An exceptionally well struck portrait denarius of Julius Caesar
Lot 199
Julius Caesar, 49-44 BC. Denarius (Silver, 19 mm, 4.09 g, 3 h), M. Mettius, moneyer. Rome, March-April 44. CAESAR IMPER Wreathed head of Julius Caesar to right. Rev. M•METTIVS Venus standing front, head to left, resting left arm on shield set on globe, holding Victory in her right hand and long scepter in her left; in field to left, A. Babelon (Julia) 33 and (Mettia) 5. Crawford 480/17. CRI 101. RBW 1686. Sydenham 1055. Exceptionally well struck and with a particularly bold and expressive portrait. Extremely fine.

This coin, showing a vigorous portrait of Julius Caesar, was likely struck during the weeks following his assassination on 15 March 44 BC as part of an emergency issue. One of the most shocking innovations Caesar had introduced in the Roman coinage was the use of his own portrait in the style of a Hellenistic monarch, the first time a living Roman had done so in Rome itself. His portrait continued to be used after his death, but interestingly, rather than the contentious title of 'Dictator (in) Perpetuo' used right before his demise, the moneyers, M. Mettius and P. Sepullius Macer, opted for the more neutral 'Imperator' for this issue. This probably reflects a healthy amount of caution on the moneyers' part, who had to work during one of the most pivotal and politically dangerous periods of Roman history.
7500 CHF
Starting price:
6000 CHF
Hammer price:
17000 CHF
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