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A very fine solid gold Byzantine solidus with a charming provenance, minted under the Emperor Theodosius II, struck 402-450 A.D. Constantinople mint.

The obverse with pearl-diademed, helmeted, cuirassed bust of Theodosius facing slightly right. He holds a spear in his right hand which rests over his shoulder, his shield held in his left hand and decorated with a horseman spearing an enemy. The legend reading: D[ominvs] N[oster] THEODOSIVS P[ivs] F[elix] AVG[vstvs] - "Our Lord Theodosius, Dutiful and Wise Augustus."

The reverse with Constantinopolis enthroned facing with head slightly right. She holds a scepter in her right hand and globe surmounted by winged Victory in her left, her foot resting on ship's prow, star in left field. The legend reading: CONCORDIA AVGGA - "To the Harmony of Augustus""

CONOB in exergue - Literally translated as, "Constantinopoli obryzum". The solidus weighed 1/72 (4.45g) of the Roman pound. "OB" was used as both an abbreviation for the word obryzum, translated as, 'refined' or 'pure gold' and as the Greek numeral 72. Thus, the exergue inscription CONOB may be read "Constantinople, 1/72 pound pure gold." -- Byzantine Coinage by Philip Grierson

Diameter: 21 mm.Weight: 4.45 g.

Provenance: Ex Spink, 7th December 1953.

Ex collection of Mr B. This coin is from a lifelong collection of a wealthy European gentleman. Mr B was gifted a solidus on the occasion of each of his birthdays, this particular example gifted on his 2nd Birthday. artancientltd