Small glass weights were used in the Byzantine Empire, and later by the Arabs, to check the value of gold and silver coins, ensuring consistency and to prevent corruption. The obverse of glass weights may bear three main types of stamps: a block monogram, a cruciform monogram, as seen on this example, or a consular bust with a surrounding legend.
Byzantine Glass Weight with Impressed Monogram
A Byzantine light green glass weight in the shape of a circular disk with thick, rounded edges. The piece displays an impressed obverse, featuring a cruciform monogram. The Greek monogram was stamped on this weight to guarantee its authenticity in trade. The reverse features a domed surface.
Provenance: Ex. S.M. collection, London 1948-2000.
Condition: Very fine condition with bright iridescence on the surface. Some earthly deposits.
Reference: For a similar item, please see The Metropolitan Museum, Accession Number: 81.10.148