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    Lexington Collection Choice Mint State 'Star' Julius Caesar Aureus

    Julius Caesar as Dictator (49-44 BC). AV aureus (21mm, 7.88 gm, 5h). NGC Choice MS★ 5/5 - 5/5. Rome, 46 BC, Aulus Hirtius, praetor. C•CAESAR-COS•TER, veiled female head (Vesta or Pietas?) right, with features of Julius Caesar / A HIRTIVS P R, lituus, capis and securis, all turned left (emblems of the augurate and pontificate). Crawford 466/1. Sydenham 1017-1018. Hirtia 1 and Julia 22. Calicó 37c. Simply a magnificent aureus, with perfect strike, centering, and lustrous surfaces. Well deserving of the star designation received and tied with one other for finest graded.

    From a Private Japanese Collection. Ex Lexington Collection of Jonathan K. Kern (Heritage Auction 3032, CICF, 10 April 2014), lot 23527.

    Aulus Hirtius was a key supporter of Caesar who might have ended up as his successor in power, had events taken a different turn. An experienced soldier, he served as one of Caesar's legates in Gaul from about 54 BC and was an envoy to Pompey in 50 BC. He served Caesar loyally during the Civil War against Pompey and his successors in 48-45 BC and was appointed as Caesar's mintmaster in Rome in 46 BC, when he struck the first truly large issue of gold aurei from the spoils of Caesar's campaigns. These aurei, which bear a rather enigmatic veiled female head on the obverse, were used to pay Caesar's soldiers after the great triumphal parade. After Caesar's assassination, Hirtius initially supported Mark Antony but, after taking over as Consul in 43 BC, he raised an army against Antony at the instigation of Cicero and Octavian. His army defeated Antony at Mutina in April of 43 BC, but Hirtius was killed in the fighting; his consular colleague Pansa died days later, leaving Octavian and Antony masters of Rome. Modern historians owe Hirtius a debt of gratitude for preserving and editing Caesar's Commentaries on the Gallic and Civil Wars.

    While the Hirtius aurei in the name of Caesar are not rare, they are only rarely seen in high grade, with only two total examples attaining the lofty designation Choice Mint State with the star for exceptional eye appeal.




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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2020
    12th-13th Sunday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 17
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