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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, 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; $125.00 SALE PRICE $113.00


Byzantine Empire, Isaac II Angelus, 12 September 1185 - 8 April 1195 A.D.

|Isaac| |II| |Angelus|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Isaac| |II| |Angelus,| |12| |September| |1185| |-| |8| |April| |1195| |A.D.||tetarteron|
Isaac II debased the coinage, sold appointments to government posts, and was a spendthrift. He was overthrown, blinded and imprisoned by his brother, Alexios III in 1195. After eight years of captivity, Isaac II was raised from the dungeon to the throne once more after the arrival of the Fourth Crusade and the flight of Alexios III from the capital in July 1203. Both his mind and body had been enfeebled by confinement, and his son Alexios IV Angelos was associated on the throne as the effective monarch. Alexios IV was unable to meet his obligations and his vacillation caused him to lose the support of both his crusader allies and his subjects. At the end of January 1204 the influential court official Alexios Doukas took advantage of riots in the capital to imprison Alexios IV and seize the throne as Alexios V. At this point Isaac II died, allegedly of shock, while Alexios IV was strangled.
BZ99287. Bronze tetarteron, DOC IV 4a; Hendy pl. 21, 8; Wroth BMC 38; Ratto 2196; Morrisson BnF 64/Cp/AE/1; SBCV 2004; Sommer 65.6, aVF, brown tone, light encrustations, weak strike areas, porous/grainy, struck on a cut flan, weight 3.496 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 12 Sep 1185 - 8 Apr 1195 A.D.; obverse the Virgin orans standing facing, nimbate, wearing pallium and maphorium, nimbate head of infant Christ on her chest, MP - ΘV (Greek abbreviation: Mητηρ Θεου - Mother of God) across field; reverse Isaac standing facing, scepter cruciger in right hand, anexikakia in left hand, being crowned by manus Dei upper right, IC/AA/KI/·C - ∆EC/Π·T/H/C (or similar, in two columns; Isaac, despotes); from the S. Lindner Collection; $125.00 SALE PRICE $113.00


Byzantine Empire, John II Comnenus, 15 August 1118 - 8 April 1143 A.D.

|John| |II|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |John| |II| |Comnenus,| |15| |August| |1118| |-| |8| |April| |1143| |A.D.||tetarteron|
The maphorium (maphorion) was a loose sleeveless hooded outerwear mantel, cloak or shawl, worn by medieval women outdoors in public. The Virgin Mary is most often depicted wearing a maphorium, as seen in the icon below. It is a cloth which usually covers the head and is worn around the neck and chin. At many stages of medieval culture it was unseemly for a married woman to show her hair. A maphorium might be elaborately starched, and creased and folded in prescribed ways, even supported on wire or wicker framing.
BZ99284. Bronze tetarteron, DOC IV-1 13; Wroth BMC 72; Morrison BnF 60/Cp/AE/13; Ratto 2110; Grierson 1072; CLBC 3.4.2; Hendy pl. 11, 8; SBCV 1946; Sommer 60.9, aF, centered on a tight flan, a bit rough, weight 3.590 g, maximum diameter 18.0 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 15 Aug 1118 - 1122 A.D.; obverse facing bust of the Virgin Orans, nimbate, wearing pallium and maphorium, MP - ΘV (Greek abbreviation: Mητηρ Θεου - Mother of God) across field; reverse John standing facing, wearing crown, divitision and chlamys, jeweled scepter in right hand, globus cruciger in left hand, Iw / ∆CC/ΠOT / TW/ΠOP (in column of 5 lines) on left, ΦV/PO/ΓC/NH/T (in column of 5 lines) on right; from the S. Lindner Collection; scarce; $90.00 SALE PRICE $81.00


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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