Faustina Junior, Augusta, 147-175. Aureus (Gold, 20 mm, 7.25 g, 7 h), Rome, circa 147-150. FAVSTINAE AVG PII AVG FIL Draped bust of Faustina Junior to right with band of pearls in her hair. Rev. LAETITIAE PVBLICAE Laetitia standing front, head to left, holding wreath in her right hand and scepter in her left. BMC 1046. Calicó 2067 (this coin). Cohen 155. RIC 506b. A splendid piece with a most charming portrait of the teenage princess. A few light marks, otherwise, extremely fine.
From the collection of an Armenian businessman, Leu 7, 24-25 October 2020, 1615, ex Sincona 10, 27 May 2013, 270, Numismatica Ars Classica 41, 20 November 2007 and Triton IV, 5 December 2000, 582.
Annia Galeria Faustina was born in 130 as the daughter of the future emperor Antoninus Pius and Faustina Senior. Upon the adoption of her father by Hadrian in 138, she was engaged to Aelius' son Lucius Aelius Commodus (see above, lot 1599), but her father dissolved the betrothal when he ascended to the throne and gave her to Marcus Annius Verus instead, whom we know as Marcus Aurelius. The couple married in 145 and had at least a dozen children, many of whom died at an early age. Faustina's reputation was not the best: she was accused of having affairs with gladiators and of conspiring against her husband with the general and future usurper Avidius Cassius. However, Marcus Aurelius' Meditations show deep affection for his wife, and he honored her posthumously by elevating her to a Diva and founding the city of Faustinopolis in Cappadocia at the site of her passing in 176. When the emperor himself died in 180, he was succeeded by the couple's only surviving son, Commodus.