An extremely rare aureus of Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius Caesar
Lot 264
Antoninus Pius, with Marcus Aurelius as Caesar, 138-161. Aureus (Gold, 19 mm, 7.42 g, 7 h), Rome, 140-144. ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P COS III Laureate head of Antoninus Pius to right. Rev. AVRELIVS CAESAR AVG PII F COS Bare head of Marcus Aurelius to right. BMC -. Calicó 1726 (same dies as illustration). Cohen -. RIC -. Extremely rare. A beautiful dynastic aureus with two very attractive portraits. A few light scratches, otherwise, good very fine.

When Hadrian passed away in 138, Antoninus Pius had only just been appointed his successor a few months before due to Aelius' unexpected demise. Already 51 years old at the time, Pius was obviously chosen as a placeholder emperor until Aelius' son, Lucius (Verus), and Aelius' prospective son-in-law, Marcus Annius (Marcus Aurelius), reached maturity and were suited to rule themselves. Hadrian had Pius adopt the two adolescents and engage his daughter, Faustina (the Younger), to Lucius Verus, whom he apparently favored and wanted to become the senior Augustus.

The new emperor, however, undid his predecessor's arrangement after his accession to power by betrothing his daughter to the older Marcus Aurelius instead, who subsequently emerged as the senior of the two princes, becoming Caesar in 139 and appearing on imperial coinage with his own portrait. Rather amusingly, the supposed placeholder, Antoninus Pius, proved to be much more resilient than his much younger forerunner, Aelius, seeing as Pius passed away on 7 March 161 at the age of 74, after a long and quiet reign of almost twenty-three years.
7500 CHF
Starting price:
6000 CHF
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11000 CHF
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Closing time: 14-May-22, 06:00:00 CEST
All winning bids are subject to a 20% buyer's fee.