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    Sabina's New Hairstyle

    Sabina, wife of Hadrian (Augusta, AD 128-136/7). AV aureus (20mm, 6.69 gm, 7h). Rome, AD 129-136. SABINA AVGVSTA, diademed and draped bust of Sabina right, hair in long plait behind neck and piled up on forehead / IVNONI REGINAE, Juno standing left, veiled,  holding patera in right hand and long scepter in left, peacock at her feet, standing left and looking back. RIC (Hadrian) 394. BMCRE Hadrian 937 (these dies). Cohen 46. Calic├│ 1435 (R1). Rare, with a charming portrait of this prim empress. NGC AU? 5/5 - 5/5.

    This later issue of Sabina depicts her with a more austere hairstyle, in keeping with the Augustan imagery adopted by Hadrian as the regime entered its second decade. Though their marital relations remained strained, Sabina accompanied Hadrian on many of his famous travels. Hadrian reportedly engaged in affairs with both sexes, but he frowned on Sabina's extramarital friendships. In AD 122 he dismissed two courtiers for being overly familiar with her. One of these was the historian Suetonius, author of The Twelve Caesars; his loss of access to the imperial archives is detectable in his later biographies. Sabina's close friend, the poetess Julia Balbilla, accompanied the royal couple to Egypt in AD 130, where she recorded their presence by inscribing five stanzas on the Colossi of Memnon in Thebes. Both Sabina and Balbilla were thus probably present when Hadrian's boy lover, Antinous, drowned in the Nile, plunging the emperor into extravagant grief. The tragedy seemed to kill Hadrian's wanderlust, and he and Sabina returned to their lavish villa in Tivoli, where they spent most of their remaining days. Sabina died late in AD 136 or early the following year, probably of natural causes (although there were inevitable rumors of poisoning and forced suicide), and Hadrian, perhaps reluctantly, ordered her deification.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2015
    13th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 6
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    I wish to extend our appreciation to you for over $925,000.00 realized from the above subject auction. This amount realized was approximately $110,000.00 more than we anticipated.
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