|285, Lot: 404. Estimate $300.
Sold for $380. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.
527-565. Æ Half Follis (23mm, 8.39 g, 6h). Uncertain mint . Dated RY 14 (540/1 AD). Helmeted and cuirassed facing bust, holding globus cruciger and shield / Large K; cross above, date across field; CON. DOC 313 (Constantine in Numidia); MIB 243 (Sicily); SB 285 (Constantine in Numidia). Good VF, olive-green patina. Well struck and unusually attractive for issue, rare as such.
Ex Christov Family Collection; Triton IX (9 January 2006), lot 1619.
Such "CON" mint folles and half folles represent another of the all too frequent enigmas of Byzantine coinage. In terms of style they are very close to Constantinopolitan issues, with a few idiosyncratic details, like the elongated upright of the K on the half follis. Site finds show they circulated in the west, in Africa, Sicily, Italy and the Dalmatian coast, in other words wherever there were active military operations related to the re-conquest. There are two distinct blocks of dated types, with folles and half folles of regnal years 14-16 as one and another of folles only dated RY 30; these parallel similar Carthage issues in several denominations, of RY 13-16 and RY 31, which suggests that the production of the "CON" mint tracked that of Carthage. Constantine in Numidia has been suggested as a mint, as well as a location in Sicily. It may in fact be a mobile military mint, staffed by mint workers from Constantinople and Carthage, and setting up wherever the need for coinage was greatest.