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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Byzantine Coins| ▸ |Byzantine Rarities||View Options:  |  |  | 

Rare Byzantine Coins
Byzantine Empire, Theme of Chaldia (Trebizond), Constantine Gabras, c. 1126 - 1140 A.D.

|Empire| |of| |Trebizond|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Theme| |of| |Chaldia| |(Trebizond),| |Constantine| |Gabras,| |c.| |1126| |-| |1140| |A.D.||follis|
Constantine Gabras (or Gavras) was the governor or doux (duke) of the Byzantine province of Chaldia, centered on the Black Sea port of Trebizond and its mountainous hinterland, the Pontic Alps, in northeast Anatolia, now part of Turkey. Gabras rebelled against the Byzantine emperor John II Komnenos and ruled Chaldia as a semi-independent prince between 1126 and 1140. Following the dissolution of the Byzantine Empire by the Fourth Crusade in 1204, the region became the center of the new Empire of Trebizond which survived until falling to the Ottomans in 1461.
BZ95865. Bronze follis, Bendall Trebizond (NC 77), pl. 7, 28; DOC IV Trebizond p. 433, 14; Hendy -; SBCV -, F, uneven strike with some weak areas, reverse off center, earthen encrustations, weight 1.146 g, maximum diameter 16.5 mm, die axis 0o, Trebizond (Trabzon, Turkey) mint, c. 1126 - 1140 A.D.; obverse cross fourchée within circular border; reverse cross fourchée within circular border; rare; $310.00 (€254.20)
 


Byzantine Empire, Andronicus I, September 1183 - 12 September 1185 A.D.

|Andronicus| |I|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Andronicus| |I,| |September| |1183| |-| |12| |September| |1185| |A.D.||half| |tetarteron|
Marchev and Watcher suggest the scarcity of this type my be due to limited or no minting during the Norman siege of Thessalonica.
BZ95147. Bronze half tetarteron, CLBC 5.4.4; DOC IV-1 8; SBCV 1989; Hendy pl. 19, 4; Morrisson BnF - (p. 731); Wroth BMC 17-18; Ratto 2172; Sommer 62.6; Grierson 1115, aVF, weak strike, ragged flan with edge splits typical of type, weight 1.781 g, maximum diameter 16.1 mm, die axis 180o, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, Sep 1183 - 12 Sep 1185 A.D.; obverse facing bust of the Virgin Orans, nimbate, wearing pallium and maphorium, the nimbate head of the infant Christ on her chest, MP - ΘV (Greek abbreviation: Mητηρ Θεου - Mother of God) across field; reverse AN∆PO, half-length figure of Andronicus facing with forked beard, wearing crown, scaramangion and sagion, labarum in left hand, globus cruciger in right hand; from the S. Lindner Collection; rare; $160.00 (€131.20)
 


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)
 


Byzantine Empire, Justinian II, 10 July 685 - Late 695 and Summer 705 - 4 November 711 A.D.

|Justinian| |II|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Justinian| |II,| |10| |July| |685| |-| |Late| |695| |and| |Summer| |705| |-| |4| |November| |711| |A.D.||solidus|
The portrait on this coin was based on an icon believed by the people of the time to bear a miraculous resemblance to Christ’s actual appearance.
SH21619. Gold solidus, DOC II-2 2b, Wroth BMC 1, Morrisson BnF 15/Cp/AV/12, Tolstoi 1, Ratto 1705, Hahn MIB 2b, Sommer 17.3, SBCV 1415, EF, weight 4.239 g, maximum diameter 19.2 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 705 - 711 A.D.; obverse O N IhS ChS REX REGNANTIYM, bust of Christ facing, curly hair, short beard, wearing pallium and colobium, Gospels in left, cross behind head; reverse IYSTINIANYS ET TIbERIYS PP A, Justinian (on left) and Tiberius, half-length facing, each wears crown, divitision and chlamys, holding cross potent on three steps in center; very rare; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Maurice Tiberius, 13 August 582 - 22 November 602 A.D.

|Maurice| |Tiberius|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Maurice| |Tiberius,| |13| |August| |582| |-| |22| |November| |602| |A.D.||light| |weight| |solidus|
Most references attribute this type to Antioch. Although this type is not listed in DOC I, Grierson attributes all solidi with this wide-faced portrait to Antioch. Hahn attributes the type to Constantinople.
SH90884. Gold light weight solidus, 20 siliquae; SBCV 531, Hahn MIB 14, Sommer 7.61, Adelson 88 - 89 corr. (rho-cross scepter), DOC I -, Wroth BMC -, Morrisson BnF -, Tolstoi -, Ratto -, gVF, uneven strike, tight flan, weight 3.390 g, maximum diameter 20.7 mm, die axis 180o, 10th officina, Constantinopolis or Antioch mint, 583 - 602 A.D.; obverse D N MAVRIC - TIb P P AVG, helmeted, draped, and cuirassed bust facing, globus cruciger in right hand, shield in left, helmet with arc ornament in front and plume; reverse VICTORIA AVGG I (victory of the two emperors, 10th officina), angel standing facing, long cross in right hand, globus cruciger in left hand, OBXX in exergue; Forum knows of only seven other examples of this extremely rare type, from the Robert Watcher Collection; extremely rare; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Focas, 23 November 602 - 5 October 610 A.D.

|Focas|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Focas,| |23| |November| |602| |-| |5| |October| |610| |A.D.||solidus|
Hahn and Berk attribute this style variation to Thessalonica. Other reference fail to distinguish the type from similar Constantinople issues. Hahn identifies the Greek number following the reverse legend as the regnal year.
SH86280. Gold solidus, MIBEC p. 181 and pl. 31, N3; Berk Gold 109; other references do not distinguish this type from Constantinople issues, Choice EF, well centered and struck, graffiti on reverse, weight 4.362 g, maximum diameter 20.5 mm, die axis 180o, Thessalonica(?) mint, c. 607 A.D.(?); obverse o N FOCAS PERP AVC, bust facing, bearded, wearing cuirass, paludamentum, and crown with cross on circlet and without pendilia, globus cruciger in right hand; reverse VICTORIA AVCC E (victory of the two emperors, 5th officina? or regnal year 5?), angel standing facing, staurogram staff in right hand, globus cruciger in left hand, CONOB in exergue; graffiti reading ƆMΘ (retrograde, Greek additive number 249?) or less likely ΘEC (Thessalonica?); ex Numismatik Naumann auction 58, lot 626; very rare; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Constantine VIII, 15 December 1025 - 11 November 1028 A.D.

|Constantine| |VIII|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Constantine| |VIII,| |15| |December| |1025| |-| |11| |November| |1028| |A.D.||histamenon| |nomisma|
SH21620. Gold histamenon nomisma, SBCV 1815; DOC III part 2, 2, Choice EF, weight 4.391 g, maximum diameter 25.2 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, obverse + IhS XPS REX REGNANTINM, Christ Pantocrator with gospels; reverse + CWNSTANTIN BASILEWS ROM, bust facing, wearing crown and loros, labarum in right, akakia in left; very scarce; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Justinian I, 1 August 527 - 14 November 565 A.D., minted at Rome by Belisaurius

|Justinian| |I|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Justinian| |I,| |1| |August| |527| |-| |14| |November| |565| |A.D.,| |minted| |at| |Rome| |by| |Belisaurius||solidus|
Tradition tells us that the Roman Empire ended in 476 A.D. when Romulus Augustus was deposed and the barbarian Odovacar became king in Italy. This coin, however, was minted in Rome for the emperor of the Romans about 75 years after the "fall of the Roman Empire." Between 536 and 540 Belisaurius recaptured Rome for the Empire. A closer look at history sometime complicates rather than clarifies.

The figure on the reverse is an Angel, not Victory as on the reverse of many Roman and Byzantine coins. The difference - Victory is female but angels are male.
SH06196. Gold solidus, SBCV 291 variant, DOC I 320c1, Hahn MIB I 34/4, Berk -, aEF, weight 4.42 g, maximum diameter 20.6 mm, die axis 185o, 1st officina, Rome mint, 542 - 546 A.D.; obverse D N IVSTINIANVS PP AG, helmeted and cuirassed bust facing, globus cruciger in right, shield decorated with horseman on left shoulder; reverse VICTORIA AVGGG A (victory of the three emperors, 1st officina), Angel standing facing holding long cross in right and globus cruciger in left, star right, COMOB exergue; from the Woolslayer Collection, ex Edward J. Waddell; rare; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Focas, 23 November 602 - 5 October 610 A.D.

|Focas|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Focas,| |23| |November| |602| |-| |5| |October| |610| |A.D.||follis|
Certificate of Authenticity issued by David R. Sear.

Superb example of the return to portraiture. There is no mistaking this portrait for any other ruler. Unpublished year II consular type with mappa and eagle-scepter. Possibly unique.
SH15637. Bronze follis, cf. Hahn 69a (only years 3 and 4 noted); DOC II-1 56 - 60 (lists only years 3 - 7); and SBCV 658 (only years 3 and 4), gVF for the type, fantastic portrait, weight 11.498 g, maximum diameter 32.2 mm, die axis 45o, 1st officina, Nicomedia mint, 603 - 604 A.D.; obverse d N FOCAS PERP AVG, bust facing wearing consular robes and crown with cross on circlet, mappa in right, eagle-tipped scepter in left; reverse XXXX (40 nummi), ANNO above, II right, NIKOA in exergue; from the Woolslayer Collection; unpublished year two; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Heraclius Constantine, 11 January - 20 April 641 A.D.

|Heraclius| |Constantine|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Heraclius| |Constantine,| |11| |January| |-| |20| |April| |641| |A.D.||solidus|
Most references attribute this type to Heraclius; however, Hahn (MIB) convincingly argues that the K in the reverse right field refers to Heraclius Constantine. During his very short reign, he may have thought it prudent to maintain the same type struck by his father.
SH26643. Gold solidus, Hahn MIB 52; SBCV 771 (Heraclius), gVF, weight 4.270 g, maximum diameter 20.4 mm, die axis 180o, 9th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, as Senior emperor; obverse Heraclius with long beard and mustache between his sons, Heraclonas on left and Heraclius Constantine on right, all stand facing, each wears crown and chlamys and holds globus cruciger in right hand; reverse VICTORIA AVGu Θ (victory of the Emperor, 9th officina), cross potent on three steps, Heraclian monogram left, K right, CONOB in exergue; scarce; SOLD







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REFERENCES|

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