Horse and rider, crude Π-C mintmark below / Crude Cyrillic inscriptions in 5 lines: "TSAR I KNYAZ VELIKIY FYODOR VSEYA RUSI" ("Tsar and Duke Fyodor of All Russia"). 15mmx11mm, 0.65 grams. Minted in Moscow in 1596 by the English Muscovy Company. Grishin #158.
Extremely rare coin, rated at R2 in Grishin (second highest rarity). These are always crudely struck, this coin is better than the most.
The Muscovy Company (also called the Russian Company or the Muscovy Trading Company), was an English trading company chartered in 1555. It was the first major chartered joint stock company, the precursor of the type of business that would soon flourish in England, and became closely associated with such famous names as Henry Hudson and William Baffin. For a short period of time, between ca.1580 and 1597, the company minted crude imitations of the Russian wire kopeks, first with the name of Ivan the Terrible, than with the name of his son, Fyodor. The coins were probably struck without the official permission. All these coins are very rare. The Muscovy Company had a monopoly on trade between England and Muscovy until 1698 and it survived as a trading company until the Russian Revolution of 1917. Since 1917 the company has operated as a charity, now working within Russia.
Fyodor (Theodore) I Ivanovich (31 May 1557 16/17 January (NS) 1598) was the last Rurikid Tsar of Russia (15841598), son of Ivan IV (The Terrible) and Anastasia Romanovna. He was born in Moscow and crowned Tsar and Autocrat of all Russia at Assumption Cathedral, Moscow, on 31 May 1584.
Being unhealthy and, by some reports, intellectually disabled, Feodor was only the nominal ruler, having his duties handed over to his wife's brother and trusted minister Boris Godunov, who would later succeed Feodor as tsar. Feodor's childless death left the Rurikid dynasty extinct, and spurred Russia's descent to the catastrophic Time of Troubles.