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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Sale: Triton IX, Lot: 1661. Estimate $1000. 
Closing Date: Monday, 9 January 2006. 
Sold For $2300. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

ROMANUS II. 959-963 AD. AV Solidus (4.37 g, 6h). Constantinople mint. Struck 959 AD. Continuing the last type of Constantine VII. +IhS XP REX REGNANTINM, facing bust of Christ, raising hand in blessing and holding Gospels; nimbus with three pellets in arms of cross / Crowned facing busts of Constantine, with short beard, and Romanus, beardless, holding patriarchal cross between them; legend has been re-cut and is illegible. F. Füeg, "Vom Umgang mit Zufall und Wahrscheinlichkeit in der Numismatischen Forschung," SNR 76 (1997), pl. IV, B4; DOC III - (but cf. DOC 15 of Constantine VII); SB -. EF. ($1000)

Füeg places this issue in the early days of the sole reign of Romanus II, who succeeded his father after a tumultuous reign of 46 years. The dies are re-used solidus dies of Constantine, but with the reverse legend obliterated by over-cutting. Romanus is reputed to have had scant interest in governing, leaving the administration of the empire to his wife, Theophano, and a group of advisors led by Joseph Bringas. There seems to have been little incentive to produce a coinage in the name of this ineffectual ruler, his only other solidi being two rare types, both of which were thought to survive in unique specimens at the time the DOC catalogue was compiled. They are in any case the last solidi struck before the introduction of the tetarteron by Nicephorus II.