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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Roman Coins ▸ The Adoptive Emperors ▸ Faustina Sr.View Options:  |  |  | 

Faustina Sr., Augusta 25 February 138 - early 141, wife of Antoninus Pius

Faustina I was the wife of Antoninus Pius. Little is known of her, except that she was regarded as vain and frivolous, though this may have just been malicious gossip. Antoninus Pius loved her greatly, and upon her death in 141 A.D. she was deified and a temple was built in her honor.


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Faustina I was the wife of Antoninus Pius. Little is known of her, except that she was regarded as vain and frivolous, though this may have just been malicious gossip. Antoninus Pius loved her greatly, and upon her death in 141 A.D., she was deified and a temple was built in her honor.
SH65151. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC III AP1118, BMCRE IV AP1514, Hunter II 119, Cohen II 88, SRCV II 4614, Nice VF, green patina, small patina edge chip on rev, weight 27.399 g, maximum diameter 32.6 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, posthumous, 147 - 161 A.D.; obverse DIVA FAVSTINA, draped bust right, pearls in hair and hair in elaborate bun on top; reverse AVGVSTA, Ceres standing facing, veiled head left, torch raised in right hand, stalks of grain downward in left, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; $160.00 (€142.40)
 


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Antoninus Pius wrote of his wife Faustina, "I would rather live with her on Gyara [an island of exile] than without her in the palace." Sadly, Faustina died just two years into his 23 year reign. At his request, the Senate deified her, and he minted a massive series of commemorative coins in her honor.
RB79861. Orichalcum sestertius, BMCRE IV AP1482 (same legend breaks), RIC III AP1103A, Hunter II 89, Cohen II 15, SRCV II 4606, F, nice portrait, near black patina, light corrosion, weight 24.141 g, maximum diameter 32.9 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, posthumous, c. 147 A.D.; obverse DIVA FAVSTINA, draped bust right, strings of pearls in hair, hair drawn up into an elaborate bun on top; reverse AETERNITAS, Aeternitas seated left, feet on footstool, nimbate Phoenix on globe in right hand, transverse scepter in left hand, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; $160.00 (€142.40)
 


Faustina Sr., Augusta 25 February 138 - Early 141, Wife of Antoninus Pius

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Ceres a goddess of agriculture, grain crops, fertility and motherly relationships, was listed among the Di Consentes, Rome's equivalent to the Twelve Olympians of Greek mythology. The Romans saw her as the counterpart of the Greek goddess Demeter, whose mythology was reinterpreted for Ceres in Roman art and literature.
SH84236. Silver denarius, RIC III AP360, BMCRE IV AP408, RSC II 78, SRCV II 4582, Choice EF, well centered, mint luster, some reverse die wear, tiny edge cracks, weight 3.086 g, maximum diameter 17.7 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, posthumous, 147 - 161 A.D.; obverse DIVA FAVSTINA, draped bust right, pearls in hair and hair in elaborate bun on top; reverse AVGVSTA, Ceres standing half left, veiled, stalks of grain downward in right hand, long torch vertical behind in left hand; $125.00 (€111.25)
 


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Venus (Aphrodite) can be faulted for the Trojan War. Upset that she was not invited to a wedding, she went anyway and maliciously left a golden apple inscribed "For the fairest" on the banquet table. The goddesses, as Aphrodite expected, argued who was the rightful possessor of this prize. It was determined the most handsome mortal in the world, a noble Trojan youth named Paris, would decide. Each of the three finalists offered Paris a bribe. Hera promised he would rule the world. Athena said she would make him victorious in battle. Aphrodite guaranteed the love of the most beautiful woman in the world. This was Helen, who was married to the king of Sparta. Paris awarded the golden apple to Aphrodite. Aphrodite enabled Paris to elope with Helen, Helen of Troy. Helen's husband raised a Greek army to retrieve his wife, starting the Trojan War.
RB71296. Copper sestertius, RIC III 1081, Cohen II 282, Strack III AP1224, SRCV II -, F, some pitting and corrosion, weight 25.927 g, maximum diameter 33.4 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 138 - 141 A.D.; obverse FAVSTINA AVG ANTONINI AVG PII P P, draped bust right; reverse VENERI AVGVSTAE, Venus standing right, raising drapery on shoulder with right, apple raised in extended left, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; $90.00 (€80.10)
 


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The palladium, a small figure of Minerva (Pallas Athena) holding a spear and shield, had a mythological origin from Troy. Troy was believed to be safe from foreign enemies as long as the palladium remained within the city walls. But Odysseus and Diomedes stole the image and soon after the Greeks took the city. The palladium was later taken by Aeneas to Rome where for centuries it was kept in the temple of Vesta in the Forum. In Late Antiquity, it was rumored that Constantine had taken the palladium to Constantinople and buried it under the Column of Constantine.
RB77887. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC III AP1125, BMCRE IV AP1521, Cohen II 113, SRCV II 4618, F, full circle strike on obverse, bumps and marks, light corrosion, weight 24.809 g, maximum diameter 32.4 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, posthumous, 147 - 161 A.D.; obverse DIVA FAVSTINA, draped bust right, pearls in hair and hair in elaborate bun on top; reverse AVGVSTA, Vesta standing half left, long torch in right hand, palladium with shield in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field below center; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; $90.00 (€80.10)
 


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Faustina I was the wife of Antoninus Pius. Little is known of her, except that she was regarded as vain and frivolous, though this may have just been malicious gossip. Antoninus Pius loved her greatly, and upon her death in 141 A.D., she was deified and a temple was built in her honor.
RB65141. Orichalcum dupondius, BMCRE IV 1460, RIC III 1163(a), SRCV II 4635 var., VF, weight 12.271 g, maximum diameter 27.7 mm, die axis 315o, Rome mint, 141 A.D.; obverse DIVA AVGVSTA FAVSTINA, draped and veiled bust right, hair piled on top; reverse AETERNITAS S C, Providentia standing slightly left, globe in right hand, scepter vertical behind in left; $85.00 (€75.65)
 


Faustina Sr., Augusta 25 February 138 - Early 141, Wife of Antoninus Pius, Tribal Imitative

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This coin was struck outside the Roman Empire, perhaps by Celts or the Getae, northeast of Dacia and Pannonia. Getae was the name given by the Greeks to several Thracian tribes inhabiting the regions to either side of the Lower Danube, in what is today northern Bulgaria and Romania.
RS90484. Silver denarius, for possible prototype, cf. RSC II 139a (official issue, Rome mint, 139 - 141 A.D.), F, weight 2.603 g, maximum diameter 18.1 mm, die axis 180o, tribal mint, c. 140 - 150 A.D.; obverse FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, draped bust right; reverse AVGVSTA(?), Ceres standing half left, raising right hand, long torch in left; $80.00 (€71.20)
 


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Ceres' known mythology is indistinguishable from Demeter's. Her virgin daughter Proserpina (Persephone) was abducted by Hades to be his wife in the underworld. Ceres searched for her endlessly lighting her way through the earth with torches. While Ceres (Demeter) searched, she was preoccupied with her loss and her grief. The seasons halted; living things ceased their growth, then began to die. Some say that in her anger she laid a curse on the world that caused plants to wither and die, and the land to become desolate. Faced with the extinction of all life on earth, Zeus sent his messenger Hermes to the underworld to bring Proserpina back. However, because she had eaten while in the underworld, Hades had a claim on her. Therefore, it was decreed that she would spend four months each year in the underworld. During these months Ceres grieves for her daughter's absence, withdrawing her gifts from the world, creating winter. Proserpina's return brings the spring.
SL73986. Silver denarius, RIC III 362, BMCRE IV 421, RSC II 104, SRCV II 4584, NGC Ch VF, strike 5/5, surface 3/5, (4162520-008), weight 3.00 g, maximum diameter 16.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, posthumous, 147 - 161 A.D.; obverse DIVA FAVSTINA, draped bust right; reverse AVGVSTA, Ceres standing facing, head left, long torch in right hand, raising drapery with left; $80.00 (€71.20)
 


Faustina Sr., Augusta 25 February 138 - Early 141, Wife of Antoninus Pius

Click for a larger photo
Ceres a goddess of agriculture, grain crops, fertility and motherly relationships, was listed among the Di Consentes, Rome's equivalent to the Twelve Olympians of Greek mythology. The Romans saw her as the counterpart of the Greek goddess Demeter, whose mythology was reinterpreted for Ceres in Roman art and literature.
RB57166. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC III AP1116(a), Cohen II 79, SRCV II 4614, F, weight 23.322 g, maximum diameter 32.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 147 - 161 A.D.; obverse DIVA FAVSTINA, draped bust right; reverse AVGVSTA S C, Ceres standing half left, grain-ears in right hand, long torch vertical behind in left hand; $55.00 (€48.95)
 


Click for a larger photo
Ceres' known mythology is indistinguishable from Demeter's. Her virgin daughter Proserpina (Persephone) was abducted by Hades to be his wife in the underworld. Ceres searched for her endlessly lighting her way through the earth with torches. While Ceres (Demeter) searched, she was preoccupied with her loss and her grief. The seasons halted; living things ceased their growth, then began to die. Some say that in her anger she laid a curse on the world that caused plants to wither and die, and the land to become desolate. Faced with the extinction of all life on earth, Zeus sent his messenger Hermes to the underworld to bring Proserpina back. However, because she had eaten while in the underworld, Hades had a claim on her. Therefore, it was decreed that she would spend four months each year in the underworld. During these months Ceres grieves for her daughter's absence, withdrawing her gifts from the world, creating winter. Proserpina's return brings the spring.
RS79860. Silver denarius, RIC III 362, BMCRE IV 421, RSC II 104, SRCV II 4584, gF, toned, weight 2.963 g, maximum diameter 17.3 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, posthumous, 147 - 161 A.D.; obverse DIVA FAVSTINA, draped bust right; reverse AVGVSTA, Ceres standing facing, head left, long torch in right hand, raising drapery at waist with left hand; $45.00 (€40.05)
 







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OBVERSE LEGENDS

DIVAAVGFAVSTINA
DIVAAVGVSTAFAVSTINA
DIVAEFAVSTINAE
DIVAFAVSTINA
DIVAIFAVSTINA FAVSTINAAVGANTONINIAVG
FAVSTINAAVGANTONINIAVGPIIPP
FAVSTINAAVGANTONINIAVGPP
FAVSTINAAVGVSTA


REFERENCES

Banti, A. & L. Simonetti. Corpus Nummorum Romanorum. (Florence, 1972-1979).
Calicó, E.X. The Roman Avrei, Vol. I: From the Republic to Pertinax, 196 BC - 193 AD. (Barcelona, 2003).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappées sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 2: Nerva to Antoninus Pius. (Paris, 1883).
Mattingly, H. & E. Sydenham. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol. II: Vespasian to Hadrian. (London, 1926).
Mattingly, H. & E. Sydenham. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol III: Antoninus Pius to Commodus. (London, 1930).
Mattingly, H. & R.A.G. Carson. Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum, Vol. 4: Antoninus Pius to Commodus. (London, 1940).
Robinson, A.S. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet. II. Trajan to Commodus (London, 1971).
Seaby, H.A. & R. Loosley. Roman Silver Coins, Vol. II: Tiberius to Commodus. (London, 1979).
Sear, D.R. Roman Coins and Their Values, Vol. II: The Accession of Nerva to the Overthrow of the Severan Dynasty AD 96 - AD 235. (London, 2002).
Strack, P.L. Untersuchungen zur römischen Reichsprägung des zweiten Jahrhunderts, Teil III: Die Reichsprägung zur Zeit Antoninus Pius. (Stuttgart, 1937).
Toynbee, J.M.C. Roman medallions. ANSNS 5. (New York, 1944).
Vagi, D. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire. (Sidney, 1999).

Catalog current as of Friday, February 24, 2017.
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Roman Coins of Faustina Sr.