Classical Numismatics Discussion
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FORVM`s Classical Numismatics Discussion Board  |  Numismatic and History Discussions  |  Byzantine Coins (Moderators: vercingetorix, wileyc, Paleologos)  |  Topic: Manuel (Half)-Tetartera SBCV 1977 and 1979 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Manuel (Half)-Tetartera SBCV 1977 and 1979  (Read 269 times)
glebe
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« on: May 18, 2020, 08:28:07 pm »

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.

These types 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 - Sear 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.

Ross G.
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Simon
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« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2020, 12:24:41 pm »

Interesting observations Ross, I will give it further thought but since this one of the coins imitated in mass in the 13th century we need to take into account of many variations. The Venetians or local governments chose to recreate this coin (SBCV-1979) because of its simplicity. I am not closed to these being official variations but I think with the amount of imitations that would make it difficult to prove. We also have to consider we also have no idea how long the official coins were minted. Manuel successor, his son did not create any coins and Andronicus I did create tetartera but the half version (12mm die) is extremely difficult to come by. Was this because of inflation removed the need or did the smaller coins ( half) tetartera of Manuel still in circulation in enough quantity to satisfy the need.

My biggest question about these coins is the marks seen on the monogram, sometimes a simple dimple on one part of the monogram, what did they mean, what did they identify? Control marks?

Another Forum member ( Doug Smith) owns a very different version of the coin , at first glance it looked like a double strike but after closer look I was not so sure. I hope he shares a picture.

In other notes, I recently have written my observations on collecting tetartera for the past two decades, nothing earth shattering but will be helpful to anyone wanting to learn more of the coins. I will post it here when I have photos in order. I look forward to your comments and welcome your additions.

Here is my most interesting and most obvious example of an imitation of SBCV-1979 Wish this coin could talk.

Simon
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https://www.forumancientcoins.com/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=5633 My main collection of Tetartera. Post reform coinage.
glebe
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« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2020, 08:50:59 pm »

Talking about 13th century copies of 12th century half-tetartera, the Argos 84 and Argos 88 hoards from the mid 13th century include numerous imitations of several official 12th century issues, most commonly copies of the monogram type DOC IV 22, SBCV 1979 of Manuel I (see J. Baker, Num. Chron. 2007, pp. 211-31).

These copies are all easily distinguishable from their 11th century models.

Firstly, they are all very much smaller than the originals, with an average weight (of the S.1979 copies) being only c.0.5 gm. This figure is no doubt a little light, as the coins in these hoards are generally in poor condition and often corroded, but even so the heaviest example of this type out of the 40 or so examples in the two hoards weighs only 1.29 gm (except for coin 2 at 1.98 gm, which seems to be struck on an example of the 12th century type S.1980).

Secondly, the imitative types are mostly struck on neat octagonal flans (cut from sheet presumably) as opposed to the roughly trimmed flans of the official types.

This doesn't prelude the possibility of earlier and heavier imitations of S.1979, but I haven't seen any really convincing examples of such types.

Shown below however is a coin from CNG in rather odd style - is this an imitation? Well, maybe, but it weighs a whopping 4.03 gm (confirmed in a previous auction), so I'm guessing it's official, or at least contemporary with the official types.

Ross G.




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Simon
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« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2020, 09:11:34 pm »

Its late here so forgive my abbreviated answer but it is imitation. Your right for the hoard Julian discussed they were all lightweight and proven 13th century. That did not answer for all imitations, it is strange imitations only exist for Alexius I and Manuel but not the other rulers copper coinage.
However as disscussed before John II gold coinage was imitated in 13th century.

The CNG coin shown above is an imitation , the first clue is the collar piece. Too many dots. The imagery itself is far too crude.

Simon
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https://www.forumancientcoins.com/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=5633 My main collection of Tetartera. Post reform coinage.
glebe
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« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2020, 12:45:50 am »


The CNG coin shown above is an imitation, the first clue is the collar piece. Too many dots. The imagery itself is far too crude.

Simon

Yes, it's certainly not a metropolitan issue.

Ross G.
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Nikos P2
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« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2020, 03:17:36 pm »

This is my coin, I don't know if it's a counterfeit for such a good situation. 3.2gram
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Simon
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« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2020, 06:29:15 pm »

Most counterfeits of tetartera are very crude and easily distinguishable. I am uncertain regarding your coin. If it is authentic it is most defiantly a Purse coin, a coin that was sealed in a bag and never saw everyday circulation, that would  be very uncommon for tetartera and  half tetartera. It was a common practice for gold coins. That's why many are found in perfect condition same size and type.

What is the size?
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https://www.forumancientcoins.com/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=5633 My main collection of Tetartera. Post reform coinage.
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« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2020, 07:59:41 pm »

Looks fine to me.

Full size imitations of this type don't seem very common.

Ross G.
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Nikos P2
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« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2020, 12:18:22 pm »

I found it on the mountain, I didn't buy it. dimensions 18mm
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Simon
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« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2020, 06:25:02 am »

Excellent find, I have never seen one that nice. Perfect centering , nicely struck. Congratulations.
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https://www.forumancientcoins.com/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=5633 My main collection of Tetartera. Post reform coinage.
glebe
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« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2020, 02:49:54 am »

So how do I create a table in a post?
Do I have to write the whole html script?

Ross G.
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FORVM`s Classical Numismatics Discussion Board  |  Numismatic and History Discussions  |  Byzantine Coins (Moderators: vercingetorix, wileyc, Paleologos)  |  Topic: Manuel (Half)-Tetartera SBCV 1977 and 1979 « previous next »
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