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Research Coins: Printed Auction

CNG 108, Lot: 819. Estimate $750.
Sold for $3500. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

BULGARIA, First Empire. Simeon I Veliki. 893-927. PB Seal (33mm, 43.50 g, 12h). Facing bust of Christ, raising hand in benediction and holding Gospels / Facing bust of the Virgin Mary, orans. Jordanov Type III.2.A. VF, beige patina. Rare.

From the Iconodule Collection.

By the beginning of the reign of Simeon I Veliki, the First Bulgarian Empire was poised to take on the Byzantines. Styling himself as a ruler on par with the Byzantine emperor, Simeon adopted the title “Tsar of the Bulgarians and Autocrat of the Greeks.” Between 894 and 896, he defeated the Byzantines and their allies in the so-called “Trade War,” and, at the Battle of Bulgarophygon, he brought an end to the war with a rout of the Byzantine army. Following the death of the Byzantine emperor Alexander in 913, Simeon once again invaded Byzantine territory, but halted his plans when he was offered official recognition of his full imperial title, and a marriage between his daughter and the infant emperor, Constantine VII. The Byzantine court rejected the settlement and war was shortly renewed. On 20 August 917, Simeon fought the Byzantines, devoid of any allies, at Anchialus. Simeon, however, was prevented from taking Constantinople, although the Bulgarians took control of much of the Balkans.