Extremely rare and of great historical interest
Lot 3257
ARMENIA, Kingdom of Lori. Kiurike II, circa 1048-1089. Follis (Bronze, 27 mm, 5.85 g, 12 h), Tashir-Lori. Nimbate bust of Christ facing, holding Book of Gospels in his left hand; to left and right, IC - XC. Rev. 'May the Lord help Kiurike the Kouropalates' (in Armenian) in five lines. AC 514. Extremely rare and of great historical interest. Minor corrosion and with light deposits, otherwise, about very fine.

Ex Leu Web Auction 26, 13 July 2023, 6484 and previously from an important Swiss collection of Armenian coins.

This fascinating and extremely rare coin was struck in the Kingdom of Lori, located in northern Armenia, which was the last Armenian kingdom to survive the splintering of the Bagratid realm in the early 11th century. The latter had existed as a buffer state between the Byzantine Empire and the Muslim world since the 9th century - much as Armenia had done between the Romans and the Parthians and Sassanids in Antiquity - but under the vigorous emperor, Basil II, the Byzantines rapidly took over much of Armenia in order to safeguard their eastern flank. The Kingdom of Lori was left in place, however, although it was evidently under strong Byzantine influence, as shown by our coin, which was clearly modelled after the anonymous folles of John I Zimisces and Basil II. The reverse legend, in the Armenian script and language, reflects the standard invocation found on Byzantine coins and seals ('Lord, help ...') and calls Kiurike II 'kouropalates', an elevated Byzantine court title. This is the first coin legend in the Armenian language and indeed the only coin type to be struck in medieval Greater Armenia (in contrast to the later Cilician Armenia). The kingdom of Lori lasted until 1118, when it was conquered by David IV, the king of Georgia.
Starting price:
750 CHF
Hammer price:
11000 CHF
Bid increment:
Minimum bid:
Number of bids:
Time left:
Closing time: 26-Feb-24, 16:13:00 CET
All winning bids are subject to a 20% buyer's fee.


We use cookies to enhance your online experience. By using our website, you accept our data privacy policy and the use of cookies.

Connection lost

You have lost your connection. Because we present current bids in real-time, your browser may display outdated or incorrect bidding information.

Please check your network connection and try again. We recommend refreshing the website to display the accurate bidding information again.