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Faustina Friday – a Left-Facing Bust on a Pulvinar, Scepter and Struppa Type


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Feel That Thats Friday GIF - Feel That Thats Friday Friday Cat GIFs

Friday felicitations, fellow Faustina fanatics! Today we’re going to talk about this new acquisition to my numophylacium Faustinae.

1692016295_FaustinaSrAVGVSTAthroneandscepterdenariusleftfacingbustSolidus.thumb.jpg.4bcda84b4030f22e89c016752b13f230.jpg
Faustina I, AD 138-140.
Roman AR Denarius, 3.20 g, 16.8 mm, 6 h.
Rome, AD 150-161.
Obv: DIVA FAV-STINA, bare-headed and draped bust, left.
Rev: AVGV-STA, scepter leaning against draped throne upon which rests a struppus. 
Refs: RIC –; BMCRE 454 n.; RSC 131a; Strack 484 (Sofia); RCV –; CRE –.

If this reverse type looks familiar, it is. There are numerous denarii of Faustina I with a throne on the reverse, differing in reverse legend, left-facing or right-facing bust, bare-headed or veiled bust, whether or not a peacock is present, the position of the peacock, the direction a scepter may be pointing, and the presence or absence of a
pulvinus or struppus upon it. Moreover, I have previously discussed several of these types at a different forum, here, here, and here, as well as a different left-facing bust variety here. Nonetheless, I hope to keep your interest for the remainder of this week’s article.

About the Reverse Iconography

The type of throne depicted on this coin is a
pulvinar, a cushioned seat of a goddess placed before her statues and altars at the sellasternium, the female version of the lectisternium. This particular pulvinar is that of Juno, which the Empress Faustina has assumed upon her deification.[1] In addition to Juno’s scepter, the hasta pura, the pulvinar is adorned with a crescent-shaped struppus , a band-like wreath to be wrapped around the head.

From Melville Jones’s A Dictionary of Ancient Roman Coins[2]:


Pulvinar.thumb.jpg.c5812b183ddff575e660f38937285b8d.jpg

In addition, there is a variety of this reverse type on which the scepter leans on the opposite side of the throne, pointing upwards to the left (BMCRE 457). There is also a rare type (RSC 132a) in which a peacock stands on a footstool below the throne, facing right. The type assigned RIC 376 (citing Cohen), describes the peacock facing left. Although Cohen cites an example in Paris, Strack records no specimens there, but instead cites an example from Feuardent. I have not been able to confirm the existence of this coin.

About the Left-Facing Bust Variety

This coin is rare. After a comprehensive search of the numismatic literature and online databases, I have been able to find only three other examples: A.N.S. 1944.100.48358; also
A.N.S. 1946.7.17; and Reka-Devnia (one specimen in Sofia).[3] The coin was struck with at least two die-pairs. The first ANS specimen (acquired 1944) is not a die-match to mine:

1385161567_FaustinaSrAVGVSTAthroneandscepterdenariusleftfacingbustANS1944.thumb.jpg.2a94abf47cc41080b886b9d31b7ffecc.jpg
A.N.S. 1944.100.48358

The second ANS specimen is a double die-match to my coin:


1200070055_FaustinaSrAVGVSTAthroneandscepterdenariusleftfacingbustANS1946.thumb.jpg.a1b42258470ccbef0aaaf59f642ec615.jpg
A.N.S. 1946.7.17

1692016295_FaustinaSrAVGVSTAthroneandscepterdenariusleftfacingbustSolidus.thumb.jpg.4bcda84b4030f22e89c016752b13f230.jpg
My coin.

The example from the Reka-Devnia hoard is listed in Mouchmov, but not illustrated, so I cannot perform a die analysis.


1498585578_FaustinaSrAVGVSTAthroneandscepterdenariusleftfacingbustMouchmovlisting.thumb.jpg.d27d9e4e1a8a55dbbf385ba99dee2e20.jpg
Mouchmov’s listing in Le trésor Numismatique De Réka-Devnia: Marcianopolis.[3]

Dating the Coin

This reverse type was issued only in the denarius denomination and, as such, falls outside of the purview of Beckmann’s die-linkage study of the aurei and sestertii of Diva Faustina.[4] Therefore, the issue is not easily placed within the known chronology of issues. Although the DIVA FAVSTINA legend was first introduced in AD 145 in conjunction with the AVGVSTA reverse legend on numerous issues to commemorate the marriage of Faustina the Younger to Marcus Aurelius,[5] the iconography suggests it is more appropriately placed among the issues of AD 150 and later to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the Empress’s death and deification.[6] Although this period is dominated by coins featuring the AETERNITAS reverse legend, the mid-late 150s include the reintroduction of some aurei with the AVGVSTA reverse legend.[7] Perhaps this denarius exemplifies a similar reintroduction of the AVGVSTA reverse type during this time frame. I’m reluctant to assign a date with more precision than AD 150-161 in the absence of any evidence at all.

~~~

Notes


1. Mattingly, Harold, and Edward A. Sydenham. The Roman Imperial Coinage. III, Spink, 1930, p. 15.
2. Jones, John Melville. A Dictionary of Ancient Roman Coins. London: B. A. Seaby Ltd., 1990, s.v. pulvinar.
3. Mouchmov, Nicolas A. Le trésor Numismatique De Réka-Devnia: Marcianopolis. Musée National Bulgare, 1934, p. 59.
4. Beckmann, Martin. Diva Faustina: Coinage and Cult in Rome and the Provinces. American Numismatic Society, 2012.
5. Beckmann, op. cit., p. 51.
6. Dinsdale, Paul H. Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius Caesar AD 138-161; Second Revised Edition. Leeds, Paul H Dinsdale, 2021, p. 233.
7. Beckmann, op. cit., p. 70.

Edited by Roman Collector
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Posted · Administrator

Been looking forward to the first Faustina Friday on this forum all week!! And what a marvelous coin to kick it off! image.gif.be725365f438d647139c76f50c6ec3be.gif

I imagine if someone were to uncover the existence of the left facing peacock under the throne it will be you RC 😁

While neither left facing nor extraordinarily rare, here is my Faustina lifetime issue that does have a peacock! 🦚

AR Denarius 3.70g, 18mm. 139-141 AD. Rome mint.
Draped bust right, hair waved and coiled at top of head.
FAVSTINA AVGVSTA
Juno standing left, holding patera and scepter, peacock at feet. 
IVNONI REGINAE
RIC III 338; RSC II 215
 

 

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Posted · Supporter

Yeeeuuuuussssss!

200-8.gif.5e78398701822de72885dec198904580.gifFaustina Fridays are back baby!!!

That cat sticking his head out the window slayed me😄 And as always, excellent write up.

None of the throne with strippa...I mean struppa here😉. So, here are some kiddos on the throne:

2021709_1624896217.l-removebg-preview.png.56e2b2837e6598bd2d8e67cf6542af2a.png

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Great coin @Roman Collector I think you have a decent claim on best known example.   I don't have much to offer in the Faustina category and in appreciation of Faustina Fridays - this example exceptional for its apprentice legend writer - who seems to have perfected the look of "written while table was shaking" especially on the obverse. 

image.thumb.png.80f5a0c9796e8970b4edfbbec028e299.png

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My first post on this forum just had to be Faustina Friday, although I don't have a left-facing Faustina of any description.  Nice ones, @Roman Collector as always.  

Here are a couple of thrones/pulvinars, one a lifetime type, one with a veiled portrait.  These attribution were from a few years back and could definitely be better - nowadays I use RC's write-ups to narrow down dates, descriptions, etc.:

1795934612_FaustinaI-Den.thronesceptreNov2018(0).thumb.jpg.204924d51a9902d2a30a718a31ba54bb.jpg

Faustina I   Denarius 5th Phase: Anniversary of Faustina’s Deification (c. 150-160 A.D.) DIVA FAVSTIN[A], draped bust right / AVGV[ST]A, throne, on which is a wreath, with a sceptre in front. RIC 377; RSC 131; BMC 454. (2.89 grams / 16 mm) eBay Nov. 2018             

1796499454_FaustinaI-Den.lifetimethronepeacockAp2018(0).thumb.jpg.c6cf3a034f89c4075e041bb828693727.jpg 

Faustina I   Denarius (c. 138-141 A.D.) (Lifetime) Rome Mint FAVSTINA AVGVSTA; draped bust right. / IVNONI REGINAE; throne, draped, sceptre against it; below peacock with tail spread. RIC 339a; RSC 219.  (2.68 grams / 18 mm) eBay Apr. 2018 

1515229438_FaustinaI-Den.veiledthronepeacockJul2018(0).thumb.jpg.eeb5452d47b9757c6e487c80658b53dd.jpg

Faustina I  Denarius (c. 150-151 A.D. - Aet. types) Rome Mint DIVA FAVSTINA, veiled, draped bust right / AETERNITAS, draped throne against which rests scepter; in front a peacock standing right. RIC 353b; BMC 388.  (3.14 grams / 18 mm) eBay July 2018  

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8 minutes ago, Marsyas Mike said:

My first post on this forum just had to be Faustina Friday, although I don't have a left-facing Faustina of any description.  Nice ones, @Roman Collector as always.  

Here are a couple of thrones/pulvinars, one a lifetime type, one with a veiled portrait.  These attribution were from a few years back and could definitely be better - nowadays I use RC's write-ups to narrow down dates, descriptions, etc.:

1795934612_FaustinaI-Den.thronesceptreNov2018(0).thumb.jpg.204924d51a9902d2a30a718a31ba54bb.jpg

Faustina I   Denarius 5th Phase: Anniversary of Faustina’s Deification (c. 150-160 A.D.) DIVA FAVSTIN[A], draped bust right / AVGV[ST]A, throne, on which is a wreath, with a sceptre in front. RIC 377; RSC 131; BMC 454. (2.89 grams / 16 mm) eBay Nov. 2018             

1796499454_FaustinaI-Den.lifetimethronepeacockAp2018(0).thumb.jpg.c6cf3a034f89c4075e041bb828693727.jpg 

Faustina I   Denarius (c. 138-141 A.D.) (Lifetime) Rome Mint FAVSTINA AVGVSTA; draped bust right. / IVNONI REGINAE; throne, draped, sceptre against it; below peacock with tail spread. RIC 339a; RSC 219.  (2.68 grams / 18 mm) eBay Apr. 2018 

1515229438_FaustinaI-Den.veiledthronepeacockJul2018(0).thumb.jpg.eeb5452d47b9757c6e487c80658b53dd.jpg

Faustina I  Denarius (c. 150-151 A.D. - Aet. types) Rome Mint DIVA FAVSTINA, veiled, draped bust right / AETERNITAS, draped throne against which rests scepter; in front a peacock standing right. RIC 353b; BMC 388.  (3.14 grams / 18 mm) eBay July 2018  

Fantastic to see you here, @Marsyas Mike! Welcome to ACC! It's good to see another Faustina fanatic! Thanks for the kind words and for illustrating some of the wide-variety of Pulvinar types of Faustina I!

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3 hours ago, Marsyas Mike said:

My first post on this forum just had to be Faustina Friday, although I don't have a left-facing Faustina of any description.  Nice ones, @Roman Collector as always.  

Here are a couple of thrones/pulvinars, one a lifetime type, one with a veiled portrait.  These attribution were from a few years back and could definitely be better - nowadays I use RC's write-ups to narrow down dates, descriptions, etc.:

1795934612_FaustinaI-Den.thronesceptreNov2018(0).thumb.jpg.204924d51a9902d2a30a718a31ba54bb.jpg

Faustina I   Denarius 5th Phase: Anniversary of Faustina’s Deification (c. 150-160 A.D.) DIVA FAVSTIN[A], draped bust right / AVGV[ST]A, throne, on which is a wreath, with a sceptre in front. RIC 377; RSC 131; BMC 454. (2.89 grams / 16 mm) eBay Nov. 2018             

1796499454_FaustinaI-Den.lifetimethronepeacockAp2018(0).thumb.jpg.c6cf3a034f89c4075e041bb828693727.jpg 

Faustina I   Denarius (c. 138-141 A.D.) (Lifetime) Rome Mint FAVSTINA AVGVSTA; draped bust right. / IVNONI REGINAE; throne, draped, sceptre against it; below peacock with tail spread. RIC 339a; RSC 219.  (2.68 grams / 18 mm) eBay Apr. 2018 

1515229438_FaustinaI-Den.veiledthronepeacockJul2018(0).thumb.jpg.eeb5452d47b9757c6e487c80658b53dd.jpg

Faustina I  Denarius (c. 150-151 A.D. - Aet. types) Rome Mint DIVA FAVSTINA, veiled, draped bust right / AETERNITAS, draped throne against which rests scepter; in front a peacock standing right. RIC 353b; BMC 388.  (3.14 grams / 18 mm) eBay July 2018  

Welcome to the forums! Those are some nice Faustinas

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Hello!

Nice post about the rare Diva Faustina left facing portraits, thanks. Here below another specimen with a reverse variant, with peacock under the throne.

There are also a few specimens with veiled left portraits for Diva Faustina...

A+

faustina mere tete gauche.png

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