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Unknown Medieval coin


VD76
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Posted · Benefactor

Two years ago, I bought this interesting fragment of unknown coin that was found in the Middle East . Unfortunately,  it was lost  during shipping . USPS delivered it to another state and city , even though the package has my name and address . Anyways, I have been trying to identify this coin for two years, but without success .  Any ideas would be much appreciated.

Judging by the size of the fragment, this is definitely not denier

Billon or Silver , 15 mm / 0.88 gr. 
7861BE07-20D1-4CD7-9E7E-6F9C9EF76934.jpeg.3a93c31d2536c5be3b5714555017147e.jpeg

09CE7878-F53C-4A00-8650-7FFFB8D27EF1.jpeg.c6700dcb3e24ac63986e51a378d6c490.jpeg

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Now THAT is dedication to medieval coins, @VD76!  Trying, for two years, to identify a fragment of a coin that was lost in the mail.

I am in awe. 😄

The "SALU" seems very distinctive, and if that fourth letter is really a "U" it must be pretty late... but this you already know, I'm sure.  Do you have any more comments about what interested you about it?

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...Well, whatever it is, @VD76, it's easy to see why you liked it.  Condolences on your loss.  (Whenever I get something from a foreign country, it's not time to start worrying until it's in the US.  That's opinion imitating life.) 

Regarding @Severus Alexander's observations, I can only go deeper into the frankly obvious weeds.  Right, the module immediately suggests an obole (half denier, especially over the 12th and 13th centuries), or an equivalent within relatively close numismatic range.  But a Maltese cross as the initial mark seems to echo Severus' point, that this could be later, maybe into the 14th century. 

Along similar lines, here's my lurching progress toward trying to date it on the basis of the letter forms.  The first (i.e., last) letter on the 'obverse,' preceding the cross, might be a Lombardic 'N.'  Further complementing what looks like an emphatically post-Romanesque 'U,' as noted by Severus.  

...But, Oops, meanwhile, both 'A's, along with the 'S,' belong more intuitively with conventional French issues of the 12th and earlier 13th centuries, before die sinking began to catch up with Gothic /'Lombardic' conventions, such as were already in place in other media.

This apparent combination leads me 1) to acknowledge my total ignorance of what this is and 2) to guess that, if it is, provisionally, c. later 13th -14th century (solely on the basis of the letter forms), one possibility might be the later phases of the Frankish principalities in Greece.  ...Or, maybe, succeeding Venetian colonies. 

If that assessment is good for anything, the resident expert is going to be @seth77.  He's well acquainted with entire series from this part of the world, well above and beyond the casual perusal of Malloy that this involved.

Edited by JeandAcre
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I have seen some coins from the Latin Kingdoms of Jerusalem / Antioch with this type of mix of characters from the 12th-13c - this being said, I don't recall ever seeing SALU on their issues, and some quick poking around hasn't yielded anything. Ill try diving into my physical library this evening, and I'll let you know if I turn anything up.

Edited by norantyki
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I think one possibility is that it is a fragment of a Groschen of the Teutonic Order of Knights under Grandmaster Albrecht of Brandenburg. 

On the reverse I read:  SALV  (SALVA NOS DOMINA 15XX)

On the obverse I read "+A ... A (ALBERT9 D G MGR GNRALIS)

The obverse legend is a problem, it should end on S not A and if I'm not mistaken, the divider should not be s cross, but the shield of Albrecht's Hohenzollern family.

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  • Benefactor
Posted · Benefactor
Posted (edited)

Thanks everyone !!!

@Severus AlexanderOne of the reasons is that I'm just trying to reassure myself; that the USPS lost just a common coin, and not something out of the ordinary 🤣

@JeandAcreThere was a suggestion that the fourth letter is not a U, but an inverted M .

2CE014E0-994C-4827-ABD1-54EF82881789.jpeg.033b81ed3e4a5f7d49e4a8a9b1500b3c.jpeg

 

 And this is  IERVSALM  , as on some Cypriot half gros .

332B85C1-9449-4C53-8CCA-E811002ECD38.jpeg.31d6700f3cc888af4707beeee637361e.jpeg

Although I have not seen an variation with an inverted M 🤔

@seth77As for the weight  - the whole coin, I think, is about 2 - 2.5 grams.

@TejasYes, it is possible, but I think that the style of the sixteenth century coins is different from the style on this fragment.

4FEB25A6-0DF1-4309-AA79-49212B80613A.jpeg.c6c95549514a29f1711a583a35303f9a.jpeg51069F67-7657-46EF-BD9A-912D6D5A3AA7.jpeg.9870746f24a6ad76bf57298e90ef0bd1.jpegB3DB264E-2026-462F-B91C-1B02EE575525.jpeg.6a1663e52b3da3932e0a6849dc3038d5.jpeg
 

If the part of legend SAL (U or M) on one side of the coin have some variants of interpretations , then the legend on the other side that starts with A and ends with A    still maintains the difficulty . 

Edited by VD76
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@VD76, I wanted it to be as easy as an 'M' in a 'Jerusalem' legend, but just couldn't see anything justifying such a happy conclusion.  The main problem is that, from the best I can do squinting out the .jpg, the right half of the ostensible Gothic 'M' is either blank, or taken up by conventional punctuation, along the lines of a colon.  In any 13th-14th century context, I've never seen a Gothic 'M' merely --effectively arbitrarily-- truncated like that.  It would be terrific fun if I was wrong, but --Thank you, consider the sauce source-- that's the best you're likely to get from here.

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Posted (edited)
On 6/30/2022 at 8:09 PM, VD76 said:

@Severus AlexanderOne of the reasons is that I'm just trying to reassure myself; that the USPS lost just a common coin, and not something out of the ordinary 🤣

Oh dear... if we discover the opposite we may provoke some tears! 😳😉

On 6/30/2022 at 8:09 PM, VD76 said:

@JeandAcreThere was a suggestion that the fourth letter is not a U, but an inverted M .

2CE014E0-994C-4827-ABD1-54EF82881789.jpeg.033b81ed3e4a5f7d49e4a8a9b1500b3c.jpeg

 

 And this is  IERVSALM  , as on some Cypriot half gros .

332B85C1-9449-4C53-8CCA-E811002ECD38.jpeg.31d6700f3cc888af4707beeee637361e.jpeg

Although I have not seen an variation with an inverted M 🤔

Jerusalem does seem to be a decent possibility.  

Rotating the fragment helped me try to think outside the box about the uncertain letters:

image.jpeg.728716f1b4d67f12918859a475cf26a0.jpeg

The bottom letter (as illustrated above) could at a stretch even be a sideways E.  BUT I think a more likely possibility is a sideways S.  Another possibility to consider is that the top letter could actually be a G, no?

The "U" option is striking me as of diminishing likelihood, given the style of the lettering, which (as some have mentioned) seems too early for this letterform.  (Except perhaps at Jerusalem.)

And yes, I was thinking something in the vicinity of a gros/groschen/grosso size.  (Pretty rare if Jerusalem... 😯)

Edited by Severus Alexander
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