Picked up this coin on ebay...

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Quant.Geek, Apr 30, 2018.

  1. Quant.Geek

    Quant.Geek Well-Known Member

    Of all the anonymous folles on ebay, I picked up this particular coin a few days ago. Can anyone tell me why? The dimensions are 25mm and 6.78g. Should probably mention that I have several Class B folles already...

    Last edited: Apr 30, 2018
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  3. Gil-galad

    Gil-galad I AM SPARTACUS

    I think the style looks imitative, perhaps. The flan is small or shaved. Post a weight and size as well. There is also the possibility of being Arab-Byzantine even though it has none of those symbols.

    Here is mine.

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  4. David@PCC

    David@PCC allcoinage.com

    Imitation of Southern Italy just before the Norman invasion?
  5. Jay GT4

    Jay GT4 Well-Known Member

    In was gonna cheat by looking at your Forum gallery but it's blank :D
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  6. serafino

    serafino Well-Known Member

    "Norman Invasion", in Sicily they called it a liberation. My ancestors were so happy the Normans ran the Arabs out of there. :)
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  7. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & Eccentric Moderator

    Because there is obviously a pepperoni pizza behind Jesus' head?

    Good 'nuf reason for me! ;)
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  8. Caesar_Augustus

    Caesar_Augustus Well-Known Member

    I'm going with imitation. That is definitely not the style of a typical official Class B. The nimbus style seems like it comes from a Class A. And Christ is missing a bundle of hair on his left side (right on the coin).
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  9. FitzNigel

    FitzNigel Medievalist

    I agree with a few above - Norman invasion.
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  10. Caesar_Augustus

    Caesar_Augustus Well-Known Member

    Very very interesting coin! Excellent catch.
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  11. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member

    What is it overstruck on?
  12. Caesar_Augustus

    Caesar_Augustus Well-Known Member

    Do you see an overstrike? I can't seem to find any traces of an undertype.
  13. Brian Bucklan

    Brian Bucklan Well-Known Member

    I think it looks OK. The last letter on the reverse top line should be an S, and it looks like an I, but that's the only difference I can make out.
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  14. Kentucky

    Kentucky Supporter! Supporter

    Would that make it a "Pope In The Pizza" coin?
  15. Spaniard

    Spaniard Well-Known Member

    A class A obverse with a class B reverse
  16. Quant.Geek

    Quant.Geek Well-Known Member

    After a very hectic and long day at work, its time to get to the bottom of this post. The answer to this question reads like a facebook relationship status, "its complicated". Unlike the official Class B folles, there are several differences that can be spotted on the coin if you look carefully. Let's look at an official one first so that we can compare. This is the plate coin in labarum.info, which is far better than the ones I have in my collection:


    Now here is my coin that has been annotated with the differences:


    Christ's face is typically flat in these coins and hence has no features in it at all. Furthermore, unlike the official follis that has a rectangle (▭) on the arms of the nimbus, this particular coin has a quincunx (⁙). The obverse legend is also different. Unlike the typical +ЄMMA-NOVHΛ and IC-XC, we have IC XC with a bar and pellet above. The reverse is also different, but you have to look carefully. The S are more like a backward Z and the L is actually an I. Furthermore, the XS is more like an XI. Finally, to wrap the physical appearance, we also note that these coins are thin in comparison to the chunky follis of Romanus III. All of this leads to the same conclusion that Grierson, Zervos (more on him later) and others came to: Its an imitation!

    Now who imitated the Class B follis? Now that becomes complicated. Most of you named the Normans in Sicily. Even though its probable, I doubt it due to the higher quality of the imitation in comparison to the known Class B imitations of the Normans. Below is a sample of the Norman imitations that can be found on the internet:

    They are all chunky and clumsy in execution and style. Furthermore, the flans are much thicker than this particular type. In DOC, we see that Grierson's samples are analogous to mine as well as Zervos' one. However, the size varies from about 28mm to 18mm due to cut flans. The weight of the specimens also varies from 9.87 down to 1.63 due to cut flans. The final question now is the timeperiod. Specimens in Dumbarton were overstruck on Class H, G, and K follis and hence Grierson puts a date to around 11th century.


    Zervos' specimen:


    I'll talk about Zervos in another post! Stay tuned...
    Last edited: May 1, 2018
  17. Quant.Geek

    Quant.Geek Well-Known Member

    I am not sure. There is not enough of an image to ascertain what the host coin originally was, if any...
  18. Quant.Geek

    Quant.Geek Well-Known Member

    Forgot to add the attribution :rolleyes::

    Byzantine Imitation: Anonymous (ca 11th Century) Æ Follis, Unknown Mint (DOC III Bb; Zervos 9-10)

    Obv: IC to left, XC with pellet above to right; Bust of Christ facing, with cross nimbus having quincunx (⁙) in each arm and pellet in each upper quarter, wearing tunic and himation; right hand raised in blessing in sling of cloak, left hand holds book, with ⁙ on cover, from beneath.
    Rev: IS-XI IAS-IIЄ IAS-IIЄ to left and right above and below of cross; cross on base and two steps, pellet at each end of upper arms
  19. Caesar_Augustus

    Caesar_Augustus Well-Known Member

    Very nice analysis of a mysterious coin!
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  20. +VGO.DVCKS

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    Wow! @seth77 just turned me on to this thread, after I'd gotten an example. Terrific stuff!!!!!
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  21. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander find me at NumisForums

    Here's a very wild Class B imitation from Italy. The seller suggested it was temp. Robert Guiscard. A very light coin: 1.24g, 24mm. They say that follari like this are mentioned in the text of Travaini's "La monetazione nell’Italia Normanna," but I don't have that book.
    What do you think? @Quant.Geek, @seth77, @FitzNigel, @+VGO.DVCKS?
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