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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Byzantine Coins| ▸ |Unofficial & Imitative||View Options:  |  |  | 

Unofficial and Imitative Byzantine Coins

Unofficial and imitative Byzantine coins include counterfeits as well as imitative types struck by the Vandals, Goths, Lombards, Sassanian Persians, Crusaders, Arabs, Bulgarians and other ancient and medieval cultures.

Duchy of Durazzo (Republic of Venice), 1205 - 1213, Imitative of Byzantine, Alexius I Tetarteron, 1093 - 1118

|Greece|, |Duchy| |of| |Durazzo| |(Republic| |of| |Venice),| |1205| |-| |1213,| |Imitative| |of| |Byzantine,| |Alexius| |I| |Tetarteron,| |1093| |-| |1118||tetarteron|NEW
The Duchy of Durazzo was a short-lived overseas colony of the Republic of Venice, encompassing the port city of Durazzo (modern Durrs in Albania) and its environs. It was established in 1205, following the dissolution of the Byzantine Empire in the aftermath of the Fourth Crusade, and lasted until it was reclaimed by the Byzantine Despotate of Epirus in 1213.

The Durrs Hoard discovered in 1967, near the apse of the chapel of the amphitheater of Dyrrachion, included 862 ornamented cross-type copper coins imitative of tetartera of the Byzantine Emperor Alexius I Comnenus. Similar types to our imitative coin. Pagona Papadopoulou studied the hoard and concluded the coins were hidden in the chapel when the forces of Michael I Comnenus Ducas, the Despot of Epirus (1204-1215) attacked and put an end to the Venetian Duchy in 1214. She also studied many other finds of the type and concluded the coins were struck by the Venetians beginning shortly before or after 1204 A.D., probably at Corinth.
Durazzo
BZ99037. Bronze tetarteron, cf. Papadopoulou type IIa, Sommer 59.26.2; Hendy pl. 8, 11; for the prototype see DOC IV-1 40 (Byzantine, Alexius I, Thessalonica, 1093 - 1118 A.D.), aEF, green patina, crude, porous, weight 1.130 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 0o, Corinth (Greece) or Durazzo (Durrs, Albania) mint, 1203 - 1213 A.D.; obverse crude Maltese cross fourche with arms of equal length, no base, no X at center, globus and two pellets at the end of each arm, Φ - C / X - [?] in the angles; reverse no legend, barbarous half-length bust facing, bearded, wearing crown with pendilia and jeweled chlamys, cruciform scepter in right hand, globus cruciger with four-pellet cross in left hand, pellets left and right; from a Las Vegas dealer; rare; $160.00 SALE PRICE $144.00


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|NEW
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; $120.00 SALE PRICE $108.00


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."
BZ98863. 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, uneven strike with weak areas, rev. double struck, porous, a few small pits, weight 6.090 g, maximum diameter 24.8 mm, die axis 180o, 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 retrograde imitation of the abbreviation IC - XC (Ihsos Xrists - Jesus Christ) across field; reverse blundered retrograde inscription imitating: + IhSuS / XRISTuS / bASILEu / bASILE; rare this crude; $80.00 SALE PRICE $72.00


Islamic, Umayyad Caliphate, Caliph 'Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan, 685 - 705 A.D., Arab Pseudo-Byzantine

|Islamic|, |Islamic,| |Umayyad| |Caliphate,| |Caliph| |'Abd| |al-Malik| |ibn| |Marwan,| |685| |-| |705| |A.D.,| |Arab| |Pseudo-Byzantine||fals|NEW
The first Islamic coins were imitations of Byzantine and Sasanian types. Abd al-Malik removed the transverse bar of the cross and introduced the Muslim profession of faith: "There is no god but God alone; Muhammad is the Messenger of God." The Byzantine emperor Justinian II expressed his disapproval and then put the image of Jesus on the obverse of his coins. This standing caliph obverse type was likely struck in a tit for tat response to Justinian's change.
IS99552. Bronze fals, SICA I 634 (same rev. die), Khalili IV 46, Album 3529, DOCAB 119, Walker BMC 107, aVF, dark patina, light green deposits, weight 3.998 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, Halab (Aleppo, Syria) tribal mint, c. 693 - 699; obverse Arabic inscription: for the servant of God, Abd al-Malik, commander of the believers, Caliph standing facing, wearing long robes, left hand on pommel of sword hanging in its scabbard to his left; reverse Arabic inscription: there is no deity but God, He is alone, Muhammad is the messenger of God, tall thin transformed cross; Arabic: bi-halab (struck in Halab) upwards left, Arabic: wf (full-value) downwards right; from the Michael Arslan Collection; $70.00 (66.50)







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REFERENCES

Album, S.A. Checklist of Islamic Coins. (Santa Rosa, CA, 1998).
Album, S. & T. Goodwin. Sylloge of Islamic Coins in the Ashmolean Museum, Volume 1, The Pre-Reform Coinage of the Early Islamic Period. (Oxford, 2002).
Bellinger, A.R. & P. Grierson, eds. Catalogue of the Byzantine Coins in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection and in the Whittemore Collection. (Washington D.C., 1966 - 1999).
Foss, C. Arab-Byzantine Coins: An Introduction, with a Catalogue of the Dumbarton Oaks Collection. (Harvard University Press, 2008).
Goodwin, T. Arab-Byzantine Coinage. Studies in the Khalili Collection. (London, 2005).
Hahn, W. Moneta Imperii Byzantini. (Vienna, 1973-81).
Hendy, M. Coinage and Money in the Byzantine Empire 1081-1261. (Washington D.C., 1969).
Hennequin, G. Catalogue des monnaies musulmanes de la Bibliotheque Nationale. (Paris, 1985).
Malloy, A.G., I.F. Preston, & A.J Seltman. Coins of the Crusader States. (New York, 2004).
Metcalf, D.M. Coinage of the Crusaders and the Latin East in the Ashmolean Museum Oxford. (London, 1995).
Mitchiner, M. Oriental Coins and Their Values Volume One : The World of Islam. (London, 1977).
Sear, D. R. Byzantine Coins and Their Values. (London, 1987).
Spengler, W.F. & W.G. Sayles. Turkoman Figural Bronze Coins and Their Iconography. (Lodi, 1992).
Ratto, R. Monnaies Byzantines et d'autre Pays contemporaines l'poque byzantine. (Lugano, 1930).
Tolstoi, I. Monnaies byzantines. (St. Petersburg, 1913 - 14).
Walker, J. A Catalogue of the Muhammadan Coins in The British Museum. Volume 2: A Catalogue of the Arab-Byzantine and Post-Reform Umaiyad Coins. (London, 1956).
Wroth, W. Catalogue of the Imperial Byzantine Coins in the British Museum. (London, 1908).
Wroth, W. Catalogue of the Coins of the Vandals, Ostrogoths, Lombards and of the Empires of Thessalonica, Nicaea, and Trebizond in the British Museum. (London, 1911).

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