ISLAMIC, Anatolia & al-Jazira (Post-Seljuk). Artuqids (Kayfa & Amid). Fakhr al-Din Qara Arslan, AH 543-570 / AD 1148-1174. Dirham (Bronze, 28 mm, 8.88 g, 6 h), AH 559 = AD 1163/4. Bearded male Byzantine-style bust facing, draped in elegant garments and wearing crown with pendilia; to left and right, date in Kufic. Rev. 'al-Malik al-adil Fakhr al-Din Qararslan ibn Da'ud ibn Artuq' in Kufic Bare-headed, beardless and draped figure facing slightly to left. Spengler & Sayles 5. Very rare and in exceptional condition for the issue, a magnificent coin. Light areas of weakness, otherwise, extremely fine.
The impressive portrait on the obverse is clearly derived from folles of Byzantine emperors such as Romanus I or Nicephorus II Phocas. However, the crown with the jewel-tipped triangular projections is characteristically for the Byzantine empress Irene, who ruled more than a century earlier.