St. Demetrius and St. George
Manuel Comnenus. Curopalates
|Sale: Triton XI, Lot: 1182. Estimate $1500.
Closing Date: Monday, 7 January 2008.
Sold For $1100. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.
, late 11th-early 12th century. PB Seal (31mm, 32.79 g, 12h). O/D/H/M/H
down left field; T/PI/O/C down center; [G]EO/RG/IO
[C] down right field; Sts. Demetrius and George standing facing; Demetrius holding spear or banner in right hand and oval shield in left; George holding spear in right hand, with which he transfixes serpent below, and small round shield (buckler) in left / +KE RO/ Tw
/ K(OY)POPALA/TH Tw KO/MNHNw
in six lines. BLS I -; DOCBS -; Seyrig -; Vatican -; Orghidan -; Jordanov -. Good VF, smooth gray-brown patina, slight roughness on reverse.
From the Robert E. Hecht Collection. Ex Triton X (9 January 2007), lot 864.
The military saints and martyrs Demetrius and George became familiar iconographic types during the rule of the Comnenid dynasty. This seal is an early depiction of George as the dragon or serpent slayer, which is not seen in Byzantine art much before the 12th century. The identity of the owner of the seal cannot be positively ascertained. It could be the future emperor Manuel I (1143-1180), holding the junior office of curopalates early in his career, but other possibilities are his uncle of the same name, or a brother of his grandfather, Alexius I, the first emperor of the dynasty.