Leu Numismatik AG > Web Auction 25Auction date: 11 March 2023
Lot number: 3557

Price realized: 550 CHF   (Approx. 598 USD / 560 EUR)   Note: Prices do not include buyer's fees.
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Lot description:

Michael VI, 1056-1057. Seal (Lead, 31 mm, 29.48 g, 12 h). IC - XC / [+Є]MMA-NOVH[Λ] Half-length facing bust of Christ, wearing a nimbus cruciger and holding a Book of Gospels in his right hand. Rev. [+MIX]AHΛ AЧTOCRAT Half-length facing bust of Michael VI, wearing a crown with a cross and pendilia and a loros, holding a globus cruciger in his right hand and akakia in his left. DO Seals VI 74.1. Zacos/Veglery 84. An important and extremely rare imperial seal. Some flaws, marks and flatness, otherwise, good very fine.

From a European collection, formed before 2005.

Michael VI served as logothete of the stratiotikon (chief financial minister for the military) before he was appointed by Theodora, the last empress of the Macedonian Dynasty, as her successor. After surviving an initial conspiracy, Michael turned to soothing relations with the military aristocracy, which had been alienated by the late empress. His attempts backfired miserably, however, as he reinstated the powerful general, Nikephoros Bryennios, to his command without returning the estates confiscated by Theodora. The general was eventually imprisoned as he was on the verge of rebellion and subsequently blinded. This further antagonized the military, who now raised Isaac Komnenos to the purple in Asia Minor. Goverment forces were routed near Nicaea in 1057, and as the usurper closed in on the capital, Michael tried to negotiate with Isaac, offering to grant him the title of Kaisar, thereby making him his successor. Leading the negotiations was the famed historian and writer, Michael Psellos, but it was to no avail. When a riot broke out in Constantinople in favor of the usurper, the patriarch, Michael Keroularios, convinced Michael to relinquish his power. Like so many dethroned emperors, Michael became a monk, and died shortly afterwards.

Starting price: 75 CHF