Stack's Bowers Galleries (& Ponterio) > February 2024 World CCO AuctionAuction date: 26 February 2024
Lot number: 74099

Price realized: 900 USD   (Approx. 829 EUR)   Note: Prices do not include buyer's fees.
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Lot description:

AUGUSTUS, 27 B.C.- A.D. 14. AR Denarius (3.79 gms), Uncertain Mint in Spain, Possibly Colonia Patricia, ca. 19-18 B.C. NGC Ch VF, Strike: 4/5 Surface: 3/5. Punch Marks.
RIC-37B; RSC-97. Obverse: Head of Augustus left, wearing oak wreath; Reverse: DIVVS - IVLIVS; Comet with eight rays and tail pointed upward. A beautiful example of the type featuring an excellent young bust of Rome's first emperor along with a crisply-struck reverse design. The surfaces exhibit great metal quality and shimmer with luster. The noted punch marks are tiny, with one appearing on the center of each side.

Appearing suddenly during a religious festival just months after Julius Caesar's assassination, "Caesar's Comet", as it came to be called, took on immediate mystical significance for Romans of the time. The celestial object reportedly continued to shine for seven days and was commonly interpreted to be Caesar's soul leaving the earth. Octavian immediately seized upon the coincidence and used it to bolster his position as Caesar's nephew and heir during the dangerous power vacuum that followed the dictator's murder. This early imperial issue references the cosmic event with a lovely depiction of the comet itself along with simple legends that assert Caesar's deification.

Estimate: $700 - $1000