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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; $170.00 (€139.40)
 


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







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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 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 Tuesday, September 28, 2021.
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