For the most part
I have steered clear of the bronze tetartera of the 12th century as they seemed to present as rather a mess, with a confusing variety of weights
and uncertain mints.
However, I have recently decided to take them on, starting by calculating average weights
for the various types
. Not surprisingly this threw up a few problems.
In particular it became clear that the treatment in the catalogs of the Manuel I types SBCV
1977 and 1979 needs some improvement.
are basically two versions of the one type
, S.1979 being for the most part
simply a smaller version of S.1977, with similar but slightly different monograms
of Manuel on the obverse
Mgm 57 in the case of S.1977, and Mgm 58 for S.1979. In Sear
, following Hendy
and DOC IV
, the monogram
for S.1977 is described as having “small, neatly formed letters”, while for S.1979 the letters are described as large and somewhat clumsy.
Well, as more than a few collectors have discovered, this is only part
of the story.
In fact there are more like three or four basic versions of this type
, which are shown below.
The top example is obviously S.1977, DOC IV Type
20, with Mgm 57 and small neat letters. The average weight
is (by my calculations) c.2.8 gm (2.75 gm in Sear
The second example is similar, showing Mgm 58 as in S.1979, but with small neat letters as in S.1977. This common combination is not covered by Sear
(let's call it S.1979a for the moment), so that this type
causes much confusion with collectors and auction
catalogers. The average weight
is c.2.3 gm.
The 3rd and 4th examples are versions of S.1979, DOC IV
22, with Mgm 58 and medium to large letters as described in Sear
. The average weight
is c.2.0 gm (1.8 gm in Sear
Note that in C.L.B.C. 4.4.7 the monogram
for S.1977 is shown with very large letters. While such a type
may exist , all the examples of S.1977 that I have seen show small letters.
It is perhaps also worth noting that the weights
suggest that the second type
here, S.1979a, belongs in time between S.1977 and S.1979.