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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 5, Lot: 32. Estimate CHF50000. 
Closing Date: Monday, 24 October 2011. 
Sold For CHF60000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Italy. Medal (Gold, 34.5mm, 36.73 g 7), in honor of Faustina II, an original struck example, by Giovanni da Cavino (1500-1570), Padua, c. mid 1550s. FAVSTINA.AVG.ANTONINI.AVG.PII.FIL. Draped bust of the youthful Faustina II to right, her hair bound with pearls and rolled up into a bun at the top of her head. Rev. Six Vestal Virgins, draped and standing three to either side of a round temple of Vesta with a statue visible within, sacrificing over a burning altar; to the right, togate child standing left, next to one of the Virgins; in exergue, S C . Johnson/Martin 1729. Klawans 2. Kress 407 = NG 464. Lawrence 59 (all these references refer to the bronze or silver versions of this medal). Of the greatest rarity and the highest importance. Possible traces of mounting and of wear probably artificially induced to suggest great age, otherwise, very fine.

Ex Westfälische Auktionsgesellschaft 48, 1 September 2008, 2868, Morton & Eden 27, 14 June 2007, 572, Morton & Eden 20, 27 June 2006, 395 (part), and from the collection of M. Gutman, Parke-Bernet, 15 May 1970, 141.

This is a medal of the greatest significance. The obverse is based on a sestertius issued for Faustina when she was a young woman and recently married to Marcus Aurelius Caesar (as, for example, BMCRE IV, pl. 52, 4). The reverse is, however, taken from rare asses and dupondii of Julia Domna, which were originally struck in 214. It seems certain, given the amount of wear the coin has received, that this coin was designed to pass as an actual ancient medallion. However, whether this piece received that wear when it was made, or whether it received it later can not be ascertained. The quality of Cavino’s work is, as always, outstanding.