Diva Faustina I Æ Sestertius. Cart Drawn by Elephants. Scarce. Excellent provenance.

Ancient Coins - Diva Faustina I Æ Sestertius. Cart Drawn by Elephants. Scarce. Excellent provenance.
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Diva Faustina I Æ Sestertius. Struck under Antoninus Pius in Rome, AD 141. DIVA AVGVSTA FAVSTINA, veiled and draped bust right / Faustina, holding sceptre, seated left in cart drawn left by two elephants with mahout riders; EX S C in exergue. RIC 1113. 22.33g, 32mm, 12h.


Good Fine.


From the estate of Sol Goldman, Tel Aviv;

Export permit approved by the Israel Antiquities Authority, #534272.

Previously purchased at auction in Paris, 1954 and Sotheby’s, 1977.



Annia Galeria Faustina was born into an aristocratic Roman senatorial family of Spanish descent. Her father and one brother achieved the rank of Consul; her other brother, Marcus Annius Verus, became Praetor and was father to the future Emperor Marcus Aurelius. Her maternal uncle was the Emperor Hadrian. In about AD 115, she married Titus Fulvius Antoninus, a respected Senator, and through her connections he became a close advisor to Hadrian. When Hadrian's intended successor, Aelius Caesar, died early in AD 138, the ailing emperor settled on the 52-year-old Antoninus as his replacement. Antoninus succeeded to the throne later that year and Faustina was acclaimed as Augusta, or Empress.


Antoninus honored her extensively on his coinage. The coins accurately reflected the Empress’ popularity. Her vivacity, fashion sense and compassion for the poor made her a favorite of the people. Those in higher circles imitated her style. One example was her distinctive hairstyle, with a tight coil atop her head. It became very popular among women throughout the Empire.


While the staid Roman historians of later eras criticized her lack of "gravitas," Antoninus was devoted to her. The couple had four children, two sons and two daughters; both male children died in infancy, but the daughters lived to adulthood and one, Faustina the Younger, married Marcus Aurelius and became Augusta herself.


There was a lot of uncertainty in the lives of Romans at that time. A medical affliction which would be minor today, could have been deadly then. Such was the case with Faustina. Only two years into Antoninus' reign, Faustina died of an unknown illness. The grief-stricken Antoninus secured her deification and issued an immense coinage in her name, the largest for any Roman woman to that point.

Ancient Coins - Diva Faustina I Æ Sestertius. Cart Drawn by Elephants. Scarce. Excellent provenance.
Ancient Coins - Diva Faustina I Æ Sestertius. Cart Drawn by Elephants. Scarce. Excellent provenance.
Ancient Coins - Diva Faustina I Æ Sestertius. Cart Drawn by Elephants. Scarce. Excellent provenance.
Ancient Coins - Diva Faustina I Æ Sestertius. Cart Drawn by Elephants. Scarce. Excellent provenance.
Price SKU: 17000000075
US$ 399.00
  • € 339.86
  • £ 309.91
  • AUD 504.02
  • CHF 383.60
  • CAD 505.00

Rates for: 08/18/17

Ships from: United States