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Research Coins: Electronic Auction

 
61178
61, Lot: 178. Estimate $150.
Sold for $135. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

JULIUS CAESAR. 45 BC. Æ Dupondius (28mm, 12.66 gm). C. Clovius, Prefect. Draped bust of Victory right; star behind / Minerva walking left, holding trophy over shoulder, spear, and shield, decorated with Medusa; snake at feet left. Crawford 476/1a; CRI 62a; RPC I 601. VF, yellow ochre and brown patina, obverse soft, reverse slightly off-centered, porous. Holed with copper mount still attached. Rare.

From the Tony Hardy Collection.

This example represents the first time that orichalchum ("mountain copper"), or brass was used to strike coins and commemorates his victory in Spain. For the first time in almost forty years, aes coinage was reintroduced, and one may suspect that, as in the case of contemporary Pompeian issues from Spain, the reason was to recall traditional republican ideas. The style of those coins draws its inspiration from the traditional Janus types. Caesar, however, was completely new, not only in the material, but also the theme. Here, the bust of Victory for the obverse and Minerva for the reverse, sends a clear message about Caesar's military abilities. Moreover, this example is truly a commemorative piece, as the remaining copper mount attests. It is quite possible, given its military associations, that the mounting was done for one of Caesar's soldiers who had served in the campaign and wished to have a "good luck" reminder of that event.