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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Byzantine Coins| ▸ |Unofficial & Imitative||View Options:  |  |  | 

Unofficial and Imitative Byzantine Coins

Unofficial and imitative Byzantine coins include counterfeits as well as imitative types struck by the Vandals, Goths, Lombards, Sassanian Persians, Crusaders, Arabs, Bulgarians and other ancient and medieval cultures.


Byzantine Anonymous Follis of Christ, Class A3, Basil II & Constantine VIII, c. 1023 - 11 November 1028 A.D.

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The extraordinarily crude, unusual and interesting style of this coin suggests it is unofficial; however, the style is typical for all specimens with Grierson-NumisWiki ornaments 29. The weight of specimens from the issue was well controlled at around 10 grams. The variety is likely official, but from a provincial mint, certainly not Constantinople.
BZ86495. Bronze anonymous follis, Anonymous follis of Christ class A3, Grierson-NumisWiki ornaments 29; DOC III-2 A2.29 (not in the collection, refs. Bellinger); SBCV 1818, EF, sharp detail, extraordinary and interesting crude style, tight flan, reverse off center, edge ragged, weight 10.472 g, maximum diameter 28.6 mm, die axis 180o, provincial (or unofficial?) mint, c. 1023 - 11 Nov 1028 A.D.; obverse + EMMANOVHΛ (Latinized Hebrew: Emmanuel - "God with us"), facing bust of Christ, wearing nimbus cruciger with two pellets in each limb of cross, pallium, and colobium, Gospels in both hands, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Iisos Xrists - Jesus Christ) across field; reverse + IhSuS / XRISTuS / bASILEu / bASILE (Greek: Jesus Christ King of Kings), ornamentation above and below inscription; $360.00 (316.80)


Imitative Byzantine Anonymous Follis of Christ, c. 970 - 980 A.D.

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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: Iisos Xrists - Jesus Christ) across field; reverse blundered inscription imitating: + IhSuS / XRISTuS / bASILEu / bASILE (Greek: Jesus Christ King of Kings); rare this crude; $300.00 (264.00)


Byzantine Anonymous Follis of Christ, Class A3, Basil II & Constantine VIII, c. 1023 - 11 November 1028 A.D.

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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.
BZ88929. Bronze anonymous follis, Anonymous follis of Christ, DOC III-2, class A3; SBCV 1818; Grierson-NumisWiki ornaments F24a2 (crude), gVF, attractive toned copper surfaces, uneven strike, reverse off center, some porosity, weight 10.689 g, maximum diameter 27.6 mm, die axis 180o, uncertain (Greek?, unofficial?) mint, c. 1023 - 11 Nov 1028 A.D.; obverse + EMMANOVHΛ (Latinized Hebrew: Emmanuel), facing bust of Christ, wearing nimbus cruciger with two pellets in each limb of cross, pallium, and colobium, holding gospels with both hands, gospels ornamented with a star-like ornament, to left IC, to right XC; reverse + IhSuS / XRISTuS / bASILEu / bASILE (Greek: Jesus Christ King of Kings), crude ornamentation above and below inscription; rare; $170.00 (149.60)


Normans, Southern Italy, Anonymous, Dukes of Apulia or Counts of Sicily & Calabria, c. 1060 - 1080 A.D.

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This coin is certainly imitative, as it weighs less then 1/3 the weight of the even the lightest official Class B Byzantine anonymous follis Forum has handled. Attribution to the Normans in Italy is based on the reputed find location and some similarity to other Byzantine imitatives issued by the Normans in Southern Italy and Sicily.
ME73353. Bronze follaro, apparently unpublished, imitative of Class B Byzantine anonymous follis (SBCV 1823, Constantinople, 1028 - 1041); MEC Italy III -, MIR -, et al. -, F, weight 2.163 g, maximum diameter 23.3 mm, die axis 180o, uncertain Italian mint, c. 1060 - 1080 A.D.; obverse facing bust of Christ, wearing nimbus cruciger, pallium, and colobium, holding book of Gospels; reverse IS - XS / bAS-ILE / bAS-ILE (Jesus Christ King of Kings, mostly off flan), Cross on three steps, dividing legend; from a California collector; $125.00 (110.00)


Islamic, Umayyad, Arab Pseudo-Byzantine, Bilad al-Sham (Greater Syria), c. 658 - 693 A.D.

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The first Islamic coins were imitations of Byzantine and Sasanian types. This bust on the obverse is the Christian Byzantine emperor and the m on the reverse is the Byzantine mark of value for 40 nummi.
IS92031. Bronze fals, cf. DOCAB 69; Walker BMC 67; Mitchiner WOI 9; Goodwin 14; Album p. 36, 3524, gF, well centered on a broad flan, brown tone with buff earthen highlighting, uneven strike with weak areas, weight 4.346 g, maximum diameter 21.4 mm, die axis 180o, Emesa (Homs, Syria) mint, c. 658 - 693 A.D.; obverse bust of emperor, beardless, facing, wearing crown and chlamys, globus cruciger in right, Greek inscription KAΛON (good) on left, Arabic script bi-hims (good in Hims) on right, star following; reverse large m (40 nummi), star above flanked on each side by a plain annulet, Greek inscription flanking m: E/M/I-C/H/C (mint name Emises) flanking, Arabic script tayyib (good) in exergue; $50.00 SALE |PRICE| $45.00 ON RESERVE







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REFERENCES

Album, S.A. Checklist of Islamic Coins. (Santa Rosa, CA, 1998).
Album, S. & T. Goodwin. Sylloge of Islamic Coins in the Ashmolean Museum, Volume 1, The Pre-Reform Coinage of the Early Islamic Period. (Oxford, 2002).
Bellinger, A.R. & P. Grierson, eds. Catalogue of the Byzantine Coins in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection and in the Whittemore Collection. (Washington D.C., 1966 - 1999).
Foss, C. Arab-Byzantine Coins: An Introduction, with a Catalogue of the Dumbarton Oaks Collection. (Harvard University Press, 2008).
Goodwin, T. Arab-Byzantine Coinage. Studies in the Khalili Collection. (London, 2005).
Hahn, W. Moneta Imperii Byzantini. (Vienna, 1973-81).
Hendy, M. Coinage and Money in the Byzantine Empire 1081-1261. (Washington D.C., 1969).
Hennequin, G. Catalogue des monnaies musulmanes de la Bibliotheque Nationale. (Paris, 1985).
Malloy, A.G., I.F. Preston, & A.J Seltman. Coins of the Crusader States. (New York, 2004).
Metcalf, D.M. Coinage of the Crusaders and the Latin East in the Ashmolean Museum Oxford. (London, 1995).
Mitchiner, M. Oriental Coins and Their Values Volume One : The World of Islam. (London, 1977).
Sear, D. R. Byzantine Coins and Their Values. (London, 1987).
Spengler, W.F. & W.G. Sayles. Turkoman Figural Bronze Coins and Their Iconography. (Lodi, 1992).
Ratto, R. Monnaies Byzantines et d'autre Pays contemporaines l'poque byzantine. (Lugano, 1930).
Tolstoi, I. Monnaies byzantines. (St. Petersburg, 1913 - 14).
Walker, J. A Catalogue of the Muhammadan Coins in The British Museum. Volume 2: A Catalogue of the Arab-Byzantine and Post-Reform Umaiyad Coins. (London, 1956).
Wroth, W. Catalogue of the Imperial Byzantine Coins in the British Museum. (London, 1908).
Wroth, W. Catalogue of the Coins of the Vandals, Ostrogoths, Lombards and of the Empires of Thessalonica, Nicaea, and Trebizond in the British Museum. (London, 1911).

Catalog current as of Saturday, September 21, 2019.
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Unofficial and Imitative Byzantine Coins