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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 Silver hemidrachm, Unpublished; cf.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 Anonymous Follis of Christ, Class A2, Basil II & Constantine VIII, 976 - 1025 A.D.

|Anonymous| |Folles|, |Byzantine| |Anonymous| |Follis| |of| |Christ,| |Class| |A2,| |Basil| |II| |&| |Constantine| |VIII,| |976| |-| |1025| |A.D.||anonymous| |follis|NEW
This is a new ornaments variety, which we have just added to NumisWiki. It is a variation of Grierson 30, but this coin has two pellets vice three in each arm of the nimbus cruciger and this coin has a pellet in square on the book vice and ordinary pellet. Both this coin and BZ93547, received together from the Errett Bishop Collection, share this ornaments variety.
BZ93549. Bronze anonymous follis, Anonymous follis of Christ class A2; Grierson-NumisWiki ornaments 30b; DOC III-2 A2.16a; SBCV 1813; Sommer 40.2.1, aVF, areas unstruck, weight 14.249 g, maximum diameter 32.86 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, c. 976 - 1025 AD; obverse + EMMANOVHΛ (romanized Hebrew - God is with us), facing bust of Christ, wears nimbus cruciger ornamented with two pellets in each limb of cross, 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), ornaments above and below inscription; from the Errett Bishop Collection; new previously unknown ornaments variety; 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; $140.00 SALE PRICE $126.00


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|NEW
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, John II Comnenus, 15 August 1118 - 8 April 1143 A.D.

|John| |II|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |John| |II| |Comnenus,| |15| |August| |1118| |-| |8| |April| |1143| |A.D.||tetarteron|NEW
John II was a capable ruler. He recaptured lost territory and added territory to the Empire. He attempted to curtail the trading privileges given to the Venetians but was forced to give up this idea. His reign was brought to an early end when he died in a hunting accident.
BZ99283. Bronze tetarteron, DOC IV-1 14b; Morrisson BnF 60/Th/AE/02; Wroth BMC 70; Hendy pl. 11, 12; SBCV 1953; Sommer 60.14, Choice aVF, broad flan, dark uneven patina, areas of slightest porosity, weight 3.762 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 180o, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 1137 - 8 Apr 1143 A.D.; obverse bust of Christ facing wears nimbus cruciger, pallium and colobium, pellet in each limb of nimbus, raising right hand in benediction, Gospels in left hand, IC - XC (Greek abbr.: Ihsos Xrists - Jesus Christ) flanking shoulders; reverse Iw ∆ECΠTH (John, Despotes), bust of John II facing, wearing crown with cross and pendilia, and jeweled chlamys, jeweled scepter in right hand, globus cruciger in left hand; from the S. Lindner Collection; $140.00 SALE PRICE $126.00


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|NEW
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: Ihsos Xrists - Jesus Christ) across field; reverse blundered inscription imitating: + IhSuS / XRISTuS / bASILEu / bASILE (Greek: Jesus Christ King of Kings); rare this crude; $120.00 SALE PRICE $108.00


Byzantine Anonymous Follis of Christ, Class I, Nicephorus III, 7 January 1078 - 1 April 1081

|Anonymous| |Folles|, |Byzantine| |Anonymous| |Follis| |of| |Christ,| |Class| |I,| |Nicephorus| |III,| |7| |January| |1078| |-| |1| |April| |1081||anonymous| |follis|
The inept rule of Michael VII led to several revolts. Nicephorus seized the capital, was crowned and married Michael's wife, Empress Maria of Alania. 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.
BZ93551. Bronze anonymous follis, Anonymous follis of Christ, DOC III-2, class I; SBCV 1889; Sommer 40.11, VF, overstruck on earlier follis, weight 4.542 g, maximum diameter 26.9 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 7 Jan 1078 - 1 Apr 1081; obverse bust of Christ facing, wearing nimbus cruciger, pallium, and colobium, raising right in benediction, gospels in left, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Ihsos Xrists - Jesus Christ) across field; reverse Latin cross with X at center, globule and two pellets at each extremity, floral ornaments in lower fields, crescents in upper fields; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $120.00 SALE PRICE $108.00


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

|Justinian| |I|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Justinian| |I,| |4| |April| |527| |-| |14| |November| |565| |A.D.||follis|
Justinian folles of years 12-14, such as this coin, are highly valued because they are larger and of better style than most later examples. These massive coins must have given their users a solid assurance of value.
BZ99436. Bronze follis, DOC I 38c, Morrisson BnF I 4/Cp/AE/41, Wroth BMC 48, Tolstoi 98, Ratto 499, SBCV 163, Sommer 40.20, Hahn MIB I 95, VF, centered on a large flan, slight double strike, earthen deposits, weight 22.690 g, maximum diameter 40.11 mm, die axis 180o, 3rd officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 539 - 540 A.D.; obverse D N IVSTINIANVS P P AVG, helmeted and cuirassed bust facing, globus cruciger in right hand, shield on left arm ornamented with a horseman spearing a fallen foe, cross right; reverse large M (40 nummi), cross above, A/N/N/O (year) in column left, X/III (13) right, Γ (officina 3) below, CON (Constantinople) in exergue; full circles strike on a huge flan!; $120.00 SALE PRICE $108.00


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




  



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