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Research Coins: Feature Auction

 
640820
Sale: CNG 64, Lot: 820. Estimate $2500. 
Closing Date: Wednesday, 24 September 2003. 
Sold For $2100. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

JULIUS CAESAR. 47 BC. AR Denarius (3.67 gm). A. Allienus, proconsul. Sicilian mint, possibly Lilybaeum. Diademed head of Venus right / Trinacrus standing left with foot on prow, holding triskeles in right hand. Crawford 457/1; CRI 54; Sydenham 1022; RSC 1. Good VF, good style with fine old collection toning. Very rare type, one of the finest known specimens. ($2500)

From the Tony Hardy Collection.

Before embarking for north Africa from the Sicilian port of Lilybaeum, Caesar spent some time on the island organizing the invasion force with which he was going to confront Scipio and the other Pompeians. During this period (late 47 BC) a small issue of denarii was produced in Caesar's name by Aulus Allienus who had been appointed proconsular governor of Sicily the preceding year. The issue — one of the rarest in the Caesarian series — was unusual in that it bore the name of one of the dictator's lieutenants in addition to his own, a feature more characteristic of the Pompeian coinage. The Sicilian origin of this issue is made clear by the appearance of Trinacrus, reputedly a son of Neptune and the eponymous deity of the island. Venus here makes her first appearance on Caesar's coinage. As the ancestress of the gens Iulia through Iulus, grandson of Venus and Anchises, the goddess was especially revered by the dictator and was to play a prominent role on the coinage of his final years.