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Old Jan 27, 2010, 04:40 PM   #1
BeastCoins
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Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus, AV Solidus - SB 1751 variant

Dear fellow ancients enthusiasts,

Here is a really neat example of a variant of SB 1751:



Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus and Romanus II Lecapenus, AV Solidus, 945-959, Constantinople
. + IhS XPS REX REςNANTIЧM (cross)
Facing busts of Christ, wearing nimbus cruciger, three pellets in each limb of cross, pallium and colobium, right hand raised in benediction, book of Gospels in left
COnStAnt' CE ROmAn' AЧςς b' R'
Facing busts of Constantine VII, with short beard on left, and Romanus II, beardless on right, each wearing crown, holding long patriarchal cross between them, Constantine wearing loros, Romanus wearing chlamys
19mm, 4.34g
SB 1751

Note: This example is the very scarce variety with cross (more like a palm and quite unlike the cross at the beginning of the legend) at the end of the obverse legend and an unlisted variant with pellet at the beginning of the obverse legend. Also, this example has a higher relief on all three portraits as compared to all other examples I've handled or seen of the type.

I sent a link to this coin to David Sear and he thought it was an interesting variety, which he had not seen before. Any idea what the object at the end of the obverse legend is supposed to be? I have to wonder if this isn't from the first issue of the type under Constantine VII, considering the high relief (thinking of the 1907 ultra-high-relief Saint Gaudens $20 gold which had to be flattened for utility purposes) as compared to what would then be subsequent issues with slightly lower relief. Does DOC talk about these?

Here is an example of the slightly lower relief issue of the regular SB 1751 for comparison:



Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus and Romanus II Lecapenus, AV Solidus, 945-959, Constantinople
+ IhS XPS REX REςNANTIЧM
Facing busts of Christ, wearing nimbus cruciger, three pellets in each limb of cross, pallium and colobium, right hand raised in benediction, book of Gospels in left
COnStAnt' CE ROmAn' AЧςς b R
Facing busts of Constantine VII, with short beard on left and wearing loros, and Romanus II, beardless on right and wearing chlamys, each wearing crown, holding long patriarchal cross with two pellets on shaft between them
18mm x 20mm, 4.38g
SB 1751

Thanks in advance,

--Zach Beasley
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Old Jan 27, 2010, 10:50 PM   #2
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Perhaps the tree is a trifolium?
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Trub
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Old Jan 29, 2010, 12:08 PM   #3
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Trub,

Not sure - Sear lists the type with a cross at the end, but doesn't describe the type of cross and if it is supposed to be a different style than the one at the beginning of the legend. Very unusual, so I'm kind of at a loss as to what it really is at this point.

--Zach
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