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First Bulgarian Empire, Peter I, 927 - 969 A.D., Lead Bulla Seal
This seal was reportedly found together with a hoard of Romanus I, Constantine II and Romanus II solidi, some of which are now available for sale in our Byzantine Gold section. The seal may have once tied a leather bag containing the coins; perhaps a Bulgarian imperial payment.
Peter was the son of Simeon the Great 893 - 927, architect of the Golden Age for the Bulgarian Empire. In 927 the Bulgarians and the Byzantines signed apeace treaty which recognized Peter's Imperial title, the borders and the Bulgarian Patriarchate. In addition, Peter married Maria Lecapene, renamed Eirene (Peace) for the event.
An inferior example (with a finder's cut defacing Peter) was estimated $1000 and sold for $650 plus fees in Triton XI, 2008.SH33751. Lead bulla (tag seal), gVF, weight 18.524 g, maximum diameter 22.8 mm, die axis 0o, obverse + IhSuS XPI[...]+, facing bust of Christ, holding book of Gospels in left hand, cross behind head; reverse blundered legend naming Peter, facing busts of Peter, wearing chlamys, and his wife, Eirine (Maria) Lecapene, wearing loros, both crowned, holding patriarchal cross between them; well formed seal, nice round thick flan, attractive buff-grey patina; SOLD
Egyptian, Coptic, Wood Hair Comb, 6th - 7th Century A.D.
AB31029. Wooden comb; cf. Petrie, Objects of Daily Use, 47 - 51; length 22 cm (8 5/8"), width 7.3 cm (2 7/8"), ornamented with circular geometric patterns; warped, missing some teeth; SOLD
Byzantine Empire, c. 10th Century A.D.
The various anonymous coin weights or tesserae are normally assigned to the period following the introduction of the lighter weight gold tetarteron by Nicephorus II 963 - 969 A.D.BZ31140. Bronze tessera, Bendall, Weights 17 note; Hendy, Studies, p. 508, gVF, encrusted, weight 3.599 g, maximum diameter 18.6 mm, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey)? mint, obverse + ∆VO in three lines, reverse TETAPTWN in three lines, SOLD
Early Christian, Late Roman, Antioch, Syria, Pottery Oil Lamp, 5th - 6th Century A.D.
AL34421. Christian oil lamp; cf. Anawati C275 (very similar but different discus/shoulder ornamentation); 10.2 cm (4") long, Choice - Superb, buff with red-orange slip, flat high-handle ornamented with cross inside round border of a band of dots between concentric circles, steep shoulders, ridge around discus and nozzle forming channel, geometric dot in crescent design on shoulders; very rare; SOLD
Christian, Late Roman - Early Byzantine, Antioch, Syria, Pottery Oil Lamp, Second Half of 4th - 5th Century A.D.
V. Tzaferis has shown that depiction of the cross, in any form, began in the middle of the 4th century. This lamp is among the earliest examples of the cross used as a Christian symbol.
Lamps with similar ornamentation, but quite different in overall and obviously from a different workshop (Palestinian), were found in a tomb at Ein Yabrud (central West Bank, 7 km northeast of Ramallah) with a gold coin of Constantine.
AL34544. Christian oil lamp; 7.9 cm (3") long; cf. Adler 907 and Schloessinger 453 ff. (Ein Yabrud, different shape, etc. but certainly same period), Choice, buff terracotta, piriform shape, cross on nozzle with single raised band above, tongue handle, double molding around fill hole, radial design on shoulder, sharp carination with slight rim, raised base ring; rare; SOLD
Byzantine Empire, Terracotta Pilgrim's Token of the True Cross, c. 7th Century A.D.
Includes a Certificate of Authenticity Signed by David Hendin author of the Guide to Biblical Coins.
During the war between the Byzantine and Sassanian Empires in the 7th Century A.D., Khosrau II captured Jerusalem and took the True Cross to Persia as spoils of war. It was recovered by Heraclius, taken first to Constantinople and then across Asia Minor back to Jerusalem. According to legend, during its return journey a piece of the cross was taken and burned, the ashes were mixed with clay and tokens were made commemorating the safe return of the True Cross to Jerusalem.AS67491. Clay token, Mitchiner Badges, type C, 1067 - 1069; Staffordshire University, Flaxman Gallery, 1995 - 1996 Season Catalog, p. 19, 82 - 86, obverse True Cross flanked by half length busts, usually identified as either St. Peter and St. Paul, or as Constantine the Great and, his mother, Saint Helena; SOLD
Byzantine Bronze Weight, 10th - 11th Century A.D.
BZ58233. Byzantine bronze weight; cut square, 13.7mm x 14.1mm, 4.270 g; perhaps used for the minimum acceptable weight for a solidus, obverse bearded bust of Christ facing; reverse facing crowned busts of the emperor, on left wearing a loros, and his son, holding labarum between them; SOLD
Late Roman - Early Byzantine, Antioch, Syria, Pottery Oil Lamp, 5th - 6th Century A.D.
The Warschaw Collection (Israel Museum, Jerusalem) lamp referenced has a male head and is a different shape but, like or lamp, the back of the head is on the reverse of the handle. In addition, the Warschaw lamp has the same type of decoration on the base. The two lamps are perhaps from the same Antiochian workshop.
Describing a similar lamp, the Nakayama Collection website notes, "It is said, but not proven, that it depicts the face of the Virgin Mary."AL34531. High-handle oil lamp; cf. Anawati C270, Warschaw 474 (male head), Choice, 10.8 cm (4 1/4") long; red clay with white slip, mold made, high handle decorated with facing female head wearing earrings, back of head with long hair on the reverse side of the handle, bottom ornamented with four pellets in circles; SOLD
Late Roman, Holyland (Syro-Palestinian), Christian Cross Oil Lamp, c. 350 - 500 A.D.
An important early Christian relic! Because of the cross, this type of lamp is dated after 350 A.D. The cross was only adopted as a Christian symbol after Helena, the mother of Constantine the Great, found the True Cross in Jerusalem. The cross on this lamp is among the earliest Christian crosses produced. Similar lamps were made with a palm or menorah on the nozzle for the makers' Jewish customers. Both types were continued to be produced after 500 A.D. but the later lamps are larger.AL93886. Small Christian Cross Oil Lamp; cf. Menzel 655, Schloessinger 453 ff., Bailey BMC -; 8.2 cm (3 1/3") long, Choice, complete and intact, minor bumps, minor earthen encrustations (visible in photos), c. 350 - 500 A.D.; pink-buff light clay, tear drop shape from above, no handle, decorative radiating pattern, cross on the nozzle, ring base; SOLD
Islamic (Fatimid?), 2 Glass Jetons, 12th Century A.D.
From the collection of Alex G. Malloy, former dealer in antiquities for 40 years.
The number of Islamic glass jetons that still exist indicates the original number vastly exceeded the number needed as coin weights. Combined with an almost total absensce of copper coinage, this seems to indicate glass jetons replaced copper as currency.AM32365. 2 Islamic glass jetons, both Choice, first violet glass weight with central stamp with Arabic letter; second clear glass weight with star above a three line Arabic inscription; SOLD