A particularly charming portrait
Lot 1175
Diva Faustina Senior, died 140/1. Aureus (Gold, 20 mm, 7.59 g, 6 h), Rome, struck under Antoninus Pius, after 147. DIVA FAVSTINA• Diademed and draped bust of Diva Faustina Senior to right. Rev. AVGVSTA• Ceres, veiled, standing front, head to left, holding torch in her right hand and long scepter in her left. BMC 395. Calicó 1763b. Cohen 95. RIC 356. A very well struck example with a particularly charming portrait. Minor edge crack, otherwise, extremely fine.

From the collection of Dipl.-Ing. Adrian Lang, ex Numismatica Ars Classica 97, 12 December 2016, 145 and Sincona 4, 25 October 2011, 4108.

Born in circa 105 into an illustrious family - her mother, Rupilia Faustina, was Sabina's half sister and her father, Marcus Annius Verus, praefectus urbi and three times consul - Annia Galeria Faustina brought exceptional wealth into her marriage to Antoninus Pius late in Trajan's reign. Unfortunately, Faustina died in 140 at a relatively young age, only two years after her husband's unexpected succession to the throne. Antoninus was deeply grieved by his loss and had his wife deified and built a temple for her on the Forum Romanum. For the rest of the emperor's long reign, Diva Faustina figured very prominently in the self-representation of the imperial household, symbolizing unity, harmony, and fertility. Her conspicuous association with Ceres, as on our coin, is particularly noteworthy, and when the old emperor died in 161, his and her mutual apotheosis was displayed prominently on the base of the Column of Antoninus Pius devoted by Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus.
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