Konstantinos, protonobellisimos, late 11th-early 12th century. Seal (Lead, 25 mm, 13.50 g, 12 h). Θ / [K]W/[N]C-T/AN/HN/OT/C (sic!) Saint Constantine standing on dais, nimbate and wearing loros, holding labarum is his right hand and globus cruciger in his left. Rev. OMωNV/Mω C૪ ΠPωTO/[N]ωREΛΛICIM TH[N]/[C]HN ΠAPACKE[VE]/MAKAP, CUM/MAXIAN ('Blessed [Constantine], prepare an alliance with your namesake, the protonobellisimos') in six lines, decoration below. Unpublished and of great interest. Some minor marks, otherwise, good very fine.
The depiction of Constantine the Great (307-337), who was venerated as a Saint both in the East and in the West, is extremely rare on Byzantine seals: only a handful of examples are known, with the earliest being a seal dating to the 7th century and belonging to a monastery or diaconate founded in his name (DO V, 2.1). Constantine also appears on imperial seals of Alexios III Komnenos (1195-1203, Zacos/Veglery 110), and lastly, on some seals belonging to men who shared the Saint’s name, all dating to the 11th and 12th centuries (Jordanov, Corpus III, 1929 and SBS 5, p. 71). The present piece belongs to the last group: it names the protonobellisimos Konstantinos and bears two twelve-syllable verses on the reverse, which wonderfully express a desire to establish a personal relationship with the Saint and thus form a beautiful testimony to contemporary Byzantine religiosity.