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Some cracked half-shells...


quant.geek
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I picked these two coins for a bargain in comparison to similar graded coins due to the cracks, but it doesn't deter the quality!

 

Byzantine Empire: Manuel I Comnenus (1143-1180) EL Aspron Trachy (Sear 1959)

Obv: IC-XC; Christ standing facing on dais, bearded, wearing nimbus cruciger with five pellets in limbs, pallium and colobium, raising right hand in benediction, book of Gospels in left; eight-pointed star to either side

Rev: M-AN-ΩHΛ-O / ΘЄ/Ο/Δ/Ω/Ρ/OC; Manuel I, bearded and St. Theodore, bearded and nimbate (on right) both standing facing, jointly holding patriarchal cross with two crosses on shaft and large globus on base between them, emperor wearing crown, divitision and loros, right hand on pommel of sheathed sword on hip, saint wearing military attire with left hand on pommel of sheathed sword at hip
 

A01.jpg.ea0b92d81298583258acbbf5acce27de.jpg

 

 

Byzantine Empire: Manuel I Comnenus (1143-1180) EL Aspron Trachy (Sear 1958)

Obv: IC-XC; Christ seated facing on backless throne, bearded, wearing nimbus cruciger, pallium and colobium, raising right hand in benediction, cradling book of Gospels on lap

Rev: MANΩHΛ-ΔECΠOTH; Manuel I, bearded, standing facing, wearing crown with pendilia, divitision and loros, akakia in right hand, and the Virgin nimbate, standing facing, wearing pallium and maphorium, holding patriarchal cross between them; MP-ΘV in right field

A03.jpg.d9073fed0b1e80ebcd26263473c2e502.jpg

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Nice wins, both beautiful. Several of my coins are cracked, especially the Manauel issues of El Aspron trachea.Thinner?

The sbcv_1959 seemed to flood the market recently, right now it seems very accessible, that will change soon. Yours is is a great example. 

 

 

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4 hours ago, Nerosmyfavorite68 said:

The figures on 1959 are exquisite.  I myself was looking at Manuel Trikephala last night, and many were $600...  I know gold is crazy, but that's a bit much for me.  One was almost as nice as quant.geek's.  The rest were way less nice.

The ones without a crack, albeit in a somewhat lesser condition than mine, went above $600 and some of them went well over $1000 and that was pre-BP.  It was crazy, but I got mine for far less than that! The 1958 was even cheaper.

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On 8/10/2022 at 9:38 PM, quant.geek said:

I picked these two coins for a bargain in comparison to similar graded coins due to the cracks, but it doesn't deter the quality!

 

Byzantine Empire: Manuel I Comnenus (1143-1180) EL Aspron Trachy (Sear 1959)

Obv: IC-XC; Christ standing facing on dais, bearded, wearing nimbus cruciger with five pellets in limbs, pallium and colobium, raising right hand in benediction, book of Gospels in left; eight-pointed star to either side

Rev: M-AN-ΩHΛ-O / ΘЄ/Ο/Δ/Ω/Ρ/OC; Manuel I, bearded and St. Theodore, bearded and nimbate (on right) both standing facing, jointly holding patriarchal cross with two crosses on shaft and large globus on base between them, emperor wearing crown, divitision and loros, right hand on pommel of sheathed sword on hip, saint wearing military attire with left hand on pommel of sheathed sword at hip
 

A01.jpg.ea0b92d81298583258acbbf5acce27de.jpg

 

 

Byzantine Empire: Manuel I Comnenus (1143-1180) EL Aspron Trachy (Sear 1958)

Obv: IC-XC; Christ seated facing on backless throne, bearded, wearing nimbus cruciger, pallium and colobium, raising right hand in benediction, cradling book of Gospels on lap

Rev: MANΩHΛ-ΔECΠOTH; Manuel I, bearded, standing facing, wearing crown with pendilia, divitision and loros, akakia in right hand, and the Virgin nimbate, standing facing, wearing pallium and maphorium, holding patriarchal cross between them; MP-ΘV in right field

A03.jpg.d9073fed0b1e80ebcd26263473c2e502.jpg

A little crack never hurt anyone!

5448349D-97FD-4F9B-876B-6D9132412B01.jpeg.a637a4599626f1c70b74c45595cb7a05.jpeg

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I'm leaning toward thinking that for Comnenan trachys (of either kind), flan cracks should just be recognized as integral to the genre.  A lot like awful strikes on any number of denars and petit deniers from eastern France to northern Germany, all the way from the 11th century through the 13th.  If you're into the period, it's almost part of the price of admission.

Given which, both @quant.geek's and @TheTrachyEnjoyer's examples are Terrific.  I'm really liking 'em!  My only AE trachy of John I of Nicaea also has St. Theodore.  Right, one of the principal Byzantine martial saints; appropriately enough, with John actively locking horns with Jean de Brienne of Frankish Constantinople.  (...Rats, now I can't find pictures of it.)

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I bought this coin some years ago and is still unidentified , the closest type I found was an aspron of John II , can you please help ?

It has 28 mm and 4.5  g , the metal is possible billon ?

byzantine .jpg

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Minted at Constantinople during the reign of Manuel I between 8 April 1143 - 24 September 1180. Obv. Christ, bearded, seated facing on throne without back, wearing nimbus cr., pallium and colobium; in l., book of Gospels; to l., IC; to r., XC. Rev. MAN0HA AECnOT (or similar). The Virgin, nimbate (on r.) and Manuel (on l.) both stg. facing; the Virgin wears pallium and maphorium, and with her r. hand crowns the Emperor, who wears divitision and loros, and holds labarum and gl. cr.; between thier heads. M or MP; to r., OV. BCVS #1966 CBE #16 pg. 278

 

90 MANUEL I OBV.jpg

90 MANUEL I REV.jpg

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I don't find the post Alexius billon trachea very rewarding.  I've been going the electrum or gold 1 or 2 coins per ruler route. A small chip or a not too horrible crack doesn't bother me too much.

Prices for Isaac II or Alexius III Hyperpyra are probably too much now, though.

 

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17 hours ago, Nerosmyfavorite68 said:

Prices for Isaac II or Alexius III Hyperpyra are probably too much now, though.

Hi @Nerosmyfavorite68, current pricing for 12th century hyperpyra . The most affordable are John II and Isaac II.  The coins of Alexius III and Alexius I are a little more. The most expensive currently also has the most amount of forgeries and that is Andronicus I Hyperpyra.  This may change, in truth John II is the rarest coinage ( In general) by site finds.( See bellow) The biggest problem of his coinage is it was imitated in full by John III, the only difference proven is by the quality of the gold. J2 in 19 carats J3 is 17 carats. Even the legends are identical. John III was not born in the purple , John II was.

image.jpg.8d058635f773aa31e0d04b698e420dbc.jpgimage.jpg.8d058635f773aa31e0d04b698e420dbc.jpg

As for the billion trachea , the trick is finding the exceptional ones. Plenty of worn ones, they circulated for a long time.

This has no silvering but almost a perfect strike. 

h6.jpg.10c2be6624a5ff815d1b0dfcb1d57efb.jpg 

 

Edited by Simon
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199E2ED7-F768-45BF-A304-1EB670BEA371.jpeg.70e9e1501b8f7fdfd1102f6d33fc7414.jpeg

Alexius I Comnenus. EL Aspron trachy. Thessalonica mint.

AV: + KERO ALEZI Christ enthroned facing, with nimbus cross, holding book of Gospels, XC-IC to left and right.

RV: + AΛΕZCW ΔCΠ Alexius, wearing divitision and loros, and holding cross on globe being crowned by Mary, nimbate; star above.

SBCV 1927 ; DOC IV Plate V type 23c . 

An unpublished variation of the reverse legend.

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I like those coins, The cracks belong to them.

I have 1 with cracks, not yet determined but it could be Hyperpyron of Andronicus II and Micheal IX.

Gold looks to be debased or elektrum compared to a gold coin. weight is also lighter at 4,2 gram

IMG_1324.JPG

IMG_1323.JPG

IMG_1325.JPG

Edited by LuckyLuudje
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11 hours ago, Simon said:

Hi @Nerosmyfavorite68, current pricing for 12th century hyperpyra . The most affordable are John II and Isaac II.  The coins of Alexius III and Alexius I are a little more. The most expensive currently also has the most amount of forgeries and that is Andronicus I Hyperpyra.  This may change, in truth John II is the rarest coinage ( In general) by site finds.( See bellow) The biggest problem of his coinage is it was imitated in full by John III, the only difference proven is by the quality of the gold. J2 in 19 carats J3 is 17 carats. Even the legends are identical. John III was not born in the purple , John II was.

image.jpg.8d058635f773aa31e0d04b698e420dbc.jpg

As for the billion trachea , the trick is finding the exceptional ones. Plenty of worn ones, they circulated for a long time.

This has no silvering but almost a perfect strike. 

 

 

 

Forgive me; I've had a really, really crappy day.  I don't really understand the graph?  I'm assuming it's a graph of relative scarcity?

That's amazing that Isaac II would be among the most affordable.  I bought an affordable nice John II Hyperpyron from Glenn W. Woods some years ago.

I guess I'll have to be happy with my upcoming electrum of Manuel.

I have a a VF/XF trachy of Manuel, purchased 25 years ago from A. Berman.  Unfortunately it was one of the victims of the great BD outbreak of 1999 and is marred by a couple of malachite lumps.

I do kind of dig the early billon trachea of Alexius.  I'm pretty sure I ended up buying a nice one from Jon Subak many moons ago.

I can't recall purchasing a trachy since at least 2000.

While I've cooled toward my recent buy of the broken Nicephorus, the John Trikephalon really made me happy. I'm so happy with my buy.  Next to the Tiberius II, easily the second favorite coin buy of the year. The Nicephorus is 'good enough' until I find a better deal on a whole one.

The precious metal scyphates make me happy, but the post 1092 AE's don't do that much for me.  It's just a personal collecting preference. I'd rather just eventually have one electrum or AV each of the 1092-1204 rulers.  Maybe not Andronicus I.   He's too hard to get.  Maybe a really nice trachy.  I'm a budget buyer, but I do have the budget to slowly pick up the missing gold/electrum ones, at least for one/two coin/s per ruler.

The only trachy which I really remember is a 'half' Manuel? (I think it's Manuel, it's been 25 years) Trachy.  I remember fondly digging through the HJB bag/hoard of them, c. 1996 with Mike Braunlin.  I hope he's still with us. 

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7 hours ago, Nerosmyfavorite68 said:

I don't really understand the graph?  I'm assuming it's a graph of relative scarcity?

Please forgive my cryptic answer, yes, the graph is a combination from agroecological site finds of different coinage by each of these rulers. The main locations were Athens Corinth, Asia minor might change the figures but not a lot of info from there.  This gives us a basic idea on  the rarity of each ruler. 

The John II mention I made was an irritant I have. John III copied John II coinage , he included the inscriptions of John II, to this date there is no proven Visual way to determine who made coins attributed to them. The coins he copied was a Thessalonica issue of John II Comnenus. Why did he do this? Uncertain but the coinage of John II was held in great esteem because he slightly raised the purity of his coinage, his son Manuel lowered it.  The way many are attributed by dealers depends on who is hot right now,  lately it was John III, so many of the coins on the market as John III could be John II. The only way to know for sure is a purity check of the gold, John the II was at 19 carats and John III is at 17 carats. Personally I thought the neater made examples were John II but the study by Eleni Lianta did not prove that. 

(99+) John II Comnenus (1118-43) or John III Vatatzes (1222-54)? (Distinguishing the Hyperpyra of John II from those of John III).pdf | Eleni Lianta - Academia.edu

 

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2 hours ago, Nerosmyfavorite68 said:

Do you agree with Glenn W. Wood's attribution?

I see absolutely no reason to doubt it.  I do not know the history of Glenn Woods but I bought this coin John II SBCV-1948 from CNG , it also had provenance to Glenn Woods, they listed so they did not have a problem either.  I do not have your coin,( SB-1949) I just did not have the confidence in buying one online without seeing in person. The Thessalonica issues are thicker than the Constantinople issues .like yours.

k4.jpg.3cb43f0da77a158440d6ed61c80b52bc.jpg

JOHN II HYPERPYRON NOMISMA IV DOC 8 SBCV-1948
OBV Christ Bearded and Nimbate , wearing tunic and kolobion, seated upon a throne without back: r. hand raised in benediction , holds gospels in l.

REV Half length figure of emperor on l. and of Virgin , Emperor wears stemma, divitision, collar piece, and paneled loros of simplified type; holds hand labarum in r. hand. Virgin wears tunic and maphorion.


Size 28mm

Weight 4.61

VF

From the Peter J. Merani Collection, purchased from Glenn W. Woods. Ex Coin Galleries (17 July 1996), lot 1296. CNG 490 April 21

Now here is the version  of your coin but from Constantinople. The funny thing is the seller attributed this as an Alexius coin. You can see the difference between your issue and this issue easily.

d5.jpg.e2e34fdee124458b427b2440aa7421a0.jpg

 

The metal is much thinner but the flan larger. 

 

1939 JOHN II HYPERPYRON NOMISMA IV DOC 2 Constantinople Second Coinage SBCV-1939
OBV IC XC in upper field.
Christ bearded and nimbate, wearing tunic and kolobion, seated upon throne without back: r hand raised in benediction , holds gospels in l.
REV Full length figure of emperor on l. , crowned by Virgin. Emperor wears stemma, divitision. Collar piece, and paneled loros of a simplified type; holds in r. hand labarum on long shaft, and in l., anexikakia. Virgin wears tunic and maphorion.

Size 32mm

Weight 4.38gm

DOC lists 22 examples with weights from 3.73gm to 4.45gm and sizes from 30 mm to 34mm

So I believe you have a beautiful correct attributed coin. I do not believe John III imitated your coin type ( SBCV-1949) However , some authors think he did.  I think they are wrong.  Also J3 would have been less carats and to this day no one is certain where he mined the gold. 

Since we are talking past 1203 , some of the other experts of this time would have read something I missed. @Glebe@TheTrachyEnjoyer @seth77 @quant.geek @Al Kowsky

Edited by Simon
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