The collapse of Iconoclasm during the mid 9th century AD initiated a gradual recovery of Byzantine religious art, which was testified on currency from the latter part of the reign of Michael II (842-67) by the use of the bust, or enthroned figure of Christ on the obverse of Constantinopolitan coins. Copper alloy pieces bearing such iconography, as seen on this example, appeared in the 10th century AD and became known as the ‘Anonymous Bronze Coinage’. First issued by John I, they replaced folles with imperial portraits, which were only reintroduced almost a century later by Constantine X (1059-67). The Christ/inscription in the four line design of the ‘Anonymous Bronze’ remained unchanged until AD 1028, when these types became increasingly varied, with some showing the bust or figure of the Virgin or a highly ornate cross. This piece dates to the joint reign of Basil II and Constantine VIII (AD 976-1028), under which the Byzantine State reached the zenith of its power.
Byzantine ‘Anonymous Bronze’ Swivel Pendant with Silver Frame
A fine Byzantine bronze follis pendant featuring an ‘Anonymous Bronze’ coin set in a modern silver frame. The pendant comprises of a hollow-formed U-shaped hoop which twists at the top into a small loop and expands at the sides into two enlarged terminals, pierced to accommodate a separate silver bar for the swivel. The hoop is enriched by four equally spaced bands of twisted silver wire and holds an additional suspension loop at the top. The front of the pendant features the coin’s obverse, which depicts the bust of Christ holding the book of gospels. A nimbate cross is set behind his head, displaying an x-and-dots motif to each limb. Part of the original inscription reading [+EMMANOV]HA is still visible around the top edge of the coin. The letters [IC]-XC are set in the field at either side of the bust to indicate the mint. The reverse reads the legend [+Ih]SUS [X]RISTUS [b]ASILEU [b]ASILE, arranged in four lines and adorned by a flower ornamentation at the base. Written in Roman alphabet, the Greek inscription translates as ‘Jesus Christ, King of Kings’.
Please note, the chain is for reference only, we do have chains available upon enquiry.
Condition: Fine condition, suitable for modern wear.