Featured Andronicus I Comnenus , The Final Coin?

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by BenSi, Mar 9, 2021.

  1. BenSi

    BenSi Supporter! Supporter

    For years I looked for an example. I had only seen one and that was from a fellow collector on Forum Ancient Coins, I helped him attribute it. After that I never saw another Until……..

    A collection of coins from Simon Bendall came to market, I bid on this coin and lost and very much regretted it. Well in this case opportunity struck twice and the coin came back to market, I acquired it and received it today.

    Andronicus I SBCV-1988 DOC 7



    From the collection of Simon Bendall.

    Now the original attribution by Michael Hendy was this was a coin made during the siege of Thessalonica in the month of August 1185 AD, the normal issue from this mint was a coin depicting the Virgin (Type A, SBCV-1987) and this rare coin was considered type B ( SBCV-1988). The tie in is two of these coins were found at the Athens and none in Corinth excavations. One of the 2 coins found was overstruck over type A. I have not seen this overstruck coin and it was not pictured but it was from work “The Athenian Agora” written by Margaret Thompson in the 1954. That gave them the placement of what was first.

    Jump ahead and the original owner of this coin, Simon Bendall, he wrote another book in 2015, “The coinage of the Empire of Trebizond” . In that book he believes the coin should have attributed to Andronicus Gidon ( 1222-1235 ) a grandson of Andronicus I. Mr. Bentall’s argument on it is that the Lys had first appeared on Byzantine coinage after 1204 AD and two other of Andronicus Gidons coins had St George where Andronicus I did not have him on any and Andronicus did not use full family name Comnenus on his coinage

    I thought this very convincing until I found a sold an Andronicus I Type A tetartera SBCV- 1987 with a full family name, I sold that example and it was very notable because it included the full legend. AN∆PONIKOC ∆ECΠOTHC.

    The second part is not very strong argument, St George was a waring Saint and commonly used by Andronicus predecessor Manual Comnenus, The Lys had been used in early Christian art to depict the Holy Trinity as well as other cultures for different reasons.

    So here is the final irony, the coin came with Simon Bendall notes on a piece of small cut up paper, he had never got around to reattributing the coin and he left it at Andronicus I DOC VII

    This was my only missing coin from my collection of 12th century tetartera Alexius I to Alexius III. So with this it is now complete and I could not think of a better coin to complete it with, nice example, excellent Provenance and a touch of mystery to boot.

    Feel free to comment or post one of your Andys.
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  3. philologus_1

    philologus_1 Supporter! Supporter

    Congrats!!! What an interesting series of events -- especially the "final irony" you revealed at the end. Thanks for sharing this. :)
    BenSi likes this.
  4. Clavdivs

    Clavdivs Supporter! Supporter

    Very interesting coin - happy you acquired it!

    Would love to see a post showing the whole collection...
  5. BenSi

    BenSi Supporter! Supporter

  6. Clavdivs

    Clavdivs Supporter! Supporter

    Well - that was certainly a rabbit hole of awesomeness... you certainly are an expert and wonderful collector of this era.
    That collection is so very impressive - thank you for posting the link!

    My favorite is this small and light wonder right here: https://www.forumancientcoins.com/gallery/displayimage.php?album=5633&pos=14
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2021
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  7. Curtisimo

    Curtisimo the Great(ish) Supporter

    This seems like the type of thing that would lend itself to a couple of "virtual tray" type posts. Those are always fun threads. I also would love to see a line up of the collection.

    Your Byzantine coins are great and all very well photographed. Nice addition. Sorry I don't have anything relevant to share coin-wise.
  8. Only a Poor Old Man

    Only a Poor Old Man Well-Known Member

    Congratulations @BenSi , it must feel great to complete such a specialised and demanding collection goal. How about a 'hoard' shot with all the coins together? :happy:

    Here is my Andy, not as rare as yours, but the excellent condition makes up for it.

    Andres2, Mammothtooth, tibor and 7 others like this.
  9. catadc

    catadc Well-Known Member

    @BenSi Congratulations for the coin. I see just two of those on Labarum website. I like how the two contribute to give a complete picture for that type. Out of curiosity - was that type well presented in CLBC?

    For whoever cannot find or afford it, but would like a St George tetarteron, there are the SB 1975 and SB 1980 of Manuel I. Alexius III has also some St George (half) tetartera, but those are hard to find and mines look miserable (meaning worse than the below ones).

    Manuel I, SB 1975, 19.5 mm, 3.3 gr, need a better pic

    Manuel I, SB 1980, 19 mm, 2.1 gr, 13 mm die module
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  10. BenSi

    BenSi Supporter! Supporter

    Thank you, the info above came from Hendy"s original book Coinage and Money in Byzantine Empire, DOC IV by Michael Hendy and Simon Bendall"s catalog of Trebizoid coins and Grierson, Byzantine coins.

    As for Vals work in CLBC, he wrote very little, just had seen one and that was found on Bulgarian Lands.

    Here is the line drawing he provided in CLBC.

    Two pieces of info I left out, Andronicus Comnenus was the last Comnenus to rule the Byzantine Empire. He died September 12th, this coin was thought to have been minted August of the same year.
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2021
  11. philologus_1

    philologus_1 Supporter! Supporter

    I opted for the St. George w/ Manuel I, Thessaloniki, SB_1975, 20.5 mm, 4.2 gr.

    @BenSi Thanks again for posting this and for sharing your whole collection on FORVM, it has not only led me to revisit my (mere) half-dozen tetartera, but it also allowed my fine-tuning of numismatic data for them. :)
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2021
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  12. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Basileus Megalos

  13. BenSi

    BenSi Supporter! Supporter

    My newest coin is ironically another Andronicus I Comnenus coin. Very nice condition especially the portrait of the Emperor. Nice deep green patina, SBCV-1987 20mm 3.63gm. Got it from Leu.
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2021
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  14. The Trachy Enjoyer

    The Trachy Enjoyer Well-Known Member

    And people say Byzantine coins aren’t charming!
    +VGO.DVCKS and BenSi like this.
  15. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Basileus Megalos

    Congrats. I still have a nomisma and miliaresion on the way from Leu.
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  16. Mammothtooth

    Mammothtooth Stand up Philosopher, Vodka Taster

    Very educational and enlightening to see these coins
    BenSi likes this.
  17. seth77

    seth77 Well-Known Member

    These coins are on average better-looking and more beautiful than the trachea but for some reason I have always found myself drawn more to the trachea than the tets :cyclops::cyclops::cyclops:
    Quant.Geek likes this.
  18. BenSi

    BenSi Supporter! Supporter

    Many years ago I found one in a group lot, it left me very baffled, took me some time to figure out what it was ( Pre Chat groups) when I did I decided I found a collection that I could complete , 39 coins in Sears BCV between Alexius I and Alexius III ( not including Usurper Isaac.) Early in my collecting I found a legendary Alexius coin listed in DOC ( DOC41) but not Sear. It turns out two are known, mine and the other in the museum of Istanbul. That really spurred me on to find the rest.

    The trick to these and trachea is to find the attractive ones.
  19. +VGO.DVCKS

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    Some magnificent examples here. What draws me to the tetarterons is how well-struck so many of them are. Pretty distinctive for the entire series. I find the convergence of that with the smaller modules particularly compelling, somehow. (...Wish I had pics of any of mine....)
    BenSi likes this.
  20. Alwin

    Alwin Supporter! Supporter

    I was finally able to take a picture of my Andronicus coin...

    ANDRONICUS I, Aspron Trachy
    Constantinople, 1183-1185 A.D.
    4.51 g - 29 mm
    S 1985
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