Numismatica Ars Classica, Zurich   |   Auction 94   |   6 October 2016
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Lot 29





Estimate: 40'000 CHF   |   Starting price: 32'000 CHF Price realized: 47'500 CHF
The Roman Republic
Imperatorial Issues
Marcus Antonius, Lucius Antonius and M. Cocceius Nerva. Aureus, mint moving with Mark Anthony circa 41, AV 8.04 g. M·ANT·IMP·AVG III VIR·R·P·C·M·NERVA PROQ·P Bare head of Mark Anthony r. Rev. L·ANTONIVS COS Bare head of Lucius Antonius r. Babelon Antonia 47 and Cocceia 1. C 1. Sydenham 1184. Bahrfeldt 80 (two specimens listed: London and Naples). Mazzini 1 (this coin). Banti II, p. 139, 1 (this coin illustrated). Sear Imperators 245. RBW –. Crawford 517/4a.
Of the highest rarity, only the third specimen known of this variety and the only one
in private hands. Two very attractive portraits struck on a full flan. Very fine
Ex NAC 33, 2006, 388; NAC 41, 2007, 33 and Antiqua XVI, 2011, 87 sales; From the Mazzini Collection.
This aureus, depicting the bare heads of Marc Antony and his youngest brother Lucius Antony, is a rare dual-portrait issue of the Imperatorial period. The family resemblance is uncanny, and one wonders if they truly looked this much alike, or if it is another case of portrait fusion, much like we observe with the dual-portrait billon tetradrachms of Antioch on which the face of the Egyptian queen Cleopatra VII takes on the square dimensions of Marc Antony. When Antony fled Rome to separate himself from Octavian and to take up his governorship in Gaul, Lucius went with him, and suffered equally from the siege of Mutina. This coin, however, was struck in a later period, when Lucius had for a second time taken up arms against Octavian in the west. Marc Antony was already in the east, and that is the region from which this coinage emanates. Since Lucius lost the ‘Perusine War’ he waged against Octavian, and subsequently was appointed to an office in Spain, where he died, it is likely that he never even saw one of his portrait coins.

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