World of Coins

Adjacent hobbies => Historical artefacts other than coins => Topic started by: kadan on September 23, 2019, 06:09:13 PM

Title: Very interesting (early medieval?) Coin
Post by: kadan on September 23, 2019, 06:09:13 PM
First I want to apologize if you have already seen this contribution (coin) on another forum.
I have placed this coin on various forums with no identification so far.
Various experts have looked at this, including Arent Pol.
It looks like a merovingian tremissis. But no equal have been found so far.
The big Cross with crosslets is very strange, and the other side is just as unusual.
The coin weight is 1,1 gram (not heavy enough). The diameter is 13mm, it contains 84% ​​gold.
It looks like someone couldn't write. The lack of a head is also strange.
Maybe someone can help me here and otherwise it is certainly interesting enough to show it.
The coin is found in the Netherlands in 2017, with a metaldetector.
Other finds include Roman and medieval finds.

Thanks in advance, Kadan
Title: Re: Very interesting (early medieval?) Coin
Post by: gpimper on September 23, 2019, 09:07:42 PM
The Cross is very similar to some of the early Spanish coins I've seen...the front I have no clue, sorry, looking but could be a Northeast European copy?  :-)  Very interesting coin, though!  Just a thought, could that maybe be a restrike?  You mentioned the weight as being a bit low.  Just a thought.  Looking hard I think you may have a restrike Byzantine gold, chopped down, light weight Follis but I could be wrong! (I'm probably wrong :-(
Title: Re: Very interesting (early medieval?) Coin
Post by: Figleaf on September 24, 2019, 10:31:54 AM
I am curious what Arent Pol had to say about this piece. His knowledge goes well beyond Merovingian gold.

Peter
Title: Re: Very interesting (early medieval?) Coin
Post by: gpimper on September 25, 2019, 04:16:45 AM
The face looks a combination of Roman and Celt...very cool!  I'm still thinking the cross could be Spanish.  Peter, I'd really like to hear from your expert!  Very interesting coin!  Look at the edges on the front vs the back...much more pronounced.  I like it
Title: Re: Very interesting (early medieval?) Coin
Post by: kadan on September 25, 2019, 05:37:11 PM
I am curious what Arent Pol had to say about this piece. His knowledge goes well beyond Merovingian gold.

Peter

I tried to translate his Dutch response into English with Google translate:

Quote
"Thank you very much for this nice report!
I mean that "nice report" a bit ironic because I don't see a location and the coin is a very strange thing, but otherwise I'm very happy with it ...
This device gets number 15359 in my database, but from that now substantial file there is no answer to the question about what you have found exactly. "

"To my regret, I cannot deliver the requested determination. This is something completely new, something that I have not seen before and which I cannot place at all - no idea where it comes from and how old it is, I can only guess: given the probable location probably somewhere in Brabant / Betuwe or wide area (half the Netherlands and Belgium), and probably in the middle of the 7th century (? 625-675?) because that's where it should be seen artists, weight / diameter and color
Title: Re: Very interesting (early medieval?) Coin
Post by: gpimper on September 25, 2019, 08:23:05 PM
Wicked!  Very cool coin indeed.  Please keep us apprised!
Title: Re: Very interesting (early medieval?) Coin
Post by: Figleaf on September 27, 2019, 11:33:24 PM
OK, so we have 7th century, unknown type. I am taking the liberty to disagree with Arent that it is "Dutch" because it was found there, as it is so different from everything we know to be "Dutch". We know that the main "tribes" of the 7th century in North-Western Europe were Frisians, Franks and Saxons and we know they traded and conducted raids, so the usual suspects, merchants and soldiers, could have brought the piece from other lands.

It's not Scandinavian, Irish or English as it lacks a portrait and writing (I think the side on the upper picture is decorative, not writing because there is too much symmetry for writing), uses the uncommon motive of the cross-crosslet (it does occur in the 9th century) and does not occur in Spink. Likewise, it is not "Belgian" for the same reason and because it isn't in Vanhoudt. It could in principle be "French" as Duplessy doesn't cover 7th century coins, but I doubt it. The "French" types I know have either a Carolingian monogram or a portrait and the cross is a-typical for the coins I have seen.

That leaves Germany. The source here is Dannenberg, which is now well over 100 years old. I checked Frisia, Brunswick and Saxony as well as Cologne, the major military and trade suspects and did a quick scan of Dannenberg. I did not find a single cross-crosslet, nor a pattern that even remotely looked like the one on the first picture.

Just because it was at hand, I also went through Cayón. It does not look like anything listed for "Spain". I cannot possibly be Celtic, since the Celts would not have used the cross-crosslet device and were not Christian.

So here the options I could not check well enough:
- a "French" Frankish coin
- a "German" coin
However, both these options look unlikely to me in view of what I could check.

And here are the "out of the box" options:
- Arent got the century wrong and it's an earlier piece
In favour: the style, in particular of the side in the first picture, finding Roman coins alongside this piece. Against: Arent's argument of weight and alloy (colour).
- not a coin, but an item of decoration
In favour: would explain all mysteries, roundness, centric strike. Against: no hole, no frame, struck on two sides.
- fantasy
In favour: would explain all mysteries, roundness, centric strike, bevelled edge. Against: Arent considers it good enough to take it up into his data base.

In sum, all available options look unlikely. Frustrating.

Peter
Title: Re: Very interesting (early medieval?) Coin
Post by: gpimper on September 28, 2019, 07:19:17 AM
Peter, great arguments, all.  What I've been looking at is the design of the cross.  I think there could be a clue there.  Still looking!
Title: Re: Very interesting (early medieval?) Coin
Post by: kadan on September 28, 2019, 08:02:32 AM
Gentlemen, thank you for your effort. Clear explanation too. I and other people have of course already investigated a few things, without any real results.
I'll share something about this later. Not done so far to see what answers would come here. The outcome of other quests are also suggestions and not real solutions .... unfortunately.
Title: Re: Very interesting (early medieval?) Coin
Post by: kadan on September 28, 2019, 08:11:43 AM
I myself have thought of another possibility.
Perhaps it is merovingian but not directly a coin as a currency.
Perhaps it is a coin to pay for the crossing to heaven that was given (on the mouth) as a grave gift.
Found a similar coin in Germany as a link.
Geheimnisse eines Grabes: Verwobene Familienbande im Frühmitteltalter | Museum (https://blog.smb.museum/geheimnisse-eines-grabes-verwobene-familienbande-im-fruehmitteltalter/)
But it's a golden bracteat.
Title: Re: Very interesting (early medieval?) Coin
Post by: gpimper on September 28, 2019, 08:21:40 AM
I think you may be on to something, there!  That would make sense.  Still not sure of the mint or origin considering were it was found.  Wonderful find, by the way!  My best metal detector find was a 1700s Spanish Bullion in southern Arizona  8)  I would post but it's in the museum in Flagstaff, AZ for now (on loan).
Title: Re: Very interesting (early medieval?) Coin
Post by: kadan on September 28, 2019, 08:22:21 AM
other possibilities are another: golden viking coin?
Looks like the following bractaet: Sensationsfund auf Rügen: Über 1000 Jahre alt ? was der Schatz von Harald (https://www.welt.de/geschichte/article175488311/Sensationsfund-auf-Ruegen-Ueber-1000-Jahre-alt-was-der-Schatz-von-Harald-Blauzahn-verraet.html)
Title: Re: Very interesting (early medieval?) Coin
Post by: kadan on September 28, 2019, 08:25:24 AM
anglo saxon?

Title: Re: Very interesting (early medieval?) Coin
Post by: kadan on September 28, 2019, 08:27:59 AM
And the last mystery, a golden Bela II coin? a similar coin:
Title: Re: Very interesting (early medieval?) Coin
Post by: FosseWay on September 28, 2019, 10:54:26 AM
anglo saxon?

I was wondering whether it could be an imitation of a foreign coin where the imitator had no idea of what the original portrayed. There is a gold coin of Offa which is clearly modelled on an Islamic dinar, since parts of the Kalima are still legible despite the bungled copying. I would imagine that if Offa or his moneyer had known what the Kalima meant, he as a Christian would not have incorporated it word for word.

The comparison above with the Anglo-Saxon coin could show something similar; literacy in Scandinavia was even lower than in England and those who could read and write did so with runes, not Latin characters. So both the Latin characters and the Christian imagery on the original would have been meaningless to the imitator and thus become bungled.
Title: Re: Very interesting (early medieval?) Coin
Post by: Figleaf on September 28, 2019, 11:21:42 AM
Thank you, Kadan. That provided inspiration. I now think that it is an item of decoration.

Most of the images you show look like clutching at straws to me.

The exception is the (silver, I presume) coin you show in reply #12 of this thread. No legend, cross-crosslet device. I can imagine a situation where a metal worker was asked to make an item of decoration. The metal worker may well have been a Norseman, who remembered, but did not have this coin. He did not remember the other side and made something up. Mind that this is just speculation, but it works as a scenario.

I note that in your sources, similar items were grave gifts. Usually, graves can be identified as such. They are marked, they contain pottery, they are within the ruins of a monastry etc. I suspect that the treasure was isolated, i.e. no signs of a structure around or near it. Take into account that gold was scarce and usually the property of high nobility, royalty and top church officials and that the item looks like it did not circulate.

Let me propose an alternative scenario: the item was used in the foundation of a church. This was a time when royals and high nobility were supposed to found religious institutions. I am asking you to imagine such a situation.

A high nobleman (or perhaps a high church official) has decided to found a church on what was at least since Roman times, maybe even before, a holy spot, where people would sometimes offer a coin. He puts his soldiers to work. They cut trees, and plan to use wattle and daub to come up with an acceptable construction. The plan is to mark the involvement of the nobleman with a coin, buried below the foundation of the church. This is in accordance with a long tradition that was continued for many more centuries. Problem being that our nobleman doesn't have a suitable coin. He has a few slivers of gold, but they look undignified. He is told of a heathen local smith, who does some nice work. The smith is told to make the piece look decidedly Christian. Your item ensues. It is buried in a founding ceremony according to plan. The biological mass that constitutes the church falls apart in due time, leaving no trace. Only the item remains, among some coins from an earlier period.

Again, no evidence, but it is a scenario that fits the facts and the seventh century. The main argument against the scenario is that the nobleman would have wanted some indication of his name or rank on the coin. Maybe that didn't happen because in the circumstances, nobody was literate enough? Or maybe there are heraldic elements on the side opposite the cross?

Peter
Title: Re: Very interesting (early medieval?) Coin
Post by: Figleaf on September 28, 2019, 11:41:35 AM
Just for fun, compare this thread (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,29205.0.html).

Also, here is another straw to clutch ;) Spink 1104, Northern Mercia, in the name of Aethelstan (924-939).

Peter