The Roman Republic
Estimate: 7'500 CHF
Starting price: 6'000 CHF
Price realized: 6'500 CHF
M. Antonius and Cleopatra. Denarius, mint moving with M. Antonius 32, AR 3.64 g.
Description: ANTONI· ARME[NIA·DEVICTA] Head of M. Antonius r.; behind, Armenian tiara. Rev. [CLEOPATRAE ·REGINAE· REGVM·FILIORVM·REGVM] Draped and diademed bust of Cleopatra r. References: Babelon Antonia 95
Sear Imperators 345
Buttrey, Essays Russo, p. 303, 52
Crawford 543/1 Condition:Rare. Two lovely portraits with a magnificent old cabinet tone. Irregular flan and minor areas of weakness, otherwise about extremely fine Provenance: Dupriez sale 23 October 1934, 48
UBS sale 78, 2008, 1210 Note: As the struggle between Marcus Antonius and Octavian dragged on in the 30s B.C., the geographical and political lines became ever more defined. Antonius had become entrenched in the Eastern Mediterranean, and in doing so had allied himself with Cleopatra VII, queen of Egypt, whose original supporter in Rome, Iulius Caesar, had been murdered years before. She had his son, Caesarion, at her side, but she needed an ally like Antonius if she hoped to preserve Egypt from the ever-widening grasp of Rome. Importantly, Antonius was easier to manipulate than Octavian, who had no sympathy for Cleopatra’s motives. Although this woman of blinding intellect may have found her marriage to Antonius a degrading experience, personally, she was crafty enough to realise it was her only chance at survival. Hence, she was probably eager to issue dual-portrait coins, such as the denarius offered here. Little more indication is necessary to recognise that Cleopatra had effectively dominated her husband, the Roman warlord Antonius.