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Macedonian Kingdom, Alexander the Great, 336 - 323 B.C.
Born a leader, his genius and charisma led the Macedonian army to create an empire covering most of the then-known world, from Greece to India. His reign begins the Hellenistic Age, a time when civilization flourished. He was regarded as a god and his fame grew even greater after his premature death at thirty-two. SL95868. Gold stater, Price 168a (same dies), Müller Alexander 193, Newell Tarsos 12, HGC 3.1 893a (S), ICG AU80 (1507680109, Tarsos, Pr#3004), Macedonia, Amphipolis mint, struck under Antipater, c. 328/5 - 323/319 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right wearing earring, necklace, and crested Corinthian helmet decorated with a coiled snake; reverse Nike standing slightly left, head left, wreath in extended right hand, stylus in left hand, kantharos left; nice style, high relief, good strike, and mint luster, ICG| Lookup; scarce; $5200.00 SALE |PRICE| $4680.00
Gordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D.
Providentia is the personification of the ability to foresee and to make provision for the future. This ability was considered essential for the emperor and providentia was among the embodiments of virtues that were part of the imperial cult. Cicero said that providentia, memoria (memory) and intellegentia (understanding) are the three main components of prudentia, the knowledge what is good or bad or neither.SH94301. Gold aureus, RIC IV 23 (R), Calicó 3213, Cohen IV 195, SRCV III 8579, Hunter - (p. lxxxiii), gVF, well centered and struck, flow lines, bumps, light scrape on obverse, weight 4.732 g, maximum diameter 21.2 mm, die axis 0o, 5th officina, Rome mint, special emission, early 239 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES M ANT GORDIANVS AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse P M TR P II COS P P (high priest, holder of Tribunitian power for two years, consul, father of the country), Providentia standing left, globe in right hand, transverse scepter in left; scarce; $4700.00 SALE |PRICE| $4230.00
Byzantine Empire, Constantine VIII, 15 December 1025 - 11 November 1028 A.D.
Constantine VIII was crowned emperor when he was an infant; however, for his first 63 years of "rule" he was a junior emperor and rarely played even a minor role in state affairs. He spent his life in search of pleasure and entertainment, including spectator sports at the Hippodrome, feasting, riding and hunting. After his brother Basil II died, Constantine was sole emperor for nearly the last three years of his life. He carried on as he always had, enjoying life and avoiding state business as much as possible. Ineffective and cruel, he allegedly ordered the execution or mutilation of hundreds of innocent men. SH94413. Gold histamenon nomisma, DOC III part 2, 1.1; Wroth BMC 3, Morrisson BnF 3; Ratto 1969; SBCV 1815; Sommer 42.1 var. (pellet on shaft of labarum), Choice gVF, well struck on a broad flan, small die crack bottom obverse edge, minor die wear on reverse, weight 4.394 g, maximum diameter 25.9 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 15 Dec 1025 - 11 Nov 1028; obverse + IhS XIS REX REGNANTIhM, bearded bust of Christ facing wearing nimbus cruciger with straight arms and crescents in upper quarters, pallium and colobium, raising right hand in benediction, Gospels in left, triple border; reverse +CWnSTAnTIn bASILEhS ROM, bust facing, with long beard, wearing crown and loros, labarum (no pellet on shaft) in left, akakia in right, triple border; scarce; $1900.00 SALE |PRICE| $1710.00
Theodosius I, 19 January 379 - 17 January 395 A.D.
Theodosius I abolished the last remaining expressions of Roman religion by making its holidays into workdays, banning blood sacrifices, closing Roman temples, confiscating Temple endowments, and disbanding the Vestal Virgins. He ordered, authorized, or at least failed to punish, the closure or destruction of many temples, holy sites, images and objects of piety throughout the empire. In 393, he issued a comprehensive law that prohibited any public non-Christian religious customs. He discontinued the ancient Olympic Games, last recorded in 393, though archeological evidence indicates that some games were still held after this date. SH94407. Gold solidus, RIC X Theodosius I 20b (S); Depeyrot p. 169, 9/2; SRCV V 20412; Cohen VIII 37; Hunter V -, gVF, well centered, nice portrait, slight double strike, die wear, part of flan edge ragged with splits, weight 4.375 g, maximum diameter 22.3 mm, die axis 180o, Mediolanum (Milan, Italy) mint, Jan 389 - Apr 391 A.D.; obverse D N THEODOSIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VICTORIA AVGG (victory of the two emperors), two emperors, crowned and nimbate, seated facing on double-throne, legs draped, holding a globe together, the emperor on right holding mappa in left hand, Victory behind above center facing with spread wings, palm frond low center, M-D divided across field, COM in exergue; ex Gorny & Mosch Auction 196 (7 March 2011), lot 3040; scarce; $1650.00 SALE |PRICE| $1485.00
Charles X, Cardinal of Bourbon, 1589 - 1590
A French cardinal, the Catholic League considered him the rightful King of France after the death of Henry III of France in 1589. His claim was recognized as part of the secret Treaty of Joinville concluded between Philip II of Spain and the League. Henry III had Charles imprisoned in the castle of Blois on December 23 1588. He was transferred from one castle to another, presumably to prevent escape, until his death in May 1590.SH94150. Gold ecu d'or, Duplessy 1172, Ciani 1481, Lafaurie 1015, Friedberg 389, gVF, tight flan, light marks, double strike, small edge cracks, weight 3.294 g, maximum diameter 24.3 mm, die axis 135o, Paris mint, 1593 A; obverse CAROLVS•X•D•G•FRANCOR•REX (mm: arrowhead) 1593 (Charles X, by the grace of God, king of the Franks), legend divided by sun at the top, crowned arms of France (three lis), A below; reverse + CHRISTVS•REGNAT•VINCIT:ET•IMPERAT (Christ reigns, conquers, and commands), cross fleurée, quadrilobe flower at the center, arms ending in lis; very rare; $1450.00 SALE |PRICE| $1170.00
France, King Louis Philippe, 1830 - 1848
Louis Philippe I was King from 1830 to 1848. As Duke of Chartres he distinguished himself during the Revolution but broke with the Republic over the execution of King Louis XVI. He fled to Switzerland in 1793 after being connected with a plot to restore the monarchy. He remained in exile for 21 years. He was proclaimed king after his cousin Charles X was forced to abdicate. He was dominated by wealthy industrialists and bankers and followed conservative policies. He promoted friendship with Britain and sponsored colonial expansion, including French conquest of Algeria. His popularity faded as the economy deteriorated in 1847. He was forced to abdicate by the French Revolution of 1848. He lived out his life in exile in the UK. SH94140. Gold 40 Francs, Krause KM 747.1, Friedberg 557, EF, bumps and marks, edge lettering: DIEU PROTEGE LA FRANCE (God protects France), weight 12.840 g, maximum diameter 26.1 mm, die axis 180o, Paris mint, 1834; obverse LOUIS PHILIPPE I ROI DES FRANCAIS, head left wearing oak wreath, small DOMARD. F (engraver) below; reverse 40 FRANCS 1834 (in 3 lines) within wreath comprised of an olive branch on the right, a laurel branch on the left, tiny anchor lower left, tiny star below, tiny a lower right; $1300.00 SALE |PRICE| $940.00
Kyzikos, Mysia, c. 500 - 450 B.C.
Cyzicus was one of the great cities of the ancient world. It was said to have been founded by Pelasgians from Thessaly, according to tradition at the coming of the Argonauts; later, allegedly in 756 B.C., it received many colonists from Miletus. Owing to its advantageous position it speedily acquired commercial importance, and the gold staters of Cyzicus were a staple currency in the ancient world till they were superseded by those of Philip of Macedon. The site of Cyzicus, located on the Erdek and Bandirma roads, is protected by Turkey's Ministry of Culture.SL89446. Electrum hekte, SNG BnF 241; SNGvA 1180; BMC Mysia p. 32, 98; Von Fritze I 102; Rosen 482; de Luynes pl. XCII 2460; SNG Cop -, NGC XF, strike 3/5, surface 3/5 (2490378-004), weight 2.674 g, maximum diameter 11.4 mm, Kyzikos (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, c. 500 - 450 B.C.; obverse satyr left, tunny fish vertical with head down to left; reverse quadripartite incuse square; NGC| Lookup; extremely rare; $900.00 SALE |PRICE| $810.00 ON RESERVE
Byzantine Empire, Constans II, September 641 - 15 July 668 A.D.
In 647 A.D., Gregory the Patrician declared himself emperor in the Byzantine Exarchate of Africa. An Arab army of 20,000 men under Abdullah ibn Sa'ad invaded Africa, taking Tripolitania and the city of Sufetula (240 km south of Carthage). Gregory was killed during the invation. Africa returned to imperial allegiance after his death, but the foundation of Byzantine rule was fatally undermined. SH94411. Gold solidus, Ratto 1509; DOC II part 2, 5e (not in the collection but refs. Ratto); Hahn MIB 9; SBCV 942; Sommer 12.7; Morrisson BnF -; Wroth BMC -; Tolstoi -, Choice VF, well centered, small graffito reverse inner right, weight 4.415 g, maximum diameter 20.1 mm, die axis 180o, 10th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 647 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTANTINVS P P AVG, bust facing with short beard indicated by a single row of dots, wearing chlamys, tablion ornamented with pellets, and crown with cross on circlet, globus cruciger in right hand; reverse VICTORIA AVGY I (victory of the Emperor, 10th officina), cross potent on three steps, E (indiction year 5) right, CONOB in exergue; scarce officina; $800.00 SALE |PRICE| $720.00
Byzantine Empire, Alexius I Comnenus, 4 April 1081 - 15 August 1118 A.D.
Although he was not the founder of the Comnenian dynasty, it was during his reign that the Comnenus family came to full power. Inheriting a collapsing empire and faced with constant warfare during his reign against both the Seljuq Turks in Asia Minor and the Normans in the western Balkans, Alexius was able to curb the Byzantine decline and begin the military, financial, and territorial recovery known as the Comnenian restoration. SH94415. Gold hyperpyron, DO IV 20g; Hendy pl. 4, 3-5; CLBC 2.1.2; Morrisson BnF 59/Cp/Av/3; Wroth BMC 7; Ratto 2059; SBCV 1913, Choice gVF, beautiful luster, weight 4.348 g, maximum diameter 31.0 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 1092 - 1118 A.D.; obverse KE RO-HΘEI (Lord, help [Alexius]), Christ Pantokrator enthroned facing, wearing nimbus cruciger, pallium, and colobium, raising right in benediction, gospels in left hand, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Jesus Christ) high across field, double border; reverse A/ΛE/ΞI/W / ∆EC/ΠO/TH - Tw / KO/MNH/Nw, Alexius standing facing, wearing chlamys, five jewels on collar, labarum scepter in right hand, globus cruciger in left hand, manus Dei (hand of God) above right, six pellets in loros end; from the Robert Watcher Collection; ex New York Sale XLII auction (9 Jan 2018), lot 483; $700.00 SALE |PRICE| $630.00
France, Henry III, 1574 - 1589
Three months after Henri was elected king of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, his brother, Charles IX of France, died and Henri returned to France to assume the French throne. Henri brought several Polish inventions back to France, including septic facilities which deposited excrement outside the castle walls, a bath with regulated hot and cold water, and the fork. Henri gave protestant Huguenots the right of public worship, except in Paris and at Court. In response, Henry I, Duke of Guise, formed the Catholic League. Henri III was forced to flee Paris. After he had the duke assassinated, Henri III prepared to return to Paris but was murdered before he could return. During the French Revolution, his body was disinterred, desecrated, and thrown into a common grave.SH94141. Gold ecu d'or, Duplessy 1121A, Ciani 1408, Lafaurie 960, Friedberg 386, Kopicki 10474 (R4), gVF, some luster, well centered, tight flan, bumps, scratches, small hole, weight 3.365 g, maximum diameter 25.6 mm, die axis 135o, Rouen mint, 1587 B; obverse HENRICVS. III. D: G. FRANC. ET. POL. REX. (Henry III, by the grace of God, king of France and Poland) legend divided by sun at the top, crowned arms of France (three lis), B below; reverse + CRISTVS. REIGN. VINCIT. ET. IMP 1578 (Christ reigns, vanquishes and commands), cross fleurée, quadrilobe flower at the center, arms ending in lis; ex Karl Stephens Inc (Temple City, CA); rare; $650.00 SALE |PRICE| $585.00