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    Description

    Sear Plate Coin of Artavasdus

    Artavasdus (AD 742-743), with Nicephorus. AV solidus (22mm, 4.46 gm, 6h).  Constantinople. ? APTAЧASDOS MЧLT, crowned facing bust of Artavasdus, with slight beard, wearing chlamys and holding patriarchal cross in his right hand / ? NIChFOR-ЧS MЧLTЧ A Θ (the F inverted), crowned facing bust of Nicephorus, beardless, wearing chlamys and holding patriarchal cross in his right hand. Sear 1542 (this coin illustrated). DOC 2b (this coin). BN p/ 479/1, note, citing this coin). Extremely rare. Well centered on a broad flan, and fully lustrous. Among the finest of about 40 known specimens. NGC (photo-certificate) MS 4/5 - 5/5.

    From The Andre Constantine Dimitriadis Collection. Ex "An Important Private Collection of Byzantine Coins" (Sotheby's, 2 November 1998), lot 404; Bonham's (3 December 1980), lot 256. 

    Artavasdus was the son-in-law and colleague of Leo III. After Leo's death in 741, Artavasdus decided to seize the throne for himself in opposition to Leo's young son, Constantine V. He managed to capture Constantinople, where he restored the worship of icons to great rejoicing. But Constantine rallied the army to his cause and defeated Artavasdus in a number of battles. After a few brief months, Artavasdus was cornered, imprisoned and blinded, along with his two sons. After his defeat all his coinage would have been recalled and melted down; thus the great rarity of them today, with about 40 gold solidi extant. Nearly all known coins of Artavasdus display some weakness of strike; this example displays full mint luster and only isolated areas of weakness. 

    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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