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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Byzantine Coins| ▸ |Comnen Dynasty||View Options:  |  |  | 

Byzantine Coins of the Comnen Dynasty
Byzantine Empire, Theme of Chaldia (Trebizond), Constantine Gabras, c. 1126 - 1140 A.D.

|Empire| |of| |Trebizond|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Theme| |of| |Chaldia| |(Trebizond),| |Constantine| |Gabras,| |c.| |1126| |-| |1140| |A.D.||follis|
Constantine Gabras (or Gavras) was the governor or doux (duke) of the Byzantine province of Chaldia, centered on the Black Sea port of Trebizond and its mountainous hinterland, the Pontic Alps, in northeast Anatolia, now part of Turkey. Gabras rebelled against the Byzantine emperor John II Komnenos and ruled Chaldia as a semi-independent prince between 1126 and 1140. Following the dissolution of the Byzantine Empire by the Fourth Crusade in 1204, the region became the center of the new Empire of Trebizond which survived until falling to the Ottomans in 1461.
BZ95865. Bronze follis, Bendall Trebizond (NC 77), pl. 7, 28; DOC IV Trebizond p. 433, 14; Hendy -; SBCV -, F, uneven strike with some weak areas, reverse off center, earthen encrustations, weight 1.146 g, maximum diameter 16.5 mm, die axis 0o, Trebizond (Trabzon, Turkey) mint, c. 1126 - 1140 A.D.; obverse cross fourchée within circular border; reverse cross fourchée within circular border; rare; $350.00 SALE |PRICE| $315.00


Byzantine Empire, Theme of Chaldia (Trebizond), Theodore Gabras, c. 1075 - 1126 A.D., In the Name of Alexius I

|Empire| |of| |Trebizond|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Theme| |of| |Chaldia| |(Trebizond),| |Theodore| |Gabras,| |c.| |1075| |-| |1126| |A.D.,| |In| |the| |Name| |of| |Alexius| |I||follis|
The general Theodore Gabras captured Trebizond and ruled it and the theme of Chaldia as a virtually autonomous state (c. 1081 - 1098). He was celebrated for his martial exploits, and was later venerated as a saint in the region. Following the dissolution of the Byzantine Empire by the Fourth Crusade in 1204, the region became the center of the new Empire of Trebizond which survived until falling to the Ottomans in 1461.
BZ95867. Bronze follis, Bendall Trebizond (NC 77), p. 133, issue 13B & pl. 7, 18; DOC IV p. 433, 13b; Schlumberger pl. ii, 5; Hendy -; Wroth BMC -; Ratto -, gF, overstruck on Michael IV follis, dark brown patina, obverse off center, light marks, weight 6.735 g, maximum diameter 26.3 mm, die axis 180o, Trebizond (Trabzon, Turkey) mint, c. 1092 - 1098 A.D.; obverse facing bust of Christ, bearded and nimbate, wearing tunic and himation, Gospels in right hand, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Ihsoús Xristós - Jesus Christ) across field; reverse Latin cross on three steps, a globule at the end of each arm, AΛBP (Greek: AΛεξιω Bασιλευϖ Pωμαιων - Alexius king of the Romans) in angles, Arab countermark 'Lillah" (For Allah); rare; $800.00 SALE |PRICE| $720.00


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|
Wroth identifies the Virgin side as the reverse. Both sides are incuse.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."
BZ95159. Bronze tetarteron, DOC IV-1 17a; Wroth BMC 71; Morrison BnF 61/Cp/AE/33; Hendy pl. 17, 11; Ratto 2153; CLBC 4.4.4; SBCV 1970; Grierson 1096; Sommer 61.15, aVF, off center, flatly struck areas, corrosion, weight 3.328 g, maximum diameter 21.48 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, c. 1152 - 1160 A.D.; obverse bust of Virgin Mary orans, nimbate wearing pallium and maphorium, MP - ΘV flanking across field; reverse MANOVHAΛ ∆EC (or similar), half-length of emperor facing, wearing crown, divitision and jeweled chlamys, labarum in right hand, globus cruciger in left hand; from the S. Lindner Collection; $125.00 SALE |PRICE| $113.00


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: Ihsoús Xristós - 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; $135.00 SALE |PRICE| $122.00


Byzantine Empire, Alexius I, Irene and John II, Autumn 1092 - 15 August 1118 A.D., John II Coronation Issue

|Alexius| |I|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Alexius| |I,| |Irene| |and| |John| |II,| |Autumn| |1092| |-| |15| |August| |1118| |A.D.,| |John| |II| |Coronation| |Issue||tetarteron|
Issued for celebrations throughout the Empire to honor the coronation of John II as co-emperor in 1092. This very rare type and two other types also issued for the coronation, are traditionally identified as the earliest tetarteron. They may actually be sphragidia that were distributed only to a select group of people who participated in the celebrations, or for charitable purposes.
BZ95153. Lead tetarteron, DOC IV-1 pl. IV, Pb 37; Grierson 1035; CLBC 2.5.1; SBCV -; Hendy -, Sommer -, aF, bumps, encrustations, thick patina, weight 4.375 g, maximum diameter 17.6 mm, die axis 180o, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, John II coronation issue, autumn 1092; obverse ∆/MI/TP (or similar, Demetrius, columnar on left), IW ∆ECΠT (or similar, John, Despot, clockwise on right), full-length figures St. Demetrius (on left) and John II standing facing, holding labarum between them; Saint nimbate, wears garb, sword in right hand, John wears stemma, divitision, collar-piece and jeweled loros; reverse AΛEZIW ∆- HPHNIV (or similar, Alexius, Despot - Irene), full-length figures of Alexis (on left) and Irene, holding long cross between them, both wear stemma, divitision, collar-piece and jeweled loros, Alexius holds anexikakia in right hand; from the S. Lindner Collection; scarce; $100.00 SALE |PRICE| $90.00


Byzantine Empire, Michael VII Ducas, 24 October 1071 - 24 March 1078 A.D.

|Michael| |VII|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Michael| |VII| |Ducas,| |24| |October| |1071| |-| |24| |March| |1078| |A.D.||2/3| |miliaresion|
Michael's reign was a period of disasters and territorial losses. Unable to face these challenges, Michael VII abdicated and lived as a monk for the last 12 years of his life.
BZ94299. Silver 2/3 miliaresion, DOC III part 2, 8, Wroth BMC 22, Sommer 55.7, Morrisson BnF 55/Cp/AR/7, SBCV 1876, F, toned, off center, holed, weight 1.321 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 24 Oct 1071 - 24 Mar 1078 A.D.; obverse bust of virgin Mary, nimbate, wears pallium and maphorium, holds nimbate infant Christ, MP/• - ΘV/• (Greek abbr.: Mητηρ Θεου - Mother of God); reverse + ΘKE / ROHΘEI / MIXAHΛ / ∆ECΠOTH / TW ∆OVKA (God helps the ruler Michael Ducas) in five lines, ornaments below; very scarce; $180.00 SALE |PRICE| $162.00


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; $180.00 SALE |PRICE| $162.00


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; $125.00 SALE |PRICE| $113.00


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











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