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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Types| ▸ |Facing Heads||View Options:  |  |  |   

Facing Heads on Ancient Coins
Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus II Theos, 261 - 246 B.C.

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Antiochus| |II| |Theos,| |261| |-| |246| |B.C.||AE| |17|
Antiochus II Theos was the son of Antiochus I and Princess Stratonice, the daughter of Demetrius Poliorcetes. He inherited a state of war with Egypt and while he was thus occupied, his satraps in Parthia and Bactria declared independence. To make peace with Egypt and to seal the treaty, Antiochus repudiated his wife Laodice I, exiled her to Ephesus, and married Ptolemy II's daughter Berenice. Antiochus later left Berenice and their infant son Antiochus, to live again with Laodice. Laodice poisoned him, had Berenice and her infant son murdered, and proclaimed her son Seleucus II as king.
GY99608. Bronze AE 17, Houghton-Lorber I 592, Newell ESM 196, HGC 9 268 (R2), VF, dark green patina with highlighting earthen deposits, weight 3.964 g, maximum diameter 17.1 mm, die axis 0o, Seleukeia on the Tigris (south of Baghdad, Iraq) mint, c. 250 - 246 B.C.; obverse helmeted and draped bust of Athena slightly left, wearing triple crested helmet; reverse Apollo seated right on omphalos, holding kithara on lap with right hand, tall tripod lebes behind on left, BAΣIΛEΩΣ downward on right, ANTIOXOY downward on left, monograms (controls) outer left and outer right; ex CNG e-auction 513 (6 Apr 2022), lot 178; this coin is the only specimen of this type recorded on Coin Archives in the last two decades; very rare; $250.00 SALE PRICE $225.00

Rhodos, Carian Islands, c. 205 - 189 B.C.

|Rhodos|, |Rhodos,| |Carian| |Islands,| |c.| |205| |-| |189| |B.C.||hemidrachm|
This is only the 2nd specimen of this type known to FORVM - the other specimen on the Tinia Numismatica website (click the link), is incorrectly referenced and dated as the later plinthophoric type. This may be a pseudo Rhodian type struck in Greece.
GS98446. Silver hemidrachm, Unpublished; cf. BMC Caria p. 255, 281 (same name, plinthophoric drachm); SNG Keckman I 588 (similar, magistrate APIΣAKOΣ), VF, toned, porous, obverse off center, weight 1.068 g, maximum diameter 11.3 mm, die axis 0o, Rhodos (Rhodes, Greece) mint, c. 205 - 189 B.C.; obverse head of Helios facing slightly left, hair floating loosely; reverse rose with bud to right, ΞENOΦANTOΣ (magistrate) above, P-O (Rhodos) across field divided by stem, caduceus (control symbol) left; from the Michael Arslan Collection; extremely rare; $180.00 SALE PRICE $162.00

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.||half| |follis|
Justinian II took the throne at the young age of sixteen. He achieved a peace treaty with the Arabs early in his reign and was able to make progress on the Balkan troubles. He was the first of the Byzantine emperors to put the likeness of Christ on his coinage. After ten years of rule, he was overthrown by the general Leontius; his tongue and nose were slit and he was exiled. In 705, Justinian II returned to Constantinople with an army of Bulgars and Slavs. He gained entrance to the city by climbing through an aqueduct pipe and with the advantage of surprise regained his throne. Both Leontius and Tiberius (who succeeded Leontius) were dragged through the streets in chains and beheaded. His revenge soon developed into a reign of terror. A rebellion started in the army and the general Bardanes was named Emperor. Justinian II and his son, Tiberius, age 6, were put to death.
BZ99075. Bronze half follis, DOC II-2 20a; SBCV 1262; Sommer 14.10; Hahn MIB 47; Morrison BnF p. 407, type 2 (not in the collection); Wroth BMC -, Ratto -, Tolstoi -, aVF, attractive dark green patina, light earthen deposits, irregular ragged edge, overstruck on an earlier follis or half follis, weight 3.322 g, maximum diameter 23.7 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 1st reign, c. 686 - 687 A.D.; obverse bust facing, short beard, wearing crown with cross and chlamys, globus cruciger in right; star left from undertype; reverse large K (20 nummi), cross above, A/N/N/O in a downward column left, II (regnal year 2) right, Γ (3rd officina) below, remnants of undertype; first specimen of this type held by FORVM; rare; $150.00 SALE PRICE $135.00

Byzantine Empire, Nicephorus III Botaniates, 7 January 1078 - 1 April 1081

|Nicephorus| |III|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Nicephorus| |III| |Botaniates,| |7| |January| |1078| |-| |1| |April| |1081||follis|
After the inept rule of Michael VII led to several revolts, Nicephorus seized the capitol and was crowned emperor. His wife died shortly after. To gain the aura of royalty and the support of the powerful Ducas family, he married Michael's wife, Empress Maria of Alania (despite that her husband was still alive). Instead of strengthening his position, the marriage would lead to his downfall. In order to ensure the succession of her son Constantine, Empress Maria conspired with Alexius Comnenus to dispose of Nicephorus. Just as Nicephorus had banished Michael to a monastery, Alexius Comnenus banished Nicephorus to a monastery. He died soon after.
BZ99036. Bronze follis, DOC III-2 9, Morrisson BnF 56/Cp/AE/02, Wroth BMC 12, Ratto 2053, Sommer 56.5, SBCV 1888, VF, dark green patina, scratches, light deposits, overstruck (on anonymous follis class H?), weight 6.954 g, maximum diameter 28.8 mm, die axis 0o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 7 Jan 1078 - 1 Apr 1081; obverse 3/4 length figure of Christ standing facing, wearing nimbus cruciger, pallium, and colobium, raising right hand in benediction, Gospels in left hand, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Iησοúς Xριστος - Jesus Christ) above stars left and right; reverse cross with pellet at each end, eight ray star in circle at center, C - Φ / N − ∆ (Greek abbreviation: Σταυρε Φυλαττε Nικηφοπον ∆εσποτη - May the cross protect Despot Nicephorus) in the quarters of cross; from a Las Vegas dealer; rare; $140.00 SALE PRICE $126.00

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; $125.00 SALE PRICE $113.00

Byzantine Anonymous Follis of Christ, Class A3, Basil II & Constantine VIII, c. 1023 - 11 November 1028 A.D.

|Anonymous| |Folles|, |Byzantine| |Anonymous| |Follis| |of| |Christ,| |Class| |A3,| |Basil| |II| |&| |Constantine| |VIII,| |c.| |1023| |-| |11| |November| |1028| |A.D.||anonymous| |follis|
The emperor's name and portrait are not part of the design on the Byzantine types referred to as anonymous folles. Instead of the earthly king, these coins depict Jesus Christ, King of Kings.
BZ98859. Bronze anonymous follis, Anonymous follis of Christ class A3; Grierson-NumisWiki ornaments 47; DOC III-2 A2.47, Wroth BMC 4 (Romanus III), Sommer 40.3.4, SBCV 1818, gF, dark green patina, flat strike areas, weight 9.179 g, maximum diameter 27.4 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, c. 1023 - 11 Nov 1028 A.D.; obverse + EMMANOVHΛ (romanized Hebrew - God is with us), facing nimbate bust of Christ, pallium and colobium, Gospels in both hands, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Ihsos Xrists - Jesus Christ) across field; reverse + IhSuS / XRISTuS / bASILEu / bASILE (Greek: Jesus Christ King of Kings), square above and below inscription; J; $110.00 SALE PRICE $99.00

Austrian States, Duchy of Carinthiam, Bernhard II von Spanheim, 1202 - 1256

|Austria|, |Austrian| |States,| |Duchy| |of| |Carinthiam,| |Bernhard| |II| |von| |Spanheim,| |1202| |-| |1256||pfennig|
Bernhard von Spanheim was Duke of Carinthia for 54 years. He was a patron of chivalry and minnesang, a tradition of lyric and song writing with love as the main subject. Bernhard's reign marked the emergence of the Carinthian duchy as an effective territorial state.
ME92143. Silver pfennig, CNA I Cb12, Luschin 199, gVF, toned, uneven strike with some areas weak, tight flan, weight 0.645 g, maximum diameter 15.7 mm, die axis 90o, St. Veit (Sankt Veit an der Glan, Austria) mint, c. 1204 - 1208; obverse + DVX CARINTHIE (off flan), helmeted and armored half-length bust of duke facing, head right, cross scepter in right hand, struck over quadratum supercusum; reverse SANT - VEIT, head of St. Vitus facing, wearing ornate hat; ex Mnzenhandlung W. Rittig (Schwelm, Germany); $100.00 SALE PRICE $90.00

Byzantine Empire, Heraclius, 5 October 610 - 11 January 641 A.D.

|Heraclius|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Heraclius,| |5| |October| |610| |-| |11| |January| |641| |A.D.||follis|NEW
Heraclius came to power through revolt against the tyrannical Focas. He defeated the Sassanid Persians, but this only facilitated Arab conquest of Persia and the eastern Byzantine Empire. The Byzantines lost Syria and Palestine before Heraclius died and Egypt fell soon after.
SL93522. Bronze follis, DOC II-1 155a (not in collection), Wroth BMC 233, Tolstoi 65, Ratto 1306, Morrisson BnF 10/Ni/AE/03, Hahn MIB 174, Sommer 11.72, SBCV 833, NGC Ch VF, strike 5/5, surface 2/5, scratches (6555578-001), weight 11.170 g, maximum diameter 33.5 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Nicomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, 612 - 613 A.D.; obverse D N hERACLIVS PERP AV (blundered), cuirassed, bearded bust facing, wearing crown with trefoil ornament and paludamentum, globus cruciger in right hand; reverse large M (40 nummi) between A/N/N/O and II/I (regnal year 3), cross above, A below, NIKO in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; NGC| Lookup; $100.00 SALE PRICE $90.00

Sasanian Empire, Khusro II, Occupation of Egypt, 618 - 628 A.D.

|Sasanian| |Empire|, |Sasanian| |Empire,| |Khusro| |II,| |Occupation| |of| |Egypt,| |618| |-| |628| |A.D.||12| |nummi|NEW
During his temporary domination of Egypt, 618 - 628 A.D., Khusru allowed the Alexandria mint to continue issuing the normal Byzantine coinage, but substituted his portrait for the Byzantine emperor's. The sun and moon replaced the obverse legend, just as on contemporary Sasanian coinage. It may seem strange that a Persian king would wear a crown surmounted by a cross; however, his wife Sira was a Christian, he was a benefactor of the church of St. Sergius in Edessa, he honored the Virgin, and he sometimes wore a robe embroidered with a cross which he had received as a gift from the Emperor Maurice Tiberius. The Byzantine emperors resumed the imperial coinage of Alexandria after their recapture of Egypt in 628 A.D.

The corrosion on this coin looks like bronze disease but this is an old collection coin, we have had it for two years now, and the corrosion does not appear to be active.
BZ93527. Bronze 12 nummi, DOC II-1 192; Hahn MIB 202a; Wroth BMC 276; Tolstoi 107-8; Ratto 1314-5; Morrisson BnF 10/Al/AE/30; SBCV 856; Sommer 11.93, VF, well centered, corrosion, weight 14.900 g, maximum diameter 23.1 mm, die axis 180o, Alexandria mint, 618 - 628 A.D.; obverse bust of the Sassanid King Khusru II wearing a crown with pendilia and surmounted by a cross within a crescent, star left, crescent moon right; reverse large I B with modified cross potent on globe between, AΛEZ in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $100.00 SALE PRICE $90.00

Tarsos, Cilicia, c. 380 - 360 B.C.

|Cilicia|, |Tarsos,| |Cilicia,| |c.| |380| |-| |360| |B.C.||obol|
In historical times, Tarsos was first ruled by the Hittites, followed by Assyria, and then the Persian Empire. Tarsus, as the principal town of Cilicia, was the seat of a Persian satrapy from 400 B.C. onward. Indeed, Xenophon records that in 401 B.C., when Cyrus the Younger marched against Babylon, the city was governed by King Syennesis in the name of the Persian monarch. Alexander the Great passed through with his armies in 333 B.C. and nearly met his death here after a bath in the Cydnus. By this time Tarsus was already largely influenced by Greek language and culture, and as part of the Seleucid Empire it became more and more Hellenized. Strabo praises the cultural level of Tarsus in this period with its philosophers, poets and linguists. The schools of Tarsus rivaled those of Athens and Alexandria.
GS99576. Silver obol, SNG BnF 310 - 311, SNG Levante 217 - 218, aVF, toned, crackled, scratches, rough, edge chips, off center, weight 0.458 g, maximum diameter 10.0 mm, die axis 0o, Tarsos (Tarsus, Mersin, Turkey) mint, c. 380 - 360 B.C.; obverse uncertain female head facing slightly left; reverse bust of Aphrodite right, wearing tainia; from the Ed Strivelli Collection, ex FORVM (2017); $100.00 SALE PRICE $90.00



Catalog current as of Friday, September 30, 2022.
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