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Home > Auctions > 19th June 2013 > World Islamic - Umayyad Caliphs - First Issues - Gold Imitative Solidus

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LOT 0273

Sold for (Inc. bp): £20,570

(4.25 grams.).

Circa 70 AH or earlier; copying Byzantine solidus of Heraclius, caliph ‘Abd al-Malik(?), minted Damascus(?). Obv: three standing figures (Heraclius, Heraclonas and Heraclius Constantine), the crosses omitted from their crowns, standing, holding orbs or globii without crosses; Heraclius with extravagent moustaches and beard. Rev: pillar (or tau cross) on four steps (being cross potent on three steps, central arm omitted) with Heraclius monogram left and I right with VICTORIA AVGYI legend and CONOB in exergue. Very fine. Extremely rare; unpublished, possibly unique?

See Miles, plates 45, 7-10 and 46, 11; see Friedberg page 82, 1 (copying Sear 763; MIB 44; DOC 38); see (this coin).

The earliest Islamic coinages anonymously copied those of the Byzantine emperors but with the Christian crosses on the crowns, orbs and reverse types removed so are assumed to be of non-Christian origin. This particular example not apparently from previously recorded dies and possibly unique; perhaps from earlier in the series than those hitherto published. From different dies to the example in the Spink Zurich sale, lot 86, February 1986 and from the Baldwins sale (Horus Collection), 9th May 2013, lot 3999 but of very similar style and the Horus coin likely from the same origin. All such coins are exceedingly rare.