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Research Coins: Feature Auction


Attractive Constantine IV
Last of the Large Module Folles

CNG 112, Lot: 684. Estimate $750.
Sold for $1800. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Constantine IV Pogonatus, with Heraclius and Tiberius. 668-685. Æ Follis (34.5mm, 17.71 g, 6h). Constantinople mint, 3rd officina. Struck 668-673. Cuirassed bust facing, wearing helmet with plume, holding globus cruciger / Large M between crowned and draped standing figures of Heraclius on left and Tiberius on right, each holding globus cruciger; cross above; Γ//[C]ON. DOC 28c; MIB 77; SB 1173. Green-brown patina, earthen deposits. Good VF. An attractive example.

From the Johnson Family Collection, purchased from Edward J. Waddell, November 1981.

The dawn of the reign of Constantine IV saw the beginning of a brave attempt at coinage reform. Under the reign of his father, Constans II, the ubiquitous bronze follis had decayed into one of the most wretched coinages ever inflicted on a people. Constantine revalued the follis, making it fully equivalent to its ancestor - the first large bronze coin issued under Anastasius I almost two hundred years earlier. Constantine was able to maintain this heavy standard throughout his seventeen year reign, but the succession of Justinian II in 685 saw the immediate revocation of this reform, and the return of the shrunken, cut-down follis of Constans.