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Research Coins: Printed Auction

 
CNG 111, Lot: 892. Estimate $750.
Sold for $1600. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

AXUM. Endubis. Circa 295-310. AV (15mm, 2.70 g, 12h). Draped bust right, wearing head-cloth, between two grain ears; pellet-in-crescent above / Draped bust right, wearing head-cloth, between two grain ears; pellet-in-crescent above. Hahn, Aksumite 1; Munro-Hay Type 1; BMC Axum 1; SACAM 1. Near EF, toned.


From the PRB Collection.

The Kingdom of Axum was the only sub-Saharan African state to issue its own independent coinage in ancient times. Despite flourishing for about 350 years, so little is known about this kingdom that it is not possible to date most of the kings with any accuracy. It is only through the unstinting efforts of a handful of scholars who have been studying the civilization and its coinage over the last few decades that an order for their respective reigns has now been tentatively arrived at. Indeed, the only evidence we have for the existence of many of the kings is their coinage. Aksum is particularly noteworthy for being only the second state (Armenia was the first) to make Christianity its official faith, and was almost certainly the first to feature the Christian cross on its coins. It also introduces a totally novel feature to its coinage – gilding, hand applied, in the central portions of features of some of the silver and bronze issues.