ISLAMIC, Anatolia & al-Jazira (Post-Seljuk). Artuqids (Mardin). Najm al-Din Alpi, AH 547-572 / AD 1152-1176. Dirham (Bronze, 29 mm, 12.72 g, 1 h), without mint and date. Large diademed male head to right; below, [laqab of Najm al-Din Alpi]; on the lower part of the face, countermark of 'Najm al-Din / Malik Diyarbakr'; all in Kufic. Rev. Legend in Kufic in three lines, 'Malik al-Umara / Abu al-Muzaffar / Alpi ibn; Legend around in Kufic, 'Il-Ghazi / Timurtash ibn / ibn Artuq'; all in Kufic. Spengler & Sayles 27. A lovely example with an interesting countermark. Very fine.
From an important collection of Ayyubid and post-Seljuk coins.
The head on the obverse of this issue was copied from tetradrachms of the Seleukid King Antiochos VII (138-129 BC), who lived almost 1300 years before Najm al-Din Alpi. Time-wise, this is the equivalent of the portrait of the Byzantine emperor Leo III (717-741) appearing on a modern coin!