A New Find, A Mule Tetarteron.

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by BenSi, May 18, 2022.

  1. BenSi

    BenSi Well-Known Member

    I never thought I would acquire one of these hybrid Mule imitation tetarteron. In fact I never even went on a chase for it. I recently had one capture my attention and after a long work trip I came home to it in my mail box.

    I first learned about this type of imitation from an article of Orestes Zervos written in 2002.

    He notes even though a dozen examples were found in the Cornith excavations only two were known of today, one in Dumbarton Oakes and the other in Cornith Collection. If the article is still accurate, mine would be a 3rd known.

    The coin is a mix over two Alexius I issues. It has a Christ with gospels Obverse ( SBCV-1929) and an Alexius Jeweled cross( sbcv-1931) . The two issues Dr. Zervos noted were in much better condition than mine and much heavier in weight 4.94 and 3.55gm

    My new example is much lighter than the other two examples. More equivalent to a half tetarteron. 18.23mm and .9gm


    Here are examples of the coins the coin was imitating and became a mule.

    If you have a Mule or an imitation of any time period feel free to share.

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  3. seth77

    seth77 Well-Known Member

    It's an interesting coin, but how sure can we be that it's one of the 'Corinth' issues considering the difference in weight and the patina on your spec? That is certainly no Greek patina, more like Eastern Turkey-Syria.
  4. BenSi

    BenSi Well-Known Member

    I do not think it is one of the Corinth issues but it is defiantly they same hybrid. Christ on obverse and Alexius cross on reverse. There was also one found in the Athenian Agora. Those dies did not match ( Cornith and Athenian), this is just another example of the strange combination. However size and weight defiantly tell me that this coin is also an imitation as well.
    Clavdivs likes this.
  5. arnoldoe

    arnoldoe Well-Known Member

  6. BenSi

    BenSi Well-Known Member

  7. BenSi

    BenSi Well-Known Member

    Even though that would make it just as rare of a coin, I still am not sure.

    The Trebizond coin in the article exists as two examples. The weight is more accurate for a Trebizond coin. The description taken from the bendall article

    Issue 13a
    Obv. IC XC. Bust of Christ facing, bearded and with cross nimbus with two pellets
    in each arm, wearing tunic and himation. holding Gospels in right hand.
    Rev. Jewelled cross with A-A-B-P in the angles.
    Ref. - . PL 7, 18
    Weights hts of two specimens, 1-16 and 1-87 g, with die-axes of 0°.

    In the tetarteron noted by Zervos

    The legend of the cross is a M ( bottom left as is mine) The Legend of Christ is there but it is OC instead of IC . The weight does not match but imitation tetartera were issued in many forms. From big to small.


    I used some verdi care on the coin and re photographed. Here are the results. I do not see it exactly matching the description of either coin.


    The tetarteron Version of Zervos.
    Last edited: May 19, 2022
  8. BenSi

    BenSi Well-Known Member

    Thank you to several people on the assistance for this coin, especially @arnoldoe for posting the Bendall paper on the coins of the time of Alexius I Comnenus in the Trebizond.

    Before I assume this to be another imitation, I would like the opinion of others on the board. Thank You in advance.

    This coin, again cross on back, in fact a cross within a cross surrounded by a body of dots. The reverse, has the ruler with scepter cruiceger ; holds in r. hand scepter cruciger and in l. Globus cruciger. , no legend I can see.

    I just got the coin in today's mail.

    No match in Bendalls "Intro to the coinage of the Empire of Trebizoid."

    The weight and the size would be unusual for an imitation. However, their is something crude about the cross and that does lean towards imitation.




    Btw , for those unfamiliar with the imitation tetartera they have only been noted in the last twenty years, they seem to fill a need for a lack of the currency in Greece after the fall of Constantinople in 1204. Hoard finds prove these were minted well into the 13th century, long after the rulers they depict had left the planet. Most are Alexius and Manuel Comnenus and are of the simplest types of their coinage.
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