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CNG Feature Auction 115

Lot nuber 575

Q. Pomponius Musa. 56 BC. AR Denarius (18.5mm, 4.03 g, 6h). Rome mint.

CNG Feature Auction 115
Lot: 575.
 Estimated: $ 2 000

Roman Republican, Silver

Sold For $ 3 250. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Go to Live

Q. Pomponius Musa. 56 BC. AR Denarius (18.5mm, 4.03 g, 6h). Rome mint. Laureate head of Apollo right; star of eight rays to left / Urania, the Muse of Astronomy, wearing long flowing tunic and peplum, standing left, touching globe set on base with a wand held in her right hand. Crawford 410/8; Sydenham 823; Pomponia 22; RBW 1488. Attractive light iridescent toning with some faint hairlines, obverse struck off center. EF.

From the Gasvoda Collection. Ex JD Collection (Part II, Numismatica Ars Classica 72, 16 May 2013), lot 472 (hammer 5500 CHF); Claude Collection (Triton VIII, 10 January 2005), lot 900.

Although the moneyer Q. Pomponius Musa is unknown to history, his choice of Hercules Musagetes and the nine Muses as coin types is remarkable and clearly connected to his cognomen.

The reverses of this series – Hercules playing the lyre and the Muses, can be none other than the celebrated statue group by an unknown Greek artist, taken from Ambracia and placed in the Aedes Herculis Musarum, which was erected by M. Fulvius Nobilior in 187 BC after the capture of Ambracia in 189 BC (Plin. NH xxxv.66; Ov. Fast. vi.812). By the second century BC, Rome had overrun most of Greece and was captivated by Hellenic art and culture, not the least of which was its sculpture. Fulvius is said to have taken the statues to Rome because he learned in Greece that Hercules was a musagetes (leader of the Muses). Remains of this temple have been found in the area of the Circus Flaminius close to the southwest part of the circus itself, and northwest of the porticus Octaviae. An inscription found nearby, ‘M. Fulvius M. f. Ser. n. Nobilior cos. Ambracia cepit’ may have been on the pedestal of one of the statues. The official name of the temple was Herculis Musarum Aedes, which Servius and Plutarch called Herculis et Musarum Aedes.

The final winners of all CNG Feature Auction 115 lots will be determined during the live online sale that will be held on 16-17 September 2020. This lot is in Session 2, which begins 16 September 2020 at 2 PM ET.

Winning bids are subject to a 20% buyer's fee for bids placed on this website and 22.50% for all others.

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