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John III, Ducas-Vatatzes (Empire of Nicaea): 1222-November 3, 1254
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John III, Ducas-Vatatzes, AV Hyperpyron, c.1232, Magnesia
IC | XC
Christ seated facing on throne without back, wearing nimbus cruciger, pallium and colobium, raising right hand in benediction, book of Gospels in left
+ Iw | MH
The Virgin, nimbate, standing, wearing pallium and maphorium, on right, crowning with right hand John standing at left, wearing divitision and loros, labarum in right hand, akakia in left
25mm x 27mm, 3.99g
SB 2073 variant

Note: Although the coin is not fully struck around the edges, there is enough to tell it varies from SB 2073 as plated in Sear, based on the positions of the existing legends. There is not enough room within the inner border for the long legends as plated.


John III, Ducas-Vatatzes, AV Hyperpyron, c.1232, Magnesia
+ KE RO_HQEI
Christ seated facing on throne without back, wearing nimbus cruciger, pallium and colobium, raising right hand in benediction, book of Gospels in left, IC | XC across fields
+ Iw / DE / P / T | PO / QV / RO / GE / MH / T
The Virgin, nimbate, standing, wearing pallium and maphorium, on right, crowning with right hand John standing at left, wearing divitision and loros, labarum in right hand, akakia in left
Q in upper field, M in right field
27mm x 30mm, 4.49g
SB --; DO 3 (as per Sear COA received by Don Squires on August 1, 2006)

Notes received from Don Squires on July 17, 2006: "I re-examined the Dumbarton Oaks catalog under John II and John III Ducas-Vatatzes and I now believe that this coin is a hyperpyron of John III Ducas Vatatzes minted in Magnesia circa 1232. It appears to be a variant of what Michael Hendy, the author of Volume 4, Part 2 of the Dumbarton Oaks catalog, calls a transitional coinage between the first and second series of hyperpyra minted by John III in Magnesia. See DO 3.1 and 3.2. The main difference between the two examples listed under DO 3 for John III and this coin is that the Dumbarton Oak specimens have three dots on the labarum held by the emperor on the reverse while the labarum on this coin has only two dots. In addition the inscription to the left of the emperor on the reverse is lacking on 3.2 and 3.1 has only IW, while this coin has Iw-DE-P-T. Poor striking may explain the lack of the inscription on the one example and the incomplete inscription on the other. Another similarity between this coin and the Dumbarton Oaks examples is the relative positions of the theta and mu around the Virgin's head with the theta being above and to the left of the Virgin's head and the mu just above the Virgin's left shoulder.

Incidentally both of the coins cited by the Dumbarton Oaks catalog were in private hands at the time of publication. In any event no coins listed of John II in the Dumbarton Oaks catalog are similar to this coin.

Sear Byzantine Coins does not refer to an example of the John III Ducas-Vatatzes examples discussed above."


John III, Ducas-Vatatzes, Billon Trachy, 1222-1254, Thessalonica
(No legend)
The Virgin enthroned
(No legend)
John on left, St. Demetrius on right, standing, holding patriarchal cross between them
23mm x 28mm, 3.28g
SB 2128