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Faustina II denarius - Beckman Hairstyle Type 7


CPK

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Clickbait for @Roman Collector!¬†ūüėČ

My newest coin is also my first Empress - a Faustina the Younger denarius, acquired from Roma. I bought it mainly for the pleasant portrait.

Of course when it arrived I had to try to identify which Beckman hairstyle she's wearing. With the help of one of Roman Collector's many interesting "Faustina Friday" threads, (thanks RC!) I think I've got it right - hairstyle 2b. (2a does not feature the string(s) of pearls.)

--CORRECTION-- It is actually Type 7 as illustrated here.

Though weakly struck, the reverse is also interesting. Wikipedia has this to say about Venus Genetrix (one of the many epithets of Venus):

"Venus Genetrix ("Venus the Mother"), as a goddess of motherhood and domesticity, with a festival on September 26, a personal ancestress of the Julian lineage and, more broadly, the divine ancestress of the Roman people. Julius Caesar dedicated a Temple of Venus Genetrix in 46 BC. This name has attached to an iconological type of statue of Aphrodite/Venus."

What could be more charming than motherhood and domesticity? I also think the Dioscuri on Venus's shield is pretty neat.

What do you all think?

FaustinaIIdenariusVenus.jpg.6c29ad32261754478e2a04ed5d347178.jpg

Edited by CPK
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What a lovely coin, @CPK! And that reverse type is one of the scarcer ones. Coingratulations!

I suspect you went to CoinTalk and found this old post. That was my own attempt to construct a relative chronology of the hairstyles. It was limited only to the denarii after the adoption of the FAVSTINA AVGVSTA obverse legend. I had a bit of trouble because my "type 1" was clearly first and my "type 3" was clearly last, but couldn't exactly fit the 2a and 2b types consistently in the framework. Yours, by my scheme in that post, is actually the type 2b type by my early attempt at classification.

Since then, Beckmann published his die-linkage study of the aurei of Faustina II and an analysis of her hairstyles, expanding the previous work of Fitschen. I had neither of those references when I wrote that post 3-1/2 years ago. It turns out that my "type 1" corresponds to Beckmann's "Type 5"; my "type 2a" corresponds to Beckmann's "Type 9"; my "type 2b" corresponds to Beckmann's "Type 7" and my "type 3" corresponds to Beckmann's "Type 10." Beckmann's work also demonstrates that my types 2a and 2b were in somewhat simultaneous usage, with a lot of overlap in terms of relative chronology, and that's why I was having difficulty putting them in chronological order and had to consider them both "type 2."

It turns out that the "strand of pearls" is not really such, but a braid behind the brow wave. You may read about the Beckmann Type 7 coiffure and the braid/pearls here. This style (and the Beckmann type 9) was introduced shortly after the birth of the twins on 31 August, 161.

Now, to avoid confusion between that clumsy early numbering system, limited only to the denarii under Marcus and between Beckmann, I'd like to talk about the actual Beckmann type 2 style, which was much earlier but can be confused with the Type 7 coiffure. On the BECKMANNN Type 2 hairstyle, the hair behind the brow wave lacks the braid and is is more horizontal. The bun is larger and higher on the head on the Type 2 hairstyle, too. The Type 2 hairstyle was introduced following the birth of Lucilla in March, 149. The style is used with the FAVSTINAE AVG PII AVG FIL, FAVSTINA AVG PII AVG FIL, and FAVSTINA AVG ANTONINI AVG PII F legends. Here are a few featuring the Type 2 coiffure:

FaustinaJrCONCORDIASCseatedsestertius.jpg.87996224b12f480f730f553ae903672e.jpg

 

FaustinaJrPVDICITIAveildenariustype2hairstyle.jpg.81aacaee153b8d83409ecf17207b05c6.jpg

FaustinaJrCONCORDIAstandingrightdenarius1078.jpg.3d4ea67effcde6149a2869b4a28b221d.jpg

Edited by Roman Collector
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The portrait is quite pleasant.  The toning is also quite nice.

Other than what's in the 1990's bag o' asses/similar sized provincials, I have very few of the imperial women. I'm ashamed to report that I have no individually purchased example of either Faustina.

I also would have snapped that coin up. What a nice selection you made!

 

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  • CPK changed the title to Faustina II denarius - Beckman Hairstyle Type 7
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10 hours ago, Roman Collector said:

What a lovely coin, @CPK! And that reverse type is one of the scarcer ones. Coingratulations!

I suspect you went to CoinTalk and found this old post. That was my own attempt to construct a relative chronology of the hairstyles. It was limited only to the denarii after the adoption of the FAVSTINA AVGVSTA obverse legend. I had a bit of trouble because my "type 1" was clearly first and my "type 3" was clearly last, but couldn't exactly fit the 2a and 2b types consistently in the framework. Yours, by my scheme in that post, is actually the type 2b type by my early attempt at classification.

Since then, Beckmann published his die-linkage study of the aurei of Faustina II and an analysis of her hairstyles, expanding the previous work of Fitschen. I had neither of those references when I wrote that post 3-1/2 years ago. It turns out that my "type 1" corresponds to Beckmann's "Type 5"; my "type 2a" corresponds to Beckmann's "Type 9"; my "type 2b" corresponds to Beckmann's "Type 7" and my "type 3" corresponds to Beckmann's "Type 10." Beckmann's work also demonstrates that my types 2a and 2b were in somewhat simultaneous usage, with a lot of overlap in terms of relative chronology, and that's why I was having difficulty putting them in chronological order and had to consider them both "type 2."

It turns out that the "strand of pearls" is not really such, but a braid behind the brow wave. You may read about the Beckmann Type 7 coiffure and the braid/pearls here. This style (and the Beckmann type 9) was introduced shortly after the birth of the twins on 31 August, 161.

Now, to avoid confusion between that clumsy early numbering system, limited only to the denarii under Marcus and between Beckmann, I'd like to talk about the actual Beckmann type 2 style, which was much earlier but can be confused with the Type 7 coiffure. On the BECKMANNN Type 2 hairstyle, the hair behind the brow wave lacks the braid and is is more horizontal. The bun is larger and higher on the head on the Type 2 hairstyle, too. The Type 2 hairstyle was introduced following the birth of Lucilla in March, 149. The style is used with the FAVSTINAE AVG PII AVG FIL, FAVSTINA AVG PII AVG FIL, and FAVSTINA AVG ANTONINI AVG PII F legends. Here are a few featuring the Type 2 coiffure:

FaustinaJrCONCORDIASCseatedsestertius.jpg.87996224b12f480f730f553ae903672e.jpg

 

FaustinaJrPVDICITIAveildenariustype2hairstyle.jpg.81aacaee153b8d83409ecf17207b05c6.jpg

FaustinaJrCONCORDIAstandingrightdenarius1078.jpg.3d4ea67effcde6149a2869b4a28b221d.jpg

 

Thanks for the clarification! That's interesting about the pearls/braids debate. Sometimes it definitely looks like pearls but I can also see that as just a way for the engraver to attempt to detail a braid. 

 

8 hours ago, Nerosmyfavorite68 said:

The portrait is quite pleasant.  The toning is also quite nice.

Other than what's in the 1990's bag o' asses/similar sized provincials, I have very few of the imperial women. I'm ashamed to report that I have no individually purchased example of either Faustina.

I also would have snapped that coin up. What a nice selection you made!

 

Thanks! I was happy to win it, for what I thought a decent price. I was less happy when DHL Express out of the blue charged me $40+ for customs duties. I have used DHL Express numerous times - it's pricey but very fast for international shipping - and this has never happened before. So my coin which hammered for £50 ended up costing me more like $150, but oh well. I'm still glad I bought it.

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