Jump to content

A high grade Æ Hyperpyron of John III Ducas-Vatazes from a Kosovo hoard


robinjojo
 Share

Recommended Posts

  • Benefactor

I have noticed recently that Roma is auctioning some pretty high grade hyperpyrons of John III Ducas-Vatazes.  These coins are pretty common generally speaking, but I thought a nice higher grade type coin would be nice, and this one seemed to fit the bill nicely.

This and many of the other coins appear to have been included in a study of a hoard by S. Bendall.  

Here's a link to the article:

https://www.romanumismatics.com/article_detail?article_id=2&lang=en&tag=Byzantine

And, here's the coin, which arrived today:

John III Ducas-Vatazes Æ Hyperpyron. Emperor of Nicaea. Uncertain mint, 1222-1254. Christ Pantokrator enthroned facing; "grenade" above throne to right, IC-XC across upper fields / John standing facing, holding labarum with two pellets on shaft and akakia, being blessed by the Theotokos; IѠ ΠЄ Π (or similar) downwards to left, ΘV Ѡ ΠP Φ V (or similar) downwards to right. Roma Numismatics - Studia Nummorum 07122021#02, Sigla D, 27 (O1 - this coin); for prototype, cf. DOC 12 and Sear 2073. 2.75g, 24mm, 5h.

Near Mint State.

This coin cited in S. Bendall, 'An Unusual Hoard of Hyperpyra of John III' (2018), Roma Numismatics - Studia Nummorum 07122021#02. Available online at: romanumismatics.com/ejournal;


From the inventory of a UK dealer.

 

364476466_D-CameraByzantinehyperpyronJohnIIIDucas-VatazesEmperorNicaea1222-542.75gRoma9714996-13-22.jpg.23c577ddc53b0e700920a85985b62994.jpg

 

Has anyone else acquired coins from this hoard?  I'd really like to see other examples of those or related coins.

Thanks!

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Benefactor

Yes, there is some controversy for the coins of this hoard.  That doesn't deter me, though, since this this coin an interesting one to study, and even if it is a modern fake, which I share with the author that it is not, the amount of funds to acquire the coin did not break the bank.

I do like controversial coins!

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If these Ae versions of Sear 2073 are genuine then we should find them in established museum collections.

So far I haven't seen any.

Ross G.

Edited by Glebe
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, robinjojo said:

Yes, there is some controversy for the coins of this hoard.  That doesn't deter me, though, since this this coin an interesting one to study, and even if it is a modern fake, which I share with the author that it is not, the amount of funds to acquire the coin did not break the bank.

I do like controversial coins!

I do agree with you, it was very tempting at the price point...

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Benefactor
Posted (edited)

Glebe, I would incline to agree, but what if these coins were more locally produced at the time as "copies" (counterfeits if you will)?  This was suggested in the article, and based on my experience collecting imitation owls, this is a possibility, I think.  I do not think these coins were produced at the Constantinople Mint.  

I also think the article makes points about the coins not being modern in terms of production.  The coins were struck.  My coin has the characteristic edge split, due to the brittle nature of the metal.  The surface deposits do not appear to be applied.  As for style, if indeed these coins are rough copies based on originals, one would expect some variations that deviate.  Such has been my experience with imitative owls, which span the range from almost true replicas of the original classical design, to all sorts of odd, crude and very "localized" varieties.

I have seen fakes of the John III Ducas-Vatazes hyperpyron.  They're quite numerous, but they all appear to be very similar in appearance, with some sort of fake gold finish, to make them appear as legitimate, almost "perfect" gold coins.  Some these fakes can be seen at the Forum website. 

Now, I always allow room for error, in my view, since I am all too prone to making mistakes, and if the coin is a knockoff copy courtesy of a Bulgarian faker or some other individual or individuals, I stand corrected.

Edited by robinjojo
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have (in my files) quite a few more examples of s.2073 imitatives from the same obverse die as the OPC, including some in brass (or brass coating), others in bronze and one apparently in gold.

The gold type is interesting as it dates back to 2003, well before Bendall's "Kosovo hoard". 

Ross G.

But how do I add images from my files?

(OK - sorted)

O24-R32-1b-alni0160-Ebayde260915.JPG

S.2073ae-John III-19b-2.59g-(24=K,22)-SoleryLLach1090-2-2584.jpg

S.2073auf'-John III-16b-3.33g-(K=24,k=1)-HWCA 326 2003-10513.jpg

Edited by Glebe
  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here are two examples of what seem to be genuine gold versions of the coin in question here, i.e, DOC 12, with the "grenade" siglum. 

The weights are 4.51 and 4.1 gm. 

The first coin is from Katz Coins  and the second from Numismatic Naumann in 1918.

Ross G.

Although looking at it again I'm not so sure about the Naumann coin.

s.2073-John III-100b-4.51g-Katze46-43.jpg

image.png

Edited by Glebe
  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Benefactor

I only noticed these today.  I have a tendency to only skim the Byzantine section at Roma as I feel with exchange rate and fees they are priced high overall.  But I saw the first one in the list and immediately read the article.  Based on what I read and deferring to the authors much superior knowledge I agree they are genuine and quite interesting.  I think its entirely possible that these could be a contemporary issue, with an orichalcum-like alloy which when freshly minted might possibly have passed for gold.  Hard to say.  I might throw in a cheap bid out of curiosity, but the prices are currently pretty strong for the better examples.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

People need to be aware that Bendall’s analysis of the imitative John III hyperpyra is rather over-simplified.

Shown below is Bendall’s Type A obverse coin (from Hervera, weight 2.73 gm), together with an example in gold struck from the same die (from CNG, weight 3.80 gm).

Now the interesting thing about these two coins is that on the brassy type the reverse is inverted, as is standard on Byzantine trachea and hyperpyra, but on the gold coin the reverse is upright.

This gold type is in fact a member of a group of c. 20 or so different types of S.2073 style hyperpyra with upright reverses which appeared on the market some years before Bendall first encountered the (mostly) brassy imitative types in the so-called Kosovo hoard. Another example is the Heritage coin I showed in an earlier post.

As well as these gold types there are also a considerable number of bronze/billon imitative types with upright reverses which also appeared on the market some time, if I remember rightly, before the brassy types first appeared, and I show a couple of these below as well. 

The problem therefore is put together a convincing narrative that links all these various imitative types together.

Ross G.

 

 

S.2073ae-John III-18b-2.73g-(2=D,25)-Hervera90-144.jpg

S.2073auf-John III-4b-3.80g-(D=2',d)-CNGe258-542.jpg

12 Giovanni III Vatat- 3.jpg

 

05a-06 giov- III 2b.jpg

Edited by Glebe
  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...