Marcus Antonius, Aureus, mint moving, 41 BC
AV (g 7,97; mm 21; h 2)
ANT AVG IMP III V R P C, head of Antonius r., Rv. Pietas standing l., holding rudder and cornucopiae; at feet, stork; below, PIETAS COS. Crawford 516/1; Antonia 43; Sydenham 1173.
Very Rare, only fifteen known to Crawford. A bold portrait struck on a very broad flan, minor edge marks, anyway good very fine.
Ex Triton, Auction III (1999), lot 847; Stack’s (1989), lot 23; Superior Galleries (1987 – The Ryan Collection), lot 4334.
The refined portrait of Marcus Antonius on this aureus is remarkable for a coin struck at a military mint; likely it was struck while Antonius was in residence in Ephesus (prior to his famous meeting with Cleopatra) and benefited from the presence of outstanding Greek artisans. The allusion to Pietas on the reverse is likely a reference to Antonius’s brother, Lucius Antonius, who bore the cognomen Pietas. Lucius was entering into his first Consulship in 41 BC and would soon team up with Antonius’s ferocious wife Fulvia to initiate a civil war against his erstwhile Triumviral partner, Octavian. The stork pictured at the feet of the goddess is also a symbol of familial piety and was no doubt intended to express hopes for a successful term of office for Lucius.
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