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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Numismatics| ▸ |Graffiti||View Options:  |  |  | 

Graffiti on Ancient Coins

Ancient people would sometimes scratch their initials or other marks on their coins.

|Graffiti|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Constans| |II,| |September| |641| |-| |15| |July| |668| |A.D.||solidus|
In 650 A.D., the first Chinese paper money was issued.
SH70058. Gold solidus, SBCV 953; Hahn MIB 20; Sommer 12.12; DOC II-2 16 var. (officina not listed); Morrisson BnF -; Wroth BM; Tolstoi -; Ratto -, VF, graffiti (includes KΓ obverse left, CEVHPOC = Severus in exergue), weight 4.386 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 225o, 4th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 650 - 651 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTANTINVS P P AVG, bust facing with short beard and moustache, wearing crown and chlamys, and holding globus cruciger; reverse VICTORIA AVGY Δ (victory of the Emperor, 4th officina), cross potent on three steps, CONOB in exergue; scarce officina; SOLD


Anthemius, 12 April 467 - 11 July 472

|Anthemius|, |Anthemius,| |12| |April| |467| |-| |11| |July| |472||solidus|
During the reign of Anthemius, dies were sometimes shared between the mints at Rome, Milan and Ravenna. This variant of an extremely rare type minted at Milan appears to have a re-engraved mint mark. The only other known example of this variant is in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection.
SH01632. Gold solidus, RIC X 2887, Lacam 93, VF, weight 4.37 g, maximum diameter 22.1 mm, die axis 0o, Mediolanum (Milan, Italy) mint, late 467 - 472 A.D.; obverse D N ANTHEMIVS P F AVG, helmeted bust facing, pearl-diademed, cuirassed, spear in right over shoulder, shield on left arm decorated with horseman riding down enemy; reverse SALVS REIPVBLICAE (health of the Republic), Anthemius and Leo, nimbate, standing front, each holds a spear and together they hold a cross on a globe, MD in center, COMOB in exergue; cross graffiti in obverse right field; extremely rare (R4); SOLD


Honorius, 23 January 393 - 15 August 423 A.D.

|Honorius|, |Honorius,| |23| |January| |393| |-| |15| |August| |423| |A.D.||solidus|
In 402, The Visigoths advanced on Milan and laid siege to Asti in Liguria. King Alaric I sent envoys to negotiate, but the Romans refused. Stilicho recalled troops from Britain and the Rhine frontier to defend Italy. On 6 April, Easter Sunday, Stilicho attacked the Goths in the Battle of Pollentia and captured Alaric's wife and children. In 403, The Visigoths invaded Italy again. Stilicho, with an army of 30,000 men, defeated the Goths in June at the Battle of Verona. Alaric made a truce and withdrew eastward to Illyricum. Honorius and Stilicho were honored with a triumphal march - the last triumph ever celebrated by the Empire in Rome.
SH26061. Gold solidus, RIC IX Mediolanum 35(c) (S); RIC X Honorius 1206; Depeyrot p. 171, 16/2; Ulrich-Bansa Moneta 61; DOCLR 712; SRCV V 20916; Cohen VIII 44, Choice EF, mint luster, perfect centering, light graffiti on reverse, weight 4.429 g, maximum diameter 21.2 mm, die axis 180o, Mediolanum (Milan, Italy) mint, 395 - 402 A.D.; obverse D N HONORIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VICTORIA AVGGG (victory of the three emperors), Honorius standing half right, treading on captive with left foot, standard in right hand, Victory on globe offering wreath in his left hand, M-D across field, COMOB in exergue; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Heraclius & Heraclius Constantine, 23 January 613 - 11 January 641 A.D.

|Heraclius|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Heraclius| |&| |Heraclius| |Constantine,| |23| |January| |613| |-| |11| |January| |641| |A.D.||solidus|
This variant is missing from the major collections except Dumbarton Oaks, but they do not have this officina.
SH56778. Gold solidus, Hahn MIB 33 (refs Birmingham and Nikertai 212 for this officina); SBCV 753; DOC II-1 28 var. (officina not listed); BMC -; BN -; R -; T -, VF, graffiti, uneven strike, weight 4.504 g, maximum diameter 21.0 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 629 - 631 A.D.; obverse dd NN hERACLIuS et hERA CONSt pp AV, facing busts of Heraclius, wearing long beard and his son Heraclius Constantine, short beard, both wear a simple crown with a cross on a circlet, cross above; reverse VICTORIA AVGYST (S reversed), cross potent on three steps, CONOB in exergue; extremely rare; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Constantine IV Pogonatus, 15 July 668 - 10 July 685 A.D.

|Constantine| |IV|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Constantine| |IV| |Pogonatus,| |15| |July| |668| |-| |10| |July| |685| |A.D.||solidus|
SH26634. Gold solidus, SBCV 1154, gVF, light graffiti in fields, weight 4.311 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, obverse d N A-NUS P (sic), cuirassed bust facing, holds spear and shield decorated with horseman; reverse VICTOA AVGU A CONOB, cross potent on three steps between Heraclius (left) and Tiberius, each wears crown and chlamys and holds globus cruciger; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Alexius I Comnenus, 4 April 1081 - 15 August 1118 A.D.

|Alexius| |I|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Alexius| |I| |Comnenus,| |4| |April| |1081| |-| |15| |August| |1118| |A.D.||hyperpyron|
Plovdiv was originally a Thracian city before later becoming a Greek city, and then a major Roman city. In the Middle Ages, it retained its strategic regional importance, changing hands between the Byzantine and Bulgarian Empires. Around 1000 A.D., Philippopolis became the administrative seat of a newly created Byzantine thma with the same name. In 1180, Aime de Varennes encountered the singing of Byzantine songs in the city that recounted the deeds of Alexander the Great and Philip of Macedonia, over 1300 years before. In 1364, the Ottoman Turks under Lala Shakhin Pasha seized Plovdiv. The Turks called the city Filibe, derived from "Philip."
SH73347. Gold hyperpyron, DOC IV-1 20o.1; Wroth BMC 3; Hendy pl. 5, 11; Sommer 59.29; SBCV 1935; Morrisson BnF -; Berk -; Ratto -, gVF, scyphate, bold reverse, flattened, graffiti in reverse margin, weight 4.370 g, maximum diameter 32.3 mm, die axis 180o, Philippopolis (Plovdiv, Bulgaria) mint, 1092 - 1118 A.D.; obverse KE RO-HΘEI (Lord, help [Alexius]), IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Jesus Christ), Christ enthroned facing, wearing nimbus cruciger, pallium, and colobium, raising right in benediction, gospels in left, double border; reverse A/ΛC/ZI/W / ΔCC/ ΠO/T - TW / KO/MNH/N (Z reversed, MNH ligate), Alexius standing facing, wearing chlamys, four jewels on collar, no jewels along the bottom edge of the chlamys, labarum scepter with no dot on shaft in right hand, globus cruciger in left hand, manus Dei (hand of God) above right; from the Robert Watcher Collection, this is the first ever Byzantine coin from the Philippopolis mint handled by Forum!; extremely rare; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Heraclius & Heraclius Constantine, 23 January 613 - 11 January 641 A.D.

|Heraclius| |Constantine|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Heraclius| |&| |Heraclius| |Constantine,| |23| |January| |613| |-| |11| |January| |641| |A.D.||solidus|
In 632, Heraclonas, Heraclius younger son, was designated Caesar and added to the coinage. Heraclonas was seven years old. The Heraclian monogram on the reverse replaces the more typical obverse inscription.
SH70051. Gold solidus, Wroth BMC 76; Tolstoi 410; DOC II-1 44f (no examples in the collection, refs Wroth); SBCV 770; Hahn MIB 53; Sommer 11.35; Morrisson BnF -, aEF, luster, tight flan, graffiti on obverse and reverse, weight 4.336 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 180o, 8th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 639(?) - 641; obverse Heraclius in center taller with mustache, long beard; standing with Heraclius Constantine on right, Heraclonas on left, sons beardless and equal height, all wear crown, chlamys and tablion ornamented with pellets, and hold globus cruciger in right; reverse VICTORIA AVGu H (victory of the Emperor, 8th officina), cross potent on three steps, Heraclian monogram left, E right, CONOB in exergue; SOLD


Valentinian I, 25 February 364 - 17 November 375 A.D.

|Valentinian| |I|, |Valentinian| |I,| |25| |February| |364| |-| |17| |November| |375| |A.D.||solidus|
The ruins of Antioch on the Orontes lie near the modern city of Antakya, Turkey. Founded near the end of the 4th century B.C. by Seleucus I Nicator, one of Alexander the Great's generals, Antioch's geographic, military and economic location, particularly the spice trade, the Silk Road, the Persian Royal Road, benefited its occupants, and eventually it rivaled Alexandria as the chief city of the Near East and as the main center of Hellenistic Judaism at the end of the Second Temple period. Antioch is called "the cradle of Christianity," for the pivotal early role it played in the emergence of the faith. It was one of the four cities of the Syrian tetrapolis. Its residents are known as Antiochenes. Once a great metropolis of half a million people, it declined to insignificance during the Middle Ages because of warfare, repeated earthquakes and a change in trade routes following the Mongol conquests, which then no longer passed through Antioch from the far east.6th Century Antioch
SH86347. Gold solidus, RIC IX Antioch 2(a)ii.4, Depeyrot 30/1, SRCV V 19270, Cohen VIII 28, Hunter V 48 var. (10th officina), aVF/gF, well centered, graffiti, scratches, bumps, small punches, weight 4.257 g, maximum diameter 21.9 mm, die axis 180o, 8th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 25 Feb 364 - 24 Aug 367 A.D.; obverse D N VALENTINIANVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse RESTITVTOR REIPVBLICAE, emperor standing facing, head right, labarum in right, Victory on globe in left hand, ANTH in exergue; ex H.D. Rauch, auction 101 (18 April 2016), part of lot 1856; scarce; SOLD


Valentinian I, 25 February 364 - 17 November 375 A.D.

|Valentinian| |I|, |Valentinian| |I,| |25| |February| |364| |-| |17| |November| |375| |A.D.||solidus|
In 395, after the death of Theodosius I, the Empire was re-divided into an eastern and a western half. The eastern half, centered in Constantinople, was under Arcadius, and the western half, centered in Rome, was under his brother, Honorius.
SH11114. Gold solidus, RIC IX Nicomedia 2(a), F, clipped, punch and graffiti, weight 3.345 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 180o, 5th officina, Nicomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, 25 Feb 364 - 24 Aug 367 A.D.; obverse D N VALENTINIANVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse RESTITVTOR REIPVBLICAE, emperor standing facing, head right, holding labarum and Victory on globe, SMNE in exergue; rare (R2); SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Michael VIII Palaeologus, 15 August 1261 - 11 December 1282

|Michael| |VIII|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Michael| |VIII| |Palaeologus,| |15| |August| |1261| |-| |11| |December| |1282||hyperpyron|
"CONSTANTINOPOLIS (Istanbul, Turkey - 4102'N, 2857'E), founded as Byzantium about 660 BC by Greeks from Megara, is located on the European side of the southern end of the Bosporus. It became a Roman ally in the second century BC, and maintained independent status until at least the first century AD. It was destroyed by Septimius Severus for aiding Pescennius Niger, but rebuilt within the same reign. Constantine I re-founded it as his capital, gave it his name, and opened a mint which struck for over 1,100 years under the Romans and Byzantines. It became the capital of the Byzantine Empire."- from Moneta Historical Research by Tom Schroer
SH12282. Gold hyperpyron, DOC V 13, Bendall PCPC 4, (sigla 40), cf. Sommer 77.1, Grierson 1288, Lianta 488 ff., SBCV 2242, aEF, scyphate, graffiti, weight 4.185 g, maximum diameter 25.9 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 15 Aug 1261 - 11 Dec 1282; obverse Nimbate half-length facing figure of the Virgin Mary orans within city walls, six castles forming walls; sigla A - K (K retrograde) across fields; reverse X/M/ΔEC/ΠO/T (or similar) on left, XC / Π/ΛA (or similar) on right, Archangel Michael standing facing, on left, behind Michael VII kneeling facing, presents Michael VIII to Christ, on right, seated left on high throne holding scroll, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Ihsos Xrists - Jesus Christ) flanking Christ's head; very scarce; SOLD







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