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FORVM`s Classical Numismatics Discussion Board  |  Numismatic and History Discussions  |  Byzantine Coins (Moderators: vercingetorix, wileyc, Paleologos)  |  Topic: Strange coin from The Heberden Coin Room Collection – really rare coin or fake? 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Strange coin from The Heberden Coin Room Collection – really rare coin or fake?  (Read 200 times)
Byzantofil
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« on: February 05, 2021, 01:41:01 pm »

Recently The Heberden Coin Room (Ashmolean Museum in Oxford) published an interesting trachea from its collection of Byzantine coins: https://hcr.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/coin/hcr20828. This coin is placed there in the Trebizond coins section and attributed as a klipped trachy of Andronikos I Gidon, Byzantine emperor at Trebizond, 1222-1235.


* Gidon Trachy.png (600.16 KB, 1222x854 - viewed 8 times.)
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Byzantofil
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« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2021, 01:42:11 pm »

S. Bendell placed this coin in his book Bendall S., An Introduction to the Coinage of the Empire of Trebizond. London, Spink 2015. So, probably, the idea to attribute this trachy to Andronikos I Gidon belongs to Simon Bendell. In this book, Bendall writes:


* Bendell.jpg (144.41 KB, 517x384 - viewed 117 times.)
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Byzantofil
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« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2021, 01:44:20 pm »

Perhaps someone possesses this Gorny Auction Catalog, which the author refers to. It would be interesting to clarify about the second coin. But I think I know the second coin he is talking about.
A few years ago I almost bought a coin, essentially a twin of the coin that belongs to The Heberden Coin Room Collection. After all, this coin is now owned by a collector in Russia, but firstly this coin was sold at some European electronic auction (I don’t know when and where) as part of a lot of five different coins.


* Clipped Andronicus Trachea in lot!!.jpg (12.85 KB, 320x107 - viewed 112 times.)
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Byzantofil
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« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2021, 01:45:50 pm »

I have a not very high quality photo of this coin, most likely this is an image from a flatbed scanner. When comparing the two coins, we can see that:

1. These coins in 90% were copied by the well-known Andronicus I Komnenos billon trachy (Sear 1985).
2. The material of the coins is apparently not billon, but silver.
3. The coins are neatly clipped.


* Strange couple.jpg (646.58 KB, 1302x1261 - viewed 10 times.)
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Byzantofil
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« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2021, 01:48:21 pm »

This phenomenon is known for the trachy billon coins of this era. But there’s one feature, that worries me. With a different cut-off shape, however, the images on these two coins are identical to each other, and this is very strange. Everything coincides, up to the defect of the double strike, clearly visible to the left of the head of the Virgin. It also coincides that which should not coincide in any way - two cracks in the bottom and on the left at the edges of the coin flan. At first glance, one might think that this is just a casting with Andronicus I Komnenos billon trachy. In this case, Bendall's arguments about the difference with the labarum and the labarum-scepter are not consistent. Both varieties of such Andronicus I trachy exist, I checked it.
Here original Andronicus I Komnenos billon trachy:


*  Byzantine Empire, Andronicus I, 1183 - 1185 AD. AE-Trachy. Constantinople Mint. 29.81mm, 3.47g. christ standing facing.  Virgin crowns the emperor. SB. 1985. VF..jpg (123.76 KB, 892x400 - viewed 9 times.)
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Byzantofil
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« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2021, 01:49:46 pm »

The real difference is that the robe of the Virgin on ordinary Andronicus I trachy is carved on the stamps, usually with direct strokes, whereas on the two strange silver trachy, her garments are complemented by rows of dots similar to pearl threads. Sometimes a dot pattern on the clothes of the Virgin is found, but not pronounced:


* 1717555.jpg (142.3 KB, 900x491 - viewed 8 times.)
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Byzantofil
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« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2021, 01:54:57 pm »

In addition, the elevation on which the Mother of God stands on these coins is large, whereas in Andronicus I trachy this elevation usually looks smaller and is carved much more carelessly.

In general, a very strange pair of coins.
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Simon
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« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2021, 06:03:28 am »

Based on my knowledge alone I would have questions, but the coin has clearly been in the hands of people who I believe to be experts and they decided it to be authentic.

I am good with their opinion.
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https://www.forumancientcoins.com/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=5633 My main collection of Tetartera. Post reform coinage.
Byzantofil
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« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2021, 01:34:44 pm »

The existence of the second coin, which accurately repeats all the defects of the first, is a somewhat strange fact, isn't it?
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