Description The Roman Republic
M. Aemilius Lepidus with L. Livineius Regulus. Aureus 42, AV 8.03 g. M·LEPIDVS·III·VIR·R·P·C Bare head of Lepidus r. Rev. L·REGVLVS – IIII VIR·A·P·F The Vestal Aemilia standing l., holding simpulum and sceptre. Bahrfeldt 47.4 (this coin). B. Livineia 7 and Aemilia 36. C 3. Sydenham 1105. Vagi 141. Sear Imperators 159. Crawford 494/1. T.V. Buttrey, ANSNNM, pl. 5, 47.4 (this coin). Calicò 77 (this coin). Biaggi 59 (this coin).
Of the highest rarity, only very few specimens known of which only two in private hands.
A coin of great historical importance and fascination. Struck in high relief on an
exceptionally large flan with a realistic portrait. Good very fine
Ex Rollin & Feuardent 1887, Ponton d’ Amécourt, 36; Rollin & Feuardent 1896, Montagu, 50; J. Hirsch 1909, A.J. Evans, 8; Ars Classica 18, 1938, 28 and Glendinig 1956, Ryan, 1581 and NAC 27, 2004, 275 sales. From the Biaggi and William H. Williams collections.
This piece ranks among the finest known portrait aurei of Lepidus, the doomed member of the Second Triumvirate (43-36 B.C.). His powerful colleagues, Marc Antony and Octavian, demonstrated early in their pact that Lepidus was the subordinate member, and they would continually remind him of it throughout the decade that the triumvirate remained intact.
From the outset Lepidus was given a subsidiary role: as the brother-in-law of Brutus he was left behind in Italy when Antony and Octavian departed to face Brutus and Cassius at Philippi late in 42 B.C. In the aftermath Lepidus was almost expelled from the triumvirate, but instead he had his sphere of authority reduced to North Africa. Despite the help he offered Octavian in the Perusine War (41-40 B.C.) and in his campaign against Sextus Pompey in 36 B.C., Lepidus was denied the spoils of war.
During the latter campaign, Lepidus landed 14 legions in Sicily to support from land the war Octavian was waging at sea against Sextus Pompey. But before a naval victory had been secured for Octavian, Lepidus demanded Sicily be added to his North African territories. Rather than granting his request, Octavian challenged Lepidus, whose legions quickly deserted to Octavian. The humbled triumvir was stripped of all authority except his title pontifex maximus, which he held until his death in exile in 13 or 12 B.C.
Though Lepidus had struck coins as a moneyer in 61 B.C., his portrait occurs for the first time on aurei struck at a Gallic mint by Antony in 43 to celebrate the creation of the Second Triumvirate. In the following year, 42, Lepidus’ portrait occurs on aurei for the second (and final) time. In this case his aurei were struck at Rome by the moneyers C. Vibius Varus, L. Mussidius Longus, P. Clodius and L. Livineius Regulus.
Estimate: 70000 CHF