Michael VII Ducas was sole Emperor of the Byzantine Empire from AD 1071 – 1078, having initially shared the throne with his brothers and step-father. By all accounts, he was a fickle Emperor, uninterested in ruling. He relied heavily on the support of his finance minister Nikephoritzes. The latter was responsible for the increase in luxury spending and the raising of taxes, which caused a rise in discontent amongst the Empire. Michael VII seemed to have favoured academic pursuits rather than politics so did little to intervene. The lack of funding to the military fueled the rising discontent and eventually revolted, with two generals leading the uprising; Nicephorus Bryennius and Nicephorus Botaniates.The latter reached Constantinople first, leading to Michael VII resignation of the throne. The former Emperor retired to a monastery to spend the remainder of his days. He died in AD 1090.
Byzantine Gold Histamenon Swivel Pendant
A Byzantine pendant featuring a gold histamenon nomisma coin of Michael VII Ducas, set in an elegant, modern silver and gold frame. The front of the pendant features the coin’s obverse, which depicts the bust of Christ holding the book of gospels. A nimbate cross is set behind his head, displaying a decorative motif to each limb. The letters IC and XC are set in the field at either side of the bust. The letters are an abbreviation of Christ’s name in Greek, written as; Ιησου̑ς Ξριστὸς, taking the first two letters of each name. The reverse features the profile of the Byzantine emperor, Michael VII Ducas. He appears facing us, bearded and wearing a crown and loros. He holds in his hands a labarum and a globe with a cross. Above his head is the legend +ΜΙΧΑΗΛ RΑCIΛ O Δ.
The coin has been set in a circular, modern 18k, gold frame. A swivel attachment, in sterling silver, is attached to the frame by way of two large circular terminals. These leads to a semi-circular handle, which twists at the centre to provide a loop attachment for a chain. Spaced evenly on the silver handle are four granulated bands, adding a further decorative element to the pendant. The gold frame of the pendant has been hallmarked by a Hatton Garden jeweller.
Please be aware that the chain is for reference only, we do have chains available upon enquiry.
Condition: Very fine condition. Original coin has been trimmed.