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Virgin Mary

(2 coins)
Manuel I, 1143-1180 A.D.

EL Aspron Trachy, 4.57g. 34mm. Constantiople mint. Christ enthroned holding book of Gospels in his left hand and raising his right hand in benediction. Rev. The emperor wearing jeweled loros and divitision and holding akakia in right hand and the Virgin standing and facing; they hold long patriarchal cross between them. DOC IV, 3a. Sear 1958. Exceptional full types and weight without the usual heavy double striking or clipping and on a deeply scyphate flan.


Ex: Künker, Osnabruck, Auction 326, October 7, 2019, lot 1886

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Extremely Fine $1,500.
Constantine IX, 1042-1055 A.D.

AR 2/3 Miliearesion, 2.20g. 25mm. Constantinople, Facing bust of the Virgin orans, nimbate and wearing tunic and maphorium; monograms resolving as "Mary, mother of God" in fields to right and left. Rev. Six line inscription with name of emperor and titles. DOC 8a. Sear 1835. Scarce and in unusually choice condition without the typical damages and cracks. Toned.

This image of the Virgin is known as the Blachernitissa and is identified as such in the obverse legend. It is named after a monastery in Constantinople in which a marble statue of the Virgin praying in a similar gesture was described in the 10th century. The statue was in the Imperial bath area and holy water flowed from her outstretched hands. A painted icon of the Virgin Blachernitissa also was carried into military campaigns. (See: Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium p, 2170.)

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about Extremely Fine $4,500.

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