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    Lovely Fine Style Faustina Junior Aureus

    Faustina Junior (AD 147-175/6). AV aureus (19mm, 7.28 gm, 5h). NGC Choice AU 5/5 - 4/5, Fine Style. Rome, AD 149-152. FAVSTINAE-AVG PII AVG FIL, draped bust of Faustina Junior right, seen from front, hair waved and braided into double bun coiled at back, held in place with pearl hair band / VE-NVS, Venus standing facing, head left, apple upward in right hand, rudder in left, around which a dolphin is entwined. RIC III 517c. Calic├│ 2097. Struck from dies of exquisite style on satiny flan with areas of luster.

    Ex Heritage Auction 3033 (ANA Platinum Night, 8 August 2014), lot 23084.

    The younger Faustina is here presented as a princess (a term derived from the Latin princeps, "first man"), having just been named Augusta (empress) by the Senate as an homage to her father, Antoninus Pius. In this role, she replaced her mother, Faustina Senior, who had died in AD 141. She was about 20 at the time of her elevation and had been married to Marcus Aurelius Caesar, the heir apparent, for four years. The die engraver, an artist of exceptional talent, has captured her in the full bloom of her youth and beauty, with an elegant hairstyle that would be closely copied 15 centuries later by the ladies of the Napoleonic court. The reverse figure of Venus is also beautifully modeled, with her voluptuous curves quite evident beneath her voluminous stola; the dainty manner in which she holds the apple also shows the engraver's eye for telling detail.

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    17th Tuesday
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