Printed Auction 38 Lot 5

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Printed Auction 38 Lot 5

BYZANTINE EMPIRE. Justinian II. First reign, 685-695. AV solidus. 4.41 gm. 19 mm. Constantinople mint, 2nd officina. Struck 692-695. Facing bust of Christ Pantokrator, holding book of Gospels and raising hand in benediction / Justinian standing facing, holding cross potent on steps in right hand and akakia in left. SB 1248. Extremely Fine; attractive red-gold toning; area of weakness on obverse, cross recut on reverse in corresponding area. Apart from that, a choice high grade example.

This amazing coin, much sought after and difficult to represent, carries the first portrait of Christ ever depicted on a coin, following the ruling of the Trullan Synod of A.D. 692 which first allowed that, and reflecting Justinian's self-consciously devout persona. The image is appealingly lifelike, and was probably modeled on the mosaic image of Christ in the apse of the Great Palace of Constantinople, itself influenced by Hellenistic representations of Zeus.

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How Bidding Works


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