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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Byzantine Coins| ▸ |Byzantine Rarities||View Options:  |  |  |   

Rare Byzantine Coins
Byzantine Empire, Justinian II, 10 July 685 - Late 695 and Summer 705 - 4 November 711 A.D.

|Justinian| |II|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Justinian| |II,| |10| |July| |685| |-| |Late| |695| |and| |Summer| |705| |-| |4| |November| |711| |A.D.|, |solidus|
The portrait on this coin was based on an icon believed by the people of the time to bear a miraculous resemblance to Christ’s actual appearance.
SH21619. Gold solidus, DOC II part 2, 2b, Wroth BMC 1, Morrisson BnF 15/Cp/AV/12, Tolstoi 1, Ratto 1705, Hahn MIB 2b, Sommer 17.3, SBCV 1415, EF, weight 4.239 g, maximum diameter 19.2 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 705 - 711 A.D.; obverse O N IhS ChS REX REGNANTIYM, bust of Christ facing, curly hair, short beard, wearing pallium and colobium, Gospels in left, cross behind head; reverse IYSTINIANYS ET TIbERIYS PP A, Justinian (on left) and Tiberius, half-length facing, each wears crown, divitision and chlamys, holding cross potent on three steps in center; very rare; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Justinian II, 10 July 685 - Late 695 and Summer 705 - 4 November 711 A.D.

|Justinian| |II|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Justinian| |II,| |10| |July| |685| |-| |Late| |695| |and| |Summer| |705| |-| |4| |November| |711| |A.D.|, |tremissis|
The portrait on this coin was based on an icon believed by the people of the time to bear a miraculous resemblance to Christ's actual appearance.
SH70977. Gold tremissis, DOC II part 2, 6b; Wroth BMC 4; Morrisson BnF 15/Cp/AV/16; Tolstoi 7; Ratto 1708; Hahn MIB 6b; Sommer 17.5; SBCV 1421, EF, tight flan, weight 1.306 g, maximum diameter 15.5 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 2nd reign, with Tiberius, 705 - 711 A.D.; obverse D N IhS ChS REX REGNANTIYM (or similar), bust of Christ facing, short curly hair, short beard, wearing pallium and colobium, Gospels in left, cross behind head; reverse IYSTINIAN ET TIbERIY PP A (or similar), Justinian on left and Tiberius on right, half-length facing, each wearing crown, divitision and chlamys, holding cross potent in center; ex Harlan Berk; rare; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Romanus II (Sole Reign?), 959 - 963 A.D.

|Romanus| |II|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Romanus| |II| |(Sole| |Reign?),| |959| |-| |963| |A.D.|, |solidus|
This type with the obliterated reverse legend has been attributed as an emergency issue struck at the beginning of Romanus' sole reign. David Sear notes, "Perhaps the Byzantine mint had received no clear instructions from the new regime and simply resorted to this stopgap expedient pending further directives from the palace.
SH36154. Gold solidus, Füeg SNR 76, pl. IV, B4; cf. DOC III Constantine VII 15.22, EF, weight 4.542 g, maximum diameter 21.1 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, obverse  IhS XPS REX REGNANTIVM, bust of Christ facing with nimbus cruciger, tunic and himation, right raised in blessing, gospels in left; reverse CONSTANT CE ROMAN AUGG b R (partially obliterated), crowned facing busts of Constantine VII (left) in loros and Romanus in chlamys, holding long patriarchal cross between them; nice portrait of Christ; very rare; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Romanus II (Sole Reign?), 959 - 963 A.D.

|Romanus| |II|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Romanus| |II| |(Sole| |Reign?),| |959| |-| |963| |A.D.|, |solidus|
This type with the obliterated reverse legend has been attributed as an emergency issue struck at the beginning of Romanus' sole reign. David Sear notes, "Perhaps the Byzantine mint had received no clear instructions from the new regime and simply resorted to this stopgap expedient pending further directives from the palace.
SH33684. Gold solidus, Füeg SNR 76, pl. IV, B4; cf. DOC III Constantine VII 15.22, EF, weight 4.379 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, obverse +IhS XPS REX REGNANTIVM', bust of Christ facing with nimbus cruciger, tunic and himation, right raised in blessing, gospels in left; reverse CONSTANT CE ROMAN AUGG b R (partially obliterated), crowned facing busts of Constantine VII (left) in loros and Romanus in chlamys, holding long patriarchal cross between them; superb portrait of Christ; very rare; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Constantine VIII, 15 December 1025 - 11 November 1028 A.D.

|Constantine| |VIII|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Constantine| |VIII,| |15| |December| |1025| |-| |11| |November| |1028| |A.D.|, |histamenon| |nomisma|
SH52922. Gold histamenon nomisma, SBCV 1815; DOC III part 2, 1-2, EF, weight 4.406 g, maximum diameter 25.0 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, obverse + IhS XIS REX REGNANTIhM, bust of Christ facing wearing nimbus cruciger with crescents in upper quarters, pallium and colobium, raising right hand in benediction, Gospels in left hand, triple border; reverse +CWNSTANTIN bASILEhS ROM, bust facing, with long beard, wearing crown and loros, and holding labarum and akakia, triple border; fantastic Christ portrait; scarce; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Constantine VII and Romanus II, 6 April 945 - 9 November 959 A.D.

|Constantine| |VII|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Constantine| |VII| |and| |Romanus| |II,| |6| |April| |945| |-| |9| |November| |959| |A.D.|, |solidus|
A very popular type depicting Christ wearing a pallium, a very rich, rectangular hem length, jeweled court garment and a colobium, a sleeveless outer tunic. This coin has no pellets or lines in the limbs of the cross within the nimbus. We did not find a single undecorated cross in our references or online.
SH58611. Gold solidus, apparently an unpublished variety; DOC III part 2, 15 var. (pellets in nimbus arms); SBCV 1751 var. (same), Morrisson BnF 15 ff. var. (same), Choice VF, weight 4.405 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, obverse +Ihs XPS REX REGNANTIUM, bust of Christ facing wearing nimbus cruciger, pallium, and colobium, raising right in benediction, Gospels in left; no pellets or lines in limbs of cross; reverse COnSTAnT' CE ROMAN' AVGG BR, crowned facing busts of Constantine VII, in a loros on left, and his son Romanus II, in a chlamys, they hold a long patriarchal cross; ex Forum (2008), attractive bust of Christ, nicely centered; rare; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Leontius, 695 - 698 A.D.

|Leontius|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Leontius,| |695| |-| |698| |A.D.|, |solidus|
Leontius' success as a general forced the Arab Caliph Abd al-Malik to make concessions and pay tribute to Emperor Justinian II; but when war was renewed, Leontius was defeated. Furious over the loss, Justinian imprisoned him for two years. When he was freed, Leontius and his former prison comrades organized a revolt, and he took the throne. Justinian was deposed, his nose and tongue were slit and he was exiled to a monastery. After the Arabs took Carthage, the fleet Leontius sent to retake the city failed. Rather than report defeat to the emperor, the army overthrew their admiral and named Apsimar, a Germanic sailor, as their leader. Apsimar changed his name to Tiberius, returned to Constantinople, seized the thrown, cut off Leontius' nose and ears and exiled him to a monastery. In 705, Justinian II returned to Constantinople with an army of Bulgars and Slavs. Both Leontius and Tiberius were dragged through the streets in chains and beheaded.
SH89538. Gold solidus, DOC II part 2, 1b, Morrisson BnF 16/Cp/AV/02, SBCV 1330, Hahn MIB III 1, Sommer 15.1, Wroth BMC -, Tolstoi -, Ratto -, EF, mint luster, flow lines, uneven strike with part of obverse legend and mintmark weak, obverse off center, die wear, tight flan, weight 4.319 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople mint, 695 - 698 A.D.; obverse D LEO-N PE AV, bearded facing bust, wearing loros and crown with cross, globus cruciger in right hand; reverse VICTORIA AVSY S, cross potent set on three step, CONOB in exergue; from the Robert Watcher Collection; rare; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Basil II Bulgaroktonos and Constantine VIII, 10 January 976 - 15 December 1025 A.D.

|Basil| |II|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Basil| |II| |Bulgaroktonos| |and| |Constantine| |VIII,| |10| |January| |976| |-| |15| |December| |1025| |A.D.|, |tetarteron| |nomisma|
References list many variations in details, but the lozenge shaped ornaments at the intersections of the cross are not described in any of the many references checked by Forum. The obverse die is match to DOC III part 2, 2c, a histamenon nomisma, weighing 4.35 grams. Our coin weighs 4.056 grams, the proper weight for a tetarteron nomisma. It is possible that the two denominations shared a die; however, in DOC III, Grierson comments that some histamena appear to have been intentionally clipped down to circulate as tetartera. That comment appears to apply to this coin.
SH73343. Gold tetarteron nomisma, Unpublished variant; cf. DOC III part 2, 2c (histamenon, same obv die, plain patriarchal cross on rev); SBCV 1796 (histamenon) & 1802 (tetarteron), VF, a histamenon nomisma clipped to circulate as a tetarteron nomisma, double strike, weight 4.056 g, maximum diameter 20.9 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 977 - 989 A.D.; obverse + IhS XIS REX REGNANTIhM, bust of Christ facing, wearing nimbus cruciger with pellet in upper arm of nimbus cross and bars in side arms, pallium and colobium, raising right hand in benediction, Gospels in left; reverse + bASIL C COhSTAhTI b R, facing busts of Basil (on left) wearing lozenge pattern loros, and Constantine wearing a plain chlamys, both wear crowns with a cross and pendilia, together in their right hands they hold between them a long patriarchal cross with lozenge ornaments at intersections and triangle shaped arms; ex Change et Numismatique du Port (Toulon, France); very rare variant (lozenges on cross); SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Constantine VIII, 15 December 1025 - 11 November 1028 A.D.

|Constantine| |VIII|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Constantine| |VIII,| |15| |December| |1025| |-| |11| |November| |1028| |A.D.|, |histamenon| |nomisma|
Certificate of Authenticity issued by David R. Sear.
SH18994. Gold histamenon nomisma, SBCV 1815; DOC III part 2, 2, gVF, weight 4.380 g, maximum diameter 25.0 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, obverse IhS XPS REX REGNANTINM, Christ Pantocrator with gospels; reverse CWNSTANTIN BASILEWS ROM, bust facing, wearing crown and loros, labarum in right, akakia in left; from the Woolslayer Collection; very scarce; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Justin II, 15 November 565 - 5 October 578 A.D.

|Justin| |II|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Justin| |II,| |15| |November| |565| |-| |5| |October| |578| |A.D.|, |light| |solidus|
Certificate of Authenticity issued by David R. Sear.

Light weight solidi differ from normal 24 siliquae types by weight, distinctive marks, reverse details and sometime obverse details. They may have been used to pay tribute to foreign powers or to facilitate trade with neighboring cultures who used different weight systems. The letters ΘS at the end of the reverse legend are the source of attribution for this type to the Syrian city Theoupolis (formerly Antioch). However, this attribution has not received universal acceptance.
SH06187. Gold light solidus, DOC I 138, SBCV 376, Berk 66, Hahn MIB II 8, Tolstoi 17, Ratto 760, gVF, weight 4.02 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 180o, Theoupolis (Antioch) mint, 565 - 578 A.D.; obverse D N IVSTINVS P P AVG, helmeted and cuirassed bust of Justin II facing, holding globe surmounted by Victory in right, shield with horseman device on left shoulder; reverse VICTORIA AVGGG ΘS (victory of the three emperors, Theoupolis), Constantinopolis enthroned facing, looking right, resting on spear held in right hand and holding globus on extended left hand, OB * + * in exergue; from the Woolslayer Collection; very rare; SOLD




  




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REFERENCES|

Adelson, H. Light Weight Solidi and Byzantine Trade during the Sixth and Seventh Centuries. ANSNNM 138. (New York, 1957).
Anastasi, M. Monete Bizantine di Sicilia. (NP, 2009).
Bellinger, A. & P. Grierson, eds. Catalogue of the Byzantine Coins in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection and in the Whittemore Collection. (Washington D.C., 1966 - 1999).
Bendall, S. A Private Collection of Palaeologan Coinage. (Wolverhampton, Privately printed by S. Bendall, 1988).
Bendall, S. & P. Donald. The Billon Trachea of Michael VIII Palaeologos, 1258-1282. (London, 1974).
Bendall, S. & P. Donald. Later Palaeologan Coinage, 1282-1453. (London, 1979).
Berk, H. Eastern Roman Successors of the Sestertius. (Chicago, 1987).
Berk, H. Roman Gold Coins of the Medieval World, 383 - 1453 A.D. (Joliet, IL, 1986).
Berk, H. & V. England. Byzantine Coins, Public Auction, December 7, 1989, New York.
Calciati, R. Monete Bizantine di Bronzo della Sicilia. (Cairo, 2000).
Foss, C. Arab-Byzantine Coins: An Introduction, with a Catalogue of the Dumbarton Oaks Collection. (Harvard, 2008).
Füeg, F. Corpus of the Nomismata from Anastasius II to John I in Constantinople, 713 - 976. (2007).
Goodwin, T. Arab-Byzantine Coinage. Studies in the Khalili Collection. (London, 2005).
Grierson, P. & M. Blackburn. Medieval European Coinage, Volume 1: The Early Middle Ages (5th - 10th Centuries). (Cambridge, 2007).
Hahn, W. Moneta Imperii Byzantini. (Vienna, 1973-81).
Hahn, W. & M. Metlich. Money of the Incipient Byzantine Empire. (Vienna, 2000).
Hahn, W. & M. Metlich. Money of the Incipient Byzantine Empire Continued (Justin II - Revolt of the Heraclii, 565 - 610). (Vienna, 2009).
Lacam, G. La fin de L'Empire Romain et le monnayage or en Italie. (Lucern, 1983).
Marchev, V. & R. Wachter. Catalogue of the Late Byzantine coins, Vol. I, 1082 - 1261 AD. (Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria, 2011).
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Morrisson, C. Catalogue des Monnaies Byzantines de la Bibliothèque Nationale. (Paris, 1970).
Ranieri, E. La monetazione di Ravenna antica dal V all' VIII secolo: impero romano e bizantino, regno ostrogoto e langobardo. (Bologna, 2006).
Ratto, R. Monnaies Byzantines et d'autre Pays contemporaines à l'époque byzantine. (Lugano, 1930).
Retowski, O. Die Münzen der Komnenen von Trapezunt. (Coins of the Comnenus Family of Trebizond.) (Braunschweig, 1974).
Sear, D. Byzantine Coins and Their Values. (London, 1987).
Sommer, A. Die Münzen des Byzantinischen Reiches 491-1453. Mit einem Anhang: Die Münzen des Kaiserreichs von Trapezunt. (Regenstauf, 2010).
Sotheby's. The William Herbert Hunt collection. Highly important Byzantine coins, I & II, New York, 1990-1991.
Spahr, R. Le Monete Siciliane, dai Bizantini a Carlo I d' Angio (582 - 1282). (Graz, 1976).
Spahr, R. Le Monete Siciliane dagli Aragonesi ai Borboni (1282 - 1836). (Basel/Graz, 1982).
Tolstoi, I. Monnaies byzantines. (St. Petersburg, 1913 - 1914).
Tomasini, W. The Barbaric Tremissis in Spain and Southern France - Anastasius to Leovigild. ANSNNM 152 (New York, 1964).
Wroth, W. Catalogue of the Imperial Byzantine Coins in the British Museum. (London, 1908).
Yannopoulos, P. L' hexagramme: un monnayage byzantin en argent du VIIe siècle. (Louvain-la-Neuve, 1978).


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