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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Byzantine Coins| ▸ |Byzantine Rarities||View Options:  |  |  | 

Rare Byzantine Coins
Byzantine Empire, Philippicus Bardanes, 4 November 711 - June 713 A.D.

|Philippicus|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Philippicus| |Bardanes,| |4| |November| |711| |-| |June| |713| |A.D.|, |follis|
Philippicus Bardanes was from a prominent Armenian family in Pergamum and a general of the Opsikion Theme army under Justinian II. While Justinian II ruled in a bloodthirsty frenzy of revenge, the Bulgars ravaged the empire right up to the city walls. Bardanes arrived at Constantinople with the army. But, instead of fighting the Bulgars he seized the throne. An ineffective ruler, Philippicus engaged in destructive internal religious disputes while the external threats grew and Bulgars and Arabs continued to raid Byzantine territory. In less than two years, he was deposed in a coup, blinded and exiled to a monastery.
BZ82676. Bronze follis, Anastasi 374, SBCV 1460A, Hahn MIB 24, DOC II part 2,, -, Tolstoi -, Ratto -, Morrisson BnF -, F, ragged flan, weight 3.824 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 180o, Syracuse mint, 4 Nov 711 - Jun 713 A.D.; obverse Philippicus standing facing, wearing helmet and military attire, eagle-tipped scepter in left hand, globus cruciger in right hand; reverse large M flanked by two stars, monogram above, SCL in exergue; very rare; $610.00 SALE |PRICE| $549.00


Byzantine Empire, Andronicus III Palaeologus, 24 May 1328 - 15 June 1341 A.D.

|Andronicus| |III|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Andronicus| |III| |Palaeologus,| |24| |May| |1328| |-| |15| |June| |1341| |A.D.|, |reduced| |basilikon|
His grandfather disinherited him, so Andronicus III revolted, gaining joint rule. They fought again and in 1328 he took the city. Later Andronicus II was sent to a monastery to die old and blind. Andronicus III was at war his whole reign, chiefly with the Ottomans, who held almost all of Asia Minor even before his rule.
ME92835. Silver reduced basilikon, DOC V 874 var. (B sigla without pellets, Γ / O / A reverse center), Bendall PCPC -, B-D LPC -, SBCV -, Sommer -, Lianta -, aVF, well centered, nice toning, weight 1.591 g, maximum diameter 20.2 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 24 May 1328 - 15 Jun 1341 A.D.; obverse The Virgin orans standing facing, veiled, nimbate, MH - ΘV (Greek abbreviation: Mητηρ Θεου - Mother of God) flanking above hands, B - B (sigla, B on right reversed) divided across field; reverse ITHMH∆ AN∆PIK, St. Demetrius on left, standing facing, nimbate, holding cross to chest, and Andronicus on right, standing facing, crowned, placing hand on chest, Γ / P / ∆ downward between; this is an unpublished variety of an extremely rare type, from Coin Archives we know of two other specimens; $400.00 SALE |PRICE| $360.00 ON RESERVE


Byzantine Empire, Isaac Comnenus, Usurper in Cyprus, 1184 - 1191 A.D.

|Isaac| |Comnenus| |of| |Cyprus|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Isaac| |Comnenus,| |Usurper| |in| |Cyprus,| |1184| |-| |1191| |A.D.|, |tetarteron|
Isaac Comnenus maintained independent rule in Cyprus for 7 years. He was defeated by Richard the Lionheart of England during the third crusade. Isaac was imprisoned and Cyprus was never recovered by the empire.
BZ95148. Bronze tetarteron, DOC IV-1 7; CLBC 6.3.3 (R4); Hendy pl., 19, 14; Morrisson BnF 63/Ch(B)02; Wroth BMC p. 596, note 1; SBCV 1994; Ratto -, aVF, rough green patina, light scratches, off center, weight 2.836 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 180o, Nicosia(?) mint, 1184 - 1191 A.D.; obverse bust of Christ facing, bearded, wearing nimbus cruciger, pallium, and colobium, raising right hand in benediction, Gospels in left hand; reverse ICAAKIOC ∆EC or similar, Comnenus bust facing, wearing crown, divitision and sagion, cruciform scepter in left hand, akakia in right hand; from the S. Lindner Collection; very rare; $400.00 SALE |PRICE| $360.00


Constantine IV Pogonatus, 15 July 668 - 10 July 685 A.D.

|Constantine| |IV|, |Constantine| |IV| |Pogonatus,| |15| |July| |668| |-| |10| |July| |685| |A.D.|, |half| |follis|
Constantine IV Pogonatus should be credited with saving Europe from Muslim conquest. Beginning in 674, the great siege of Constantinople, by the caliph Muawiyah I, lasted four years. The newly invented famous "Greek Fire" made the city impregnable and the Arabs were forced to retreat. In 681 he deposed his two brothers. He was succeeded by his 16-year-old son Justinian II.
BZ84239. Bronze half follis, Anastasi 245, DOC II 67, Spahr 186, Hahn MIB III 112, SBCV 1214, Berk -, VF, green patina, rough, weight 2.566 g, maximum diameter 17.6 mm, die axis 180o, Syracuse mint, 679 - 681 A.D.; obverse helmeted and cuirassed bust facing slightly right, holding spear over shoulder; reverse large K, cross above, +AN-NO ∆ (year 4) flanking left and right; very rare; $250.00 SALE |PRICE| $225.00


Byzantine Empire, Revolt of the Heraclii, 608 - 5 Oct 610 A.D.

|Revolt| |of| |the| |Heraclii|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Revolt| |of| |the| |Heraclii,| |608| |-| |5| |Oct| |610| |A.D.|, |follis|
Heraclius the Elder, possibly of Armenian origin, was a Byzantine general and the father of Byzantine emperor Heraclius. He distinguished himself in the war against the Sassanid Persians in the 580s, was a subordinate general under Philippicus during the Battle of Solachon, and possibly served under Comentiolus during the Battle of Sisarbanon. About 595, Heraclius the Elder is mentioned as a magister militum per Armeniam sent by Emperor Maurice to quell an Armenian rebellion led by Samuel Vahewuni and Atat Khorkhoruni. About 600, he was appointed as the Exarch of Africa and in 608, Heraclius the Elder rebelled with his son against the usurper Phocas. Using North Africa as a base, the younger Heraclius managed to overthrow Phocas, beginning the Heraclian dynasty, which would rule Byzantium for a century. Heraclius the Elder died soon after receiving news of his son's accession to the Byzantine throne.
BZ86357. Bronze follis, DOC II 16, Morrisson BnF 9/Ax/AE/02, Hahn MIBEC 16a, Grierson 164, Tolstoi 279, SBCV 722, Sommer -, Ratto -, aF, uneven strike, a little off center, scratches, overstruck, edge cracks, weight 5.587 g, maximum diameter 29.4 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Alexandria or Alexandretta mint, Sep - Oct 610 A.D.; obverse dm N ERACLIO CONSULII, facing busts of Heraclius and his father, both bearded, bareheaded and wearing consular robes, cross above center; reverse Large M (40 nummi), cross above, ANNO left, X/IIII (year 14) on right, A (1st officina) below, AΛEZAN∆ in exergue; rare; $250.00 SALE |PRICE| $225.00


Imitative Byzantine Anonymous Follis of Christ, c. 970 - 980 A.D.

|Anonymous| |Folles|, |Imitative| |Byzantine| |Anonymous| |Follis| |of| |Christ,| |c.| |970| |-| |980| |A.D.|, |anonymous| |follis|
Of this type of imitative, Lampinen writes, "The second phase of Balkan coinage production goes into high gear with the introduction of the anonymous follis series during the reign of John I (969 - 976). The explicit Christian imagery must have struck a chord with the recently converted Balkan masses because the official mint issues were accompanied by a fair quantity of copies, to meet the excess demand. These Christian issues would also be the prototypes for the initial coinage of several medieval Christian states, such as the first Crusader issues of Edessa and Antioch, medieval Armenia and distant Georgia in the Caucasus."
BZ89911. Bronze anonymous follis, See Lampinen Imitative p. 154 for a similar imitative; for the likely prototype cf. official Byzantine anonymous class A1 folles; SBCV 1793, VF, green patina, double struck, porous, crude and blundered, weight 6.880 g, maximum diameter 26.3 mm, unofficial (Balkan?) mint, c. 970 - 980 A.D.; obverse facing bust of Christ, wears nimbus cruciger ornamented with two pellets in each limb of cross, pallium, and colobium, Gospels in both hands, blundered imitation of the abbreviation: IC - XC (Greek: Ihsos Xrists - Jesus Christ) across field; reverse blundered inscription imitating: + IhSuS / XRISTuS / bASILEu / bASILE (Greek: Jesus Christ King of Kings); rare this crude; $240.00 SALE |PRICE| $216.00


Byzantine Empire, Andronicus II Palaeologus, 1282 - 24 May 1328 A.D.

|Andronicus| |II|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Andronicus| |II| |Palaeologus,| |1282| |-| |24| |May| |1328| |A.D.|, |trachy|
An extremely rare Andronicus II trachy of this type was found by Dochev at Turnovo (Dochev 1992, Pl. 17, 2; ). It is the Turnovo coin that is described in the Dumbarton Oaks Catalog (DOC V) and in Sear's Byzantine Coin Values (SBCV). We know of only five other specimens of the type.
BZ91214. Bronze trachy, Dochev 1992, pl. 17, 2; DOC V, table 18A, 30 (none in the collection); SBCV 2357A; B-D LPC -; Bendall PCPC; Lianta -; Grierson -; Sommer -, F/VF, scyphate, obverse "finder" cleaned by scraping, edge crack, small spots of corrosion, weight 1.680 g, maximum diameter 22.9 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 1282 - 1328 A.D.; obverse The Virgin Mary standing facing orans, nimbate, wears tunic and maphorion, MP - ΘV (Greek abbr.: Mητηρ Θεου - Mother of God) flanking nimbus; reverse Andronicus, on left, standing facing, scepter cruciger in right hand and anexikakia(?) in left hand, blessed by military saint, on right standing facing with sword(?) in left hand; extremely rare; $240.00 SALE |PRICE| $190.00


Byzantine Empire, Andronicus I, September 1183 - 12 September 1185 A.D.

|Andronicus| |I|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Andronicus| |I,| |September| |1183| |-| |12| |September| |1185| |A.D.|, |half| |tetarteron|
Marchev and Watcher suggest the scarcity of this type my be due to limited or no minting during the Norman siege of Thessalonica.
BZ95147. Bronze half tetarteron, CLBC 5.4.4; DOC IV-1 8; SBCV 1989; Hendy pl. 19, 4; Morrisson BnF - (p. 731); Wroth BMC 17-18; Ratto 2172; Sommer 62.6; Grierson 1115, aVF, weak strike, ragged flan with edge splits typical of type, weight 1.781 g, maximum diameter 16.1 mm, die axis 180o, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, Sep 1183 - 12 Sep 1185 A.D.; obverse facing bust of the Virgin Orans, nimbate, wearing pallium and maphorium, the nimbate head of the infant Christ on her chest, MP - ΘV (Greek abbreviation: Mητηρ Θεου - Mother of God) across field; reverse AN∆PO, half-length figure of Andronicus facing with forked beard, wearing crown, scaramangion and sagion, labarum in left hand, globus cruciger in right hand; from the S. Lindner Collection; rare; $200.00 SALE |PRICE| $180.00


Byzantine Empire, Anastasius I, 11 April 491 - 1 July 518 A.D.

|Anastasius| |I|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Anastasius| |I,| |11| |April| |491| |-| |1| |July| |518| |A.D.|, |follis|
Only officina E issued this variant.

Anastasius I came to the throne at the age of 61 after being chosen by the wife of his predecessor, Zeno. His religious tendencies caused tensions throughout his reign. Because his name is distinctly and unmistakably Christian (Anastasius means 'resurrection' in Greek), it indicates that he was born and raised a Christian, in contrast to previous Christian Emperors, most notably Constantine I, who were converts.
BZ92838. Bronze follis, DOC I 23m.2, Wroth BMC 17, Morrisson BnF I 1/Cp/AE/85, Hahn MIB I 29, SBCV 22, Sommer -, Tolstoi -, Ratto -, aVF, well centered, large flan, dark patina, weight 19.007 g, maximum diameter 36.0 mm, die axis 195o, 5th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 507 - 512 A.D.; obverse D N ANASTASIVS P P AVG, diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse large M (40 nummi), cross above, star left with pellets above and below, crescent right with pellet above, below and within, E (5th officina) below, CON (Constantinople) in exergue; rare; $160.00 SALE |PRICE| $144.00







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REFERENCES|

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