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Many of the Roman moneyers had a solid sense of humor and word play with homonyms was very popular. Pomponius Musa, playing on his name, issued ten types each depicting Hercules Musagetes (Conductor of the Muses) or one of nine different Muses, creating one of the most interesting and sought after series of the Republican coinage. This coin depicts Melpomene, the muse of Tragedy.RR89043. Silver denarius, RSC I Pomponia 14, Crawford 410/4, Sydenham 816, SRCV I 354, VF, attractive head of Apollo, light toning, light marks, off center, some encrustation, weight 3.453 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 66 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right, scepter behind; reverse Melpomene, muse of tragedy, standing left, resting right hand on club, tragic mask in left, MVSA downward on left, Q POMPONI downward on right; ex Harlan J. Berk auction 156, lot 242; $380.00 SALE |PRICE| $342.00
Roman Republic, L. Lucretius Trio, c. 76 B.C.
The Frederick Hastings Rindge Collection (1857–1905) was put on loan to Boston Museum of Fine Arts during Rindge's lifetime. The museum curator's report for 1902 notes, "we have the Frederick Hastings Rindge Collection as a loan, of which 1105 specimens are exhibited, the majority being Roman of the Republican period." The coins remained at the Museum of Fine Arts until they were dispersed by Joel L. Malter in 1985. RR92211. Silver denarius, Crawford 390/1, Sydenham 783, RSC I Lucretia 2, RBW Collection 1424, SRCV I 321, EF, toned, flow lines, slight die wear, a little off center on a slightly oval flan, weight 3.916 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 90o, Rome mint, c. 76 B.C.; obverse radiate head of Sol right; reverse crescent moon with horns upward, seven stars around, TRIO above pellet within the crescent, L·LVCRETI below; ex Ira & Larry Goldberg, Pre-Long Beach auction (1-2 Jun 2010), lot 2314; ex Joel L. Malter, auction XXIX (22-24 Mar 1985), lot 482; ex Boston Museum of Fine Arts; ex Frederick Hastings Rindge Collection (1857–1905); scarce; $365.00 SALE |PRICE| $329.00 ON RESERVE
Roman Republic, M. Junius Brutus (Q. Caepio Brutus), 54 B.C., Ancient Counterfeit
M. Junius Brutus (also called Q. Caepio Brutus) is the most famous of Caesars assassins. Many of Brutus' coins honor his ancestors and illustrate his strong republican views. The obverse honors L. Junius Brutus, the consul who in 509 B.C. forced the expulsion of the Tarquin Kings from Rome and founded the Republic. The reverse honors Gaius Servilius Ahala, who threw Spurius Maelius down from the Tarpeian rock to his death for plotting against the Republic and aspiring to tyranny. Caesar should not have been surprised by Brutus!RR91685. Fouree silver plated denarius, cf. RSC I Junia 30, Sydenham 907, Crawford 433/2, BMCRR I Rome 3864, Russo RBW 1543, SRCV I 398 (official Roman prototype, silver, Rome mint), VF, deep old cabinet toning, scratches, minor encrustations, small plating breaks and one larger 9:00 on obverse, weight 3.087 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 0o, unofficial counterfeiter's mint, c. 54 - 50 B.C.; obverse bearded bare head of L. Junius Brutus (consul 509 B.C.), BRVTVS downward behind; reverse bearded bare head of C. Servilius Ahala (master of the horse 439 B.C.), AHALA downward behind; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; $250.00 SALE |PRICE| $225.00
Roman Republic, Anonymous, 86 B.C.
This type is from a late, massive, and intriguing anonymous issue undoubtedly struck by the moneyer triumvirate of Gargonius, Ogulnius and Vergilius. Their signed coins (SRCV I 263 - 265) have identical types and are scarce or rare.RR91806. Silver denarius, Crawford 350a/2, Sydenham 723, RSC I 226, BMCRR I Rome 2622, RBW Collection 1333, SRCV I 266, VF, light golden toning, some die wear, light graffito obverse right field, weight 4.014 g, maximum diameter 18.1 mm, die axis 90o, Rome mint, 86 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right, thunderbolt below neck truncation; reverse Jupiter in quadriga right, nude to waist, himation around hips and legs, brandishing thunderbolt in right hand, reins in left hand; ex Savoca Numismatik auction 31 (10 Mar 2019), lot 375; $170.00 SALE |PRICE| $153.00
Roman Republic, Quintus Cassius Longinus, 55 B.C.
The obverse portrait has been variously interpreted as Bonus Eventus (the God of good Success) or Genius Populi Romani (the guardian spirit of the Roman people). Quintus Cassius Longinus was a governor in Hispania for Caesar. Cassius was one of the tresviri monetales of the Roman mint in 55 B.C. He served as a quaestor for Pompey in Hispania Ulterior in 54 B.C.RR87659. Silver denarius, Crawford 428/3, Sydenham 916, RSC I Cassia 7, BMCRR I Rome 3868, RBW Collection 1535, SRCV I 391, aVF, light toning, highest points flatly struck, banker's marks, bumps and scratches, scrape on reverse, closed edge crack, weight 3.651 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 55 B.C.; obverse young male head (Genius Populi Romani or Bonus Eventus) right, scepter behind; reverse eagle standing right on thunderbolt, head right, wings open, lituus (augur's staff) on left, jug on right, Q•CASSIVS below; $140.00 SALE |PRICE| $126.00
Roman Republic, C. Vibius C.f. Pansa, 90 B.C.
In 90 B.C. the Etruscans received Roman citizenship.RR89070. Silver denarius, RSC I Vibia 2, Crawford 342/5b, Sydenham 684, RBW Collection 1287, SRCV 242, aVF, light toning, high points not fully struck, weight 3.772 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 90 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right, larger low relief head, hair in heavy scattered locks, PANSA behind, control symbol below chin; reverse Minerva in a quadriga right, trophy over shoulder in right, spear and reins in left, C•VIBIVS•C•F• in exergue; ex Frascatius Ancient Coins; $130.00 SALE |PRICE| $117.00
Roman Republic, Unofficial, c. 169 - 91 B.C.
Crawford notes, "The very common quadrantes with M • and N• (as Milan 351) are clearly unofficial."RR79715. Copper quadrans, cf. Milan 351 (from Crawford appendix p. 309 unofficial issues of bronze coins), Sydenham -, VF, centered on a tight flan, light marks,, weight 4.182 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 135o, unofficial mint, c. 169 - 91 B.C.; obverse head of Hercules right, wearing Nemean Lion scalp headdress, three pellets behind; reverse prow right, ROMA below, three pellets before, M• above; ex Forum (2006), ex Goodman collection; $125.00 SALE |PRICE| $113.00
Roman Republic, Gaius Egnatuleius C.f., 97 B.C.
This reverse refers to Marius' victories over the Teutones and Ambrones at Aquae Sextiae in 102 B.C. and the Cimbri at Vercellae in 101 B.C. Crawford believes this issue financed settlement of Marius' veterans, partly in Cisalpine Gaul. -- Roman Republican Coinage by Michael H. CrawfordRR88382. Silver quinarius, Crawford 333/1, Sydenham 588, RSC I Egnatuleia 1, BMCRR I Rome 1076, Russo RBW 1193, SRCV I 213, VF, attractive light toning, reverse a little off center, small edge splits, weight 1.664 g, maximum diameter 16.8 mm, die axis 270o, Rome mint, 97 B.C.; obverse C·EGNATVLEI·C·F (NAT and VL ligate) downward behind, laureate head of Apollo right, Q (mark of value) below; reverse Victory standing left inscribing shield attached to trophy, trophy topped with a helmet ornamented with bull horns, carnyx (Gallic war trumpet) at base of trophy, Q (mark of value) in center, ROMA in exergue; $120.00 SALE |PRICE| $108.00
Roman Republic, P. Plautius Hypsaeus, c. 60 B.C.
The Hypsaei claimed to trace their descent from Neptune and his daughter Leukonoe. This reverse type also appears to claim that the moneyer's ancestor captured Privernum in 329 B.C. We leave it to the reader to judge the validity of the first claim. As for the second, the victorious Consul at Privernum was C. Plautius Decianus, not C. Plautius Hypsaei.RR91018. Silver denarius, RSC I Plautia 11, Crawford 420/1, Sydenham 910, Russo RBW 1513, BMCRR I Rome 3841, SRCV I 375, aVF/F, rose toning, scratches, porosity, weight 3.421 g, maximum diameter 18.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 60 B.C.; obverse P • YPSAE S C, head of Neptune right, trident behind; reverse Jupiter in quadriga left, CEPIT upward on right, C • YPSAE • COS / PRIV in exergue; from the Eric J. Engstrom Collection; $110.00 SALE |PRICE| $99.00
Roman Republic, Gaius Norbanus, 83 B.C.
In 83 B.C., Sulla returned from Greece and defeated the popular forces led by the consul Norbanus (probably the father of this moneyer). The reverse type alludes to the elder Norbanus' activity during the Social War, when he raised troops, organized a fleet, and provisioned the town of Rhegium.
Fasces, from the Latin fascis meaning "bundle," is a bound bundle of wooden rods, sometimes including an axe with its blade emerging. The fasces originated with the Etruscans and was passed on to ancient Rome, where it symbolized a magistrate's power and jurisdiction. The image has survived in the modern world as a representation of magisterial or collective power, law and governance. The fasces frequently occurs as a charge in heraldry. It was the origin of the name of the Mussolini's National Fascist Party in Italy (from which the term fascism is derived). It is on the reverse of the U.S. Mercury dime and behind the podium in the United States House of Representatives.RR88001. Silver denarius, RSC I Norbana 2, Sydenham 739, Crawford 357/1b, BMCRR I Rome 2810, SRCV I 278, aF, light toning, scratches, banker's mark, weight 3.458 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 83 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Venus right, wearing single drop earring and pearl necklace, Roman numeral control number behind, C•NORBANVS below; reverse fasces between grain ear on left and caduceus on right; $100.00 SALE |PRICE| $90.00
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