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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Types ▸ Facing HeadsView Options:  |  |  |   

Facing Heads on Ancient Coins

Mopsion, Thessaly, c. 350 - 300 B.C.

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Mopsion issued only bronze coins, and only c. 350 - 300 B.C. In Nomos 4, BCD notes, "The bronzes of Mopsion are practically impossible to find in nice condition and without flaws or corrosion. They are also very rare and desirable because of the their spectacularly eloquent reverse. The nicest one to come up for auction realized $18,000..."

Mopsion, in the Peneus valley half way between Larissa and Tempe, took its name from the Lapith Mopsos, a son of Ampyx. Mopsos learned augury from Apollo, understood the language of birds, and became an Argonaut seer. As depicted on this coin, he was one of the Lapiths who defeated the Centaurs. This battle was a favorite subject of Greek art. While fleeing across the Libyan desert from angry sisters of the slain Gorgon Medusa, Mopsos died from the bite of a viper that had grown from a drop of Medusa's blood. Medea was unable to save him, even by magical means. The Argonauts buried him with a monument by the sea, and a temple was later erected on the site.
GB87120. Bronze trichalkon, BCD Thessaly II 484, BCD Thessaly I 1210, Rogers 412, McClean 4648, HGC 4 537 (R2), SNG Cop -, Pozzi -, BMC Thessaly -, gF, dark garnet and black patina, well centered, a little rough, weight 8.082 g, maximum diameter 20.5 mm, die axis 225o, Mopsion (Bakraina(?), Greece) mint, c. 350 - 300 B.C.; obverse head of Zeus facing slightly right, vertical thunderbolt to right; reverse MOΨ-EI-ΩN, Lapith Mopsos standing facing, nude, his head turned right, raising club in right hand and extending his left hand, fighting centaur that is rearing left and raising a bolder over its head with both hands preparing to throw it; ex BCD with his round tag noting, "HK ex Thess., April 02, $275.-"; very rare; $500.00 (€425.00)
 


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

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This is a new ornaments variety, unlisted by Bellinger and Grierson, with one pellet in each limb of the nimbus cross, two pellets vertically arranged within a jeweled border on the Gospels and the ornamentation shown below both above and under the reverse inscription. We have designated this new variety Grierson-NumisWiki ornaments F1d.

SH82730. Bronze anonymous follis, Anonymous follis of Christ, class A3; SBCV 1818; Grierson-NumisWiki ornaments F1d, gVF, well centered on a tight flan, porosity, edge crack, weight 9.903 g, maximum diameter 27.6 mm, die axis 150o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, c. 1023 - 11 Nov 1028 A.D.; obverse + EMMANOVHΛ (Latinized Hebrew: Emmanuel - "God with us"), facing nimbate bust of Christ, two pellets in each arm of the cross, pallium, and colobium, Gospels in both hands, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Iisoús Xristós - Jesus Christ) across field; reverse + IhSuS / XRISTuS / bASILEu / bASILE (Greek: Jesus Christ King of Kings), ornaments above and below inscription; unpublished variety; $450.00 (€382.50)
 


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

Click for a larger photo
This is a new ornaments variety, unlisted by Bellinger and Grierson, with one pellet in each limb of the nimbus cross, two pellets vertically arranged within a jeweled border on the Gospels and the ornamentation shown below both above and under the reverse inscription. We have designated this new variety Grierson-NumisWiki ornaments F1d.

SH82732. Bronze anonymous follis, Anonymous follis of Christ, class A3; SBCV 1818; Grierson-NumisWiki ornaments F1d, EF, well centered, obverse legend unstruck, light corrosion and deposits, weight 9.297 g, maximum diameter 28.7 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, c. 1023 - 11 Nov 1028 A.D.; obverse + EMMANOVHΛ (Latinized Hebrew: Emmanuel - "God with us"), facing nimbate bust of Christ, two pellets in each arm of the cross, pallium, and colobium, Gospels in both hands, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Iisoús Xristós - Jesus Christ) across field; reverse + IhSuS / XRISTuS / bASILEu / bASILE (Greek: Jesus Christ King of Kings), ornaments above and below inscription; unpublished variety; $450.00 (€382.50)
 


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

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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.
SH82754. Bronze anonymous follis, Anonymous follis of Christ, class A3; SBCV 1818; Grierson-NumisWiki ornaments 24a, EF, much mint luster, areas with porosity and light encrustation, weight 10.950 g, maximum diameter 27.5 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, c. 1023 - 11 Nov 1028 A.D.; obverse + EMMANOVHΛ (Latinized Hebrew: Emmanuel - "God with us"), facing bust of Christ, wearing nimbus cruciger with two pellets in each limb of cross, pallium, and colobium, holding gospels with both hands, gospels ornamented with two pellets within a jeweled border, to left IC, to right XC; reverse + IhSuS / XRISTuS / bASILEu / bASILE (Greek: Jesus Christ King of Kings), ornamentation above and below inscription; $450.00 (€382.50)
 


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

Click for a larger photo
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.
SH82755. Bronze anonymous follis, Anonymous follis of Christ, class A3; SBCV 1818; Grierson-NumisWiki ornaments 24a, EF, some mint luster, areas of porosity, obverse legend weak, weight 11.982 g, maximum diameter 28.1 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, c. 1023 - 11 Nov 1028 A.D.; obverse + EMMANOVHΛ (Latinized Hebrew: Emmanuel - "God with us"), facing bust of Christ, wearing nimbus cruciger with two pellets in each limb of cross, pallium, and colobium, holding gospels with both hands, gospels ornamented with two pellets within a jeweled border, to left IC, to right XC; reverse + IhSuS / XRISTuS / bASILEu / bASILE (Greek: Jesus Christ King of Kings), ornamentation above and below inscription; $450.00 (€382.50)
 


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

Click for a larger photo
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.
SH82756. Bronze anonymous follis, Anonymous follis of Christ, class A3; SBCV 1818; Grierson-NumisWiki ornaments 24a, EF, sharp portrait, obverse legend unstruck, porosity, reverse slightly off center, weight 11.708 g, maximum diameter 27.5 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, c. 1023 - 11 Nov 1028 A.D.; obverse + EMMANOVHΛ (Latinized Hebrew: Emmanuel - "God with us"), facing bust of Christ, wearing nimbus cruciger with two pellets in each limb of cross, pallium, and colobium, holding gospels with both hands, gospels ornamented with two pellets within a jeweled border, to left IC, to right XC; reverse + IhSuS / XRISTuS / bASILEu / bASILE (Greek: Jesus Christ King of Kings), ornamentation above and below inscription; $450.00 (€382.50)
 


Byzantine Empire, Manuel II Palaeologus, 25 September 1373 - 1423 A.D.

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Manuel's half stavrata with this reverse legend (which translates: "Manuel who is faithful to Christ the Lord") comprise the "Pistos" (Faithful) series. The "Pistos" series, numbers about half the quantity of half stavrata of the "Imperial" series, with the normal basileus legend (which translates: "King Manuel Palaeologus"). In A Private Collection of Palaeologan Coins, Simon Bendall asserts, "Evidence suggests there were two mints in Constantinople -- the imperial mint producing coinage for the emperor's needs and a public mint where the members of the public could bring in bullion or plate to be turned into money. The "Pistos" coins were probably the production of this public mint at Constantinople."
SH87497. Silver half stavraton (Pistos series), quarter hyperpyron, sigla 68; DOC V 1468 (same dies); Bendall PCPC 343.1; Bendall LPC p. 160, 2; Grierson 1518; Sommer 88.3; SBCV 2552, VF, crowded squared slightly ragged flan, bumps and scratches, some light corrosion, weight 3.369 g, maximum diameter 22.6 mm, die axis 0o, Public Mint, Constantinople mint, c. 1405 - 1415; obverse bust of Christ facing, cross nimbus, tunic and himation, right raised in benediction, Gospels in left, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Jesus Christ) divided across field, no sigla, double border with pellets between; reverse + MANVHΛ E XPICTO TO ΘEO ΠICT (Manuel who is faithful to Christ the Lord), bust of John VII facing, bearded, nimbate, crown with pendilia, pellet in both left and right fields (sigla); from the Robert Wachter Collection, this is the first ever Pistos series (Public Mint) half stavraton handled by Forum; rare; $450.00 (€382.50)
 


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

Click for a larger photo
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.
SH82731. Bronze anonymous follis, Anonymous follis of Christ, class A3; SBCV 1818; Grierson-NumisWiki ornaments 24a, aEF, obverse well centered, reverse a little off center, obverse inscriptions not struck, minor corrosion and encrustations, weight 9.609 g, maximum diameter 28.4 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, c. 1023 - 11 Nov 1028 A.D.; obverse + EMMANOVHΛ (Latinized Hebrew: Emmanuel - "God with us"), facing nimbate bust of Christ, two pellets in each arm of the cross, pallium, and colobium, Gospels in both hands, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Iisoús Xristós - Jesus Christ) across field; reverse + IhSuS / XRISTuS / bASILEu / bASILE (Greek: Jesus Christ King of Kings), ornaments above and below inscription; $400.00 (€340.00)
 


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

Click for a larger photo
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.
SH82749. Bronze anonymous follis, Anonymous follis of Christ, class A3; SBCV 1818; Grierson-NumisWiki ornaments 39, EF, sharp portrait, slightly uneven strike with small areas weak, slightly off center on a broad flan, tiny encrustations, closed edge crack, weight 9.691 g, maximum diameter 28.7 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, c. 1023 - 11 Nov 1028 A.D.; obverse + EMMANOVHΛ (Latinized Hebrew: Emmanuel - "God with us"), facing bust of Christ, wearing nimbus cruciger, pallium, and colobium, Gospels in both hands, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Iisoús Xristós - Jesus Christ) across field; reverse + IhSuS / XRISTuS / bASILEu / bASILE (Greek: Jesus Christ King of Kings), ornamentation above and below inscription; $400.00 (€340.00)
 


Byzantine Empire, Manuel II Palaeologus, 25 September 1373 - 1423 A.D.

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After his older brother Andronikos IV tried to usurp their father's throne, Manuel II was made co-emperor and heir. In 1376 - 1379 and again in 1390 Andronikos IV and then his son John VII seized rule. Manuel defeated his nephew and restored his father's throne. He was then sent as a hostage to the court of the Ottoman Sultan Bayezid I, where he was forced to participate in the Ottoman campaign that reduced Philadelphia, the last Byzantine enclave in Anatolia. After a five year Ottoman siege, in 1399 Manuel left for the European courts to seek aid. Relations between John VII and Manuel had improved and John VII was left as regent. The siege was lifted after the Mongols defeated the Ottomans at the Battle of Ankara. Taking advantage of the Ottoman civil war that followed and rival princes seeking friendship, John VII secured the return some lost territory including the city of Thessalonica. When Manuel returned home in 1403, his nephew retired to govern Thessalonica. Manuel was friendly with Mehmed I but after Mehmed died in 1421, the Ottomans assault began anew. Manuel relinquished most duties to his son and heir John VIII, and left again to seek aid. Unsuccessful, the Byzantines were forced to pay tribute to the sultan. Manuel II retired as a monk in 1423 and died on 21 July 1425.
BZ87498. Silver half stavraton (Basileus series), quarter hyperpyron, sigla 51; Bendall PCPC 334.26; DOC V 1453; Grierson 1517; Sommer 88.2; SBCV 2551, VF, toned, well centered and struck on the usual crowded flan, die wear, some light scratches, edge clip, weight 2.873 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 0o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 1403 - 1415; obverse bust of Christ facing, cross nimbus with pellets in arms, tunic and himation, right raised in benediction, Gospels in left, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Jesus Christ) over C - Φ (sigla) divided across field, double border with pellets between; reverse + MANOVHΛ BACIΛEVC O ΠAΛEOΛOΓO (King Manuel Palaeologus), bust of John VII facing, bearded, nimbate, crown with pendilia, Φ left and C right (sigla); from the Robert Wachter Collection; scarce; $350.00 (€297.50)
 




  



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Catalog current as of Tuesday, December 11, 2018.
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Facing Heads