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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.

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: Ihsoús Xristós - Jesus Christ) across field; reverse blundered inscription imitating: + IhSuS / XRISTuS / bASILEu / bASILE (Greek: Jesus Christ King of Kings); rare this crude; $135.00 (€110.70)
 


Tremissis of Byzantine Empire, Maurice Tiberius minted by the Lombards, 583-602 A.D.

|Unofficial| |&| |Imitative|, |Tremissis| |of| |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Maurice| |Tiberius| |minted| |by| |the| |Lombards,| |583-602| |A.D.||tremissis|
The Lombards did not mint coins in the name of their king until the reign of Cunincpert, 688-700 A.D. Grierson notes examples of this tremissis type may be Lombard imitations, stating, "There is no firm line between such imitations and the imperial originals." The large thin flan and style of this coin are strong evidence this example is a Lombardic imitation.
SH06195. Gold tremissis, Hahn MIB 50, DOC I 287, Wroth BMC 277-280, Tolstoi 57-58, Ratto 1029, SBCV 592, FDC, weight 1.46 g, maximum diameter 17.5 mm, die axis 180o, Ravenna mint, 583 - 602 A.D.; obverse D N mAVRC Tib PP AVC, diademed bust right wearing cuirass and paludamentum; reverse VICTORIA AVGVSTORVN (the victory of the Emperor), angel standing facing, head left, wreath in right hand, globus cruciger in left hand, Christogram lower right, CONOB in exergue; from the Woolslayer Collection, ex Harlan J. Berk; SOLD


Bulgars in Byzantine Bulgaria(?), Anonymous Follis of Christ, Imitative of Class A3, c. 1023 - 1040 A.D.

|Unofficial| |&| |Imitative|, |Bulgars| |in| |Byzantine| |Bulgaria(?),| |Anonymous| |Follis| |of| |Christ,| |Imitative| |of| |Class| |A3,| |c.| |1023| |-| |1040| |A.D.||anonymous| |follis|
This imitative was most likely struck by an unofficial mint in unruly Byzantine Bulgaria. In 1018, the Byzantine emperor Basil II conquered the First Bulgarian Empire. The Bulgarian aristocracy were given Byzantine titles and moved to Asia. The existing tax system, laws, and the role of low-ranking nobility remained, at first, unchanged. As the Byzantine Empire declined under Basil's successors, Pecheneg invasions and rising taxes led to discontent and major uprisings. Bulgaria remained under Byzantine rule until the brothers Asen and Peter liberated the country in 1185, establishing the Second Bulgarian Empire.
BZ86796. Bronze anonymous follis, See Lampinen Imitative, p. 54, for a similar Class A imitative; prototype: Basil II & Constantine VIII, 1023-1028, SBCV 1818, VF, somewhat weak strike, other than the small flan and retrograde reverse inscription the style is similar to the official prototype, weight 7.975 g, maximum diameter 27.2 mm, die axis 180o, unofficial (Bulgarian?) mint, c. 1023 - 1040 A.D.; obverse facing nimbate bust of Christ, pallium and colobium, Gospels in both hands, no legend or inscription; reverse retrograde Greek inscription: + IhSuS / XRISTuS / bASILEu / bASILE (Greek: Jesus Christ King of Kings); SOLD


Crusaders, County of Edessa, Baldwin II, 1100 - 1118

|Crusaders|, |Crusaders,| |County| |of| |Edessa,| |Baldwin| |II,| |1100| |-| |1118||follis|
Baldwin II was count of Edessa, 1100 - 1118, and king of Jerusalem, 1118 - 1131. He fought in the first crusade, including the capture of Bethlehem and Jerusalem. He was an incessant warrior under whom Latin domination in the East reached its greatest expanse, the crusaders controlled and took tolls on the most important trade routes, and the power of Crusaders reached its utmost height.
ME65324. Bronze follis, Slocum Collection, lot 170 (part of); cf. Malloy Crusaders 1b (Baldwin I, heavy series, letters in angles); Metcalf Crusades -, VF, nice desert patina, overstruck on polygonal clipped follis, weight 4.489 g, maximum diameter 26.8 mm, die axis 0o, County of Edessa mint, c. 1110 - 1118; obverse IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Jesus Christ), nimbate bust of Christ facing, holding book of Gospels; reverse thin cross, wedge in each angle, BΛ∆N around with one letter at the end of each arm of the cross (a cruciform monogram); "The John Slocum Collection of Coins of the Crusades" Sotheby's Catalogue 1997 - part of lot 170; unique(?); SOLD


Kingdom of Gepidia, c. 493 - 518 A.D., In the Name of Anastasius

|Germanic| |Tribes|, |Kingdom| |of| |Gepidia,| |c.| |493| |-| |518| |A.D.,| |In| |the| |Name| |of| |Anastasius||quarter| |siliqua|
Long attributed to the Ostrogoths, Metlich corrected attribution of this type to Gepidia. The Gepids were an East Germanic tribe, closely related to the Goths, first recorded in the 6th-century as having been allied with Goths invading Dacia in c. 260. In the 4th century, they were under the hegemony of the Hunnic Empire. Under King Ardaric, the Gepids united with other Germanic tribes and defeated the Huns at the Battle of Nedao in 454. The Gepids then founded the Kingdom of Gepidia, which reached its zenith of power after 537, settling around Singidunum (today's Belgrade). For a short time, Sirmium (today's Sremska Mitrovica) was the center of the Gepid State. In 552 the Gepids suffered a disastrous defeat to Alboin, king of the Lombards, after which Alboin had a drinking cup made from the skull of the Gepid King Cunimund. Remnants of the Gepids were conquered by the Avars later in the 6th century. Erythrai_amphitheater
BZ86482. Silver quarter siliqua, Hahn MIB I 46 (Theoderic), Kraus 63 - 64 (Theoderic), VF, well centered and struck on a broad flan, toned, light marks, small edge crack, weight 0.885 g, maximum diameter 13.8 mm, die axis 180o, Sirmium (Sremska Mitrovica, Serbia) mint, c. 493 - 518 A.D.; obverse D N ANASTASIVS P P AVC, pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed bust of Anastasius (Byzantine Emperor, 11 Apr 491 - 1 Jul 518) right; reverse INVIT-A ROMA D M, (monogram of Ostrogothic King Theoderic, 454 - 30 Aug 526), cross above and star below, both dividing legend; SOLD


Ostrogoths, Athalaric, 31 August 526 - 2 October 534, In the Name of Byzantine Empire, Justinian I

|Germanic| |Tribes|, |Ostrogoths,| |Athalaric,| |31| |August| |526| |-| |2| |October| |534,| |In| |the| |Name| |of| |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Justinian| |I||AE| |4|
BZ40599. Bronze AE 4, Wroth BMCV p. 67, 52, gF, weight 1.048 g, maximum diameter 9.7 mm, die axis 180o, Ravenna mint, obverse JVST-INIANII (blundered), diademed and cuirassed bust of Justinian I right; reverse monogram of Athalaric in wreath; SOLD







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REFERENCES

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Metcalf, D.M. Coinage of the Crusaders and the Latin East in the Ashmolean Museum Oxford. (London, 1995).
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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 à l'époque 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).

Catalog current as of Saturday, January 22, 2022.
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