Numismatica Ars Classica > Auction 132Auction date: 30 May 2022
Lot number: 456

Price realized: Withdrawn
Lot description:

Cnaeus Pompeius Junior and M. Minatius Sabinus. Denarius, Spain 46-45, AR 3.55 g. IMP – CN·MAGNVS Head of Cnaeus Pompeius Magnus r. Rev. PR·Q Personification of Corduba, turreted, standing r. amidst heap of arms, grasping with r. hand the hand of Pompeian soldier disembarking from ship; in exergue, M·MINAT / SABIN. Babelon Minatia 2 and Pompeia 11. C 5. Sydenham 1036b. T. V. Buttrey, ANSMN 9, 1960, p. 76, type A. Sear Imperators 49. RBW 1642. Crawford 470/1a.
Very rare. Light iridescent tone and good very fine

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Estimate: 2000 CHF

Match 1:
Roma Numismatics Ltd > Auction XXVAuction date: 22 September 2022
Lot number: 912

Price realized: Unsold
Lot description:

Cnaeus Pompeius Junior and M. Minatius Sabinus AR Denarius. Corduba, 46-45 BC. CN•MAGN IMP, head of Cnaeus Pompeius Magnus to right / Personification of Corduba, turreted, standing to right amidst heap of arms, holding transverse spear and welcoming Pompeian soldier who debarks from stern of ship; PR•Q to left, M•MINAT SABIN in exergue. Crawford 470/1a; CRI 49; C. 5; Sydenham 1036; Buttrey, ANSMN 9, 1960, p. 76, type A and pl. VII, obv. 3, rev. c; RSC Minatia 2 and Pompeia 11. 3.88g, 20mm, 2h.

Mint State; in extraordinary condition for the type. Very Rare.

From the Shackleford Collection.

The eldest son of Pompey Magnus, Cnaeus Pompeius (also commonly referred to as Pompey Junior) and his brother Sextus grew up in the long shadow of their father's fame as the greatest general of his age. The elder Pompey had seemed to hold the whole Roman world in the palm of his hand, yet in the struggle for mastery of the Republic against his former friend and ally Caesar, Pompey was forced to abandon Italy with his family, and was utterly undone at the Battle of Pharsalus in 48 BC. Defeated, Pompey and his family took flight to Egypt where the general believed they would be safe, since the boy king Ptolemy XIII was indebted to the friendship and the help Pompey had given to his father. Upon their arrival in Egypt however, Pompey was treacherously murdered by a former comrade on the orders of the Egyptian king, who had been advised that this would forestall further civil war, and ingratiate him with Caesar. Stabbed to death by sword and daggers, his head severed and his unclothed body thrown into the sea, Pompey died the day after his sixtieth birthday. Horrified, his family put back out to sea.

Cnaeus and Sextus joined the remainder of the resistance to Caesar in Africa, and after the defeat at Thapsus the brothers escaped to the Balearic islands, whence they crossed over to the Spanish mainland with Titus Labienus, a former lieutenant of Caesar. Struck at Corduba, which became the Pompeian military headquarters, this coin is laden with symbolism. The reverse is as imaginative and unusual as any reverse in the Republican series, and propagandises the welcome received by the brothers in Spain, which readily provided them with the means with which to continue the fight against Caesar. The obverse bears the first securely datable portrait of their dead father Pompey Magnus, whose success in bringing the Sertorian War to a close in 71 BC would still have been remembered in Spain. The legend names 'Cnaeus Magnus Imperator', a pious statement that the authority behind the striking of this coinage is that of the wronged and murdered Pompey Magnus, on whose behalf the resistance to Caesar was taken up by his son.

This coin must have been struck only shortly before the Pompeian and Caesarian armies met on 17 March 45 BC; the extreme rarity of the issue argues for a limited production run. At the Battle of Munda, some 70,000 troops commanded by Cnaeus, Sextus, and Titus Labienus met Caesar's battle-hardened veteran force of 40,000. The result of the contest was a decisive victory for Caesar; Labienus was killed along with around 30,000 Pompeian troops, and the brothers Cnaeus and Sextus were once again forced to flee. Cnaeus was quickly captured and executed, but Sextus would survive his brother in Sicily for over a decade.

Estimate: 25000 GBP

Match 2:
Bertolami Fine Arts - ACR Auctions > Auction 109Auction date: 4 May 2022
Lot number: 433

Price realized: 5,000 EUR   (Approx. 5,274 USD)   Note: Prices do not include buyer's fees.
Lot description:

Cn. Pompeius Junior and M. Minatius Sabinus, Denarius, Spain: Corduba, 46-45 BC; AR (g 3,92; mm 19; h 9); Head of Cnaeus Pompeius Magnus r.; around, CN MAGN - IMP, Rv. Personification of Corduba, turreted, standing to r. amidst heap of arms, holding transverse spear and welcoming a Pompeian soldier who debarks from stern of a ship; in ex. M MINAT / SABIN; on l., PR Q. Crawford 470/1a; Minatia 2, Pompeia 11; Sydenham 1036.
Very rare. Lightly toned; good very fine.

Ex Dr. Busso Peus Nachfolger 336, 1993, lot 555.

Starting price: 400 EUR

Match 3:
Bertolami Fine Arts - ACR Auctions > Auction 109Auction date: 4 May 2022
Lot number: 432

Price realized: 1,300 EUR   (Approx. 1,371 USD)   Note: Prices do not include buyer's fees.
Lot description:

Cn. Pompeius Junior and M. Poblicius, Denarius, Spain, 46-45 BC; AR (g 3,88; mm 20; h 6); Helmeted head of Roma r.; around, M POBLICI LEG PRO - PR, Rv. Hispania standing r., with shield slung on back, holding two spears and presenting palm branch to soldier standing l. on prow of ship; on r. field, CN MAGNVS IMP. Crawford 469/1d; Poblicia 10, Pompeia 9; Sydenham 1035.
Lightly toned; large flan; about extremely fine.

Starting price: 200 EUR

Match 4:
Numismatica Ars Classica > Auction 132Auction date: 30 May 2022
Lot number: 474

Price realized: 2,200,000 CHF   (Approx. 2,299,331 USD / 2,146,656 EUR)   Note: Prices do not include buyer's fees.
Lot description:

M. Junius Brutus with L. Plaetorius Caestianus. Aureus, mint moving with Brutus in Northern Greece 43-42, AV 7.84 g. BRVT IMP – L·PLAET·CEST Bare head of M. Junius Brutus r. Rev. Pileus between two daggers; below, EID·MAR. Babelon –. Sydenham –. Sear Imperators 215. H. Cahn, Actes du Congrès International de Numismatique, Paris 1953, p. 213 (this coin) = H. Cahn, Q. Tic 18, 1989, 24a (this coin). Calicó 58 (this coin). RBW –. Crawford –. Biaggi 39 (this coin).
Of the highest rarity, only three specimens known, of which this is the only one with a
documented provenance prior to World War II. A coin of tremendous fascination and
one of the most important objects to have reached us from antiquity. A scratch
on reverse field and carefully pierced at twelve o'clock, possibly to
be worn by a supporter of Brutus, otherwise very fine

Ex NAC 27, 2004, 282 and NAC 45, Barry Feirstein, 42 sales. From the Biaggi collection (privately purchased from Cahn in February 1952). This coin has been on display at the British Museum in London from 2010 to 2021
Every collector of ancient coins knows that the silver EID MAR denarius struck by M. Junius Brutus to celebrate the assassination of Julius Caesar on the Ides of March is the king (or rather, king-slayer) of Roman Republican coins. Due to the history that drips from them like the blood of the murdered dictator, such coins are highly sought after and invite great competition by collectors. This gold EID MAR aureus, however, is on another level entirely. While the denarius is a rarity, the aureus is spectacularly rare, known from only three specimens. The present aureus has been known since at least 1932, when it was offered to the British Museum by Oscar Ravel, but the deleterious economic effects of the Great Depression and the recent end of the gold standard in Great Britain prevented its purchase by the museum at that time. This is well documented by a cast of the coin conserved at the museum. In 1953, Herbert Cahn discussed the coin in his presentation of "The Aureus of Brutus with EID MAR" at the Paris International Numismatic Congress. He also included it (Cahn 24a) in the corpus of 52 EID MAR coins published in Quaderni ticinesi in 1989 although Michael Crawford had questioned its authenticity in Roman Republican Coinage (1975). In the intervening years, any doubts have faded and even Michael Crawford confirmed its authenticity. The coin has been publicly displayed at the British Museum in the main gallery from 2010 to 2021. The long-term loan of the coin to the museum to some extent assuaged the wound of the missed opportunity in 1932 and the discovery that the only EID MAR aureus in the BM collection (donated by King George IV in 1825) is actually a forgery. Over the more than a decade that the present EID MAR aureus has spent under the care of the British Museum, it has also taken up an acting career. It appears in a filmed version of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar in which Brutus speaks his soliloquy through the coin. Alas, there is no category for "Best Coin" in the Academy Awards. Like the silver EID MAR denarius, the matching gold aureus is believed to have been struck by a mobile military mint travelling with Brutus and his army as he marched from Asia Minor into Macedonia in the autumn and early summer of 42 BC. Earlier in the year he had joined his fellow assassin L. Cassius Longinus at Smyrna and together set about campaigning and plundering in order to raise funds and attract soldiers for the imminent showdown with Octavian and Mark Antony, the heirs of Caesar. The coins were struck from the gold and silver looted from the cities and temples of Asia Minor in preparation for the coming Battle of Philippi (3 and 23 October 42 BC) that would settle the fate of the Republic once and for all and set the trajectory of European and wider Mediterranean history for centuries to come. While the silver denarius was the standard coin in which soldiers expected to be paid in the late Roman Republican period, the gold aureus was special. Under the Roman Republic gold was not struck to be used as regular coinage but was produced either to meet emergency (usually military) expenses or as a special gift or bonus given to military commanders. Under the Roman Empire the distribution of gold coins as donativa by the emperors became commonplace to affirm the loyalty of the army. The EID MAR aurei had a similar purpose and may have been distributed by Brutus himself to his commanders as both a reminder of what they were fighting for and as a means of cementing their loyalty. The hole pierced through the present EID MAR aureus just above the head of Brutus indicates that it was worn as a pendant and the British Museum in its press release suggested that it might have been given to a commander who survived the Liberators' defeat at Philippi, but continued to cherish the memory of Brutus and what he stood for even after the victory of the Triumvirate was complete. One can almost imagine the owner secretly wearing the coin on a necklace hidden under his tunic to remain mindful of Brutus and the ideals he stood for as the Republic continued its death throes and lurched ever closer to the tyranny of Empire. It is more than a little ironic that at the same time Brutus celebrates the murder of the dictator on the EID MAR coinage, he also features his own portrait on the obverse. Julius Caesar was in fact the first Roman leader to break the old

Republican custom of never depicting the image of a living person on the coinage. Ruler portraits on coins were previously deemed to be the stuff of kings and were anathema to republican principles. Thus, the reverse of the EID MAR coinage simultaneously recalls the killing blows that seemed to offer the salvation of the Republic from Caesar while the obverse portrait pressed its own dagger into the heart of Roman Republican tradition. Despite what Brutus and his fellow conspirators may have hoped, there really was no possibility of returning to the good old days. From an art historical perspective, the portrait on the EID MAR coinage is also important as it is one of the only securely identifiable images of the great liberator that we have. His only other certain portraits occur on the far less famous aurei struck by Servilius Casca and Pedanius Costa (Crawford 506/1 and 507/1). His image on the EID MAR coinage is notable for the light beard that Brutus wears-a feature absent from his portrait on the Casca and Costa issues. It has sometimes been suggested that this beard was a sign of mourning for the Republic, but this seems unlikely since until he believed himself defeated at the battle of Philippi, there is no indication in the ancient sources that he thought it was truly dead. More probable, the beard is the outward sign of a vow taken to defeat the heirs of Caesar and restore the Roman Republic. Unfortunately, Brutus did not live to fulfil the vow and take up his razor. The beautiful simplicity of the EID MAR reverse served to encapsulate and advertise the ultimate cause for which Brutus and the Liberators were fighting on the very eve of the Battle of Philippi. Presumably it was hoped that such iconography and the unambiguous legend would serve to rally the army before the fateful battle. A single pileus-the symbol of freedom from slavery worn by freedmen in Rome and the regular attribute of the goddess Libertas-stands in the centre of the type flanked by two daggers. The latter obviously refer to the murder of Caesar that made possible the liberty represented by the pileus, but the fact that there are two daggers had led to the suggestion that each weapon was intended to represent Brutus and Cassius. The daggers have also been thought to represent the restoration of the power of the traditional Roman consulship, which placed power in the hands of two men, in opposition to the monarchical dictatorship of Caesar. The crystal clarity of meaning of the EID MAR reverse type was very powerful and continued to exert its influence under the Roman Empire and down to modern times. The type was resurrected by Galba in Spain at the beginning of his revolt against Nero in the spring of 68 AD (RIC 24). In this case it did not advertise a fait accompli as had Brutus' original, but rather served as a call to arms against the debauched emperor and a promise of liberation from tyranny. Evidently Galba had glossed over the fate of Brutus after Caesar was dead. Following his defeat at Philippi, Brutus gave up hope of continuing the struggle against the Triumvirate and fell on his sword. Brutus' type was still known in the early third century AD, when the historian Cassius Dio described it for readers of his Roman History-one of the very few times when a specific coin is mentioned in ancient literature. He noted that, "Brutus stamped upon the coins which were being minted his own likeness and a cap and two daggers, indicating by this and by the inscription that he and Cassius had liberated the fatherland." (47.25.3). To provide such detail Dio must have seen one himself or had access to an earlier source written by someone who had seen one. Although the memory of Brutus' famous type may have faded with the fall of Rome and the coming of the Middle Ages, it was remembered again with the flowering of the Renaissance and the new interest in Roman coins that came with it. In the sixteenth century the EID MAR type was reused for bronze medallions struck to commemorate Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco (Attwood 891). In 1537, his grandson Lorenzino plotted the murder of his cousin, Duke Alessandro de' Medici of Florence, in the empty hope of restoring the Florentine Republic. Like Brutus centuries before, Lorenzino was forced to flee and was ultimately killed. Like Galba before him, he seems to have fallen under the spell of the coin type and the image of the Liberator that it evoked without paying close attention to the conclusion of Brutus' story. The EID MAR type was also invoked in the context of the French Revolution (1789-1799). An article discussing the bonnet rouge worn by the Revolutionaries in issue no. 141 of Révolutions de Paris (17-24 March 1792) directly connects the French liberty cap with the pileus of Brutus' type seen on a "superb gold coin" in the cabinet of the Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève. The aureus in question seems to have disappeared after the collection was nationalized and dispersed by the Revolutionary government in 1791. The purpose of the author seems to have been to associate the emblem of French freedom more closely with tyrannicide, although at the time of publication Louis XVI still lived and France maintained a tenuous constitutional monarchy. There was no French Brutus until 1793, when the National Convention convicted the king of treason and ordered his execution. In addition to his subtly radicalizing use of the EID MAR type in the pages of Révolutions de Paris, the author of the article also points out the extreme rarity of the EID MAR aureus by noting that even the personal collection of Louis XVI lacked such a coin. The power and influence of Brutus' EID MAR type, especially as found on the gold aureus, cannot be overestimated. It is a type for all time that has spoken, and continues to speak, to the hearts of many in ages when people have felt oppressed and longed for freedom. The coin is more than a physical memorial of the tumultuous act undertaken by Brutus and his colleagues on the Ides of March, 44 BC, and its doomed sequel at Philippi two years later. It encapsulates the dream of liberty that reverberates in modern times just as much as it did over 2,000 years ago. Is it any wonder that its original Roman owner desired to wear it close to his heart?

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Estimate: 750000 CHF

Match 5:
Nomos AG > Auction 24Auction date: 22 May 2022
Lot number: 379

Price realized: 2,200 CHF   (Approx. 2,263 USD / 2,138 EUR)   Note: Prices do not include buyer's fees.
Lot description:

Cnaeus Pompeius Magnus (Pompey the Great), summer 46 - spring 45 BC. Denarius (Silver, 20 mm, 3.95 g, 6 h), Corduba, M. Poblicius, legatus pro praetore. M.POBLICI.LEG. - PRO.PR Helmeted head of Roma to right. Rev. CN.MAGNVS IMP Hispania standing right, with shield on her back, holding two spears in her left hand and presenting a longt palm frond to Pompeian soldier standing left on a large prow. Babelon (Poblicia) 10, (Pompeia) 9. Crawford 469/1e. CRI 48a. Sydenham 1035a. Rare with this reverse legend variant. Very well-struck and sharp. Good extremely fine.

Estimate: 1500 CHF