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Research Coins: Electronic Auction

 
4320280
432, Lot: 280. Estimate $300.
Sold for $380. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

The Triumvirs. Octavian and Divus Julius Caesar. 38 BC. Æ Sestertius (or Dupondius?) (29mm, 10.17 g, 5h). Semi-official local issue. Mint in Southern Gaul(?). Bare head of Octavian right / Wreathed head of Divus Julius Caesar right. Cf. Crawford 535/1; cf. Alföldi & Giard 34 (for type); cf. CRI 308; cf. Sydenham 1335; cf. RPC I 620; cf. RBW 1822. Near VF, dark brown and tan surfaces. Well struck for the issue.


From the Andrew McCabe Collection, purchased privately from Peus.

These Octavian and Julius Caesar dupondius types come at two weight standards, about 18 grams (two-thirds ounce) with perfectly round and level flans and classicly lifelike portraits, and at about 10-14 grams with uneven flans and less refined portraits. Certainly of different mintage, the lighter coins such as this are generally presumed imitative. I am not so sure, however, because the weights, sizes, and fabrics are reasonably consistent within this group. More likely these were semi-official local issues from southern Gaul, perhaps a civic response to the need for large bronze coinage in one or other city in Provence. During the 30s BC, all the major cities in Further Gaul issued bronzes of about the same size as these, presumably dupondii, many bearing portraits of both Caesar and Octavian, and a substantial local issue reproducing this new Rome mint type would have fit neatly into this narrative. Well preserved for the type. [Andrew McCabe]