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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.

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

|Bulgaria|, |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.
CR111244. Bronze anonymous follis, See Lampinen Imitative, p. 54, for a similar Class A imitative; prototype: Basil II & Constantine VIII, 1023-1028, SBCV 1818, aVF, green patina, light earthen deposits, off center, weight 7.969 g, maximum diameter 26.3 mm, die axis 0o, 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); ex Morton & Eden auction 119 (6 Dec 2022), lot 333 (part of); $200.00 (188.00)


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


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

|Unofficial| |&| |Imitative|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Justinian| |I,| |4| |April| |527| |-| |14| |November| |565| |A.D.,| |Barbaric| |Imitative||decanummium|
 
BZ67641. Bronze decanummium, imitative; for prototype, see DOC I 158 (Byzantine official, Nikomedia mint, 561 - 562 A.D.), VF, nice green patina, weight 2.098 g, maximum diameter 15.2 mm, die axis 225o, unofficial mint, c. 562 - 580 A.D.; obverse D N IVSTINIANVS P P AVG, diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse large I surmounted by a cross between ANNO and X/XX/U (year 35), NIK in exergue; SOLD


Sasanian Empire, Levantine Occupation, 610 - 629 A.D., Imitative of Heraclius with Heraclius Constantine

|Sasanian| |Empire|, |Sasanian| |Empire,| |Levantine| |Occupation,| |610| |-| |629| |A.D.,| |Imitative| |of| |Heraclius| |with| |Heraclius| |Constantine||follis|
In 604, Khusro II personnally led the siege of Dara, Mesopotamia. Because they resisted, the inhabitants were slaughtered and everything of value was carried off to Persia. This warning was somewhat sufficient; other cities including Antioch (610), Emesa (611), and Damascus (613) surrendered under terms and opened their gates. When Jerusalem was taken in May 614, tens of thousands were massacred and the True cross was taken. In 619 when Alexandria surrendered after a long siege, the young men and monks were massacred. Evidence suggests, however, that Persians allowed the local adminstrations to resume control of these cities after the initial slaughter and looting. This type was likely struck by civic authorities for local use in one of the Levantine cities during the Sasanian Occupation.
BZ65350. Bronze follis, Imitative of Heraclius with Heraclius Constantine; Pottier p. 140, 4, pl. XVI, AA3-4; CNG e-auction 217, 461, aVF, crude barbaric style, weight 13.560 g, maximum diameter 32.3 mm, die axis 135o, 610 - 629 A.D.; obverse NOCVΛ-PTCNC (or similar, blundered), two imperial figures standing facing in very crude style, each holding cruciform scepter in right, cross above center; reverse large M (40 nummi), ANN left, G/II right, ONIX in exergue (all N's reversed); unusual and rare; SOLD


Vandal Kingdom, North Africa, c. 429 - 534 A.D., Imitative of Valentinian III

|Germanic| |Tribes|, |Vandal| |Kingdom,| |North| |Africa,| |c.| |429| |-| |534| |A.D.,| |Imitative| |of| |Valentinian| |III
||nummus|
In spring 429, the Vandals invaded North Africa. Under the influence of his rival general Atius, Valentinian III's mother, Galla Placidia, had the Roman governor and general Bonifacius convicted of treason. Rather than surrender for execution, Bonifacius revolted and sought support from Vandal mercenaries in Hispania. Bonifacius made peace with Galla Placidia, but it was too late. King Genseric and the entire Vandal kingdom migrated en masse into Africa and took it with a force of 80,000 men. The Vandals would rule North Africa until the Eastern Romans (Byzantines) recaptured it in 534.
ME79994. Bronze nummus, cf. Wroth BMCV p. 27, 80 & pl. iii, 38, VF, crowded flan typical for the type, weight 1.460 g, maximum diameter 11.8 mm, die axis 180o, North African mint, c. 429 - 534 A.D.; obverse diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust of Valentinian III right, blundered legend; reverse camp gate with two turrets, star between turrets, blundered legend; ex Forum (2016); rare; SOLD







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REFERENCES

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Catalog current as of Sunday, December 3, 2023.
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