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"Russian copper coins XIV-XVI centuries."


    Russian copper coins (pulae) make a vital component of the Russian monetary system of the fifteenth - sixteenth centuries. So far, however, they have been never studied sufficiently. This book presents the first monograph on the subject. It is the result of a seventeen-year work carried by the author who explored the ten principle museum collections of Russian 15-16th century coins and many private collection, a small number of coins was also studied from archaeological excavations during the last forty years.
    Along with silver coins of the same period Russian copper pulae are well-known to collectors and numismatists. The demand for them among Russian collectors always was, and still remains, significant; they often appear on the largest world coin-auctions.
    In this book all known types of the Russian pulae are brought into a system. The first part consists of eleven chapters containing the history of the studies undertaken in this particular field of Russian numismatics, the survey of the principle museum and private collections and some technological aspects of minting pulae, including the composition of the alloy used in their production (chapters 1-3). Chapter 4 gives a systematic description of the thousands of pulae issued by the principality of Tver' and its dependencies: Goroden, Kashin and Mikulin. The weight rates of the pulae bearing the names of the grand dukes of Tver', Ivan Michailovich (1399-1425), Boris Alexandrovich (1425-1461) and Mikhail Borisovich (1461-1485) are studied, an attempt is made to distinguish the main weight groups and to provide reliable dates for them. In the same chapter the Tver' pulae minted after the subjection of the principality by Moscow are considered: those with the names of grand dukes Ivan Ivanovich (1485-1490) and Vasilij Ivanovich (1490-1491). Chapter 5 describes the late 14th century copper coins of the principality of Nizhnij Novgorod. For the first time a group of pulae minted in Gorodets (but bearing no mint indication) is considered. Chapter 6 surveys copper coins of the mints of Moscow, Mozhajsk and Uglich issued in the 60s and the 70s of the fifteenth century. In chapter 7 coins of the principality of Ryazan' are studied. Chapter 8 describes in full detail the copper coins of Novgorod with the legend "КНЯЗЯ ВЕЛИКОГО" ("of the GRAND DUKE") produced immediately after the subjugation of Novgorod by the principality of Moscow in 1478. Chapter 9 regards copper coins of Moscow of the late 15th-16th century. The question of the unification of the coinage is considered in detail. Small late pulae of Moscow, Tver', Novgorod and Pskov are also described.
    A special chapter is dedicated to all available literary sources mentioning the presence of copper coins in the Russian monetary system of the sixteenth century: memoirs left by foreign travellers coming to the principality of Moscow, various literary works, official documents et cetera. The analysis of all these sources along with numismatic materials makes it possible to trace the circulation of small pulae in Moscow down to the end of the sixteenth century. By the begining of the seventeenth century, however, their issue and circulation was obviously discontinued. A special section within chapter 9 is dedicated to numerous imitations of the late Moscow and Tver' pulae with a quadruped animal and a two-headed eagle represented on them. These imitations were produced apparently in the sixteenth century, their appearance could be explained by the insufficient quantity of officially issued copper coins needed to satisfy the needs of local markets.
    Chapter 10 regards those few types of the fifteenth century copper coins the provenance of which has not been established.
    The final, 11th, chapter is a summing up of the distribution of finds of the Russian pulae. These finds testify that in the fifteenth century, at the time when the main Russian principalities were still independent, local copper coins were very rarely coming beyond the borders of these small states. They are found mainly in the cities where they were minted. After the creation of the centralised Moscow state and the monetary reform carried out in the late fifteenth century and ensuring the unification of the mintage of copper coins, the pulae of Moscow, Tver', Novgorod and Pskov started to circulate widely over the territory of Russia, in large quantities coming from the cities where they were minted. The monograph is provided with thirteen plates demonstrating the sequence of coin dies and with fourteen diagrams of coin weight-rates. There are also two appendices: on the distribution of the finds of Russian pulae (206 categories) and an index of the principal collections.
    The second part of the book is a catalogue describing 19.633 coins of the fourteenth-sixteenth centuries (19.615 copper and 18 silver coins) arranged after their mint-places and types under 602 categories.
    All the coins in the catalogue are divided among 10 sections. Section 1 lists coins of the Great Principality of Tver' and its dependencies. It consists of five parts describing the issues of the following cities: of Tver' before its subjection to Moscow (5.241 specimens), of Tver' after its becoming a dependency (8.738 specimens), Goroden (378), Kashin (356) and Mikulin (30). It is the largest section of the catalogue comprising about 75% of the coins published. Section 2 describes pulae of the princpality of Nizhnij Novgorod (17 coins). Section 3 is dedicated to coins of the Grand Dukedom of Moscow and of the Moscow State (2.209 coins). Besides the pulae of Moscow (2.194 specimens) those of Mozhaisk (12), Jaroslavl' (2) and Uglich (1) are also considered here. Section 4 deals with copper issues of Ryazan' (7 coins), section 5 - with those of Novgorod (1.906 coins), section 6 - of Pskov (349). Section 7 describes copper coins of indefinite provenance (63 specimens), section 8 - imitation of the late pulae (300 coins). The last two sections are supplementary, section 9 describing silver coins providing die-links with copper issues (18 coins), section 10 - all copper coins struck from dies manufactured for minting silver (11 coins). At the end of the catalogue there is a list of copper coins known only by their description in publications - it contains 33 categories. Within each section of the first part of the catalogue all coins are divided into several groups which in their turn are subdivided according to their types, coin-type being some certain device on the obverse, or a legend on the reverse of a coin. Every type can be represented by many variants, i.e. by coins struck from different pairs of dies.
    A variant forms the minor structural unit of the catalogue. Every unit of this kind has its own number after which follows the description of the obverse and the reverse of the coins listed, their quantity, weight (or their average weight if there is more than one coin) and references. Each coin variant described has a specific number in the catalogue, an exact drawing and an enlarged photograph (scale 2:1). The photographs are brought together in 52 plates following the text part of the catalogue.
    The book is intended for scholars, numismatists, amateur collectors and for all those interested in the history of the Russian coinage and circulation.


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