Lot 730. Anonymous (attributed to Romanus IV). Ca. 1068-1071. Æ follis. Constantinople.
Anonymous (attributed to Romanus IV). Ca. 1068-1071. Æ follis (27 mm, 7.33 g, 6 h). Constantinople. Facing bust of Christ Pantokrator / Facing bust of the Virgin Mary, orans. DOC class G, 1-28; SB 1867. Dark brown patina with light earthen deposits. NGC VF, strike: 4/5, surface: 4/5.
Anonymous folles of this type feature the patrons of Constantinople and the Byzantine imperial household: Christ Pantokrator (literally the Almighty in Greek), from whom the emperor's rightful authority descended, and the Theotokos, or Virgin Mary, whose miraculous icon was believed to protect the city at the Church of Blachernae. This icon, which was painted in encaustic with wax mixed with the ashes of sixth century saints, was thought to have saved the city from the Sasanian Persians and the Islamic Arabs on more than one occasion. The Theotokos makes her first appearance on coins with this issue.