As Antoninus Pius - Janus
ANTONINUS PIUS. 138-161 AD. AE As. Struck circa 141-143 AD.
Obv. ANTONINVS AVG PIVS PP Laureate head right
Rev. TR POT COS III SC Janus standing facing, holding scepter.
RIC 693a; Cohen 882 (6 F).
This type looks forward the 900th anniversary of Rome. Other types struck at this occasion feature Roma aeterna, Anchises and Ascanius, Romulus, She-wolf and twins, Rhea Silvia.
Janus, god of the beginnings and endings, was frequently used to symbolize change and transitions such as the progression of future to past, of one condition to another, of one vision to another, the growing up of young people, and of one universe to another. He was also known as the figure representing time because he could see into the past with one face and into the future with the other. Hence, Janus was worshipped at the beginnings of the harvest and planting times, as well as marriages, births and other beginnings. He was representative of the middle ground between barbarity and civilization, rural country and urban cities, and youth and adulthood. His two faces(originally, one was always bearded, one clean-shaven; later both bearded) originally represented the sun and the moon, and he was usually shown with a key.
The two-faced image of Janus was often depicted on coins of the Roman Republic, but scarcely in imperial times. January is named after him.
Rare. Sharp strike and nice noble portrait of Antonine.
An interesting example with same obverse die and sacrificial implements reverse (from a Hess-Divo sale):
Ex. Moruzzi, 1 Feb. 2007