaries demand to be paid. There was an example of a silver tetradrachm with a fine rendering of a horse’s head struck c.350-300BC. It has some passing interest to more modern connoisseurs because it was used as a model for a medal by Benvenuto Cellini during the 16th century AD. In terms of condition it is about as they come and an estimate of €800 was opined. Perhaps there are too many of them around but it only required €430 (£300) to buy it.

As impressive portraits go, it is hard to better the proud visage of Mithradates II of Pontus (123-88BC) at the far end of Turkey – think Trebizond. Yes, these coins do turn up but was €1250 too much to suggest? No, it made €1550 (£1085).

The centuries wearied by and the Greek world as we admire it passed, and now the Romans held sway. Emperor Tiberius (AD 14-37) struck a coin which was destined to become famous through the New Testament. This is the so-called Tribute penny rendered immortal by Jesus with his injunction to render unto Caesar… It comes in silver and gold. The silver ones fetch £150-200. This aureus (gold) was estimated at €5000. It made €5800 (£4060).

People like portraits. The gentle reader must decide whether the double sestertius (bronze) of the Roman Trianus Decius (AD 249-251) outdoes that of Mithradates. I thought it was under-estimated at €2500 when the catalogue arrived. It took a winning bid of €3600 (£2520) and quite right too.

The infamous – to christians anyway – Diocletian (AD 284-305) had some good points. He retired from the emperorship to grow cabbages at his still-standing palace at Spoleto. He made many political reforms in unstable times. His edict on prices is perused by economists even today. Sadly for the Empire his efforts were short-lived. Naturally these reforms required the striking of more than usual coins. The emperor was blessed with good designers. In this sale there was a better than usual aureus, and a fine piece of sculpture it is. Strongly estimated, as it turns out, at €6000, this coin seems inexpensive at €4800 (£3360).

The Roman laws which guides our laws even in this present century are mainly those laid down by the Byzantine Justinian. At various mints throughout the empire he struck a magnificent series of large bronze coins and they are relatively easy to come by in aesthetically pleasing condition. There were three in this sale. The nicest was struck at Constantinople (the CON at the bottom of the coin indicates this) in the twelfth year (the most common) year of his reign (AD 530). The XII on the reverse demonstrates this. Boldly estimated at €300, it made €260 (£182).

This was an interesting sale with the estimates “all over the place”. Further, this sale makes me wonder just why coins at these prices attract so specialised a gang of aficionados.