I don’t always collect Trachea but when I do……….

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by BenSi, Oct 15, 2021.

  1. BenSi

    BenSi Supporter! Supporter

    Trachy or the plural Trachea, harsh words, ugly coin?

    These coins were more complex to make, simply because of the two strike process, we have long threads that show off the obscure , hard to attribute examples. I think these threads can be a turn off to a new collector, so I descided to start a thread of the rarer examples, the ones they got it right.

    Brief history , the second major Byzantine coin reform occurred under Alexius Comnenus in the 12th century. Cup shaped coins were already a part of Byzantine currency in gold coinage but a major part of the reform was to use the design more commonly, in billion coins. Because of the quaintity the mints produced they very rairly came out perfect, miss matched sides, blundered portraits ( because of the two strike process.) and loss of the beauty of the original design. So don’t get me wrong, many times the misstruck coins are attractive but truthfully most are not.

    Now occasionally beautiful examples come to market, days where they just got it right. In this last month I have managed to aquire several of them, all a higher grade,


    Manuel I Comnenus. 1143-1180. BI Aspron Trachy (30mm, 5.19 g, 6h). Constantinople mint. Struck circa 1167-1183(?). Christ Pantokrator enthroned facing; no star to either side / Manuel standing facing, holding labarum and being crowned by the Theotokos standing left. DOC 13d; SB 1966. Brown patina. Good VF. CNG Coins

    This coin by Alexius is somewhat common for 12th century trachea, it was nice to acquire example of what it was meant to look like.


    Alexius III Angelus-Comnenus, 1195-1203. Trachy (Bronze, 27 mm, 2.88 g, 6 h), Constantinople, 1195-1197. Bust of Christ Pantocrator facing, raising right hand in benediction and holding scroll in left. Rev. Alexius and St. Constantine standing facing, holding between them globus cruciger, and each holding a labarum. DOC 3. SB 2011. Dark patina. Extremely fine. Nomos

    Now my last example is a bit of a treasure for me, I have the smaller version with some beauty but this one really an example worth winning.

    Latin Rulers of Constantinople, 1204-1261. Trachy (Billon, 22 mm, 3.10 g, 6 h), Constantinople. IC - XC Facing bust of Christ Pantokrator. Rev. Archangel Michael standing facing, holding lis-tipped scepter in right hand and globus cruciger in left. DOC 16. SB 2036. Exceptionally well centered and struck. Extremely fine. Nomos

    If you have a good example of trachy from any time period, any metal, please share it.

    Thanks for looking.
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    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    @BenSi, hearty congratulations on getting more than one of these, at one throw. The reverse legends on the first two made me sit up in my chair.
    ...But, yeah, they're all great. This is a repost, maybe from Medieval Monday (without much in the way of context), but it's an example of your Latin issue --with cordial thanks for the Dumbarton Oaks reference. FRANKISH BYZANTINE, LATIN CONSTANTINOPLE, TRACHY, NAUMANN OCT. 2021.jpg (No less thanks to you, if memory serves, the DOC website is bookmarked, and all but the biggest .pdfs of the catalogue are downloaded --although that might've included the operant volume. ...It would be great to see what it has in the way of variants, starting with this issue.)
    ...Back to reverse legends, that was the selling point on this Latin one, imitating Manuel I.
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2021
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  4. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    I like this Andronicus due to the high grade, nearly as-struck, complete with high silver and flow lines. Gorgeous!
    Andronicus I Comnenus SB 1985.JPG
  5. Love these. Have just purchased three different references on Byzantine coins (Sear, Whitting, Grierson) so that I can start collecting in a more knowledgeable/serious way.
  6. TIF

    TIF Always learning. Supporter

    Wow, those are exceptional!
    BenSi likes this.
  7. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter 3rd Century Usurper

    Nice trachys all! Great pick ups @BenSi !
    BenSi likes this.
  8. Sulla80

    Sulla80 one coin at a time Supporter

    I don't collect these, but every now and then, one has appeared in my collection. Usually the ones that appear are examples where they got it right - yours are wonderful examples @BenSi
    Manuel I Comnenus, 1143-1180, BI trachy (31 mm, 3.78g, 6 h), Constantinople mint
    Obv: MP-ΘV, the Virgin Mary, enthroned facing, nimbate and wearing pallium and maphorium. She holds nimbate head of infant Christ before her
    Rev: MANOVHΛ ΔECΠOTHC, Manuel standing facing, wearing crown, chlamys and divitision, holding labarum and patriarchal cross on globe
    Ref: DOC 12
    +VGO.DVCKS, sand, Theodosius and 2 others like this.
  9. seth77

    seth77 Well-Known Member

    One of my favorite these days Ae18x17mm 0.98g

  10. Black Friar

    Black Friar Well-Known Member

    Really nice group...I guess I need to get busy with my camera. Too many unprocessed coins in my folders.

    Attached Files:

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  11. Black Friar

    Black Friar Well-Known Member

    Sorry guys and gal's, I hit the wrong button. I'll finish and republish.
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  12. +VGO.DVCKS

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    Been all of there, done all of that. :<}
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