Ancient Coin Collectors Guild
Numismatic Society of South Australia
American Numismatic Society
American Numismatic Association

Faustina I the Elder, 138-141 AD, AR Denarius, Aeternitas, Posthumous Issue, struck 146-161 AD

525.00 AUD

Origin:
Rome
Authority:
Faustina I the Elder, struck under Antoninus Pius
Denomination:
AR Denarius
Composition:
Silver
Date:
146-161 AD
Obverse:
DIVA FAVSTINA, Bust of Faustina I, draped, right, hair elaborately waved and coiled, with bands across the head, drawn up at the back and piled in a round coil on top
Reverse:
AETER NITAS, Aeternitas, draped, seated left on throne, holding phoenix on globe (nimbate right) on right hand and transverse sceptre in left
Size:
32.61mm, 25.5g, 12h
Grade:
VF, brown-green patina,
Provenance:
From the Brian Bolton Collection, ex Noble 95 (23 November 2010), Lot 5536; from the Cappenalle Collection; Cornelius C. Vermeule III Collection, ex Triton III, 30 November 1999, Lot 1709 (part of), purchased from Hesperia Art in 1962; ex Classical Numismatic Group eAuction 445 (5 June 2019), Lot 452
Reference:
BMCRE IV [Pius] 1484-1485; RIC III 1103A; Cohen II 15; Banti 7 var. (obv. legend placement); SRCV II 4606
Special Information:
A fine portrait of Faustina I in high grade, with all details in her complex hair arrangement visible.
Faustina I the elder was born circa 100 AD and died in 140 AD. She was the wife of the Roman emperor Antoninus Pius, one of the Five Good Emperors. This denarius was part of a third issue of coinage in her honour after her death and is likely to have been minted some time between the end of the second issue (141 AD) and the end of Antonius Pius's reign as Roman Emperor, most likely toward the end of that reign. A more precise dating is not currently known. The coinage bears the legend DIVA FAVSTINA, not DIVA AVGVSTA, as the title of Augusta had passed onto her daughter, Faustina II the Younger.  Aeternitas was the divine personification of eternity. According to Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum, Antoninus Pius used Aeternitas to emphasise the 'eternal' nature of the Empire in the person of its good Emperors and Empresses. In this case, it was also likely used to honour the legacy of his late wife.
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