Duke on horseback right, carrying a falcon, all within a solid border, old russian inscription in the circular margin: [KH]AZb BE[ΛHKH... BA]CHΛE[H].. ("Grand Duke Vasiliy") / Pseudo-arabic design (type M1 in Huletski), taken from the Jochid dangs of the Golden Horde. 13mmx15mm, 0.75 grams. Huletzky/Petrunin #407-E.
Very rare early wire denga, high quality and beautiful metal! According to V. Zaitsev (2004, pages 16-17), production of imitations started around 1431-1432, when Vasily Vasiliyevich and Yury Dmitriyevich, now fighting for the throne, agreed to sumbit their dispute for arbitration to the Jochid Khan. Zaitsev assumed that the coins were minted without the name of Duke because the name of the future Duke (decided by the Khan) was not yet known. In August of 1431, Vasily came to see Khan Ulugh-Muhammad asking for the grant of the Grand Duchy of Moscow. Yury arrived slightly later, asking for the same thing. The next year the dispute was ruled in favour of Vasily Vasiliyevich, which allowed him to place his name on the coins again. This is the modern reconstruction of the chronology of this anonymous issue, though it is likely that these imitative coins, analogous to the imitative coins issued in Novgorod, were minted starting as early as 1418.