Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice

    Description

    Youthful Christ Portrait

    Justinian II, second reign (AD 705-711), with Tiberius. AV solidus (20mm, 4.30 gm, 6h). Constantinople, AD 708-711. ?N IhS ChS RЄX RЄGNANTIЧM, facing bust of Christ, with short beard and tight, curly hair, wearing pallium and colobium, raising right hand in benediction and holding book of Gospels in left arm, cross behind head / ?N IVSTINIAN ЧS ЄT TIbЄRIЧS P P A, crowned and draped facing busts of Justinian II, wearing short beard, and Tiberius, much smaller, each wearing chlamys and holding long cross potent between them. Sear 1414. DOC 2a. MIB 2a. Edges a bit trimmed, otherwise sharply struck, with crisp detail and mirror-like fields. NGC MS 4/5 - 4/5, clipped.

    After a decade spent in exile, Justinian II regained the East Roman throne with Bulgarian help in AD 705 and immediately resumed his innovative coinage featuring an obverse portrait of Christ. The new sacred image, however, was distinctly different from the "classic" Christ of Justinian's first reign. Jesus is shown in a seemingly more youthful guise, with a head of tight, curly hair and a close-cropped beard, in place of the long tresses and medium-length beard on coins of the first reign. Various theories have been put forth to explain this abrupt change in iconography, but it remains mysterious. At any rate young, curly headed Christ proved a short-lived depiction. It would not be until the end of the iconoclastic era in the late 9th century AD that Christ would again be depicted on Byzantine coins, and the image would revert to the more traditional long-haired visage of Justinian II's first reign. 


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2015
    13th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 859

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    17.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    VIEW BENEFITS
    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
      winnings 
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 12 days left to consign to the 2020 April 22 - 27 Central States World Coins Signature Auction - Chicago!

    Learn about consigning with us

    Heritage did everything splendidly to ensure that the coins would bring the best prices possible in the public market.
    [ Entire Letter » ]
    Museum of Connecticut History of Hartford, CT,
    Hartford, CT
    View More Testimonials

    HA.com receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source: Similarweb.com)

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2020 January 15 Classic Silver and Gold Commemoratives US Coins Monthly Online Auction
    2020 January 15 Classic Silver and Gold Commemoratives US Coins Monthly Online Auction
    REALIZED $122,082
    2020 February 9 A Special Collection of Frankfurt Coins World Coins Monthly Online Auction
    2020 February 9 A Special Collection of Frankfurt Coins World Coins Monthly Online Auction
    REALIZED SO FAR $55,978.00
    2020 January 9 - 13 FUN World Paper Money Signature Auction - Orlando
    2020 January 9 - 13 FUN World Paper Money Signature Auction - Orlando
    REALIZED $1,759,052