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Research Coins: Feature Auction

 
11100733

Lucilla the Daughter of Antoninus Augustus

CNG 111, Lot: 733. Estimate $7500.
Sold for $10000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Lucilla. Augusta, AD 164-169. AV Aureus (18.5mm, 7.32 g, 12h). Rome mint. Struck under Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus, AD 161-162. LVCILLΛE ΛVG ΛNTONINI ΛVG F, draped bust right, hair arranged in parallel plaits drawn into small chignon at nape of neck / PIETΛS, Pietas, veiled, draped, standing left, holding acerrum (incense box) in left hand, extending right hand over lighted altar to left. RIC III 774 (Aurelius); MIR 18, 11-2a; Calicó 2214 (same obv. die as illustration); BMCRE 316 (Aurelius and Verus; same obv. die); Biaggi 976 (same obv. die); Jameson –; Mazzini 49. Near EF, lustrous fields. Enchanting, youthful portrait in high relief.


From the Brexit Collection.

The second of six daughters born to Marcus Aurelius and Faustina Junior, Lucilla grew up as an imperial princess, with the strange mix of power and helplessness such a position entailed in ancient Rome. In AD 161, at the age of 12, she was betrothed to Lucius Verus, her father's co-emperor, who was 18 years her senior and had many years earlier actually been betrothed to her mother. This lovely aureus was likely struck shortly after her marriage to Verus in AD 164, with a longer form of obverse legend identifying her as “daughter of Antoninus Augustus” (Marcus Aurelius). Later coins shorten this to simply “Lucilla Augusta.” Lucilla lost the title of Augusta after the sudden death of Verus in AD 169 and her subsequent forced marriage to the elderly senator Tiberius Claudius Pompeianus. The loss of status led her into an unsuccessful plot against her brother Commodus in AD 182, with fatal results for her.