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

Rare Byzantine Coins
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


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; $220.00 SALE |PRICE| $176.00


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| $160.00


Byzantine Empire, Manuel I Comnenus, 8 April 1143 - 24 September 1180 A.D.

|Manuel| |I|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Manuel| |I| |Comnenus,| |8| |April| |1143| |-| |24| |September| |1180| |A.D.||tetarteron|
Gibbons Decline & Fall says of Manuel I, "The first in the charge, the last in the retreat, his friends and his enemies alike trembled, the former for his safety, and the latter for their own." Wroth is the only reference that identifies the Manuel side as the obverse. For this example, Wroth appears to be correct.
BZ95155. Bronze tetarteron, DOC IV-1 16; CLBC 4.4.3; Hendy p. 120 & pl. 17, 10; Wroth BMC 62; SBCV 1969; Grierson 1095; Morrison BnF 61/Cp/AE/30; Sommer 61.14; Ratto -, F, uneven strike, obverse off center, porosity/corrosion, weight 3.595 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, c. 1152 - 1160 A.D.; obverse Christ standing facing on dias, bearded, wearing nimbus cruciger, pallium, colobium, raising right hand in benediction, Gospels in left hand, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Ihsos Xrists - Jesus Christ) across field; reverse MANVHΛ ∆ECΠOTH (Manuel, despot), emperor standing facing, wearing crown, divitision and chlamys, labarum with X on shaft in right, globus cruciger in left; from the S. Lindner Collection, this is the first specimen of this type handled by FORVM; rare; $150.00 SALE |PRICE| $135.00







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REFERENCES|

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Retowski, O. Die Mnzen der Komnenen von Trapezunt. (Coins of the Comnenus Family of Trebizond.) (Braunschweig, 1974).
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Sommer, A. Die Mnzen des Byzantinischen Reiches 491-1453. Mit einem Anhang: Die Mnzen des Kaiserreichs von Trapezunt. (Regenstauf, 2010).
Sotheby's. The William Herbert Hunt collection. Highly important Byzantine coins, I & II, New York, 1990-1991.
Spahr, R. Le Monete Siciliane, dai Bizantini a Carlo I d' Angio (582 - 1282). (Graz, 1976).
Spahr, R. Le Monete Siciliane dagli Aragonesi ai Borboni (1282 - 1836). (Basel/Graz, 1982).
Tolstoi, I. Monnaies byzantines. (St. Petersburg, 1913 - 1914).
Tomasini, W. The Barbaric Tremissis in Spain and Southern France - Anastasius to Leovigild. ANSNNM 152 (New York, 1964).
Wroth, W. Catalogue of the Imperial Byzantine Coins in the British Museum. (London, 1908).
Yannopoulos, P. L' hexagramme: un monnayage byzantin en argent du VIIe sicle. (Louvain-la-Neuve, 1978).


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