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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Sale: CNG 61, Lot: 2180. Estimate $1500. 
Closing Date: Wednesday, 25 September 2002. 
Sold For $1650. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

LEO IV. 775-780. Æ Solidus (4.08 gm). Rome mint. DNOLEO PAMYL, crowned bust, wearing chlamys, holding cross potent on base in right hand stretched across body / VICTOORI AVGT, cross on base and three steps; in field, A and star; beneath, CONBO. Ricotti Prina 149 (Rome, Pope Hadrian I); DOC III 98 (Leo III, uncertain Italian mints); SB 1537a (Leo III, uncertain Italian mints). Extremely rare. VF. ($1500)

Ex Sotheby New York Sale (November 1998), lot 418.

Leo IV continued his father’s persecution of iconophiles notwithstanding troubles in the east and the pitiful economic situation in Italy. The concept of a Roman res publica associated with the Patrimony of St. Peter was promoted by the circulation of the spurious “Donation of Constantine”, and from 772 official documents ceased to be dated with the Byzantine emperor’s regnal year. Ricotti Prina’s attribution of this coin to Pope Hadrian I (772-795) is understandable; it is very different from the imperial solidi of Rome, cf. DOC 9, and reminiscent of Hadrian’s Carolingian style denarii.