The Roman Republic
Estimate: 65'000 CHF
Starting price: 52'000 CHF
Price realized: 75'000 CHF
C. Cassius Longinus with Lentulus Spinther. Aureus, mint moving with Cassius (probably Smyrna) 43-42, AV 8.13 g.
Description: C·CASSI·IMP – LEIBERTAS Diademed bust of Vesta r., wearing necklace. Rev. LENTVLVS / SPINT Sacrificial vase and lituus. References: Babelon Cassia 15
Bahrfeldt 58 (this coin cited)
Sear Imperators 220
Calicó 65 Condition:Very rare and possibly the finest specimen known of this difficult and fascinating issue. Perfectly struck and centred on an an extremely broad flan. Good extremely fine Provenance: Rollin & Feuardent sale 20 February 1886, Montagu, 43
Rollin & Feuardent sale 14 May, 1888, de Quelen, 502
Hirsch sale XXIX, 1910, 905
Hess-Leu sale 36, 1968, 411
NFA sale XXII, 1989, A. Moretti, 24
Stack' sale 29 November 1990, John Whitney Walter, 10
Stack' sale 3 December 1996, Michel F. Price, 100
NAC sale 70, 2013, Student and his Mentor part I, 179 Note: None the less, from the earliest days of his career, Cassius demonstrated a remarkable leadership quality, and he proved to be especially courageous under fire. His bold leadership in the murder of his long-time benefactor Julius Caesar thrust him into a limelight that in hindsight he might have avoided had he known the consequences.
Cassius produced a good variety of coin types, none of which bear his portrait. This is unfortunate since there do not seem to be any securely identified portraits of this brilliant, sarcastic and ill-tempered commander in any other form. This aureus was struck c.43-42 B.C., perhaps about the time Brutus and Cassius met at Smyrna in 42 B.C., and not long before Cassius took his own life at Philippi. Based on Cassius' activities in the two years leading to Philippi, it may well have been struck using the proceeds of his lucrative raids in Syria and on the island of Rhodes.