Oh Constans II, what have you done?!!?

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Quant.Geek, Nov 25, 2019.

  1. BenSi

    BenSi Supporter! Supporter

    I was going through my uncleaned stacks (projects never started) and I found this group I must have purchased some time ago. Looks like my break has been cut short and I wont get the chance to pull my hair out on these yet. i4.jpg When I do I think I will need some help.
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  3. catadc

    catadc Well-Known Member

    I did not find a source of uncleaned byzantines. Any moment on ebay there are hundreds of LRBs and almost no byzantines uncleaned.

    Could you post a pic of the obverse of the large M at the very right of your pic?
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  4. Quant.Geek

    Quant.Geek Well-Known Member

    Great eye @catadc! I am intrigued by that coin as well. I think it is Monogram 21 of Heraclius.

    I have Goodwin & Gyselen's book that catalogs a good chunk of Arab-Byzantine coins that are modeled after Constans II's coins, so that will help as well. So, let the identification game begin!
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  5. BenSi

    BenSi Supporter! Supporter

    I will post later today. I put them back in the bag so i have to find that one again
    Mrs needs new computer, headed to the city.
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  6. Quant.Geek

    Quant.Geek Well-Known Member

    The original design didn't last long as within the first regal year, the design changes multiple times. Several different ligature abbreviations for CIC are introduced to conserve space. What is typically introduced as ς in Sear is really one version of the ligature:


    Probably one of the first ligatures introduced was Ȼ, a C with a slash across. The following coin, which is not mine, is an excellent example of RY 1 with an officina Є:


    Ligatures that resemble the letter 'S' were introduced in various forms. The following coin which has a 'slanted S' is in my collection:


    A different ligature is also present as a slanted, backwards S and the exergue is now in reverse (not my coin but I do have a RY2 coin with similar ligatures, but different legends):

    I'll continue later with the Regal Year II and beyond changes later :D...
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  7. David@PCC

    David@PCC allcoinage.com

    Terrible phone photo, not sure what to make of this one.
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  8. BenSi

    BenSi Supporter! Supporter

    Not my Best Photography but I think the coin you are interested is in this group , Lets call it group 1 , each coin numbered m8.jpg
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  9. BenSi

    BenSi Supporter! Supporter

    Group two , again numbered. The rest really need some cleaning before viewing. n3.jpg
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  10. Quant.Geek

    Quant.Geek Well-Known Member

    Definitely a harder one to identify. I think the exergue is NAB, but can't be sure. Better pictures might help...
  11. catadc

    catadc Well-Known Member

    Not what i thought it was. I believe is a Sear 810 variant (coin 1), Heraclius.
    Coin 7 probably a Sear 1207, Constantine IV.
    The rest, 4 is maybe another Heraclius (some cleaning would help), and others arab?
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  12. BenSi

    BenSi Supporter! Supporter

    I will start soaking them, I have a bucket of Roman mostly culls that they will replace. Lets giving them a few months.
  13. Quant.Geek

    Quant.Geek Well-Known Member

    Adding to @catadc attributions..
    Group 1.1: Sear 810 with monogram 21 above instead of cross
    Group 1.2: Arab-Byzantine
    Group 1.3: MIB 163 - Constans II Follis with ΟΦΑ for Οφικκινα (Officinae)
    Group 1.4: Can't make out the obverse, but suspect it is a Heraclius follis
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  14. BenSi

    BenSi Supporter! Supporter

    Ram, Don't waste your time on the others. I will soak them first and repost them in a few months.

    Here is the smallest follis I have, it came from a batch of uncleaned but it is clean and properly photographed. I would have thought it to be cut but the M is full. Again it is not attributed. around 18mm

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  15. Quant.Geek

    Quant.Geek Well-Known Member

    Kind of hard to identify that one @BenSi. It could either be Sear 1008 or Sear 1007. The legends are different to the right of the coin. It would either be CTAN or NEOς. My bet is that its probably Sear 1008...
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2020
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  16. BenSi

    BenSi Supporter! Supporter

    Thank You Ram!
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  17. Black Friar

    Black Friar Well-Known Member

    I too have seen the barred coins of Constans before. Steve Mansfield's "Early Byzantine Copper Coins" book clearly shows the bars. I do have two specimens of Heraclius with the same bars on the reverse. By the way, at $65 is well worth it.

    I will add that if you don't download the portions as you need them you are missing the boat. I have about 15 or so down loads. He is thinking of a second printing if the demand is there. He printed one hundred of them mostly for museum use. Postage to the US from GB is very expensive. Free is a very good price.

    His book is a true work of love.
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  18. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    Through sheer chance, I keep getting Constans II folles, and I keep coming back to this thread to figure them out. This should be a "perma-thread". Is there such a thing?

    Anyway, I just got my first non-countermark issues from Syracuse (three of them!) and I thought I'd toss them out here, one of the three being a bit of a puzzle:

    These two seem to be SB 1109; DOC 180 / Class 5

    Byz - Constans II Syracuse follis Jan 2020 BOTH (0).jpg

    This one, I'm not so sure of. It is in pretty poor condition, and is overstruck on what might be an XXXX follis of Phocas? The overstrike's under type might explain the very weird hat Constans appears to be wearing. 25 mm / 4.49 grams.

    I am leaning towards SB 1107, DOC 178. But one problem: mine has an exergual line over the SCL. SB 1108 is a possibility, but it has a cross over the M, not the "TKw-like monogram" (labrum).

    Help, knowledge, etc. always appreciated:

    Byz - Constans II Syracuse lot Feb 2020 (0).jpg
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  19. Black Friar

    Black Friar Well-Known Member

    Amen brothers and sisters. A most excellent discussion, the first posting is most certainly a Constans II struck over another Constans II. Messy, but an effective means to move to a new coinage regime.

    I would also recommend take a look at a site that has been very helpful to me: Academia.com. On my desktop I have about twenty different articles written by folks who do research and are passionate about Byzantine, and Arab/Byz coinage. It is free and you gain access to hundreds of articles by some of the analysis, images; it's a gold mine of info. You can also subscribe to a more advanced version for under $100 a year that includes many published symposium articles rich in technical stuff that is supplemented by photo's and hoard images.

    I also highly recommend Steve Mansfield's EBCC, Early Byzantine Copper Coins which can be viewed online and downloaded as pdf's and highlighted in Quant.Geek in this thread. It is very generous of him to post it free for all to see.
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  20. catadc

    catadc Well-Known Member

    I was checking my coins this week-end and came across this one (again):

    I believe it might be a 3/4 follis of Heraclius, SB 812, rather than a Constans. The "m" could be of Phocas, and many of the SB 812 are overstruck on folles of Phocas. The reverse might be the Delta rather than half of M, and the XX and the weight fit the SB 812. Moreover, I did not see many SB 1010 overstruck. Problem is that there are not many SB 812, nor SB 1010 out there to compare. Need to do more research on that. Like an old police case - after 2 years, a new lead appeared.
  21. Hrefn

    Hrefn Well-Known Member

    Constans II as a young man. The first coin has once believed to be Heraclonas but now all three are believed to be Constans II. These are all from the Constantinople mint. upload_2021-6-7_16-31-43.jpeg upload_2021-6-7_16-31-20.jpeg

    I think the mint workers were a bit more punctilious with the gold than the bronze.
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