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Research Coins: Feature Auction


Last Issue of Byzantine Coinage

CNG 106, Lot: 902. Estimate $3000.
Sold for $9500. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Constantine XI Palaeologus (Dragases). 1448-1453. AR Eighth Stavraton (13mm, 0.61 g, 11h). Constantinople mint. Facing bust of Christ Pantocrator; I-X across field; [pellet to left] and right of nimbus / Crowned facing bust of Constantine; K-C across field; [pellets above; pellet to left] and right below. DOC 1789 (same dies); Bendall, Coinage 149 (this coin); PCPC –; LPC –; SB –. Good VF, toned. Rare.

Ex Classical Numismatic Auctions XIX (19 February 1992), lot 588.

This coin comes from a hoard of John VIII and Constantine XI published by Simon Bendall in 1991 (see Bendall, Coinage). Prior to the hoard, the coinage of Constantine was only known from two specimens. Bendall believed the eighth stavrata of Constantine to be “prime contenders for being the very last coins struck in the Byzantine Empire” (p. 141), and thought those with the shortened “KC” form of the emperor’s name to be the final eighth stavrata to be struck. Several contemporary sources specifically tell us that Constantine ordered sacred vessels to be removed from churches and melted down to strike coins as payment to his soldiers (Bendall pp. 140–1).