Phocas, 602-610. Half Tremisssis or 1/6 Solidus (Gold, 15 mm, 0.74 g, 7 h), Constantinopolis, circa 607-610. δ N FOCAS PЄR AVG Pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed bust of Phocas to right. Rev. VICTORI FOCAS AVG / CONOB Cross potent. CNG Auction 102 (2016), 1142. DOC -. MIB -, cf. 28 (with AV instead of AVG in reverse legend). SB -, cf. 635A (with AV instead of AVG in reverse legend). Of the highest rarity. About extremely fine.
From the Birger Bentsen Collection of ancient gold coins, ex Gorny & Mosch 241, 10 October 2016, 3094 (part of) and from the old stock of Münzhandlung Karl Kress, formed in the 1950s and 1960s (with collector's ticket).
Half tremisses are among the great rarities in the Byzantine gold series and almost never appear for sale. The fact that the collection of Birger Bentsen included two pieces is as remarkable as that they were both acquired in a multiple lot some years ago.