Matthew Wittman has written a follow-up to the article by American Numismatic Society Summer Seminar scholar Lara Fabian’s earlier post
about the fascinating history of coinage from the Caucasus in the ANS collection. Here's an excerpt from his piece published July 27,
2015 in the ANS Pocket Change blog. -Editor
Amid the expansion of the Georgian kingdom and its cultural flowering, this period also produced some of the strangest and most
fantastical coinage ever minted in the region. All coinage from this period was bronze (because of the ‘silver famine’ in the Middle East).
While some pieces were struck on regular round planchets, others clearly were not– like this coin of Queen Tamar herself.
It is a so-called ‘irregular bronze.’ On the obverse, the central image is Queen Tamar’s monogram within a wreath. Surrounding this is a
marginal legend written in the Georgian Asomtavruli script.
Above is another of Tamar’s bronzes (ANS 1922.193.1), which has the same legend but a different of Queen Rusudan’s cyphers. This piece
can be dated to k’oronikon 430 (=1210 CE), by the letters ჃႪ just before the cross on the obverse (Lang). Although the
irregular coppers are often simply irregular blobs, some of them, like this suspiciously bird-shaped one, seem to play off of forms from
This is clearer in the fish-shaped planchets best known from the reign of Giorgi IV Lasha (1213-23) (ANS 1917.216.687). This particular
ANS example is, according to Lang, likely an overstrike of a bronze of Giorgi IV Lasha from the reign of Queen Rusudan (1223-45).
Interesting coins! -Editor
To read the complete article, see:
ODD BRONZES OF THE GEORGIAN GOLDEN AGE
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Wayne Homren, Editor
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