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    Outstanding Cleopatra - Antony Tetradrachm

    SYRIA. Antioch. Cleopatra and Marc Antony, rulers of the East (39-31 BC). AR tetradrachm (25mm, 15.25 mg, 12h). Struck 36 BC. BACIΛICCA KΛЄOΠATPA ΘЄA NЄΩTЄPA, diademed bust of Cleopatra right, hair in cornrows and wearing beaded earrings, necklace, and embroidered dress / ANTΩNIOC AVTOKPATΩP TRITON TPIΩN ANΔPΩN, bare head of Antony right. RPC I 4094. McAlee 174. Prieur 27. BMC 53. HGC 9, 1361. Rare, particularly in high grade. A remarkable and impressive piece with two strong portraits and complete legends! Areas of surface granularity, otherwise Good Extremely Fine.

    The last Ptolemaic ruler of Egypt, Cleopatra VII was born in 69 BC and succeeded her father Ptolemy XII "Auletes" in 51 BC. She soon fell into a dynastic clash with her weak-willed younger brother Ptolemy XIII, who forced her into exile until the arrival of Julius Caesar in Alexandria in 48 BC. Cleopatra had herself smuggled in to Caesar wrapped in a carpet, and this display of spunk by the nubile 20-year-old enchanted the dictator. Caesar's bitter Alexandrine War, which ended in the defeat and death of Ptolemy, was fought on her behalf. Caesar returned to Rome in 47 BC and summoned Cleopatra to join him the following year. She was thus in Rome when Caesar was murdered on March 15, 44 BC. Returning to Alexandria, she was summoned to meet the Triumvir Mark Antony at Tarsus in 41 BC. Once again, a powerful Roman succumbed to Cleopatra's charms. In 37 BC, Cleopatra provided money and supplies in support of Antony's abortive invasion of Parthia and a punitive raid on Armenia the following year.

    This remarkable silver tetradrachm, struck at the conclusion of Antony's Armenian campaign of 36 BC, clearly shows that neither Cleopatra nor Antony were "beauties" in the modern, Hollywood sense of the term. The talented die engraver has taken particular care to give Cleopatra a powerful, almost masculine profile to complement Antony's pugnacious portrait. Ancient historians confirm that Cleopatra was not classically beautiful, but her remarkable mind, her musical voice, and her uncanny ability to delight the two most powerful men of her age more than made up for this. The titles display Cleopatra's dominance in the relationship, depicting her on the obverse and touting her as "Queen Cleopatra, new (or "young") goddess," while Antony remains only a mortal "victorious general and Triumvir."




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    Auction Dates
    August, 2015
    13th Thursday
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