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Research Coins: Printed Auction


Extremely Rare Aemilia Quinarius

Triton XXII, Lot: 918. Estimate $1500.
Sold for $12000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Moneyer issues of Imperatorial Rome. L. Aemilius Buca. January 44 BC. AR Quinarius (14mm, 1.01 g, 9h). Rome mint. Head of Pax right; pAxÍ upward to left / Clasped right hands; L • AEMI LIVS • BVCA • IIII [VIR] clockwise around. Crawford 480/24; King 70; CRI 165; Sydenham 1065; Aemilia 18; BMCRR Rome 4162; RBW 1691 (same dies). Good VF, toned, some porosity, reverse struck slightly off center. Extremely rare, only four specimens known to King, one specimen on CoinArchives (the RBW coin).

From the R. Baker Collection.

This rare half-denarius was issued contemporaneously with L. Aemilius Buca’s Julius Caesar portrait coinage, and his “Sulla’s dream” denarius of the same period. Buca may have been descended from a relative of Sulla’s and thus identified with Caesar’s career arc of restoring order to a state riven by civil war. Pax, goddess of peace, is here portrayed for the first time on Roman coinage. This and the clasped hands on the reverse both allude to the peace and harmony restored to the state by Caesar’s recent victories over his enemies.