A New Andy to Share.

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by BenSi, Nov 12, 2019.

  1. BenSi

    BenSi Supporter! Supporter

    I won this at auction a month or so ago. I just got back home after a very cool trip for work that took me to the Med. I did not buy any coins on my trip ( Two of my stops , Cyprus and Israel ancient coins are permitted for purchase.)

    However, I came home to this beauty in my post. Not an easy coin to come by, the Constantinople coins are the rarest in tetartera. It is a beauty and will replace my other two examples that I acquired in the last two decades.

    This ruler of the Eastern Roman Empire was one of its cruelest and ruthless. Andronicus I ruled 1183-1185 AD. He was cousin of Manuel Ist and upon Manuels death his son was crowned, Alexius II, his life was very short , his mother was the regent and she became close to Andronicus; he in turn convinced a very young Alexius II to kill his mother. Andronicus then became co emperor with Alexius II and then had the young man killed. Andronicus then took Alexius II wife ( 12 years old) as his own, he was 70. The people of Constantinople ended up killing Andronicus in the most brutal of ways , I don't remember the details but it took a day or two for him to die publicly.

    His coins were very attractive both of his tetartera issues depicted the Virgin ( A third coin in Sear depicting St George has been convincingly moved to Andronicus II of Trebizond) , this one not perfect but extraordinary for its condition. Beautiful brassy look. Most details are fresh.



    OBV Full length figure of Virgin nimbate, wearing tunic and maphorion, standing on dais, holds nimbate beardless, nimbate head of Christ on breast.

    REV Full length figure of emperor on l. crowned by Christ bearded and nimbate. Emperor wears stemma, divitision, and chlamys holds in r. hand labarum on long shaft and in l. anexikakia, Christ wearing tunic and kolobion, holds gospels in l. hand.

    Size 20.84

    Weight 4.55gm

    DOC lists 14 examples with weights from 2.49gm to 4.54gm and sizes from 18mm to 23mm
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  3. Caesar_Augustus

    Caesar_Augustus Well-Known Member

    That's a very pretty tetarteron of our boy Andy! Congratulations Bensi! :D
    BenSi likes this.
  4. BenSi

    BenSi Supporter! Supporter

    This is the coin it replaced.
    19.51mm 3.3gm
    Owning this coin excited me for many years, here is another I acquired a few years ago. The Virgin is exceptional on this example.

    And this one, well it had a legend. :)
    thejewk, tibor, Curtisimo and 5 others like this.
  5. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

    That's one of the nicest I have seen, congrats.
    BenSi likes this.
  6. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Khnum-Hotep

    An excellent example of the type - congrats.
    BenSi likes this.
  7. TIF

    TIF Well that didn't last long :D Supporter

    Wowza! That's an incredible tetarteron! Congrats :)
  8. BenSi

    BenSi Supporter! Supporter

    I was just in Jerusalem, i did not get any coins, the most interesting had ridiculous prices however i did get this photo, one of my favorites.
    Nothing to do with this coin really but worth a share. 20191103_154636.jpg
    Magnus87, Edessa, Orfew and 9 others like this.
  9. TIF

    TIF Well that didn't last long :D Supporter

    Fantastic picture-- great composition :).
    BenSi, Deacon Ray and thejewk like this.
  10. catadc

    catadc Well-Known Member

    Welcome back. A great coin, that one. What I like about these high grade byzantines is that you do not have problems in attributing them. With the "regular" ones is a real pain. I will for sure need your help for some Virgin orans, but pretty sure none is Andronicus. I just need some decent pictures...
    BenSi likes this.
  11. BenSi

    BenSi Supporter! Supporter

    Happy to help. Please share and I will do my best.

    I have not had anything new to post, my little segment of the market has been quiet for new finds. I have also been traveling very heavily for work since May, that does not help my coin correspondence :)
  12. thejewk

    thejewk Well-Known Member

    I know nothing about coins of this era, but you don't need to know anything to see that that is a striking and artistic coin. Very nice eye appeal for sure.

    Is this the Andronicus that was the inspiration for Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus?
  13. BenSi

    BenSi Supporter! Supporter

    No. Andronicus I was the ruler of the Eastern Roman Empire ( Byzantine) 1183-1183 AD
    Shakespeare's story was set during the latter days of the Roman Empire and tells the fictional story of Titus, a general in the Roman army, who is engaged in a cycle of revenge with Tamora, Queen of the Goths. It is Shakespeare's bloodiest and most violent work. ( Borrowed from Wiki)
  14. thejewk

    thejewk Well-Known Member

    Yes it is an incredibly violent and shocking play, a type quite common at the time it was written. Andronicus feeds a queen from one of the provinces her own children in a pie.

    Between your coin figure and Shakespeare's, maybe it's best we don't name out children Andronicus haha.
  15. catadc

    catadc Well-Known Member

    Well, I got home and took some photos. I will probably have natural light next summer, but everyone should be used to my bad pics by now.

    You posted 3 Mary above, so 3 Mary below: 2 Sear 1970 (3.94 gr and 3.37 gr) and one Sear 2004 (? not sure; 1.98 gr).
    Tet 1 - pic combined.png Tet 3 - pic combined.png Tet 2 - pic combined.png

    Some time ago, you told me that John II tetarterons are rare. I somehow managed to get 3 pieces of Sear 1945. One of them below - 3.37 gr. Looks like Christ is holding a mask rather than a book. :)

    Tet 4 - pic combined.png

    And a strange portrait of Alexius I - Sear 1932 (?) - 1.90 gr.
    Tet 5 - pic combined.png
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  16. BenSi

    BenSi Supporter! Supporter

    First two are tetartera of Manuel SBCV-1970 ,

    The third is Isaac II SBCV-2004

    4th one is correct, John II -SBCV-1945

    The last one is a half tetartera of Alexius I - SBCV-1932

    Here is my album with my main collection at Forum. They are in the order of Sear numbers.

    catadc likes this.
  17. catadc

    catadc Well-Known Member

    Yep, I got them right, then. Thank you for confirmation. I had doubts with the 2004, but the clothes were the decisive factor to say 2004. And so I observed that you did not update the Sear 2019 and 2020 in the Forum gallery.
  18. BenSi

    BenSi Supporter! Supporter

    No my main collection ends with Alexius III at SBCV-2017, In DOC they did not separate SBCV-2017 and SBCV-2108( The only difference is the legend containing the full family name of Comnenus)
    As for the restored rule of Isaac II and his son Alexius IV they are both extremely rare and very expensive, here is a SBCV 2020 that CNG sold at 14k.

  19. catadc

    catadc Well-Known Member

    I thought you got all the tetarterons… Had no idea that you had the cap at Alexius III.
    Otherwise, one should love this:
    Estimate $100.
    Sold for $14000
  20. BenSi

    BenSi Supporter! Supporter

    To clarify this statement, I think all tetartera from the regional mints are abundant however in the 12th century coinage his was the least found at Athens and Corinth.

    These finds are not hoards, they are lost coin finds, in the 12th century physical currency was not limited. The lost coin finds make sense since the old Anonymous follis series in the beginning was bigger and heavier than the tetarteron and less apt to be lost.

    Above just describes what had been found, not to say in the collecting world a John II is rarer than an Alexius IIIrd coin, the Alexius IIIrd coins are much rarer for collections.
    An interesting note, the coin you posted above Alexius SBCV-1932 was the most abundant of all individual tetartera. Literally 1000's were found. Most of the Constantinople issues were found in single digits like the Andronicus I have and the Isaac II you have above. Reason for that is they were more valuable because of their silver content so people were less likely to own them and loose them.
    catadc likes this.
  21. octavius

    octavius Well-Known Member

    What a handsome looking coin!
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