Author: By Stack’s Bowers Galleries / July 25, 2023

Struck Over 2,000 Years Ago to Mark the Assassination of Julius Caesar

Costa Mesa, CA (July 2023) — Stack’s Bowers Galleries is pleased to announce a colossal rarity among the ancient coinage in their August 2023 Global Showcase Auction. Presented from the Dr. Michael Rogers Collection, Part III is a historic survivor of the EID MAR Denarius struck by one of Julius Caesar’s assassins—and previously one of his closest friends—M. Junius Brutus. It is a coin type that truly stands unrivalled as an icon within ancient numismatics. This EID MAR denarius is joined by a number of world-class rarities in the Dr. Michael Rogers Collection including a silver Tetradrachm struck circa 34 BC depicting history’s most infamous couple, Cleopatra and Marc Antony, and an exceedingly rare gold Aureus from L.Sulla’s Civil War struck circa 82 BC. The EID MAR denarius and other treasures of the Dr. Michael Rogers Collection, Part III will open for live bidding on Tuesday, August 15 at 9AM PT in Auction Session B. The entire August Auction is currently posted on the firm’s website for pre-bidding.

Struck during the late summer or early autumn of 42 B.C, roughly two-and-a-half years after the assassination of Rome’s dictator for life, Julius Caesar, the EID MAR Denarius was meant to convey Brutus’ view that Julius Caesar had been slain for the good of the Republic. The two daggers pictured on the coin allude directly to the means by which Caesar had been assassinated, while the Phrygian cap in the middle—an ancient symbol worn by freed slaves—was meant to reinforce the concept of the Republic’s freedom from tyranny.

In addition to this rather explicit iconography, the coin also states the date of the assassination abbreviated as EID MAR. According to the Roman calendar, the Ides was treated as the 15th day of “full” months, so the day on which Caesar was stabbed in the Senate would have been referred to in Latin as “Eidibus Martiis,” or “on the Ides of March.”

The EID MAR Denarius is a timeless type that would undoubtedly serve as the crowning achievement of any advanced collection of ancients. Recent auction records from earlier this year point to the amazing growth and popularity of the type, with similar examples realizing total prices of around $600,000 (June 2023) and $720,000 (May 2023). The fervor for the present Rogers Collection specimen should be similarly enthusiastic when the coin crosses the auction block in August as part of the Stack’s Bowers sale.

“Everyone knows the infamous story of Brutus and Julius Caesar, and this EID MAR denarius tells that story in a tangible and dramatic fashion that remains unrivaled among ancient coinage.” said Brian Kendrella, Stack’s Bowers Galleries President.

This third selection from the Dr. Michael Rogers Collection follows Stack’s Bowers’ prior landmark offerings from this cabinet in 2021 (Part I) and 2022 (Part II). These earlier groups were highlighted by a pair of gold aureii from Elagabalus and Macrinus that each sold for $312,000 and an exquisite gold aureus from Otho that realized $204,000, which was nearly three times more than the high estimate.

For questions about this EID MAR denarius presented in the Stack’s Bowers Galleries August 2023 Showcase Auction or to order a copy of the printed catalog, please contact the firm at (800) 458-4646 or email [email protected].

About Stack’s Bowers Galleries

Stack’s Bowers Galleries conducts live, Internet and specialized auctions of rare U.S. and world coins and currency and ancient coins, as well as direct sales through retail and wholesale channels. The company’s nearly 90-year legacy includes the cataloging and sale of many of the most valuable United States coin and currency collections to ever cross an auction block — The D. Brent Pogue Collection, The John J. Ford, Jr. Collection, The Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection, The Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection, The Joel R. Anderson Collection, The Norweb Collection, The Cardinal Collection, The Sydney F. Martin Collection and The Battle Born Collection — to name just a few. World coin and currency collections include The Pinnacle Collection, The Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection of World Gold Coins, The Kroisos Collection, The Alicia and Sidney Belzberg Collection, The Salton Collection, The Wa She Wong Collection, and The Thos. H. Law Collection. 

The company is headquartered in Costa Mesa, California, with galleries in New York, Boston and Philadelphia. Offices are also located in New Hampshire, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Virginia, Hong Kong, Paris and Vancouver. Stack’s Bowers Galleries hosts an annual Global Showcase in August featuring United States coins and currency, Ancient coins and World coins and currency in its Costa Mesa auction gallery. They are also the Official Auctioneer for several important numismatic events, including the New York International Numismatic Convention, the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Spring, Summer and Winter Expos, the Spring and Fall Hong Kong shows, and the Maastricht Paper Money Shows. 

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