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

Rare Byzantine Coins
Byzantine Empire, Nicephorus Basilacius, Usurper, Summer 1078 A.D., Anonymous Class N Follis

|Nicephorus| |Basilacius|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Nicephorus| |Basilacius,| |Usurper,| |Summer| |1078| |A.D.,| |Anonymous| |Class| |N| |Follis||follis|
Until 1976 this type was regarded as anonymous (Class N) because neither of the two known specimens had a visible legend. In 1976, Grierson published a new specimen with a legend naming the ruler, Nicephorus (Grierson, P. "Nicephorus Bryennius or Nicephorus Basilacius?" in NumCirc LXXXIV.1 (January 1976), type a). There were two candidates, Nicephorus Bryennius and Nicephorus Basilacius, both usurpers, Bryennius in 1077 - 1078, and Basilacius in Thessalonica for a few months during 1078. In 1992, Roger Bland published an example with the legend on the obverse right side reading POCBAC, which has been accepted as proving this type was struck by Basilacius (Bland, R. "A Follis of Nicephorus Basilacius?" NC 1992, p. 175 ff. and pl. 36, B). Our coin has a different more complete but blundered and obscure inscription on the obverse right side.
BZ99035. Bronze follis, DOC III-2 p. 706, N.1 (anonymous class N follis); Grierson 1976, type a; Bland Basilacius pl. 36, B; SBCV 1903A (Ex. Rare); Sommer 58.1, F, uneven strike, overstruck with strong undertype effects, weight 5.863 g, maximum diameter 30.7 mm, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, summer 1078 A.D.; obverse +NIKHΦW-POC BACIΛE (or similar), facing bust of Christ, nimbus cross with plain arms, wearing tunic and himation, right hand raised in blessing, Gospels in left, IC - XC flanking across field; reverse patriarchal cross on base; IC - XC / NI-KA (Jesus Christ conquers) in the quarters; from a Las Vegas dealer; extremely rare; $650.00 SALE PRICE $585.00


Byzantine Empire, Leo III the Isaurian, 25 March 717 - 18 June 741 A.D.

|Leo| |III|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Leo| |III| |the| |Isaurian,| |25| |March| |717| || |-| |18| |June| |741| |A.D.||follis|
This is a extremely rare variety with a facing bust on the obverse, vice the usual full length figure standing facing. The flan for these folles is usually smaller than the dies, thus on the normal type 1 the emperor's body is often off flan and appearing similar to this 1a facing bust variant. However they are distinguishable because on the normal type 1 the height of the head alone is about 2/3 of the height of the M on the back, while on the 1a variant it is about equal or taller than the height of the M. Side-by-side the obverses look very different.
BZ99099. Bronze follis, Trivero Leone III 1a, Trivero 090; other references do not recognize this variant, VF, dark green patina, long flan crack, flan defect/flan crack lower obverse, weight 2.580 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, die axis 0o, Sicily, Syracuse mint, sole reign, 25 Mar 717 - 30 Mar 720; obverse anepigraphic, bust of Leo III facing, with short beard, wearing helmet with crest, and loros, spear upright in right hand, globus cruciger in left hand; reverse large M between two palm fronds, emperor's cruciform monogram above center, no officina, SCL in exergue; from the Robert Wachter Collection; extremely rare; $200.00 SALE PRICE $180.00


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: ΜΗΤΗΡ ΘΕΟΥ - Mother of God) across field; reverse ANΔPO, 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; $110.00 SALE PRICE $99.00


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

|Andronicus| |II|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Andronicus| |II| |Palaeologus| |and| |Michael| |IX,| |21| |May| |1295| |-| |12| |October| |1320| |A.D.||trachy|
Although a brave and energetic soldier, Michael IX was defeated again and again. He made peace with Bulgaria by marrying his daughter to the Bulgarian emperor. After another defeat, he retired to Thessalonica, where his premature death at age 43 was in part due to grief over the accidental murder of his younger son Manuel by retainers of his older son Andronikos III.
BZ98876. Bronze trachy, DOC V 765; Grierson 1466; B-D LPC p. 230, 5; Bendall PCPC 229; SBCV 2457; Sommer 80.27, aF, scyphate, dark green patina, scratches, porosity, double struck, off center, edge splits, weight 1.212 g, maximum diameter 23.6 mm, die axis 0o, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 21 May 1295 - 12 Oct 1320; obverse six-petaled flower; reverse Michael on left, standing facing, beardless, scepter in left hand, akakia in right hand; Andronicus on right, bearded, standing facing, crowning Michael with right hand, scepter in left hand; rare; $60.00 SALE PRICE $54.00


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

|Andronicus| |II|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Andronicus| |II| |Palaeologus| |and| |Michael| |IX,| |21| |May| |1295| |-| |12| |October| |1320| |A.D.||trachy|
Although a brave and energetic soldier, Michael IX was defeated again and again. He made peace with Bulgaria by marrying his daughter to the Bulgarian emperor. After another defeat, he retired to Thessalonica, where his premature death at age 43 was in part due to grief over the accidental murder of his younger son Manuel by retainers of his older son Andronikos III.
BZ98878. Bronze trachy, DOC V 778; B-D LPC p. 232, 6; Bendall PCPC 235; Lianta 814; Sommer 80.28; SBCV 2458, Fair/aF, scyphate, green patina, scratches, encrustations, weight 1.310 g, maximum diameter 23.0 mm, die axis 0o, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 21 May 1295 - 12 Oct 1320 A.D.; obverse two concentric circles bisected by three vertical lines; reverse three-quarter length figures of Andronicus, on left, and Michael, on right, holding between them a staff topped with a cross within ring; first specimen of this type handled by FORVM; very rare; $50.00 SALE PRICE $45.00







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REFERENCES|

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