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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Types| ▸ |Facing Heads||View Options:  |  |  |   

Facing Heads on Ancient Coins
Parthian Empire, Phraates III, c. 70 - 57 B.C.

|Parthian| |Empire|, |Parthian| |Empire,| |Phraates| |III,| |c.| |70| |-| |57| |B.C.||drachm|
When Phraates III came to the throne, the Roman general Lucullus was preparing to attack Tigranes the Great, king of Armenia. Since Tigranes had wrested Mesopotamia and several vassal states from Parthia, Phraates declined to assist Tigranes and, in 65 B.C., Phraates III allied with Pompey against Tigranes. As a reward, Rome returned Mesopotamia to Parthia. Pompey soon disregarded the treaty, returned Tigranes to his throne, took the vassal states Gordyene and Osroene for Rome, and denied Phraates III the title of "king of kings." About 57 B.C., Phraates III was murdered by his two sons, Orodes II and Mithridates III.
GS96067. Silver drachm, Sunrise 326; BMC Parthia p. 56, 2 (unknown king); Sellwood 35 var. (Darius?); Shore -; Mitchiner ACW -, VF, nice portrait, toned, centered on a tight flan, scratches, marks, weight 3.397 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 0o, Ecbatana (Hamedan, Iran) mint, c. 62 B.C.; obverse diademed, draped, bearded bust facing, short beard, wearing necklace with central medallion; reverse archer (Arsakes I) seated right on throne, wearing bashlyk and cloak, bow in right hand, AΓ monogram below bow; squared six-line Greek inscription BAΣIΛEΩΣ / MEΓAΛOY above, APΣAKOY on right, ΘEOΠATOPOΣ / EYEPΓETOY below, EΠIΦANOYΣ / ΦIΛEΛΛHNOΣ on left; from the Robert| L3 Collection; Stack's Bowers Baltimore Auction 159 (2 Apr 2011), lot 10036; rare; $1350.00 SALE |PRICE| $1090.00


Anastasius, 11 April 491 - 1 July 518 A.D.

|Anastasius| |I|, |Anastasius,| |11| |April| |491| |-| |1| |July| |518| |A.D.||solidus|NEW
Anastasius converted the government to monetary payments, mandating that taxes be paid with cash rather than with goods, and also paying for goods and services with cash. This practice decreased the potential for embezzlement and the need for transportation and storage of supplies. It also allowed for easier accounting. He eliminated the practice of providing soldiers with their arms and uniforms; instead he allotted each soldier a generous sum of money with which to purchase their own. These changes to imperial policy seem to have worked well; taxpayers often paid smaller tax bills than they had before, while government revenue increased. The increase in revenue allowed the emperor to pay soldiers a higher wage, which attracted native Roman soldiers to the military, as opposed to the barbarian and Isaurian mercenaries which some previous emperors had been forced to rely on.
SL96957. Gold solidus, DOC I 7j, Tolstoi 9, Ratto 321, Morrisson BnF 1/Cp/AV/14, Hahn MIBE 7, Sommer 1.4, SBCV 5, Wroth BMC -, XF, pierced, bent and straightened (4284830-017), 10th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, c. 507 - 518 A.D.; obverse D N ANASTA-SIVS P P AVC, helmeted and cuirassed bust facing slightly right, helmet with plume, trefoil ornament and diadem, pellets on cuirass, spear in right hand and behind head, shield on left arm ornamented with mounted cavalryman right attacking prostrate enemy; reverse VICTORI-A AVCCC I (victory of the three emperors, 10th officina), Victoria standing half left, head left, long staff topped with an inverted staurogram (P) in right hand, star left, CONOB in exergue; NGC| Lookup; $900.00 SALE |PRICE| $810.00


Byzantine Empire, Justin I, 10 July 518 - 1 August 527 A.D.

|Anastasius| |I|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Justin| |I,| |10| |July| |518| |-| |1| |August| |527| |A.D.||solidus|NEW
They look similar, but there is a significant physical difference between angels and Victory. Angels are all male. Victory (Nike) is female. On Byzantine coinage, the male angel replaced the female Victory after the reunion with Rome was concluded on 28 March 519 A.D.
SL96958. Gold solidus, DOC I 1f, Hahn MIB 2, Sommer 2.1, SBCV 55, Morrisson BnF -, Wroth BMC -, Tolstoi -, Ratto -, Ch XF, wrinkled, clipped (4284830-018), 8th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 518 - 519 A.D.; obverse D N IVSTI-NVS P P AVI, helmeted and cuirassed bust facing, helmet with plume, diadem and trefoil ornament, spear in right hand over shoulder and behind head, shield on left arm ornamented with mounted cavalryman right attacking prostrate enemy; reverse VICTORI-A AVCCC H (victory of the three emperors, 8th officina), Victoria standing half left, head left, long staff topped with an inverted staurogram (P) in right hand, star left, CONOB in exergue; NGC| Lookup; $900.00 SALE |PRICE| $810.00


Byzantine Empire, Justin I, 10 July 518 - 1 August 527 A.D.

|Justin| |I|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Justin| |I,| |10| |July| |518| |-| |1| |August| |527| |A.D.||solidus|NEW
They look similar, but there is a significant physical difference between angels and Victory. Angels are all male. Victory (Nike) is female. On Byzantine coinage, the male angel replaced the female Victory after the reunion with Rome was concluded on 28 March 519 A.D.
SL96959. Gold solidus, DOC I 1b (not in the collection, refs. Ratto), Ratto 382, Hahn MIB 2, Sommer 2.1, SBCV 55, Morrisson BnF -, Wroth BMC -, Tolstoi -, Ch XF, wrinkled, clipped, marks (4284830-012), 3rd officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 518 - 519 A.D.; obverse D N IVSTI-NVS P P AVI, helmeted and cuirassed bust facing, helmet with plume, diadem and trefoil ornament, pellets on cuirass, spear in right hand over shoulder and behind head, shield on left arm ornamented with mounted cavalryman right attacking prostrate enemy; reverse VICTORI-A AVCCC Γ (victory of the three emperors, 3rd officina), Victoria standing half left, head left, long staff topped with an inverted staurogram (P) in right hand, star left, CONOB in exergue; NGC| Lookup; $900.00 SALE |PRICE| $810.00


Byzantine Empire, Justinian I, 4 April 527 - 14 November 565 A.D.

|Justinian| |I|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Justinian| |I,| |4| |April| |527| |-| |14| |November| |565| |A.D.||solidus|NEW
They look similar, but there is a significant physical difference between angels and Victory. Angels are all male. Victory (Nike) is female. On Byzantine coinage, the male angel replaced the female Victory after the reunion with Rome was concluded on 28 March 519 A.D.
SL96960. Gold solidus, DOC I 3f, Sommer 4.1, Hahn MIB I 5, SBCV 137, Morrisson BnF I -, Wroth BMC -, Ratto -, Tolstoi -, NGC XF, wrinkled, clipped, graffito (4284830-006), 6th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 527 - 538 A.D.; obverse D N IVSTINIANVS P P AVG, helmeted and cuirassed bust facing, helmet with plume, diadem and trefoil ornament, spear in right hand over shoulder and behind head, shield on left arm ornamented with mounted cavalryman right attacking prostrate enemy; reverse VICTORIA AVGGG ς (victory of the three emperors, 6th officina), angel standing facing, wearing chiton and peplos, long cross in right hand, globus cruciger in left hand, star right, CONOB in exergue; NGC| Lookup; $900.00 SALE |PRICE| $810.00


Byzantine Empire, Justin I, 10 July 518 - 1 August 527 A.D.

|Justin| |I|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Justin| |I,| |10| |July| |518| |-| |1| |August| |527| |A.D.||solidus|NEW
They look similar, but there is a significant physical difference between angels and Victory. Angels are all male. Victory (Nike) is female. On Byzantine coinage, the male angel replaced the female Victory after the reunion with Rome was concluded on 28 March 519 A.D.
SH96961. Gold solidus, DOC I 1g (not in the collection, refs. Tolstoi), Tolstoi 15, Hahn MIB 2, Sommer 2.1, SBCV 55, Morrisson BnF -, Ratto -, NGC XF, wrinkled, clipped, graffiti (4284830-016), 9th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 518 - 519 A.D.; obverse D N IVSTI-NVS P P AVI, helmeted and cuirassed bust facing, helmet with plume and diadem, spear in right hand over shoulder and behind head, shield on left arm ornamented with mounted cavalryman right attacking prostrate enemy; reverse VICTORI-A AVCCC Θ (victory of the three emperors, 9th officina), Victoria standing half left, head left, long staff topped with an inverted staurogram (P) in right hand, star left, CONOB in exergue; NGC| Lookup; $900.00 SALE |PRICE| $810.00


Byzantine Empire, Isaac Comnenus, Usurper in Cyprus, 1184 - 1191 A.D.

|Isaac| |Comnenus| |of| |Cyprus|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Isaac| |Comnenus,| |Usurper| |in| |Cyprus,| |1184| |-| |1191| |A.D.||tetarteron|
Isaac Comnenus maintained independent rule in Cyprus for 7 years. He was defeated by Richard the Lionheart of England during the third crusade. Isaac was imprisoned and Cyprus was never recovered by the empire.
BZ95148. Bronze tetarteron, DOC IV-1 7; CLBC 6.3.3 (R4); Hendy pl., 19, 14; Morrisson BnF 63/Ch(B)02; Wroth BMC p. 596, note 1; SBCV 1994; Ratto -, aVF, rough green patina, light scratches, off center, weight 2.836 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 180o, Nicosia(?) mint, 1184 - 1191 A.D.; obverse bust of Christ facing, bearded, wearing nimbus cruciger, pallium, and colobium, raising right hand in benediction, Gospels in left hand; reverse ICAAKIOC ∆EC or similar, Comnenus bust facing, wearing crown, divitision and sagion, cruciform scepter in left hand, akakia in right hand; from the S. Lindner Collection; very rare; $400.00 SALE |PRICE| $360.00


Selge, Pisidia, c. 350 - 300 B.C.

|Pisidia|, |Selge,| |Pisidia,| |c.| |350| |-| |300| |B.C.||trihemiobol|
Selge, Pisidia on the southern slope of Mount Taurus where the river Eurymedon (Kprcay) forces its way through the mountains, was once the most powerful and populous city of Pisidia. Protected by precipices, torrents, and an army of 20,000 regarded as worthy kinsmen of the Spartans, Selge was never subject to a foreign power until Rome. In the 5th century A.D., Zosimus calls it a little town, but it was still strong enough to repel a body of Goths. The remains of the city consist mainly of parts of the encircling wall and of the acropolis. A few traces have survived of the gymnasium, the stoa, the stadium and the basilica. There are also the outlines of two temples, but the best-conserved monument is the theater, restored in the 3rd century A.D.
GS95236. Silver trihemiobol, BMC Lycia p. 257, 4; SNG BnF 1928 var.; SNGvA 5281 var., Klein 631 var., SNG Tb 4466 var., SNG Cop -, SNG PfPs - (all var. astragalos behind), EF, well centered, some die wear, light marks, weight 0.874 g, maximum diameter 10.7 mm, die axis 180o, Selge (southern slope of Mount Taurus, Turkey) mint, c. 350 - 300 B.C.; obverse facing head of Medusa (gorgoneion), tongue protruding; reverse head of Athena right in crested Attic helmet, astragalos before on left; ex Forum (2018), extremely rare, an apparently unpublished variety and the only specimen known to Forum; $380.00 SALE |PRICE| $342.00


Byzantine Anonymous Follis of Christ, Class A3, Basil II & Constantine VIII, c. 1023 - 11 November 1028 A.D.

|Anonymous| |Folles|, |Byzantine| |Anonymous| |Follis| |of| |Christ,| |Class| |A3,| |Basil| |II| |&| |Constantine| |VIII,| |c.| |1023| |-| |11| |November| |1028| |A.D.||anonymous| |follis|
The emperor's name and portrait are not part of the design on the Byzantine types referred to as anonymous folles. Instead of the earthly king, these coins depict Jesus Christ, King of Kings.
SH82749. Bronze anonymous follis, Anonymous follis of Christ, DOC III-2, class A3; SBCV 1818; Grierson-NumisWiki ornaments 39, EF, sharp portrait, slightly uneven strike with small areas weak, slightly off center on a broad flan, tiny encrustations, closed edge crack, weight 9.691 g, maximum diameter 28.7 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, c. 1023 - 11 Nov 1028 A.D.; obverse + EMMANOVHΛ (Latinized Hebrew: Emmanuel - "God with us"), facing bust of Christ, wearing nimbus cruciger, pallium, and colobium, Gospels in both hands, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Ihsos Xrists - Jesus Christ) across field; reverse + IhSuS / XRISTuS / bASILEu / bASILE (Greek: Jesus Christ King of Kings), ornamentation above and below inscription; $320.00 SALE |PRICE| $288.00


Imitative Byzantine Anonymous Follis of Christ, c. 970 - 980 A.D.

|Anonymous| |Folles|, |Imitative| |Byzantine| |Anonymous| |Follis| |of| |Christ,| |c.| |970| |-| |980| |A.D.||anonymous| |follis|
Of this type of imitative, Lampinen writes, "The second phase of Balkan coinage production goes into high gear with the introduction of the anonymous follis series during the reign of John I (969 - 976). The explicit Christian imagery must have struck a chord with the recently converted Balkan masses because the official mint issues were accompanied by a fair quantity of copies, to meet the excess demand. These Christian issues would also be the prototypes for the initial coinage of several medieval Christian states, such as the first Crusader issues of Edessa and Antioch, medieval Armenia and distant Georgia in the Caucasus."
BZ89911. Bronze anonymous follis, See Lampinen Imitative p. 154 for a similar imitative; for the likely prototype cf. official Byzantine anonymous class A1 folles; SBCV 1793, VF, green patina, double struck, porous, crude and blundered, weight 6.880 g, maximum diameter 26.3 mm, unofficial (Balkan?) mint, c. 970 - 980 A.D.; obverse facing bust of Christ, wears nimbus cruciger ornamented with two pellets in each limb of cross, pallium, and colobium, Gospels in both hands, blundered imitation of the abbreviation: IC - XC (Greek: Ihsos Xrists - Jesus Christ) across field; reverse blundered inscription imitating: + IhSuS / XRISTuS / bASILEu / bASILE (Greek: Jesus Christ King of Kings); rare this crude; $220.00 SALE |PRICE| $198.00




  



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