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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Sale: CNG 61, Lot: 2379. Estimate $750. 
Closing Date: Wednesday, 25 September 2002. 
Sold For $1880. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

ARMENIA, Principality of Lori. Kiurke II, as Curopalatus. 1048-1100. Æ Follis (7.12 gm). Byzantine style nimbate facing bust of Christ / + Armenian inscription in five lines; "May the Lord help Kiurke the Curopalatus-". AC 514; Bedoukian Medieval Armenian Coins 3 var. (circle around reverse). Fair, dark brown patina with mild porosity. Extremely rare. ($750)

The first inscription in the Armenian language to be found on a coin, and the only medieval coin struck in Greater Armenia. The type is based directly upon the anonymous Byzantine Folles of John Tzimisces and Basil II, both of which were commonly circulated in Armenia at the time. This rather small Baronial coinage also parallels Crusader folles of Antioch in its appearance and the level of authority of the issuer. An example of the above type realized $3,500 in Classical Numismatic Group, Auction 36 (5-6 December 1995), lot 706.