Help identify Byzantine (tetarteron?)

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by catadc, Nov 28, 2019.

  1. catadc

    catadc Well-Known Member

    This was part of a small unidentified lot and I was convinced it will be an easy attribution. It is not, at least not to me. Looks like a "regular" tetarteron in form and size. It reads "DEC" on the obverse, right of the emperor. I can come back with weight, size and maybe better picture if nobody can help with only the below.
    Thank you for any help unid biz.png
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  3. BenSi

    BenSi Supporter! Supporter

    It is an Alexius III but the reverse does not make sense. Can you do a better photo with the reverse? Also what is the weight or size?

    This matches your obverse,

    Here is the closes match to the reverse, however the inscription on your coin should be for St George. Not the Virgin.

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  4. BenSi

    BenSi Supporter! Supporter

    I was making it too complex, look at St George, this is much closer to yours. The rest of the image is not visible on your coin.

    Here is a match, from my collection, older picture. This variation is unlisted because St George has both a shield and hilt of sword. Normally it is one or the other. 4.jpg
    OBV Bust of St. George , beardless and nimbate , wearing tunic, breastplate wearing tunic, breastplate, and sagion; holds spear in r. hand resting on l. shoulder and in l. scroll or hilt of sword AND shield behind left arm.

    REV Full length figure of emperor wearing stemma, divitision, and chlamys; holds in r. hand labarum on long shaft and in l. Globus cruciger with patriarchal cross.

    Size 17.94mm

    Weight 2.4gm

    I purchased this as part of a collection from Europe. The coin was attributed by previous owner as S-2017 a much rarer coin to find. Upon reexamining the coin, it turned out it has a shield and hilt of sword that the left hand is holding. On the reverse the has a patriarchal cross, this is seen on his half Tetartera.

    The weight is average for a half Tetarteron and a bit low for a full Tetarteron . the die size is around 15mm, small for a Tetarteron and large for a half.
  5. Quant.Geek

    Quant.Geek Well-Known Member

    You don't typically run into this particular coin. Probably the 3rd example I have seen. I bought this one a while ago by chance and was lucky to spot it:

    Byzantine Empire: Alexius III Angelus-Comnenus (1197-1203) Æ Tetarteron, Thessalonica (Sear 2015; DOC 5a)

    Obv: Θ/ΓЄ/ШP ΓI/OC; Bust of St. George, beardless and nimbate, wearing tunic, breastplate, and sagion; holds spear in right hand, resting on left shoulder, and in left, hilt of sword
    Rev: ΑΛЄΞΙΟC ΔЄCΠΟΤΗC; Full-length figure of emperor wearing stemma, divitision, and chlamys; holds in right hand labarum on long shaft, and in left globus cruciger

  6. BenSi

    BenSi Supporter! Supporter

    As a ruler his coins in general do not hit the market, I do have 5 , these are my best three.

    The half tetartera are harder to find and their seems to be several variations of the half's, with shields or not, what side the spear rests.
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  7. catadc

    catadc Well-Known Member

    @BenSi - you summarized well my struggle - when I bought the coin, I believed is one of the few Mary right, but then the other side did not match any ("DEC" orientation does not match the Alexius III above). I perused the Andronicus II&similar for "B on the left side", but in the end concluded that the "B" looks more like a "P over W", which does not leave much choice - the Sear 2015. The only problem is that the middle-right side of St George looks pretty bad and I could not see the three other letters on the left either... I will measure the coin later today and will try to take better pictures.

    @Quant.Geek - I paid 7 EUR for 4 coins, including this one. The coin has a provenance, ex. Ernest Hawkins collection. At least one of the other 4 is a candidate for your Constans II topic, once I manage to take a picture.

    Thank you, both.
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  8. BenSi

    BenSi Supporter! Supporter

    Great Deal. Congrats.
  9. catadc

    catadc Well-Known Member

    Pictures under warm light (white background, cannot process now). Black uniform patina with some dirt around the head.
    15.80 - 19.70 mm
    I believe the die size is around 15.20 mm
    3.21 gr
    Nimbus and face of St George can be observed, as well as all the right arm.

    So, i have a Sear 2015, no doubts. 20191128_200251.jpg 20191128_200527.jpg
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  10. Valentinian

    Valentinian Supporter! Supporter

    Here is my Sear 2015 of Alexius III:

    20-19 mm. 4.01 grams. 6:00 die axis.
    St. George facing
    Θ Γ I
    ΓЄ OC

    Alexius standing holding labarum and globus cruciger
    AΛЄΞIOC up left
    ΔЄCΠOTHC down right

    By the way, there are many ways to insert Greek letters into a CT post. One is to copy them off of this convenient page:
    I have it bookmarked. In addition to the usual letters it has a nice rounded Є, a big dot: • and an 8-pointed star ✳ which can be useful too.
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  11. Quant.Geek

    Quant.Geek Well-Known Member

    That is definitely more than three now that I see! :woot:
  12. BenSi

    BenSi Supporter! Supporter

    My last one, rare but not beautiful, the obverse St. George has historical damage.

    The real rarity's the half tetartera and the tetartera issues from Constantinople. The half tetartera I have seen 4or 5 and the issues from Constantinople I have seen only three.
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