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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Sale: Triton IX, Lot: 1897. Estimate $3000. 
Closing Date: Monday, 9 January 2006. 
Sold For $5000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

GEORGIA, Kingdom. Bagrat IV. 1027-1072. AR Dram (1.84 g, 12h). Struck 1060-1072. +HA GI A O KOC, nimbate facing bust of the Virgin Mary, orans / Georgian – "+God preserve Bagrat, King of the Abkhazians, Sebastos", in margin and continuing in central field. Kapanadze 46; Dobrovolsky -; Lang p. 19. Good VF, strong strike. One of the great rarities of Georgian numismatics; perhaps five other examples known, all in museums. ($3000)

Bagrat followed his father Giorgi I to the throne of Georgia at the age of nine, and his reign was a constant struggle with opponents seeking the throne and expansionist Byzantine emperors. Bagrat saw off two pretenders from other branches of the royal family, but the Duke of Kldekari, Liparit, was a constant thorn in his side, and in 1051 Bagrat had to flee to Constantinople, seeking Byzantine neutrality while he returned to deal with Liparit. Liparit fled in 1058, but only a few years later Georgia faced a greater threat – the Seljuq sultan Alp Arslan who ravaged southern Georgia in a series of raids. Bagrat IV died in 1072, having fought the Seljuqs to a draw and preserved Georgian unity and independence.