GORDIAN III GOLD AUREUS – FAMOUS FARNESE HERCULES SCULPTURAL TYPE – MINT STATE NGC GRADED ROMAN IMPERIAL COIN (Inv. 14779)
ROMAN EMPIRE. GORDIAN III, AD 238-244.
Gold AV Aureus, 5.29 g., 20 mm. Minted in Rome, 4th officina, ca. AD 240-243.
Obv. IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right.
Rev. VIRTVTI AVGVSTI, the Hercules “Farnese” standing right, leaning on the club, with his right arm held behind his back as he grasps the apples of the Hesperides.
RIC IV 108; Calicó 3242; Biaggi 1373-4.
NGC graded MINT STATE, Strike 5/5, Surface 4/5, a coin that depicts one of the most famous statues in the history of ancient art, the Hercules “Farnese,” a work of art that depicts the hero Hercules at the end of his “Twelve Labors.” Exhausted, he leans on his club over which he has draped the skin of the Nemean lion, his attribute and symbol of the First Labor. His right hand is hidden behind him, as he holds the Apples of the Hesperides, the rewards obtained during the Twelfth and final Labor. There are a number of variants of this statue including the monumental one once in the Farnese collection and now in Naples’ Archaeological Museum – this sculpture originally decorated the Baths of Caracalla in Rome and was excavated there in 1546.