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Bearded Bust Type

451, Lot: 463. Estimate $300.
Sold for $575. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Justin II. 565-578. AV Solidus (20.5mm, 4.32 g, 6h). Constantinople mint, 4th officina. Struck January 566 or 567-578. Helmeted and cuirassed bust facing, with short beard, holding crowning Victory on globus and shield / Constantinopolis seated facing on throne, head right, holding scepter and globus cruciger; Δ//CONOB. DOC 1-3 var. (unlisted officina); MIBE 5; SB 344 (unlisted officina). Clipped, a few marks. EF. Rare variety with beard.

On a minor issue of solidi, the normally clean shaven Justin is shown with a slight beard. This has been taken to indicate a mourning beard, an ancient Roman custom to show respect for the recently deceased. Not all authorities, however, accept that these were among the first issues of Justin after the death of his uncle Justinian I. MIBE does not distinguish between the bearded and beardless bust type for these solidi, and places them all within the issues of 567-578.