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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Byzantine Coins| ▸ |Empire of Nicaea| ▸ |John III||View Options:  |  |  | 

Empire of Nicaea, John III Ducas-Vatatzes, c. 15 December 1221 - 3 November 1254

A successful soldier from a military family, John was chosen in about 1216 by Emperor Theodore I Laskaris as the second husband for his daughter Irene Laskarina and as heir to the throne. This arrangement excluded members of the Laskarid family from the succession, and when he became empero following Theodore I's death, he had to suppress opposition to his rule. John was a very successful ruler who greatly increased the size, influence, and prosperity of the Nicaean Empire. He prepared the way for his descendants to successfully restore Greek rule to Constantinople and to rule the restored Byzantine Empire.Empire of Nicaea Map


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A successful soldier from a military family, John was chosen in about 1216 by Emperor Theodore I Laskaris as the second husband for his daughter Irene Laskarina and as heir to the throne. This arrangement excluded members of the Laskarid family from the succession, and when he became emperor in 1221, following Theodore I's death, he had to suppress opposition to his rule. John was a very successful ruler who greatly increased the size, influence, and prosperity of the Nicaean Empire. He prepared the way for his descendants to successfully restore Greek rule to Constantinople and to rule the restored Byzantine Empire.
SH87503. Gold hyperpyron, DOC IV-2 6c, Sommer 70.1.6 var. (no pellet left), Hendy pl. 32, 3 var. (same), SBCV 2073, Ratto -, VF, uneven strike with flat areas, obverse off center, weight 4.350 g, maximum diameter 25.1 mm, die axis 180o, Lydia, Magnesia ad Sipylum (Manisa, Turkey) mint, 2nd coinage, c. 1232 - 1254; obverse Christ seated facing on throne without back, nimbate, wears tunic and kolobion, raising right hand in benediction, Gospels in left hand, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Jesus Christ) across field, pellet to left and right (sigla) above throne; reverse IW DECΠOTH TΩ ΠOPΦVPOΓ (or similar, blundered, mostly not struck), John on left, standing facing, wears stemma, divitision, collar-piece and loros, holding labarum in right hand, anexikakia in left; crowned by Virgin Mary on right, standing left, nimbate, wears tunic and maphorion, MP - ΘV (Greek abbreviation: Mother of God) flanking her; from the Robert Watcher Collection; rare sigla variety; SOLD


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SH10987. Gold hyperpyron, DOC IV-2 12 (not in the DO collection, lists two known specimens: (1) Apostolo Zeno II Sale, lot 2558; (2) Archaeological Museum Istanbul), VF+, weight 4.466 g, maximum diameter 29.4 mm, die axis 0o, Lydia, Magnesia ad Sipylum (Manisa, Turkey) mint, 1222 - 1254; obverse IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Jesus Christ), Christ seated facing on throne without back, nimbate, wears tunic and kolobion, raising right hand in benediction, Gospels in left hand, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Jesus Christ) divided across field, symbol (siglon) above throne on right; reverse IW DECΠOTH TΩ ΠOPΦ (or similar, blundered, mostly not struck), John on left, standing facing, wears stemma, divitision, collar-piece and loros, holding labarum in right hand, anexikakia in left; crowned by Virgin Mary on right, standing left, nimbate, wears tunic and maphorion, MP - ΘV (Greek abbreviation: Mother of God) flanking her; ex Colosseum Coin Exchange; ex. rare sigla variety; SOLD


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Most clipped coins were not clipped by individuals attempting to get a little free silver or gold; rather, they were clipped to match the weight of a denomination in use at a later time. This coin was likely clipped in the Middle Ages.
SH13538. Gold hyperpyron, DOC IV-2 4g, Hendy pl. 32, 2, SBCV 2073, Sommer 70.1, Ratto -, aEF, clipped, weight 2.891 g, maximum diameter 20.3 mm, die axis 180o, Lydia, Magnesia ad Sipylum (Manisa, Turkey) mint, 1222 - 1254 A.D.; obverse Christ seated facing on throne without back, nimbate, wears tunic and kolobion, raising right hand in benediction, Gospels in left, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Jesus Christ) divided across field, four pellets (siglon) above throne on right; reverse IW DECΠOTH TΩ ΠOPΦ (or similar, blundered, mostly not struck), John on left, standing facing, wears stemma, divitision, collar-piece and loros, holding labarum in right hand, anexikakia in left; crowned by Virgin Mary on right, standing left, nimbate, wears tunic and maphorion, MP - ΘV (Greek abbreviation: Mother of God) flanking her; SOLD


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John was a very successful ruler who greatly increased the size, influence, and prosperity of the Nicaean Empire. He prepared the way for his descendants to successfully restore Greek rule to Constantinople and to rule the restored Byzantine Empire.
BZ84956. Bronze tetarteron, DOC IV-2 57, Wroth BMC 32, Hendy pl. 34, 3, SBCV 2115, Ratto -, Sommer -, VF, tight irregular shaped flan, weight 3.163 g, maximum diameter 21.0 mm, die axis 180o, Lydia, Magnesia ad Sipylum (Manisa, Turkey) mint, c. 15 Dec 1221 - 3 Nov 1254; obverse head of a cherub with four wings, pellets flanking on left and right; reverse IWO - ∆PK (or similar), John seated facing on throne with back, wearing stemma with pendilia, chlamys, and divitision, labarum in left hand, globus cruciger in left hand; rare; SOLD


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John was a very successful ruler who greatly increased the size, influence, and prosperity of the Nicaean Empire. He prepared the way for his descendants to successfully restore Greek rule to Constantinople and to rule the restored Byzantine Empire.
BZ74509. Bronze tetarteron, DOC IV-2 57, Wroth BMC 32, Hendy pl. 34, 3, SBCV 2115, Ratto -, Sommer -, aVF, weight 1.974 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 180o, Lydia, Magnesia ad Sipylum (Manisa, Turkey) mint, c. 15 Dec 1221 - 3 Nov 1254; obverse head of cherub with four wings, pellets flanking on left and right; reverse IWO - ∆PK (or similar), John seated facing on throne with back, wearing stemma with pendilia, chlamys and divitision, holding labarum and globus cruciger; rare; SOLD


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SH36251. Gold hyperpyron, DOC IV-2 4; Hendy pl. 31, 13; Lianta 202; Sommer 70.1.1; SBCV 2073; Ratto -, gVF, full flan, with bend at edge, clearly better than the usual specimen of the type, weight 4.635 g, maximum diameter 26.7 mm, die axis 180o, Lydia, Magnesia ad Sipylum (Manisa, Turkey) mint, 1222 - 1254; obverse Christ seated facing on throne without back, nimbate, wears tunic and kolobion, raising right hand in benediction, Gospels in left hand, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Jesus Christ) divided across field, no sigla; reverse IW DECΠOTH TΩ ΠOPΦ (or similar, blundered, mostly not struck), John on left, standing facing, wears stemma, divitision, collar-piece and loros, holding labarum in right hand, anexikakia in left; crowned by Virgin Mary on right, standing left, nimbate, wears tunic and maphorion, MP - ΘV (Greek abbreviation: Mother of God) flanking her; ex Bunker Hunt Collection; SOLD


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Graffiti around edges (WMK between 9 and 11, + at 3, and III at 4 on the obverse; + at 12 and symbols at 3 on reverse). In Forum's opinion, this graffiti is not detracting, but rather interesting.
SH08811. Gold hyperpyron, DOC IV-2 4; Hendy pl. 31, 13; Lianta 202; Sommer 70.1.1; SBCV 2073; Ratto -, Choice aEF, much better strike than typical for this issue!, graffiti, weight 4.27 g, maximum diameter 27.5 mm, die axis 180o, Lydia, Magnesia ad Sipylum (Manisa, Turkey) mint, 1222 - 1254 A.D.; obverse Christ seated facing on throne without back, nimbate, wears tunic and kolobion, raising right hand in benediction, Gospels in left hand, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Jesus Christ) divided across field, no sigla; reverse IW DECΠOTH TΩ ΠOPΦ (or similar, blundered, mostly not struck), John on left, standing facing, wears stemma, divitision, collar-piece and loros, holding labarum in right hand, anexikakia in left; crowned by Virgin Mary on right, standing left, nimbate, wears tunic and maphorion, MP - ΘV (Greek abbreviation: Mother of God) flanking her; SOLD


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SH38148. Gold hyperpyron, DOC IV-2 6b; Hendy pl. 32, 4; Sommer 70.1.4; SBCV 2073; Ratto -, VF, weight 2.680 g, maximum diameter 21.6 mm, die axis 180o, Lydia, Magnesia ad Sipylum (Manisa, Turkey) mint, 1222 - 1254; obverse Christ seated facing on throne without back, nimbate, wears tunic and kolobion, raising right hand in benediction, Gospels in left hand, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Jesus Christ) divided across field, pellet (siglon) on right above throne; reverse IW DECΠOTH TΩ ΠOPΦ (or similar, blundered, mostly not struck), John on left, standing facing, wears stemma, divitision, collar-piece and loros, holding labarum in right hand, anexikakia in left; crowned by Virgin Mary on right, standing left, nimbate, wears tunic and maphorion, MP - ΘV (Greek abbreviation: Mother of God) flanking her; SOLD








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REFERENCES|

Bellinger, A. Catalogue of the Byzantine Coins in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection and in the Whittemore Collection, Vol. IV, Part 2: The Emperors of Nicaea and Their Contemporaries (1204 - 1261). (Washington D.C., 1966).
Berk, H. Roman Gold Coins of the Medieval World, 383 - 1453 A.D. (Joliet, IL, 1986).
Grierson, P. Byzantine Coins. (London, 1982).
Hendy, M. Coinage and Money in the Byzantine Empire 1081-1261. (Washington D.C., 1969).
Lianta, E. Late Byzantine Coins, 1204 - 1453, in the Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford. (London, 2009).
Marchev, V. & R. Wachter. Catalogue of the Late Byzantine coins, Vol. I, 1082 - 1261 AD. (Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria, 2011).
Morrisson, C. Catalogue des Monnaies Byzantines de la Bibliothèque Nationale. (Paris, 1970).
Sabatier, J. Description générale des monnaies Byzantines. (Paris, 1863).
Sear, D. Byzantine Coins and Their Values. (London, 1987).
Sommer, A. Die Münzen des Byzantinischen Reiches 491-1453. Mit einem Anhang: Die Münzen des Kaiserreichs von Trapezunt. (Regenstauf, 2010).
Ratto, R. Monnaies Byzantines et d'autre Pays contemporaines à l'époque byzantine. (Lugano, 1930).
Tolstoi, I. Monnaies byzantines. (St. Petersburg, 1913 - 14).
Wroth, W. Catalogue of the Imperial Byzantine Coins in the British Museum. (London, 1908).

Catalog current as of Friday, December 13, 2019.
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Nicaea - John III