Finally! I harpooned my white whale - John VIII Stavraton

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by AussieCollector, Feb 26, 2021.

  1. AussieCollector

    AussieCollector Moderator Moderator

    I'm so happy!

    After getting absolutely smashed at a couple of recent auctions, I finally got my long awaited coin - a John VIII Stavraton.

    This coin is particularly significant to me, given my special interest in the Eastern Roman Empire, my historical pilgrimage to 'Byzantium' www.cointalk.com/threads/echoes-of-byzantium.353247/ , and my desire to get both a coin from the start of the Eastern Roman Empire (easy), and the end (much trickier). Given I will probably never be able to afford a Constantine XI, John the VIII was the clear option as the penultimate Emperor.

    John VIII

    The son of Manuel II, John VIII was crowned co-Emperor in 1408 AD alongside his father, and sole Emperor after Manuel II's death in 1425 AD.

    John ruled Constantinople and immediate surrounds, while he gave governance of other remnants of the once great Eastern Roman Empire to his brothers.

    John spent the majority of his efforts trying to secure assistance from the west. Whilst ultimately unsuccessful in his mission to gain support, an important cultural exchange between east and west scholars occurred, helping fuel the Italian renaissance.

    upload_2021-2-26_21-17-58.png
    JOHN VIII PALAEOLOGUS, (1425-1448), silver stavraton (1/2 hyperpyron)
    Obv: facing bust of Christ Pantokrator
    Rev: Crowned bust of John VIII facing, in double circular legend
    5.36g, flan cracks, scarce, DOC-1611; Se-2563. MBC

    Please feel free to share your late Eastern Roman Empire coins!
     

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    Last edited: Feb 26, 2021
    Broucheion, Pavlos, TheRed and 41 others like this.
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  3. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    I too love John VIII issues. I have actually held a Constantine XI in my hands at Harlan Berk's, if I would have had $45k on my I could have taken it home! :)
     
  4. The Trachy Enjoyer

    The Trachy Enjoyer Well-Known Member

    Great coin! These stavraton pieces seem to have jumped in price (and continue to do so). I should picked one up a year or two back when I had the chance.
     
  5. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Basileus Megalos

    Nice coin and well-struck for the type.
     
    AussieCollector likes this.
  6. AussieCollector

    AussieCollector Moderator Moderator

    It would have been quite the privilege to hold a Constantine XI! The mind wonders about who held it, when, and what happened.

    If coins could talk...

    Same for me. I had a golden opportunity to pick up one of these just over a year ago, for about a 1/3 of what I just paid. Mind you, flan crack aside, this one is less worn than the ones I had an opportunity to buy.

    Agreed. Well struck for it's type. Mind you, this type is very badly struck in general :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2021
  7. +VGO.DVCKS

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    Brilliant example, @AussieCollector! --How many series are there where the latest ones are the hardest? More than a couple. Congratulations.
     
  8. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    These are never full legend so I judge the coins mostly on what part of the legend remains. Yours has the name John. That is what makes a coin good in my opinion. Both yours and mine also show another feature I find interesting. Christian numismatists show the side with Christ as the (greater honored) obverse. When a coin curls up around the edge of the die on one side and is flat on the other it suggests that the flat side was the anvil while the curve was made by the smaller punch die on top. Numismatists tend to ID the obverse as the side on the bottom or anvil and the reverse on top/punch. Here we have a conflict. John was placed on the anvil relegating Christ to the reverse.
    rz0660bb1974.jpg
     
  9. AussieCollector

    AussieCollector Moderator Moderator

    Great example @dougsmit

    And interesting observation re the curling. I hadn't considered that, but what you say makes sense.
     
  10. BenSi

    BenSi Supporter! Supporter

    f4.jpg View attachment 1284527

    John VIII SBCV-2564 7.14gm

    Not easy to photograph. Picked it up at a Fun show a few years back.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2021
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