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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 2, Lot: 159. Estimate CHF4000. 
Closing Date: Monday, 17 May 2010. 
Sold For CHF6250. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Brutus. Denarius (Silver, 3.97 g 12), military mint, probably at Smyrna, early 42 BC. BRVTVS Axe, simpulum and knife. Rev. LENTVLVS / SPINT Jug and lituus. Crawford 500/7. CRI 198. Sydenham 1310. A lovely piece, beautifully toned and nicely centered. Good extremely fine.

The implements on the obverse refer to the priestly college to which Brutus belonged, while the jug and lituus on the reverse relate to P. Cornelius Lentulus Spinther’s position as an augur, a function to which he was elected in BC 57. The astonishing sharpness and superb condition of this coin show that it must have been buried only a short while after it was struck, probably only about six months before the battle of Philippi in October 42. It also almost certainly indicates that it belonged to a supporter of Brutus who was killed during the battle: in any case, the coins struck by the Tyrannicides would have surely been proscribed themselves and would otherwise have been melted down.