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Magnificent Medallion

520920. SOLD $15000

Faustina Junior. Augusta, AD 147-175. Æ Medallion (40mm, 51.02 g, 11h). Rome mint. Struck under Antoninus Pius, circa AD 154-157. FAVSTINA AVG PII AVGVSTI F, draped bust left, hair waved across brow band and gathered in chignon at nape of neck / Anepigraphic, Venus standing facing, holding long scepter in right hand and apple in her raised left hand; Cupid standing right atop garlanded and panelled cippus in left field, holding arrow in right hand and unstrung bow in left hand; pair of doves perched on ornate basin on column in right field; left dove drinking, right dove looking at Venus. Gnecchi II p. 40, 12 and pl. 67, 7/10 (obv./rev.); Strack –; Banti 151; Toynbee –; Dressel –; BMCREM –; Cohen 290; BMCRE p. xcix. Black patina with coppery highlights. Good VF. Very rare. A magnificent medallion with a beautiful portrait in high relief.

Ex Triton VIII (11 January 2005), lot 1148.

Bronze medallions such as this impressive piece were struck as special handouts to courtiers and high government officials on the occasion of the new year. Although Gnecchi and others date this rare issue to the beginning of Faustina’s reign as Augusta, circa AD 147-150, the more mature portrait style and iconography suggest a period later in the reign. A comparison with the coin portraits suggest that it should be placed among the coins that BMCRE assigns to her Group IV, circa AD 154-157.