World Coins

Eid Mar silver denarius realizes $616,747 in Bruun Rasmussen auction

Michael Fornitz, Chief Numismatist at Bruun Rasmussen Auctioneers, auctions an EID MAR silver denarius on June 15. It realized 4.25 million Danish krone ($616,747 U.S.) including 25 percent buyer’s fee and value added tax.

Images courtesy of Bruun Rasmussen.

The second time was a charm for Bruun Rasmussen in auctioning an iconic Eid Mar silver denarius.

An example with a provenance dating to 1959, first offered for sale March 15 on the “Ides of March,” finally sold in a June 15 auction, realizing 4.25 million Danish krone ($616,747 U.S.) including the 20% buyer’s fee and 5% Value Added Tax.

It took 13 bids during about three minutes to achieve the sale, in the second offering of the coin by the firm this year, after it failed to sell March 15 when the opening bid was set at 2.8 million Danish krone.

An iconic coin

The iconic silver denarius is known as the Eid Mar or “Ides of March” coin for the Latin legend EID MAR on the reverse. The reference is to the assassination of Caesar two years earlier, on March 15, 44 B.C.

The coin was struck in the late fall 42 B.C. by a mint traveling with Marcus Junius Brutus, and the coins were to pay Brutus’s troops and other expenses.

The coin is famous for the act it commemorates, as well as the irony of the image of Brutus on its obverse, since one cause for the assassination was that Julius Caesar had elevated himself in the same way a few years earlier, upending tradition and decorum — never before had a living ruler’s portrait appeared on Roman coinage.

The reverse of the coin depicts the pileus, or cap of liberty, traditionally given to slaves when they were freed, between daggers representing the death of Caesar.

The auction house did not assign a grade for the coin, noting only that it is “A superior example with an excellent portrait, of sound metal, with an attractive, old toning and with an illustrious pedigree.”

Connect with Coin World:  
Sign up for our free eNewsletter
Access our Dealer Directory  
Like us on Facebook  
Follow us on Twitter

Community Comments