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    Extremely Rare Alexander Solidus

    Alexander (AD 912-913). AV solidus (22mm, 4.48 gm, 6h).  Constantinople, AD 912-913. + IhS XRS RЄX RЄGhAh-TIЧM, Christ, nimbate, seated facing on lyre-backed throne, wearing pallium and colobium, extending right hand in benediction and holding book of Gospels on left knee / + ALEXAhd-ROS AЧGЧSTOS ROM', Alexander, standing facing on lefct, wearing crown, loros and divitsion, holding globus cruciger in right hand, crowned by St. Alexander (to right), standing three-quarters left, wearing pallium and colobium, holding cross in left hand. Sear 1737 (same dies). DOC 2. Berk 272 (this piece). Extremely rare! NGC (photo-certificate) MS 5/5 - 2/5, smoothing.

    From The Andre Constantine Dimitriadis Collection. Ex "An Important Private Collection of Byzantine Coins" (Sotheby's, 2 November 1998), lot 477. 

    The youngest son of Basil I the Macedonian, Alexander grew up as a pleasure-loving wastrel in sharp contrast to his scholarly and dutiful brother, Leo VI "the Wise," who kept him far from affairs of state.  When Leo died in May AD 912, his six-year-old son Constantine VII was too young to rule, and there were questions about his legitimacy. Alexander was thus offered the throne. He proved as unfit to rule as Leo had predicted, and spent most of his reign throwing banquets and playing tzykanion, a Byzantine version of polo. His one act of statesmanship, denying the Bulgarians their annual tribute payment, proved disastrous and led to a 15-year war. Fortunately, the Byzantines did not have to endure his listless rule for long, as he collapsed and died after a strenuous game of polo in June AD 913. He was succeeded by Constantine VII, under the regency of the Patriarch Nicholas. Coins of Alexander are exceedingly rare, with only about 20 solidi known. 

    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 Info

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