Numismatica Ars Classica, Zurich   |   Auction 94   |   6 October 2016
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Lot 34





Estimate: 65'000 CHF   |   Starting price: 52'000 CHF Price realized: 75'000 CHF
The Roman Republic
Imperatorial Issues
Octavianus and M. Vipsanius Agrippa. Denarius, mint moving with Octavian 38, AR 4.16 g. DIVOS IVLIVS – DIVI·F Confronted heads of Julius Caesar, wreathed r., and Octavian, bareheaded l. Rev. M·AGRIPPA·COS / DESIG. Babelon Julia 129 and Vipsania 2. C 5. Sydenham 1330. Sear Imperators 306. RBW –. Crawford 534/2.
Very rare and in exceptional condition for the issue. Two magnificent portraits
and an enchanting old cabinet tone, extremely fine
Ex Brüder Egger 43, 1913, Herzfelder, 53; Ars Classica 18, 1938, de Sartiges, 20; M&M 43, 1970, 257; Sternberg 1, 1973, 31; M&M 66, 1984, 499 and NAC 70, 2013, Student and His Mentor part I, 195 sales.

The provenance on this coin is really terrific. It is such a tough coin and in spectacular condition. Worthy of being in the finest collection! MSG.

Few great leaders in history have had an ally as capable and reliable as Marcus Agrippa (a close second in Roman history is Diocletian’s colleague Maximian). In many respects, Agrippa was the bricks-and-mortar of Octavian-Augustus’ career: not only did he help build it, but he was perpetually relied upon to maintain it, even to the point of creating potential heirs to Augustus’ throne through his marriage to Augustus’ daughter Julia. On this denarius, struck at a mint moving with Octavian in 38 B.C., the obverse honours Octavian (in the portrait and in the inscription) and the deified father Julius Caesar (in the portrait and in the inscription), while the reverse is entirely devoted to Agrippa. Except for the copper asses struck in Agrippa’s name long after his death, and certain provincial coinages (such as the massive issues of Nemausus), there were only two occasions in which Imperial coins were struck for Agrippa. This denarius belongs to the first issue in which three types were struck. Each has the common feature of Agrippa’s inscription on the reverse, and their obverses differ in that Julius Caesar is portrayed on the aureus and the head of Octavian or the confronted heads of Caesar and Octavian appear on the denarii.

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