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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Byzantine Coins ▸ Empire of TrebizondView Options:  |  |  | 

Coins of the Empire of Trebizond

Trebizond was founded about 1204 A.D., probably following the Crusader takeover of Constantinople. It was surrounded by Muslim states and constantly paid tribute to them. Trebizond did not fall to the Ottomans until 1461, nearly a decade after Constantinople, but its emperor was little more than a puppet for the Sultan.Trebizond Empire

Trebizond, John IV, 1446 - 1458

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In 1979 an American coin dealer bought a coin scale from a California collector who has acquired it from a dealer in Austria. In the scale the dealer found a secret drawer which contained 167 coins, of which 164 were aspers of Trebizond. The hoard was purchased, analyzed and offered for sale by Alex Malloy in 1980. This coin was not offered in his sale.

The coin comes with a copy of Alex Malloy's catalog, Medieval Coins XVII, 1980, which includes Malloy's analysis of the Austrian Scale Hoard of Late Trebizond Aspers.

Prior to distribution of this hoard, the only published specimens of this type were from the Hermitage in Leningrad and there were none in the British Museum.

ME46264. Silver asper, Austrian Scale Hoard of Late Trebizond Aspers, p. 8, class II, 143 in Malloy Medival Coins XVII, 1980; (this coin), VF, weight 0.833 g, maximum diameter 13.6 mm, die axis 315o, obverse John on horseback right, head facing; reverse Saint Eugenius on horseback right, head facing; very rare; SOLD

Byzantine Empire, Theme of Chaldia (Trebizond), Duke Constantine Gabras, c. 1126 - 1140 A.D.

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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.
BZ76967. Bronze follis, S. Bendall, "The mint of Trebizond under Alexius I and the Gabrades," NC 1977, Appendix, pl. 7, 27; DOC 4.1; SBCV -, VF, dark green patina, typical uneven strike, clipped flan, and generally crude manufacture, weight 1.362 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, Trebizond (Trabzon, Turkey) mint, c. 1126 - 1140 A.D.; obverse cross patte within circular border; reverse cross patte within circular border; rare; SOLD

Empire of Trebizond, John II, 1280 - 1297 A.D.

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Marco Pollo passed through Trebizond in 1295. John's government confiscated 1000 gold hyperpyra, robbing Pollo's party of a significant portion of the fortune they had spent decades abroad risking their lives to acquire. Marco omitted the episode from his account, so not to detract from his successful image. It was revealed only years later in his uncle's will.
ME47139. Silver asper, SBCV 2611, aVF, weight 2.915 g, maximum diameter 22.6 mm, die axis 180o, obverse A within circle over Eς/ΓE (on left), NI/O/ϖ (on right), St. Eugenios standing facing, long cross in right; reverse IW/OK/N and monogram (on left), N/O/ϖ (on right), John standing facing, labarum headed scepter in left, globus cruciger in right, Manus Dei upper right; ex Harmer Rooke Numismatists Ltd., NYC, Auction 7/6/88, lot 1207; SOLD



Retowski, O. Die Mnzen der Komnenen von Trapezunt. (Braunschweig, 1974).
Sear, D.R. Byzantine Coins and Their Values. (London, 1987).
Sommer, A.U. Die Mnzen des Byzantinischen Reiches 491-1453. Mit einem Anhang: Die Mnzen des Kaiserreichs von Trapezunt. (Regenstauf, 2010).

Catalog current as of Wednesday, April 24, 2019.
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Empire of Trebizond