Heritage World Coin Auctions
ANA Signature Sale 3101  25-28 Aug 2022
Session 1 begins closing in
5 days 15 hr 36 min

Starting price: 50 000 USD
Current bid: 50 000 USD
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Octavian, as Consul (43 BC), with Julius Caesar, as Dictator Perpetuo and Pontifex Maximus. AV aureus (19mm, 8.08 gm, 7h). NGC Choice VF 3/5 - 4/5. Military mint in Transalpine and Cisalpine Gaul, July-August 43 BC. C•CAESAR•COS•PONT•AVG• (partially ligate), bare head of Octavian right / C•CAESAR•DICT•PERP•PONT•MA-X• (partially ligate), laureate head of Julius Caesar right. Crawford 490/2 (R3). Sydenham 1321. Julia 64. Calicó 52. Newman "A Dialogue of Power in the Coinage of Antony and Octavian," ANS AJN 2 (1990), 43.9. Very rare, one of exceedingly few near-contemporary portraits of Julius Caesar in gold. Spectacular example with realistic portraits on both sides, this example is exceptional with its harvest gold coloring on a satiny lustrous flan.

From the Historical Scholar Collection; Ex Classical Numismatic Group, Mail Bid Sale 63 (21 May 2003), lot 1194; P&P Santamaria (24 January 1938), lot 220

A goal of many collectors of the Roman series is to obtain a portrait set of the first Twelve Caesars in gold aurei. The main impediment to assembling such a set is the difficulty in obtaining the very first portrait, Julius Caesar. While relatively plentiful in silver and bronze, actual portraits of Caesar in gold are surprisingly scant, with likely fewer than 50 of all known types extant. The type struck closest to Caesar's lifetime is the present example, issued by his grand-nephew and adoptive heir Octavian; the coin was likely struck at a military mint in southern Gaul upon his assumption of the Consulship in July 43 BC (since the obverse titles omit any reference to the yet-to-be-formed Second Triumvirate with Marc Antony and Lepidus, the type cannot have been struck in 40 BC as asserted in Calicó). The portrait of Caesar on the reverse makes no reference to his pending deification, but repeats his names and titles as they stood upon his assassination, on 15 March 44 BC. The portrait is accurately realistic and shows the great dictator as a prematurely aged man of 54, with sunken jowls and a long turkey-like neck. All other portrait gold coins depicting Caesar, all excessively rare, were struck much longer after his death and sport more idealized portraits.


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Estimate: 100000-150000 USD
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