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CNG Feature Auction 118

Lot nuber 1199

Constans II. 641-668. AR Half Miliaresion or Siliqua (20mm, 2.42 g, 6h). Constantinople mint. Struck 652-654.

CNG Feature Auction 118
Lot: 1199.
 Estimated: $ 1 000

Byzantine, Coin-in-Hand Video, Silver

Sold For $ 5 500. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Go to Live

Constans II. 641-668. AR Half Miliaresion or Siliqua (20mm, 2.42 g, 6h). Constantinople mint. Struck 652-654. Full-length figure of Constans, wearing crown and chlamys, standing facing, holding globus cruciger / Cross potent on three steps; palm fronds flanking. DOC –; MIB –; SB –; S. Bendall, "A New Silver Ceremonial Coin of Constans II" in NumCirc CXIII.5 (October 2005), p. 306. Toned, areas of flat strike, flip-over double strike. VF. Extremely rare.

From the Malcolm W. Heckman Collection. Ex Classical Numismatic Group 75 (23 May 2007), lot 1164.

By the seventh century the silver miliaresion (miliarense) introduced during the reign of Constantine I had virtually vanished from the scene. Its occasional appearance as a donative has led to its being described as a "ceremonial" issue, struck for coronations and other imperial celebrations, although these may not have been the sole occasions for the striking of miliaresia. Even rarer are the fractional issues; only a few surviving types have been found for Phocas and Heraclius; some are known by only a single specimen. This half miliaresion of Constans, unknown until 2005, joins that limited population. The obverse type has only one parallel, in the follis of Constans dated Indictional year 11 (652/3 AD), struck at Syracuse (SB 1108), and is probably contemporary with the miliaresion issue (SB 986) with facing bust. It is uncertain whether there is a specific event to be tied to these issues, they may have simply been distributed to worthy members of the imperial court and important guests. Curiously, this standing figure seems to provide the closest design prototype for a unique miliaresion of Justinian II (SB 1257A) and the subsequent standing caliph type introduced by the Umayyad ruler al-Malik at the end of the century. It should also be noted that while there is documentary evidence for the denomination "miliaresion" as used for a silver coin, the name given its fractional counterpart, the "siliqua," is a later term of convenience, not found in contemporary texts.

The final winners of all CNG Feature Auction 118 lots will be determined at the live public sale that will be held on 13-14 September 2021. CNG Feature Auction 118 – Session Four – Roman Imperial Coinage Part 2 through Antiquities will be held Tuesday afternoon, 14 September 2021 beginning at 2:00 PM ET.

Winning bids are subject to a 20% buyer's fee for bids placed on this website and 22.50% for all others.

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