MARK ANTONY and OCTAVIA.
|Sale: CNG 64, Lot: 871. Estimate $750.
Closing Date: Wednesday, 24 September 2003.
Sold For $900. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.
39 BC. AR Cistophoric Tetradrachm (11.70 gm). Ephesus mint. Laureate head of Antony right, lituus below; wreath of ivy and flowers around / Draped bust of Octavia right; cista below, flanked by twisting snakes. CRI 262; RPC I 2201; Sydenham 1197; RSC 2. Toned VF, light scratches under toning. ($750)
From the Tony Hardy Collection.
This remarkable issue of triple-denarii from Asia, the first for about a decade, commemorates the marriage of the elder Triumvir with his principal colleague's sister. It celebrates Antony's divine status as the ‘New Dionysus’, an honor which had been bestowed on him at the time of his arrival in Ephesus in 41 BC. Although Octavia is not named on either variety of this coinage, there can be no doubt over the identification of the portrait given the firm chronology of the issue. Here her effigy appears atop the cista mystica, the special basket which served as a container for the sacred snakes used in the ceremonies for initiates into the cult of Dionysus.