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Anonymous (eleventh century)

 
 

Obverse

Bust of the Virgin holding a medallion of Christ before her; no surviving inscription; the “Tongues of Fire” appear above the sigla. Sigla: ̣̅Θ̣̅. : Μ(ήτη)ρ Θ(εο)[ῦ]. Border of dots.

Reverse

Bust of an empress or female saint holding a cross-staff in her right hand, her left hand is effaced; remains of an illegible inscription flank the figure. Inscription: Ι|̣|Ε. : ἅγια Ε.... Border of dots.

Obverse

Bust of the Virgin holding a medallion of Christ before her; no surviving inscription; the “Tongues of Fire” appear above the sigla. Sigla: ̣̅Θ̣̅. : Μ(ήτη)ρ Θ(εο)[ῦ]. Border of dots.

Reverse

Bust of an empress or female saint holding a cross-staff in her right hand, her left hand is effaced; remains of an illegible inscription flank the figure. Inscription: Ι|̣|Ε. : ἅγια Ε.... Border of dots.

Accession number BZS.1951.31.5.3435
Diameter 21.0 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 7, no. 9.11.

Credit Line Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Bequest of Thomas Whittemore.

Commentary

For discussion of the ”Tongues of Fire” accompanying Marian sphragistic images, see no. 4.5, above.

The female figure’s type of scepter and crown point to the mid-eleventh century as they are similar to those found on the tetartera coins issued by the empress Theodora (1055-1056) (see DOC, 3:2, 752-753, pl. 62, nos. 2,2 – 2.14).