Manuel Komnenos-Ducas Small Module Trachy? Thoughts on ID?

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by The Trachy Enjoyer, Mar 20, 2021.

  1. The Trachy Enjoyer

    The Trachy Enjoyer Well-Known Member

    This a trachy with which I am having trouble finding an ID. The reverse of the coin shows an Emperor holding a Cross-tipped-scepter in his left hand and the anexikakia is his right. The emperor is crowned by Jesus Christ holding the book of Gospels, XC IC around Him. IMG_5781_scrubbed.png
    The obverse shows a figure with a Halo, presumably a Military Saint because there is a delta in the top left. The three possible categories it could be as a Haloed individual are:
    1. Christ (Not possible since Christ is on the reverse. The same figures were not shown on both sides)
    2. Mary (Not possible due to the delta present. The legend for Mary would be MP OV or some variation thereof)
    3. A Military Saint (It must be this considering it can not be the first two)
    This would leave the coin as:
    Obverse: Military Saint/ Δ
    Emperor (holding Cross-tipped-scepter and anexikakia) being crowned by Christ (holding the book of Gospels) / XC IC

    Upon looking for matching types with the above reverses and obverses, there is only one type which fits. This is Sear 2177, DOC 3. (other types exist with this reverse and the emperor not holding a Cross-tipped-scepter and anexikakia but these two items narrow the trachy down to two possible types. The presence of a Military Saint and not Mary brings it to one)
    However, my example lacks the prominent prominent mesh pattern of the chlamys (or divitision, hard to make out) seen in examples online (see below, compare with mine)
    The examples online and in references works show the trachys as a large module issue. Weights appear to be averaging at 2.5-3.5 grams. My coin weighs 1.24 grams. Interestingly, Late Byzantine Coinage in the Ashmolean Museum of Oxford lists one small module example (see below) IMG_6145_scrubbed.png
    This small module trachy (brockage error on the obverse) has a matching chlamys (or divitision, hard to make out) with a weight of 0.64 grams.

    I am pretty sure my trachy is a match with this one. This is the only type with a military saint obverse/emperor (with above listed paraphernalia) crowned by christ. My trachy has a much lower weight than online examples and different chlamys pattern yet when taking the small module trachy into consideration, both the chlamys design and my trachy's low weight would actually make sense.

    Any thought on this attribution? I haven't been able to find much information of the small module trachys of Despot Manuel Comnenus Ducas so any insights are appreciated.

    Attached Files:

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  3. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Basileus Megalos

    It sounds like you have narrowed down the possibilities pretty well. My research shows that some of the 13th century trachys have Michael the Archangel on them, otherwise it could be St. George, or St. Demetrius as you say.
    The Trachy Enjoyer likes this.
  4. The Trachy Enjoyer

    The Trachy Enjoyer Well-Known Member

    Yes, Angels are a possibility as well. St. Michael is common, especially on Latin coinage and that of Michael VIII. There aren't any types as far as I am aware with them on the obverse which match this reverse, however. That is a good point for consideration though.
  5. seth77

    seth77 Well-Known Member

    For the late Komenodoukai of Thessalonica there are (possibly) three distinct series based on die and flan size, with Series III being well below your coin's weight. Many of of them are parallel designs ranging from large to very small modules. A similar type on an even smaller weight here.

    You can also check this thread here for more Thessalonica trachea.
  6. Quant.Geek

    Quant.Geek Well-Known Member

    Here is my Sear-2177:


    Kingdom of Thessalonica: Manuel Comnenus-Ducas (1230-1237) Æ Trachy, Thessalonica (Sear 2177; DOC IV Type A, 3; Lianta 346-50) Obv: O AΓIOC ΔHMHTPIOC in two columnar groups; Bust of St. Demetrius, beardless and nimbate, wearing tunic, breastplate and sagion; right hand holds spear; left hand holds hilt of sword (or cross)
    Rev: ΜAΝϪΗΛ ΔЄC, IC XC in upper and right field. Full-length figure of ruler on left, crowned by Christ, bearded and nimbate. Emperor wears stemma, divitision and paneled chlamys; right hand holds scepter cruciger; left hand holds anexikakia. Christ holds Gospel in left hand.
    Dim: 30 mm, 2.58 g

    Filtering your image gives you the clue. The circular clasp is the same between the two coins. Thus, I suspect its the same coin, but smaller as you indicate. There are versions of 2177 that has a reverse like yours..


  7. The Trachy Enjoyer

    The Trachy Enjoyer Well-Known Member

    Awesome! Your coin is definitely way better than mine! That has a lovely style and strike! Also, thanks so much and cheers for the help!
    Quant.Geek likes this.
  8. Quant.Geek

    Quant.Geek Well-Known Member

    NP. Glad to meet another trachy lover :D...These coins are so underrated and the condition of them varies so much. I would more than be happy to have that in my collection...
    The Trachy Enjoyer likes this.
  9. The Trachy Enjoyer

    The Trachy Enjoyer Well-Known Member

    Thanks! Before I joined cointalk, I was the only trachy enjoyer I knew. Its good to see others appreciating these oft ignored treasures:pompous:!
    Only a Poor Old Man likes this.
  10. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Basileus Megalos

    It seems to be an under-appreciated area of collecting. I have a bunch that have come with late roman bronze uncleaned lots, mainly AE4's of Arcadius, Honorius and the like. Compared to those the trachys are quite interesting
  11. Quant.Geek

    Quant.Geek Well-Known Member

    It is picking up interests though. There seems to be more trachy collectors now then when I started. The demand and thus the prices have been going up for good quality pieces...
  12. JohnnyC

    JohnnyC Member

    S.2184 (CLBC 13.3.2/3) is the smaller module version of S.2177. On the small module versions the diamond pattern on the chlamys is often unclear.

    Ross G.
  13. The Trachy Enjoyer

    The Trachy Enjoyer Well-Known Member

    Thanks! I am glad to have this one identified (and I didn't realize the small module example had its own Sear number. Thank you for that). Is CLBC worth picking up if I already have the DOC catalogues and LBC?
  14. The Trachy Enjoyer

    The Trachy Enjoyer Well-Known Member

    I agree. Prices have been sky rocketing for individual auction listings (trachys especially. They seem to hammer in the $100+ range now :()...I have been sticking to retail and group lots for the time being
  15. JohnnyC

    JohnnyC Member

    Certainly - it's worth it for the line drawings alone, and it's a bit easier to follow than the DOC volumes. Note that you don't get the Empire of Nicaea though.

    Ross G.
    The Trachy Enjoyer likes this.
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