The Roman Republic. Mark Antony & Octavian, Silver Denarius, traveling mint in the East, struck 41 BC, M ANT IMP AVG III VIR R P C M BARBAT Q P, bare head of Antony facing right, rev CAESAR IMP PONT III VIR R P C, bare head of Octavian facing right, 4.12g, 12h. Small banker’s mark on the obverse, excellent portraits, beautiful old cabinet tone. NGC certified as Choice About Uncirculated with a star for eye appeal.
Heritage offered an AU graded NGC coin (quite inferior in grade to the present example) last January which brought slightly more than $4,100. Most extant examples are in seriously dilapidated shape and it’s unusual even to find an example in VF condition. But we found the historical summary in the Heritage catalog interesting and quote it here:
“Mark Antony, Caesar’s chief lieutenant during his dictatorship, became de-factor leader of the Caesarian faction after the Ides of March, 44 BC, and the dominant member of the Second Triumvirate after its formation in the summer of 43 BC. In the carve-up of the Roman world, Antony received the wealthy eastern provinces, which were ripe for plunder, and set about preparing the attack on the Parthian Empire that Caesar had been planning before his death. The Parthians, however, struck first, invading Roman Syria in 40 BC with the help of the rebel Roman general Quintus Labienus. As a holding action while he assembled a huge task force, Antony dispatched the general Publius Ventidius Bassus to the east with a small army. Ventidius stopped the Parthian advance and did far more, crushing their army in a pitched battle, killing the Parthian prince Pacorus, and capturing and executing Labienus. Antony raced East to claim credit for Ventidius’s success; the reverse of this rare denarius, issued in Syria in 38 BC, depicts a military trophy erected to celebrate an important victory and celebrates his being acclaimed as Imperator (victorious general) for the third time (IMP TER). Ventidius received a triumph in Rome for his troubles and was pensioned off to obscurity thereafter.”
From the Alfred Franklin Collection. Previously ex Platt Hall collection, 1950, lot 681