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Faustina Friday – The Beckmann Type 8 Hairstyle


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Friday felicitations, fellow Faustina fanatics! Today we're going to examine one of Faustina's rarest coiffures, the Beckmann Type 8 hairstyle. This represents the fourth in my ongoing series about Faustina the Younger's hairdos. I have previously written about the Beckmann Type 3, Type 7, and Type 9 styles.

How to Recognize the Type 8 Hairstyle

The Type 8 hairstyle was introduced simultaneously, and was used concurrently, with the Type 7 style and is very similar in appearance.[1] Types 7 and 8 both show a large, prominent wave of hair, marked with a single wavy engraved line on the empress's brow, which is gathered into a bun at the back of the head. It is this prominent brow wave to which Cohen refers when he writes "les cheveux ondés" in his descriptions of coins with these hairstyles.[2] This can lead to confusion between the two types. However, on the Type 8 hairstyle, the hair behind the brow wave is combed down and forward, toward Faustina's ear, whereas on the Type 7 hairstyle, the hair behind the brow wave is combed down and back, toward the bun.

The Type 8 hairstyle never appears with braids, pearls, or a stephane; it's always bare-headed. In contrast, the Type 7 style almost always is depicted with one or two braids or strands of pearls or a stephane behind the brow wave. Beckmann oversimplifies when he states the absence of the braid is a distinguishing characteristic of the Type 8 hairstyle because there are a few examples of bare-headed Type 7 portraits. Rather, the sole distinguishing characteristic is the direction the hair flows behind the large brow wave.


2013335893_FaustinaJrSALVTIAVGVSTAEaureustype8hairstyleHeritage.jpg.fb7a269ce5eac0f2f94cc6c361e36162.jpg

This aureus (RIC 716, Heritage Auctions) demonstrates the Type 8 hairstyle. Note the hair behind the brow wave is combed down and forward, toward the empress's ear.


1841315845_FaustinaJrLAETITIAstandingleftdenarius.jpg.91cef6baeeee90bd1ffa92a646a0901b.jpg

This denarius (RIC 700; my collection) demonstrates the Type 7 hairstyle. Note the hair behind the brow wave is combed down and back, toward the chignon at the nape of her neck.


There are few sculptural representations of the empress with this hairstyle. Even though Fittschen notes the existence of three such portraits, as opposed to fifteen with the Type 7 coiffure,[3] Beckmann writes, "[F]or Type 8, which is rare in sculpture, it has not been possible to find a suitable image."[4]

Dating the Type 8 Hairstyle

The Type 8 hairstyle was in limited use and therefore, presumably for a limited period. Beckmann identified only four aureus dies with this portrait type (fm 12, fm 19, fm 23, and fm 7), used in conjunction only with the SALVTI AVGVSTAE (all four dies) and the LAETITIA (fm 7 only) reverse types.[5] In silver and bronze, the Type 8 hairstyle appears only in conjunction with the IVNONI REGINAE (Juno standing) reverse type. After a comprehensive internet search, I have been able to identify a single denarius, a single middle bronze, and eight sestertii with the Type 8 hairstyle. I have been able to distinguish four obverse dies among the eight sestertius examples.[6]

As I have
discussed elsewhere, the SALVTI AVGVSTAE issues of Faustina begin immediately after the TEMPOR FELIC reverse type in the die-link chain of Faustina’s aurei. The TEMPOR FELIC issue
was struck to commemorate the birth of Titus Aurelius Fulvus Antoninus and his younger twin brother Commodus on 31 August 161.

20211005_055655.jpg.b8bc883379763672e3e7a8399057555d.jpg

Beckmann's die study demonstrates the appearance of the SALVTI AVGVSTAE reverse type immediately following the TEMPOR FELIC issue of AD 161 (excerpt of figure 4.4, p. 54).


Beckmann reconstructed a lengthy die chain (below) of SALVTI AVGVSTAE types but was not able to link it to Group 14 (above) or 15 (not shown).

20220924_195016.jpg.1eab73452d0060804dc91b2f318cb20c.jpg

Die chain 7, which extends from autumn, AD 161 to the LAETITIA and VENVS GENETRIX reverse types issued in late AD 162 to commemorate the birth of Marcus Annius Verus.[7]


Die Chain 7 must follow shortly after Groups 14 and 15 because one of obverse dies at the beginning of the chain (fm 1) uses an "all-round" legend typical of the FECVND AVGVSTAE, SAECVLI FELICIT, and TEMPOR FELIC reverse types struck to commemorate the birth of her twins. This fm 1 die features the Type 7 hairstyle which came into use after the birth of the twins and is linked to an obverse die with the Type 8 hairstyle (fm 12).

Since the twins were born on 31 August, 161, and the Beckmann type 8 hairstyle was introduced shortly but not immediately thereafter,[8] a terminus post quem for this hairstyle of autumn 161 is reasonable. The last aureus die on which the Type 8 hairstyle appears is fm 7, which is paired with five different SALVTI AVGVSTAE reverse dies and a LAETITIA reverse die. As noted above, the LAETITIA type was issued beginning in late AD 162 to commemorate the birth of Marcus Annius Verus. A reasonable terminus ante quem for this hairstyle would be no later than early AD 163 because of the paucity of coins and sculptures with this hairstyle.

The Silver and Bronze Issues with the Type 8 Hairstyle

Because of Beckmann's work, we know a lot about the gold issues featuring the Type 8 hairstyle. To the best of my knowledge, no systemic study has been undertaken of the Type 8 hairstyle for the denarii or bronze issues. I took it upon myself to explore this further. I examined the bust types of all denarii, middle bronzes, and sestertii with the SALVTI AVGVSTAE, SALVS (seated), LAETITIA, and IVNONI REGINAE reverse types in the following databases and references: The British Museum collection, Strack, acsearchinfo, OCRE, Wildwinds, and Coin Archives. On the silver and bronze issues, the hairstyle appears to be limited to coins of the IVNONI REGINAE reverse type.

I have identified a single specimen of a denarius with this hairstyle.


1276676656_FaustinaJrIVNONIREGINAEstandingDenariustype8hairstyleANS.jpg.1352603cc00fe695d7f87ce72c769869.jpg

Denarius of Faustina the Younger featuring the Beckmann type 8 hairstyle and the IVNONI REGINAE reverse type. American Numismatic Society collection. ANS 1944.100.49232.


I have identified a single specimen of a middle bronze with this hairstyle.

439809086_FaustinaJrIVNONIREGINAESCstandingMBtype8hairstylevonWagnerMuseum.jpg.fb8fedcb500821f13e2bb60fe897536d.jpg

As of Faustina the Younger featuring the Beckmann Type 8 hairstyle. Münzkabinett des Martin von Wagner Museums – Julius Maximilians Universität, Würzburg, Ka 1463.[9]


I have identified eight specimens of a sestertius with this hairstyle and have acquired this one for my own collection.

1913438670_FaustinaJrIVNONIREGINAESCstandingsestertiustype8hairstyle.jpg.d25b1a826552d8763929a9c20c1091fb.jpg

Faustina II, AD 147-175.
Roman orichalcum sestertius, 26.73 g, 32.2 mm, 11 h.
Rome, late AD 161 – early 163.
Obv: FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, bare-headed and draped bust, right; Beckmann Type 8 hairstyle.
Rev: IVNONI REGINAE S C, Juno standing left, holding patera and scepter, peacock at feet.
Refs: RIC 1651; BMC 921; Cohen 142; RCV 5277; MIR 19-6/10a,b.
Notes: Obverse die match to BMCRE 921. Heritage Select Auction 232238, lot
64276, 21 September 2022.


Summary and Conclusions

This hairstyle appears on coins of Faustina the Younger in Autumn, AD 161, shortly after, but contemporaneous with, the appearance of the Beckmann type 9 hairstyle on her aurei. The Type 8 hairstyle makes its appearance alongside the Type 7 hairstyle in the aureus die-chain, but is much more limited in scope, appearing only on the SALVTI AVGVSTAE and LAETITIA issues in gold and the IVNONI REGINAE issues in other metals. It appears to have been in use, primarily in AD 162, alongside dies of other bust types. The hairstyle seems to have been abandoned after the birth of Marcus Annius Verus late in that year. The use of this hairstyle in AD 162 is consistent with my
previous work dating the IVNONI REGINAE issues as a whole to AD 162-164.

In contrast, the Type 7 hairstyle is quite common, and is paired with many different reverse types from early in the joint reign of Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus, such as the CERES, CONCORDIA, FECVNDITAS, HILARITAS, IVNO seated and standing, IVNONI REGINAE seated and standing, LAETITIA, SALVS seated, SALVTI AVGVSTI seated and standing, VENVS GENETRIX, and VENVS VICTRIX types.

The Type 8 hairstyle is confusing at first, but not if one realizes its key feature is the direction the hair is combed: down and forward, toward the empress's ear.

The type is interesting and I'll be on the lookout for additional examples in the future.

Post anything you feel is relevant!

~~~

Notes


1. Beckmann, Martin, Faustina the Younger: Coinage, Portraits, and Public Image, A.N.S. Numismatic Studies 43, American Numismatic Society, New York, 2021, pp. 58, 61, 86, 90.

2. See, for example, nos. 119 and 130 in Cohen, Henry. Description historique des monnaies frappées sous l'Empire Romain, Tome III: de Marc Aurèle à Albin (161 à 197 après J.-C.). Paris, 1883, pp. 146-147.

3. As summarized in Beckmann, op. cit. p. 98, Table 7.1.

4. Beckmann, op. cit., p. 88.

5. Beckmann, op. cit., p. 164.

6. Die 1: My coin (Heritage Select Auction 232238, lot
64276, 21 September 2022); British Museum collection, BMCRE 921; Editions Gadoury Online Auction 10, lot 111, 2 October 2018; Savoca Live Auction 7, lot 497, 28 February 2016 = Numismatica Varesi E-Live Auction 2, lot 282, 20 September 2020; NAC Auction 52, lot 1128, 7 October 2009. Die 2: ANS 1935.117.441. Die 3: Künker Auction 257, lot 9015, 10 October 2014 = Bertolami e-auction 92, lot 1340, 2 October 2020. Die 4: CGB Monnaies 34, lot 541, 30 April 2008.

7. This had been suggested by Szaivert but later definitively demonstrated by Beckmann’s die-linkage study of the aurei of Faustina II. See Szaivert, Wolfgang, Die Münzprägung der Kaiser Marcus Aurelius, Lucius Verus und Commodus (161/192), Moneta Imperii Romani 18. Vienna, 1989, p. 230, and Beckmann, op. cit., pp. 60-61.

8. The Type 9 hairstyle seems to have been used on Faustina's aurei before Types 7 and 8. See Beckmann, op. cit., Figure 4.4, p. 54. I have discussed this
previously elsewhere.

9. Szaivert (MIR) cites an unspecified coin from A.N.S. as an example of a bare-headed bust (potentially an example of the Type 8 hairstyle) but this is erroneous; all four specimens there show Beckmann's hairstyle 7 with a double circlet of pearls. Szaivert, Wolfgang, Die Münzprägung der Kaiser Marcus Aurelius, Lucius Verus und Commodus (161/192), Moneta Imperii Romani 18. Vienna, 1989, no. 19-7(a), p. 284.

Edited by Roman Collector
Grievous crimes against the apostrophe.
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I happen to have a hairstyle 8 sestertius of Faustina with rev. SALVTI AVGVSTAE, bought from Lanz via eBay on 22 March 2015, so before the appearance of Beckmann's Faustina II book in 2021, just because I thought the hairstyle looked unusual. Thanks for the additional information about this style!

Unfortunately I can't easily post a picture, since I have never learned how to do so and I didn't save Lanz's picture or the eBay number.

A variation I noticed in the rev. type: on my sestertius and on another one from the same reverse die but with differing hairstyle that was sold in two CNG e-sales in 2014 and 2015, Salus rests her left arm on the top of her throne back instead of on an armrest, and the top of her throne back is also not shown continuing on the left behind her head and shoulders, as is usually the case. Here is CNG's picture of their coin from the same reverse die but with different hairstyle: Another specimen, also from same reverse die but coupled with a slightly variant style 7 portrait: M&M Sale, June 1964, lot 372. Could easily be just an engraver's simplification rather than a deliberate type change. 

FaustIISestSalusStdLeftArmOnThroneback.jpg.7ad3c67deb2cac6198fede876aaab23a.jpg

Edited by curtislclay
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9 hours ago, curtislclay said:

I happen to have a hairstyle 8 sestertius of Faustina with rev. SALVTI AVGVSTAE, bought from Lanz via eBay on 22 March 2015, so before the appearance of Beckmann's Faustina II book in 2021, just because I thought the hairstyle looked unusual. Thanks for the additional information about this style!

Unfortunately I can't easily post a picture, since I have never learned how to do so and I didn't save Lanz's picture or the eBay number.

A variation I noticed in the rev. type: on my sestertius and on another one from the same reverse die but with differing hairstyle that was sold in two CNG e-sales in 2014 and 2015, Salus rests her left arm on the top of her throne back instead of on an armrest, and the top of her throne back is also not shown continuing on the left behind her head and shoulders, as is usually the case. Here is CNG's picture of their coin from the same reverse die but with different hairstyle: Another specimen, also from same reverse die but coupled with a slightly variant style 7 portrait: M&M Sale, June 1964, lot 372. Could easily be just an engraver's simplification rather than a deliberate type change. 

FaustIISestSalusStdLeftArmOnThroneback.jpg.7ad3c67deb2cac6198fede876aaab23a.jpg

Thanks for letting me know, @curtislclay! I thought it odd that the hairstyle was not used with the bronze SALVTI AVGVSTAE reverse types, given how it primarily appears with that reverse type on the aurei. Because it was an eBay auction, it didn't come up at acsearchinfo or coin archives. I, of course, will keep my eye out for other examples.

8 hours ago, Severus Alexander said:

We’ll all be looking out for those rare hairstyle 8’s now! Fabulous post, RC, I hope to see a version in NumisThought. (Speaking of which: Sorry for the delay in getting that launched, everyone, my illness has thrown me a few curveballs recently. But look for an announcement soon!)

Thanks for the kind words, @Severus Alexander! I hope you are feeling better!

6 hours ago, LONGINUS said:

Another thoroughly amazing post, @Roman Collector  !

The Salus image with the snake captured my imagination and I had fun reading up on it and creating some snaky enhancements.

Here’s my Philip I.

image.jpeg.0cf6363604032eb98a3a04d2a0ef0fd6.jpeg

 

How fun! Great SALVS reverse on that Philip ant!

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16 hours ago, Roman Collector said:

Happy Buddy Holly GIF by Dirty Little Secret

Friday felicitations, fellow Faustina fanatics! Today we're going to examine one of Faustina's rarest coiffures, the Beckmann Type 8 hairstyle. This represents the fourth in my ongoing series about Faustina the Younger's hairdos. I have previously written about the Beckmann Type 3, Type 7, and Type 9 styles.....

While I did not find any examples of hairstyle #8 in my limited collection of Faustina II's, I did find this example that I think belongs to hairstyle #7 which I share in appreciation of your post.  Happy Faustina Friday, @Roman Collector

783686328_FaustinaIIFecunditasHR.jpg.1e165f564a68ff012a9ab6cb5252d84b.jpg

and this Faustina that I put in the "interesting hairstyle" category and a coin that can be identified by the reverse alone with the unique use of "MVLIEBRI" which translates to feminine or womanly.

2138589031_FaustinaMuliebri.jpg.408372d722529ce5328cc9d0c0a7d3a0.jpg

 

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2 minutes ago, Sulla80 said:

While I did not find any examples of hairstyle #8 in my limited collection of Faustina II's, I did find this example that I think belongs to hairstyle #7 which I share in appreciation of your post.  Happy Faustina Friday, @Roman Collector

783686328_FaustinaIIFecunditasHR.jpg.1e165f564a68ff012a9ab6cb5252d84b.jpg

and this Faustina that I put in the "interesting hairstyle" category and a coin that can be identified by the reverse alone with the unique use of "MVLIEBRI" which translates to feminine or womanly.

2138589031_FaustinaMuliebri.jpg.408372d722529ce5328cc9d0c0a7d3a0.jpg

 

Yes! Type 7 ...

1529391690_FaustinaJrFECVNDITASdenarius.jpg.3ab4f3fb395cbeebbf8c1bbd7c31f12a.jpg

... and Type 10:

1983706231_FaustinaJrFORTVNAEMVLIEBRIdenarius.jpg.81f3ba129e7cf33a5b0f7ef44cc5176f.jpg

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This was a very helpful thread, @Roman Collector - all your Faustina Friday's are helpful, but this one was exceptionally illuminating.  Beckmann's book is wonderful, but when it comes to the hairstyle types, I tend to get confused, flipping back and forth between sections, etc.  Your post here made the hairstyle types much easier for me to grasp. 

As always this sent me to my collection, looking for something to contribute (and more often than not, re-attribute).  This past May I bought 40 Romans from an eBay seller in Canada.  It was a real hodge-podge, most in awful shape.  But there were some interesting things in there (my only Imperial Macrinus, for one), and now I think it possible there was a Beckmann Type 8 hair-do in there as well.  If so, it is of the rare middle bronze type - Katie sell the farm!  Time for early retirement!  😄:

My apologies for the photo - since this was taken, I treated it for bronze disease which you can see here and there in the declivities and pockmarks.  It cleaned up pretty well, but the pockmarks are still there.   The hair seems to be going down towards the ear, Type 8 fashion...or I'm seeing things.  

2050951954_FaustinaII-AsJunoReg.LotMay2022(0).jpg.bd48fac641174990c0dc83332453cd4b.jpg

Faustina II   Æ As / Dupondius (c. 162-164 A.D.) Rome Mint FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, draped bust right wearing circlet of pearls / [IVNO]NI REGINAE S-C, Juno, veiled, standing left, holding patera & sceptre; peacock at feet. RIC III Marcus Aurelius 1652 (10.48 grams / 23 x 22 mm) eBay May 2022     Lot @ $5 BIN  Notes:  "The lack of an all-round legend and the use of the type 7 hairstyle imply a date for the IVNONI REGINAE with Juno standing type of AD 162 at the earliest. The abundance of the issue suggests it was in production for at least a year or two. Therefore, I assign the issue a date of AD 162-164." Roman Collector on CT Jan. 2022

It is not a die-match for the example you posted, but they share a family resemblance, I think.  Because of the harsh cleaning it endured, you can see the original metal; at first glance it looks more brassy (dupondius) than coppery (as), but depending on the light, I keep changing my mind.  So as/dupondius it is.  

Here's mine and the OP: 

105926456_FaustinaII-AsJunoReg.LotMay2022(0comptype8).jpg.3d02940f0116127eba0e1bb967467c29.jpg

 

It looks slightly, only slightly, better in hand.  Someday I'll try to get better, post-BD photos. My other examples discussed in the OP appear to be Type 7 hair.  Again, thanks for the thorough, informative post.   Corrections to my low-grade musings always welcome!  

 

 

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22 minutes ago, Marsyas Mike said:

This was a very helpful thread, @Roman Collector - all your Faustina Friday's are helpful, but this one was exceptionally illuminating.  Beckmann's book is wonderful, but when it comes to the hairstyle types, I tend to get confused, flipping back and forth between sections, etc.  Your post here made the hairstyle types much easier for me to grasp. 

As always this sent me to my collection, looking for something to contribute (and more often than not, re-attribute).  This past May I bought 40 Romans from an eBay seller in Canada.  It was a real hodge-podge, most in awful shape.  But there were some interesting things in there (my only Imperial Macrinus, for one), and now I think it possible there was a Beckmann Type 8 hair-do in there as well.  If so, it is of the rare middle bronze type - Katie sell the farm!  Time for early retirement!  😄:

My apologies for the photo - since this was taken, I treated it for bronze disease which you can see here and there in the declivities and pockmarks.  It cleaned up pretty well, but the pockmarks are still there.   The hair seems to be going down towards the ear, Type 8 fashion...or I'm seeing things.  

2050951954_FaustinaII-AsJunoReg.LotMay2022(0).jpg.bd48fac641174990c0dc83332453cd4b.jpg

Faustina II   Æ As / Dupondius (c. 162-164 A.D.) Rome Mint FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, draped bust right wearing circlet of pearls / [IVNO]NI REGINAE S-C, Juno, veiled, standing left, holding patera & sceptre; peacock at feet. RIC III Marcus Aurelius 1652 (10.48 grams / 23 x 22 mm) eBay May 2022     Lot @ $5 BIN  Notes:  "The lack of an all-round legend and the use of the type 7 hairstyle imply a date for the IVNONI REGINAE with Juno standing type of AD 162 at the earliest. The abundance of the issue suggests it was in production for at least a year or two. Therefore, I assign the issue a date of AD 162-164." Roman Collector on CT Jan. 2022

It is not a die-match for the example you posted, but they share a family resemblance, I think.  Because of the harsh cleaning it endured, you can see the original metal; at first glance it looks more brassy (dupondius) than coppery (as), but depending on the light, I keep changing my mind.  So as/dupondius it is.  

Here's mine and the OP: 

105926456_FaustinaII-AsJunoReg.LotMay2022(0comptype8).jpg.3d02940f0116127eba0e1bb967467c29.jpg

 

It looks slightly, only slightly, better in hand.  Someday I'll try to get better, post-BD photos. My other examples discussed in the OP appear to be Type 7 hair.  Again, thanks for the thorough, informative post.   Corrections to my low-grade musings always welcome!  

 

 

Wow!!! That is indeed the type 8 hairstyle! And apparently the second example of a middle bronze with that hairstyle! 😲

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52 minutes ago, Roman Collector said:

Wow!!! That is indeed the type 8 hairstyle! And apparently the second example of a middle bronze with that hairstyle! 😲

Wow indeed - I am quite thrilled to have a type 8 of such magnitude.  Something about even blind squirrels find the occasional nut; that sums up my collection.  Thank you for confirming the hairstyle ID.  Here is a new photo - the harsh light of the sun has somewhat dampened by "BD cured" diagnosis - back in the distilled water it goes!

443393819_FaustinaII-AsIVNOREGlotMay2022(0).jpg.c828fc39b2af45f44661133505fc9752.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

Update:

Since my original post, two more examples of a middle bronze with this hairstyle have surfaced, one in @Marsyas Mike's collection and the other from Lanz Graz Auktion IV, Römische Mittlebronzen, lot 417, 23 November 1974 (10.68 g), which was brought to my attention by @curtislclay, who sent me the auction photo. Let's compare them. I think they represent three different obverse dies.

1425404842_FaustinaJrIVNONIREGINAESCstandingMBtype8hairstyleWurzburg.jpg.6196b6dbc473dca45fd73955ef4319d7.jpg
OP from Münzkabinett des Martin von Wagner Museums – Julius Maximilians Universität, Würzburg, Ka 1463.

921744455_FaustinaJrIVNONIREGINAESCstandingMBtype8hairstyleMarsyasMike.png.9890d9d0dbb0c176c37c3ce0e0b1addc.png
Specimen from Marsyas Mike's collection.

1654106857_FaustinaJrIVNONIREGINAESCstandingMBtype8hairstyleLanzGrazsmaller.jpg.8b047d243ecc3872dc1b25dfc3904ce4.jpg
Specimen from Lanz Graz Auktion IV.

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