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Research Coins: Feature Auction

 
681441
Sale: Triton VIII, Lot: 1441. Estimate $3000. 
Closing Date: Monday, 10 January 2005. 
Sold For $3500. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

ROMANUS III, Argyrus. 1028-1034. AR Miliaresion (2.25 gm, 6h). Constantinople mint. Struck 1030 AD. +QPARQENE COI QPOLVAINE, M Q across field, the Virgin, nimbate, standing facing on footstool, holding nimbate infant Christ; triple border with eight spaced pellets / OC QHLPIKE PANTA KATOPQOI, Romanus standing facing on footstool, wearing crown and loros, holding long patriarchal cross and patriarchal cross on globus; triple border with eight spaced pellets. DOC III 3a; SB 1822. Good VF, attractive old collection toning, flan a little short on upper reverse. Very rare. ($3000)

From the Malcolm W. Heckman Collection.

The complete legend reads "He who places his hope in thee, O Virgin, will prosper in all he does". The depiction of Mary was adopted from an icon known as the Virgin Hodegetria, in the Hodegon monastery in Constantinople. Supposedly painted by St. Luke, this icon was regarded as a powerful protector of the city and the emperor. Romanus sought the protection of Mary when he launched his assault against the Zengids in Aleppo in 1030 AD, a campaign that nonetheless ended in failure. His miliaresion struck in her honor, however, has left behind one of the most sensitive portraits of Virgin and Child in Byzantine art.