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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Judean & Biblical Coins| ▸ |Biblical Coins| ▸ |The Virgin Mary on Coins||View Options:  |  |  | 

The Blessed Virgin Mary on Coins

The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you. Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob's descendants forever; his kingdom will never end."

Byzantine Empire, Michael VIII Palaeologus, 15 August 1261 - 11 December 1282

|Michael| |VIII|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Michael| |VIII| |Palaeologus,| |15| |August| |1261| |-| |11| |December| |1282|, |hyperpyron|
Michael VIII was regent for and later co-emperor with the Nicaean Emperor John IV. He defeated the Latin emperor Baldwin II, captured Constantinople and restored the empire. His superb diplomatic skills balanced his enemies against each other. He founded the last great Byzantine dynasty.
RS94632. Gold hyperpyron, DOC V, class II-a, 13 ff. (sigla 69 not listed); Bendall PCPC 4 (same); Lianta 488 ff. (same); Grierson 1288; SBCV 2242; Sommer 77.1, VF, scyphate, well centered, obv. central double strike, some die wear, weight 4.187 g, maximum diameter 25.9 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 15 Aug 1261 - 11 Dec 1282; obverse Nimbate half-length facing figure of the Virgin Mary orans within city walls, MH - Θ (MH ligate, flanking nimbus, six groups of towers on walls, sigla K - A across fields; reverse X /MH/ ∆C-Π/OTI (MH ligate, columnar downward, or similar - right side obscure), Archangel Michael, on left, standing facing, presents kneeling Michael VIII to Christ, on right, seated left on high throne, scroll in left hand, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Ihsos Xrists - Jesus Christ) flanking Christ; from the Robert Watcher Collection; very scarce; $600.00 SALE |PRICE| $540.00


Byzantine Empire, Andronicus II and Michael IX, 21 May 1295 - 12 October 1320 A.D

|Andronicus| |II|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Andronicus| |II| |and| |Michael| |IX,| |21| |May| |1295| |-| |12| |October| |1320| |A.D|, |hyperpyron|
"There are two main variants of this type - those with six groups of towers and those with four groups of towers in the city walls. The change comes approximately mid-way in the reign and both varieties are equally common. Rare varieties are those with the figures of Andronicus and Michael transposed and those with the legend AVTOKPTOPEC PWMAIWN." - D. Sear.
SH94418. Gold hyperpyron, DOC V-2, class 2b, sigla 186; Bendall PCPC 128, sigla 186, Sommer 80.2.1, Grierson 1293, SBCV 2396, VF, scyphate, typical crude strike, weight 3.379 g, maximum diameter 24.0 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 1305 - 1320 A.D.; obverse bust of the virgin orans within city walls, four groups of towers on the walls, six-pointed star over K left and six-pointed star over N right (sigla); reverse A/N/∆/P - X / M / ∆/E/Π (or similar, columnar), Andronicus II bearded on left and Michael IX unbearded on right, both kneeling facing, both with beard and mustache (?, Michael is usually described as beardless), nimbate Christ stands between them with hands over their heads in benediction, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Ihsos Xrists - Jesus Christ) flanking nimbus; $500.00 SALE |PRICE| $450.00


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, 11th - 12th Century A.D.

|Byzantine| |Seals|, |Byzantine,| |11th| |-| |12th| |Century| |A.D.|, |seal|
 
BZ92112. Lead seal, Uncertain, aVF, tan surfaces, modified seal cut in the shape of a fish, the cutting, however, obscures much of the reverse inscription, obverse The Theotokos (Virgin Mary) standing facing, orans; reverse Inscription; ex CNG e-auction 233 (26 May 2010), lot 571 (realized $390 plus fees); $350.00 SALE |PRICE| $315.00


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, Alexius I Comnenus, 4 April 1081 - 15 August 1118 A.D.

|Alexius| |I|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Alexius| |I| |Comnenus,| |4| |April| |1081| |-| |15| |August| |1118| |A.D.|, |half| |tetarteron|
Although he was not the founder of the Comnenian dynasty, it was during his reign that the Comnenos family came to full power. Inheriting a collapsing empire and faced with constant warfare during his reign against both the Seljuq Turks in Asia Minor and the Normans in the western Balkans, Alexius was able to curb the Byzantine decline and begin the military, financial, and territorial recovery known as the Comnenian restoration.
BZ95145. Bronze half tetarteron, CLBC 2.4.6; DOC IV-1 39; SBCV 1930; Hendy p. 88 and pl. 8, 9; Grierson 1056; Sommer 59.25, F, well centered, overstruck as is common for the type, weight 3.444 g, maximum diameter 20.1 mm, die axis 180o, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 1092 - 1118 A.D.; obverse bust of the Virgin Mary facing, orans, MP - ΘV (Greek abbreviation: Mητηρ Θεου - Mother of God) across field; reverse + AΛZI ∆ECΠ (or similar), Alexius bust facing, wearing crown, stemma, divitision and chlamys, labarum in right hand and globus cruciger in left; from the S. Lindner Collection; $140.00 SALE |PRICE| $126.00


Second Bulgarian Empire, Ivan Shishman, 1371 - 1395 A.D.

|Bulgaria|, |Second| |Bulgarian| |Empire,| |Ivan| |Shishman,| |1371| |-| |1395| |A.D.|, |grosch|
Ivan Alexander divided his kingdom between his two sons. Ivan Shishman inherited the central portion of Bulgaria with the capital Tarnovo. In 1393, after three-month siege, Tarnovo fell to the Ottoman Empire. Ivan Shishman continued to rule in Nikopol as an Ottoman vassal but Sultan Bayezit I had him beheaded on June 3, 1395.
ME47142. Silver grosch, reduced weight; Moushmov 7454, pl. LXV 8, c. 0.60g, c. 15mm diameter, Tarnovo mint, c. 1380 - 1393 A.D.; obverse Czar standing facing, cruciform scepter in left, legend and monograms around; reverse half length figure of The Virgin Orans facing, infant Christ's head facing at Her breast, M − Θ (Greek abbreviation: Mother of God) across field flanking head; VF or better, nice examples with the usual imperfect strikes and slightly wavy flans; Forum's random selection from the same group as the coins in the photograph; one coin; $60.00 SALE |PRICE| $54.00







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