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    Rare One-Year Phocas Type

    Phocas (AD 602-610). AV solidus (23mm, 4.49 gm, 6h).  Constantinople, 7th officina, AD 602/3. ΣN FOCAS PЄRP AVC, draped and cuirassed bust of Phocas facing, wearing crown with pendilia surmounted by cross, holding globus cruciger in right hand / VICTORI-A AVCC, angel standing facing, holding staff topped by staurogram and globus cruciger; Z//CONOB. Sear 616. DOC 1c. MIB 5. Rare one-year type. Sharply struck on a broad flan from dies of excellent style. Expressive portrait! NGC (photo-certificate) MS 5/5 - 5/5.

    From The Andre Constantine Dimitriadis Collection. Ex Spink & Sons (London, October 1991), lot 156. 

    A semi-barbarian officer in the Byzantine army of the Balkans, Phocas led a coup against Maurice Tiberius and was crowned over his predecessor's dead body. He proved a cruel tyrant with no talent for government or defence. His accession touched off a cascade of crises that threatened to overwhelm the East Roman state. While Phocas is justly derided for bringing the Empire to the brink of destruction, his reign witnessed some interesting numismatic innovations. Coin portraiture, which had become so stylized as to be generic since the late fourth century AD, suddenly saw hints of realism return. While preceding emperors had been shown as blandly clean-shaven and round-faced, Phocas appears on his coins as a shaggy, rough-hewn semi-barbarian with a lean, angular face, no doubt reflecting his actual appearance. 

    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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