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Research Coins: Printed Auction

Triton XXII, Lot: 1071. Estimate $50000.
Sold for $38500. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Matidia. Augusta, AD 112-119. AV Aureus (19mm, 7.20 g, 6h). Rome mint. Struck under Trajan, AD 112-117. MATIDIA AVG DIVAE MARCIANAE · F ·, draped bust right, wearing double stephane, necklace and elaborate coiffure / PIETAS AVGVST ·, Pietas standing left, placing hands on heads of two children, Sabina and Matidia, who stand on either side, raising hands to her. RIC II 759 (Trajan); Woytek 728.1; Strack 200; Calicó 1157; Biaggi 559; BMCRE 660; BN 910. EF. A superb portrait of exceptional style struck in high relief. Very rare as such.

Ex CG Collection (Numismatica Ars Classica 80, 20 October 2014), lot 92; Friend of the Romans Collection (Münzen und Medaillen AG 92, 22 November 2002), lot 76; Numismatica Ars Classica 9 (16 April 1996), lot 863.

Matidia, the niece of Trajan, proved to be the lynchpin that held together the imperial succession for the next three generations. Matidia was married three times in succession to important Roman Senators, all of whom predeceased her. Vibia Sabina, her daughter by her first husband, was married to the future emperor Hadrian. By her third husband, she bore Rupilia Faustina, who went on to become mother to Faustina the Elder, future wife of Antoninus Pius; she was also the grandmother of Marcus Aurelius and also his wife Faustina the Younger, and thus great-grandmother (on both sides) to Commodus. This aureus was struck to mark Matidia’s elevation to Augusta, which she attained after her mother’s death. Matidia died herself in AD 119; her son-in-law Hadrian delivered the funeral oration and arranged for her deification.