Nicephorus II, 963-969 (Byzantine)

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Valentinian, Oct 22, 2020.

  1. Valentinian

    Valentinian Supporter! Supporter

    There are two similar AE types of Nicephorus II. They are the only two follis types for that emperor. The first one just arrived and I've had the second one a long time. Can you see the difference?

    SB1782NicephorusIIn2093.jpg
    24-23 mm. 5.82 grams.


    SB1782NicephorusII0658.jpg

    23 mm. 8.82 grams.

    The first is Sear 1783 (DOC III.II Nicephorus II 7) and the second Sear 1782 (DOC 8). The difference is on the obverses; the reverse legends are the same.
    +ҺICHF/ЄҺΘЄWbA/SILЄVSRW/MAIWҺ

    The faces are very similar. However, the second has the emperor dressed in a loros (the shirt with big dots), holding a labarum (a staff with a squarish head) and holding a globus cruciger (a globe with a cross on it).
    The first has the emperor with a loros but also an additional garment over it ornamented with pearls, holding a long cross (instead of a standard), and the globe has a trefoil ornament on it, not a cross.

    I'd love to have better examples to show you, but they are hard to come by. Even Sear's plate coin for 1783 is only a bit better (He does not have a plate coin for 1782).

    The obverse legend is supposed to be: ҺICFR B-ASIL RW (first coin, Sear 1783) and on the second, ҺICFR BASIL ROW. DOC has those legends too. I think I see more letters than that on the top coin's left side, but these are usually overstruck and some of the extra letters (if there are any) may be from an undertype.

    I'd love to see other folles of Nicephorus II, or anything related.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2020
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  3. Quant.Geek

    Quant.Geek Well-Known Member

    Another interesting Emperor of Byzantine. Here are my examples of Nicephorus II. As usual, they are overstruck and sometimes very badly. Furthermore, as @Valentinian indicates, they don't fair well, typically in condition...

    Byzantine Empire: Nicephorus II Phocas (963-969) Æ Follis, Constantinople (Sear 1782; DOC 8)

    Obv: +ҺICIFRb ASILЄVRШ; Crowned bust of Nicephorus II facing, bearded, wearing robe with V-shaped opening and crown with cross and pendilia; in right hand, cross scepter; in left, globus surmounted by trefoil
    Rev: +ҺICHF / ЄҺΘЄШbA / SILЄVRШ / MAIШҺ in four lines
    Dim: 23.5mm, 6.03g, 6h

    [​IMG]

    Byzantine Empire: Nicephorus II Phocas (963-969) Æ Follis, Constantinople (Sear 1783; DOC 7)

    Obv: +ҺICIFRb ASILЄVRШ; Crowned bust of Nicephorus II facing, bearded, wearing robe with V-shaped opening and crown with cross and pendilia; in right hand, cross scepter; in left, globus surmounted by trefoil
    Rev: +ҺICHF / ЄҺΘЄШbA / SILЄVRШ / MAIШҺ in four lines
    Dim: 27.7mm, 8.86g, 6h

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2020
  4. catadc

    catadc Well-Known Member

    Q.G, those are outstanding portraits for Nicephorus II.

    When Valentinian is saying "I'd love to have better examples to show you, but they are hard to come by", he clearly speaks about the better examples. Took me approx 2 months to decide that I do not actually want a follis of Nicephorus II, and during this time, noted that his coins are often offered on ebay, so they are not rare overall, but the condition is miserable. Noted also that not many appear in the respectable auction houses' offer, mainly because of the poor condition, rather than rarity (?).
     
    Pellinore and panzerman like this.
  5. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter I dig ancient coins...

    Nice examples folks. I don't have a coin of this emperor yet.
     
    Quant.Geek likes this.
  6. Caesar_Augustus

    Caesar_Augustus Well-Known Member

    I was so impressed with @Quant.Geek's examples that I found one for myself as well. This is SB 1783, I'm pretty sure.

    Nikephoros II Phokas
    AE Follis
    [​IMG]
    963 - 969 A.D., Constantinople Mint, null Officina
    5.20g, 23.0mm, 6H

    Obverse: +NICIFR bASIL RW,
    Emperor, crowned bust facing with short beard, wearing loros and additional jewelled robe, holding cross-topped sceptre and trefoil on globe

    Reverse: +NICHF,/ ЄҺΘЄW bA/SILEVS RW/MAIWҺ,
    Legend in 4 lines

    Exergue: -

    Provenance: Ex. Savoca Blue Auction 7, Lot 1791

    Reference: SBCV 1783
     
  7. Quant.Geek

    Quant.Geek Well-Known Member

    Thanks everyone. These two were some of the nicest example of Nicephorus II Phocas I have seen and was so glad to have picked them up. Here is my previous example that is similar to what is typically found:

    [​IMG]
     
  8. panzerman

    panzerman Well-Known Member

    Only have one from him....from Rauch auction d-nikephoros-ii-5100571-XL.jpg
    AV Solidus ND Constantinople Mint

    After Emperor Romanus II was poisoned by his wife (Empress Theophano), a General named Nicephorus Phocas was appointed as Emperor. He then made the fatal mistake to marry Theophano. While away campaigning vs the Arabs and Bulgars, Theophano fooled around with John Tzimiskles. She then had her new lover murder her second husband. John then became Emperor/ and married the evil Theophano.
     
  9. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander Blame my mother. Supporter

    My Nic II is one of my better Byzantine folles, although the loros is partly flatstruck:

    Screen Shot 2020-10-23 at 7.57.09 PM.jpg
     
  10. Black Friar

    Black Friar Well-Known Member

    I certainly agree with all of the above Nicephorus II are hard to find in upper grades.
    I keep adding as I find better. Could end of with a grading guide before I leave these worldly matters behind. Hope springs eternal.
     
    panzerman likes this.
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