Maison Palombo
Auction 21  28 Jan 2023
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Lot 73

Starting price: 70 000 CHF
Price realized: 120 000 CHF
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Marc Antoine (43-33)
Aureus - Ephèse (41).
D'une grande rareté et d'une qualité exceptionnelle pour ce monnayage.
Exemplaire de la vente Vinchon du 23 janvier 2001, N°12 et de la vente Palombo 18 du 17 novembre 2019, N°56.
8.02g - Cal. 109
Superbe à FDC - NGC AU* (5/5 et 5/5)

This coin was struck by a mint-master named M. Barbatius Pollio, who is called ""quaestor pro praetore"". A. H. J. Greenidge, who devoted an article to this unusual title in 1895, informs us that several figures were given it, such as Piso in 64 BC and Cato in 58 BC. There were eight such questors, one for each province, the financial administration of which they were in charge. More interestingly, this coin shows the portraits of the last two ruling men of Rome before it became an empire. After the assassination of Caesar in 44 BC, Mark Antony seemed liked his obvious successor – being his loyal lieutenant. But Caesar had actually adopted his grand-nephew Octavian, who left Illyria where he was studying and came to Rome to claim his legacy and challenge Antony's authority. At first, in 43 BC, the 20-year-old Octavian succeeded in having the Senate declare Antony a public enemy, but soon-after agreed instead to share power with him (and Lepidus) – in order to defeat Brutus and Cassius, Caesar's assassins. This situation of shared power between Antony and Octavian lasted nearly a decade, until Octavian declared war on Antony's wife Cleopatra VII and defeated them at the Battle of Actium, and this coin was struck during this period of 'peace'. Nevertheless, though Antony seems to have the advantage on this coin (with a larger head and on the obverse), one must notice that Octavian uses the name of Caesar which already suggests who was going to take-over.
Estimation: CHF 75.000
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