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CNG Feature Auction 126

Lot nuber 966

Justinian II. First reign, 685-695. AV Solidus (19.5mm, 4.45 g, 6h). Constantinople mint, 1st officina. Struck 692-695. Good VF.

CNG Feature Auction 126
Lot: 966.
 Estimated: $ 1 500

The Family of Constantine Collection, Coin-in-Hand Video, Gold

Sold For $ 4 000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Go to Live

Justinian II. First reign, 685-695. AV Solidus (19.5mm, 4.45 g, 6h). Constantinople mint, 1st officina. Struck 692-695. Nimbate facing bust of Christ Pantokrator, raising hand in benediction and holding Gospels / Justinian standing facing, wearing crown and loros, holding cross potent set on two steps and akakia; A//CONOP. DOC 7a; MIB 8a; SB 1248. Toned with some luster, light scrapes on reverse, edge marks. Good VF.

From the Family of Constantine Collection, assembled with guidance by Roland Michel, Geneva.

The portrait of Christ that appears on this solidus issue marks the first representation of Christ on a coin. The Council in Trullo or the Quinisex Council was held during the reign of Justinian II in Constantinople following the Fifth and Sixth Ecumenical Councils. The assembly was called partly in order to address diverging practices in the east and west and to set church policy explicitly in written canons in order to discipline those who continued to engage in contrary practices. One of the canons set during the council concerned appropriate portrayals of Christ. Canon 82 cites 1st Corinthians 13:10 and makes use of similar language in Hebrews 10:1 to specify that “we decree that the figure in human form of the Lamb who takes away the sin of the world, Christ our God, be henceforth exhibited in images” (Quinisex Council, Canon 82). The text goes on to specify that Christ as a man ought be used in icons and visual depictions rather than the Agnes Dei. That same year, this issue of solidi was released into circulation by Justinian. The Council was very poorly received in the West and even denounced by some western thinkers. This monumental decision, however, greatly shaped the future of Byzantine coinage and concurrently stood in sharp contrast to the emergent Umayyad Caliphate’s contemporary practice of avoiding depicting religious figures on coinage.

The final winners of all CNG Feature Auction 126 lots will be determined during the live online sale that will be held on 28-29 May 2024. This lot is in Session Three, which will begin 29 May at 9 AM ET.

Winning bids are subject to a 22.5% buyer's fee for bids placed on this website and 25% for all others.

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