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    Rare First Issue of Constantine IV

    Constantine IV (AD 668-685). AV solidus (21mm, 4.42 gm, 6h).  Constantinople, 6th officina, AD 668. ?N CONST-ANIЧS C COS, facing bust of Constantine IV, youthful, beardless, with long hair, wearing chlamys pinned at right shoulder and crown surmounted by cross, holding globus cruciger in right hand / VICTORIA [AVΣЧ], standing figures of Heraclius (on left) and Tiberius, both wearing chlamys and holding cross globus cruciger, flanking central cross potent on three steps, S//CONOB in exergue. Sear 1147. MIB 1b. DOC 1 variant (officina S not recorded). Extremely rare, with an extraordinary portrait! NGC (photo-certificate) MS 4/5 - 5/5.

    From The Andre Constantine Dimitriadis Collection. Private purchase from Spink & Sons, London, May 1992. 

    To Constantine IV belongs credit for finally stemming the Muslim tide that threatened to roll over all of Europe in the later seventh century. The eldest son of Constans II, he faced a host of crises upon his accession, mainly the loss of the Empire's richest provinces, the decimation of the Byzantine navy, and a badly depleted set of resources and options. He fought back with energy and ingenuity, preparing Constantinople for the inevitable siege that commenced six years after his accession, in AD 674. There the Byzantines unleashed their "secret weapon," Greek Fire, an incendiary mixture that could be projected through tubes as with a modern flame-thrower. It caught the Arab fleet utterly unprepared and caused the first great Muslim defeat since the Hijra. Constantine's army also defeated the Arabs on land in Asia Minor and forced the Caliph to sign a 30-year peace treaty on terms favorable to the Byzantines. Constantine had to cede much of the Balkans to the new Bulgarian tribe, however, a development that boded ill for the future. One of the best of the early Byzantine rulers, Constantine died young at age 33, leaving the throne to his mercurial son Justinian II. 

    This coin from the Dimitriadis Collection has been issued a photo-certificate by NGC. It may be sent in for encapsulation after the auction at the request of the buyer, free of charge. E-mail SamS@HA.com if you would like to utilize this option.


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    Auction Dates
    September, 2014
    3rd-10th Wednesday-Wednesday
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