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

Byzantine Coins of the Comnen Dynasty
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; $800.00 SALE PRICE $640.00


Duchy of Durazzo (Republic of Venice), 1205 - 1213, Imitative of Byzantine, Alexius I Tetarteron, 1093 - 1118

|Greece|, |Duchy| |of| |Durazzo| |(Republic| |of| |Venice),| |1205| |-| |1213,| |Imitative| |of| |Byzantine,| |Alexius| |I| |Tetarteron,| |1093| |-| |1118||tetarteron|
The Duchy of Durazzo was a short-lived overseas colony of the Republic of Venice, encompassing the port city of Durazzo (modern Durrs in Albania) and its environs. It was established in 1205, following the dissolution of the Byzantine Empire in the aftermath of the Fourth Crusade, and lasted until it was reclaimed by the Byzantine Despotate of Epirus in 1213.

The Durrs Hoard discovered in 1967, near the apse of the chapel of the amphitheater of Dyrrachion, included 862 ornamented cross-type copper coins imitative of tetartera of the Byzantine Emperor Alexius I Comnenus. Similar types to our imitative coin. Pagona Papadopoulou studied the hoard and concluded the coins were hidden in the chapel when the forces of Michael I Comnenus Ducas, the Despot of Epirus (1204-1215) attacked and put an end to the Venetian Duchy in 1214. She also studied many other finds of the type and concluded the coins were struck by the Venetians beginning shortly before or after 1204 A.D., probably at Corinth.
Durazzo
BZ99037. Bronze tetarteron, cf. Papadopoulou type IIa, Sommer 59.26.2; Hendy pl. 8, 11; for the prototype see DOC IV-1 40 (Byzantine, Alexius I, Thessalonica, 1093 - 1118 A.D.), aEF, green patina, crude, porous, weight 1.130 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 0o, Corinth (Greece) or Durazzo (Durrs, Albania) mint, 1203 - 1213 A.D.; obverse crude Maltese cross fourche with arms of equal length, no base, no X at center, globus and two pellets at the end of each arm, Φ - C / X - [?] in the angles; reverse no legend, barbarous half-length bust facing, bearded, wearing crown with pendilia and jeweled chlamys, cruciform scepter in right hand, globus cruciger with four-pellet cross in left hand, pellets left and right; from a Las Vegas dealer; rare; $160.00 SALE PRICE $128.00


Byzantine Empire, Nicephorus III Botaniates, 7 January 1078 - 1 April 1081

|Nicephorus| |III|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Nicephorus| |III| |Botaniates,| |7| |January| |1078| |-| |1| |April| |1081||follis|
After the inept rule of Michael VII led to several revolts, Nicephorus seized the capitol and was crowned emperor. His wife died shortly after. To gain the aura of royalty and the support of the powerful Ducas family, he married Michael's wife, Empress Maria of Alania (despite that her husband was still alive). Instead of strengthening his position, the marriage would lead to his downfall. In order to ensure the succession of her son Constantine, Empress Maria conspired with Alexius Comnenus to dispose of Nicephorus. Just as Nicephorus had banished Michael to a monastery, Alexius Comnenus banished Nicephorus to a monastery. He died soon after.
BZ99036. Bronze follis, DOC III-2 9, Morrisson BnF 56/Cp/AE/02, Wroth BMC 12, Ratto 2053, Sommer 56.5, SBCV 1888, VF, dark green patina, scratches, light deposits, overstruck (on anonymous follis class H?), weight 6.954 g, maximum diameter 28.8 mm, die axis 0o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 7 Jan 1078 - 1 Apr 1081; obverse 3/4 length figure of Christ standing facing, wearing nimbus cruciger, pallium, and colobium, raising right hand in benediction, Gospels in left hand, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Iησοúς Xριστος - Jesus Christ) above stars left and right; reverse cross with pellet at each end, eight ray star in circle at center, C - Φ / N − ∆ (Greek abbreviation: Σταυρε Φυλαττε Nικηφοπον ∆εσποτη - May the cross protect Despot Nicephorus) in the quarters of cross; from a Las Vegas dealer; rare; $140.00 SALE PRICE $112.00


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; $125.00 SALE PRICE $100.00


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 $72.00


Byzantine Empire, Romanus IV Diogenes, 1 January 1068 - 19 August 1071

|Romanus| |IV|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Romanus| |IV| |Diogenes,| |1| |January| |1068| |-| |19| |August| |1071||follis|
In modern usage, the term despot means a ruler or other person who holds absolute power, typically one who exercises it in a cruel or oppressive way. The original Greek term meant simply "lord" and was the Greek equivalent to the Latin dominus. Despotes was initially used as a form of address indicating respect. As such, it was applied to any person of rank, but in a more specific sense to God, bishops and the patriarchs, and primarily the Roman and Byzantine Emperors.
BZ99042. Bronze follis, DOC III-2 8, Morrisson BnF 53/Cp/AE/01, Wroth BMC 9 ff., Ratto 2030, Sommer 54.4, SBCV 1866, VF, dark patina, overstruck, weight 4.166 g, maximum diameter 25.9 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 1 Jan 1068 - 19 Aug 1071; obverse bust of Jesus Christ, dotted cross behind, wearing tunic and himation, right hand raised in benediction, left hand holds the Gospels , IC - XC / NI-KA (Jesus Christ Conquers) flanking Christ's head; reverse Latin cross with X at center, one large and two small pellets at end of each arm, C R P ∆ (Greek abbreviation: Σταυρε Bοηθει Pωμανω ∆εσποτη - May the cross protect the despot Romanus) in the angles; from a Las Vegas dealer; $80.00 SALE PRICE $64.00











Catalog current as of Wednesday, November 30, 2022.
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