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    Description

    First Christ Portrait

    Justinian II, first reign (AD 685-695). AV solidus (20mm, 4.46 gm, 6h). Constantinople, AD 692-695. IhS CRISΤDS RЄX RЄΣNANΤIЧM, facing half-length bust of Christ Pantocrator, raising right hand in gesture of benediction, book of Gospels cradled in left arm, cross behind / D IЧSTINI-[AN]-ЧS SERЧ [CHRISΤI], full-length figure of Justinian standing facing, dressed in loros, holding cross potent on steps in right hand and akakia in left; [CONO-P] in exergue. Sear 1248. Cf. DOC 7 (officina not visible). MIB 8. With a perfectly centered obverse struck from dies of wonderful style. Lustrous Mint State.

    The portrait of Christ on the obverse of this solidus is the first numismatic representation of Jesus, and immediately followed the ruling of the Trullan Synod of AD 692 that Christ could be depicted in human form. Justinian II was ostentatiously devout and placing the divine image on his coinage was a reflection of this. The image is remarkably naturalistic and lifelike, and was likely based on the mosaic image of Christ in the apse of the Great Palace of Constantinople, which was itself influenced by Hellenistic depictions of Zeus. 


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2015
    9th-14th Thursday-Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 6
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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