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CNG Feature Auction 126

Lot nuber 976

Artavasdus, with Nicephorus. 741/2-743. AV Solidus (21.5mm, 4.42 g, 6h). Constantinople mint. Struck 742/743. Near EF.

CNG Feature Auction 126
Lot: 976.
 Estimated: $ 20 000

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

Sold For $ 27 500. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Go to Live

Artavasdus, with Nicephorus. 741/2-743. AV Solidus (21.5mm, 4.42 g, 6h). Constantinople mint. Struck 742/743. Crowned facing bust of Artavasdus, wearing chlamys, holding patriarchal cross / Crowned facing bust of Nicephorus, wearing chlamys, holding patriarchal cross; A at end of legend. DOC 2a; Füeg 2.A; SB 1542. Toned, slight rotated double strike on obverse, spot of weakness, some light hairline scratches. Near EF. Very rare.

From the Family of Constantine Collection, assembled with guidance by Roland Michel, Geneva. Ex Numismatica Ars Classica 24 (5 December 2002), lot 426; William J. Conte Collection (Baldwin’s 2, 5 October 1994), lot 85; Numismatic Fine Arts XVIII (1 April 1987), lot 887.

Artavasdus was first appointed strategos of the Armenian theme by emperor Anastasius II. After Theodosius III usurped Anastasius, Artavasdus sided with and aided Leo III in his later revolt against Theodosius. In exchange for his loyalty, Artavasdus was granted the honorific title kouropalates (master of the palace) and given Leo’s daughter Anna in marriage. Upon the death of Leo III in 741, Artavasdus’ loyalty did not extend to Leo’s son and successor Constantine V. One year later he successfully usurped the throne from Constantine for himself in July 742. Artavasdus successfully ambushed and defeated Constantine’s forces as they set out to campaign against the Umayyads. Following the disastrous battle, Constantine fled into exile at Amorium where he began rallying support for his cause against Artavasdus. In contrast to Leo and Constantine, Artavasdus was an iconodule who restored the adoration of icons during his brief reign in opposition to the policies taken by Leo III. The controversy had been brewing since the decisions made by the Quinisex Council in 692 under emperor Justinian II, but the issue began to come to the forefront of Byzantine politics at this time. Unfortunately for the iconodules, Constantine and Artavasdus would meet in battle again, this time at Sardes, where Constantine emerged victorious and Artavasdus’ brief reign came to an end. Upon retaking the throne, Constantine promptly reinstated his father’s iconoclast policies and had Artavasdus and his son Nicephorus mutilated and exiled.

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 Four, which will begin 29 May at 2 PM 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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