Search in The Coin Shop

CNG Bidding Platform


Products and Services

The Coin Shop


Superb Antony & Octavia


IONIA, Ephesus. Mark Antony and Octavia. Summer-autumn 39 BC. AR Cistophorus (27mm, 11.91 g, 12h). M • ANTONIVS • IMP • COS • DESIG • ITER ET TERT, head of Antony right, wearing ivy wreath; lituus below; all within wreath of ivy and flowers / Draped bust of Octavia right above cista mystica, flanked by interlaced serpents with heads erect; III • VIR • R • P • C • at sides. RPC I 2201; CRI 262; Sydenham 1197; RSC 2. Attractive cabinet toning with hints of iridescence, struck from fresh dies. Choice EF. Superb portraits of both Antony and Octavia.

Ex Gorny & Mosch 280 (11 October 2021), lot 514.

Shortly after the Battle of Philippi in 42 BC, cracks began to appear in the Second Triumvirate. Antony's affair with Cleopatra, queen of Egypt, and his designs on Rome’s eastern holdings, prompted Octavian to formulate a binding agreement that would buy him time. At Brundisium a pact was signed, bringing about a reconciliation and some semblance of peace. As a condition of this reconciliation, Antony was married to Octavian’s widowed sister, Octavia. She stayed with him in Athens while he continued to prepare for a war against Parthia, and where, in 39 BC, he was associated with the “New Dionysus.” In 37 BC, she helped negotiate the Pact of Tarentum, which renewed the triumvirate until 33 BC. Antony, by this time, however, had renewed his affair with Cleopatra. He remained in the East, where he married the queen, and subsequently fathered several children. In 32 BC, as a renewal of civil war became imminent, Antony divorced Octavia. In the aftermath of Antony’s death, Octavia, known for her loyalty and nobilty, brought Antony’s surviving children to Rome to live with her.