Heritage World Coin Auctions > ANA Signature Sale 3101Auction date: 25 August 2022
Lot number: 35275

Price realized: 3,600 USD   (Approx. 3,607 EUR)   Note: Prices do not include buyer's fees.
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Lot description:

Isaac II Angelus (AD 1185-1195). EL aspron trachy (30mm, 3.93 gm, 6h). NGC Gem MS 5/5 - 5/5. Constantinople. Virgin, nimbate, enthroned facing, holding nimbate head of infant Christ on lap; barred MHP (ligate)-TV across fields / ICAAKIOC, Isaac II (on left), standing facing, wearing crown with pendilia and jeweled chlamys, cruciform scepter in right hand, akakia in left, Archangel Michael (on right), standing facing, wearing nimbus cruciger and military attire, reaching up with right hand to crown Isaac with right hand, jeweled scepter in left; O in middle field between heads, X/MI in right field. Sear 2002. A gorgeous specimen struck from fresh dies that retains most of its original luster.

Isaac II came to power through the Constantinople mob's overthrow of Andronicus I. Only two months into his reign, he achieved a decisive and total victory over the invading Normans of Sicily at the Battle of Demetritzes, completely driving them from Byzantine territory. It was to be the only major success of Isaac's ten-year reign. Soon after the victory against the Normans, the Bulgarians revolted after 150 years of Byzantine rule, ending the period of unchallenged Byzantine dominance in the Balkans. On the other side of the empire, the relatively stable frontier with the Turks that had been established by his great-grandfather Alexius I Comnenus began to erode, as Isaac possessed neither the military competence of his predecessors nor sufficient interest in the eastern border due to his preoccupation with the futile struggle to reclaim Bulgaria. His attempt to impede the progress of the Third Crusade proved unsuccessful and counter to Byzantine interests. A weak administrator, Isaac watched passively as the power of the local provincial lords grew at the expense of the authority of Constantinople. The highly centralized Byzantine system of administration, which had ensured the empire's survival for hundreds of years and through numerous crises, was allowed to fall into permanent decay. He was overthrown and blinded by his brother Alexius in 1195, briefly returning to the throne on the eve of the Sack of Constantinople.



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Estimate: 1000-2250 USD