Numismatica Ars Classica, Zurich   |   Auction 94   |   6 October 2016
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Lot 13





Estimate: 40'000 CHF   |   Starting price: 32'000 CHF Price realized: 55'000 CHF
The Roman Republic
Imperatorial Issues
Denarius 43, AR 3.90 g. Laureate head of Caesar r. Rev. L·FLAMINIVS – IIII VIR Goddess standing l., holding caduceus in r. hand and sceptre in l. Babelon Julia 45 and Flaminia 3. C 26. Sydenham 1089. Sear Imperators 113. RBW –. Crawford 485/1.
Rare. A superb portrait of fine style and the work of a very skilled master-engraver.
Struck in high relief on a very broad flan, unobtrusive areas of
weakness, otherwise good extremely fine
Ex Künker sale 174, 2010, 586.

This is the best of my Julius Caesar portrait coins. A simply stunning piece that I would buy again in a heartbeat if I was going to rebuild this set. Steve Rubinger commented one day that the issues of Flaminius generally have the best portraits of Julius Caesar. I had not given it much thought until he made that comment. Since then I have studied the coins of Julius Caesar extensively and I agree with his assessment. And this particular coin is one of the best survivors from Flaminius in my opinion. If you are building a set of great portrait coins this is the one to buy for Julius Caesar. MSG.

Few portraits of Julius Caesar are as well-executed as those on this issue of 43 B.C. by the moneyer L. Flaminius Chilo. It is obvious even to the untrained eye that special care was taken in the engraving of Caesar's portrait. This must have involved considerable effort, especially since the earlier Caesar portraits of 44 B.C. often are of such poor quality. The demands that such an improvement in artistry would have placed on the engravers at the Rome mint likely were difficult to meet. For this reason, it is suspected that these denarii could not have been created until after Octavian had arrived in Rome late in the summer of 43 B.C., and had secured his position. Crawford notes that the identity of the rather ambiguous god on the reverse is not certain, though it likely is Venus or Pax. In either case, he reasons that the sceptre represents dominion and the caduceus symbolises Felicitas. The other denarius type of this moneyer is equally pro-Caesarean, as it pairs a head of Venus Victrix with Victory in a biga.

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