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Three beautiful coppers arrived at my door... One was holding a toilet brush and another a fly swatter!

Old Miser

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I recently bought these Byzantine follis-es from some known and reputable dealers and I am pleased to say that I am very pleased with them.

I will post pics of only the obverses for the time being as I managed somehow to get all the reverses blurred...

The first and most impressive is an anonymous follis with Jesus on it. A big chunky coin at 35mm! The highlight of it is the nice patina and the great level of details on Jesus' face.



The other two are related as they both are from the turbulent reign of Constantine VII and Romanus the first. Luckily our own's @Valentiniansite proved to be of great help in researching these coins:


It greatly helped pinpoint the dates of reign for the specific types. The first one is from the solitary reign of Romanus after he kicked Constantine out and his own sons perished.


A great coin, again with great details of the ruler's face. The pic doesn't do it justice. This coin is not rare, but it is rare to find it this nice... I am not sure what Romanus is holding in his right hand, but my juvenile sense of humour makes me only see  a toilet brush.  😄

The last one is the most interesting one, as it is not included in @Valentinian's excellent article. I concluded that it must be a rare version of the solitary Constantine rule and I think it must be from the 944 -950 AD period. Am I right? Again the emperor is holding something in his right hand that must be regal, but all I can see is a fly swatter! 😅


Byzantine coppers can get addictive 😀

Please share your coins of the period, I am curious to see more versions of the third coin if anyone has one. I think it is a rarity if I am not mistaken.



Edited by Old Miser
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Very nice coins! Byzantine coins have a definite charm all of their own and hunting for good portraits and details can become addicting (as you mentioned and as I have recently discovered).

I think the "fly swatter" is a labarum, at least that's what I've seen similar objects on other Byzantine coins described as. Given its overall morphology, it probably could serve as a royal fly swatter as well. As for the toilet brush, I like the theory. Perhaps Romanus wanted to visually communicate that he would "get the empire moving again?" 😁 Ok, maybe not, but it could be a labarum with a trefoil top incorporating some fancy danglings and ornamentation.

For comparison, here is Theophilus with his royal fly swat... er, um, labarum:


I sadly don't have any examples of toilet brushes.

Edited by ewomack
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