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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 5, Lot: 269. Estimate CHF1600. 
Closing Date: Monday, 24 October 2011. 
Sold For CHF1900. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Nicephorus I, with Stauracius. 802-811. Solidus (Gold, 4.47 g 6), 803-811. •nICIFOROS bASILE’ Crowned, bearded and facing bust of Nicephorus I, wearing chlamys and holding cross potent in his right hand and akakia in his left. Rev. STAVRACIS dESPO’E Crowned, beardless and facing bust of Stauracius, wearing chlamys and holding cross on globe in his right hand and akakia in his left. DOC 2a. SB 1604. A superb and strongly struck example of great freshness. Some areas of very slight die roughness and very minor double striking, but, virtually as struck.

Nicephorus I was an aristocrat from Cilicia who was appointed minister of finance by Irene. He was a strong but controversial emperor who lost a number of battles against the ARabs (none decisive) and then went on to attack Bulgaria. He was quite successful but when his army was returning with its booty it was ambushed in the mountains and destroyed; Nicephorus was killed and the Bulgar Khan Krum had his skull made into a cup. His son Stauracius, who appears on the reverse, died a few months later from the wounds he received in this battle.