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Medieval Gold Coins

In the 12th century, as the Byzantinve Empire begins to crumble, the solidus is replaced by scythate coins of varying weight and gold quality. At the same time, the Italian Renaissance city states emerge and produce trade coinage of their own. First the Florantine Florin (beginning 1252) and then the Venician Ducat (beginning 1282) beciome major global currencies based on economies of bankers, merchants, and businessmen. These coins were imitated throughout Europe and reamined the dominant trade coinage for the next several hundred years.

In France, England and Spain larger gold coins appear replacing the Byzantine iconography of Christ with iconography of men purportedly inspired by Christ: Kings and Knights performing heroic deeds in battle or sitting on ornate thrones and religious figures engaged in scenes from the bible.

Some of these coins were meant for trade but others were minted for Royal purposes such as war, large scale building, and as presentation pieces designed to show off wealth and power. Because of the thin broad planchets and the low relief, and the general shortage of gold during this period of history, these coins are all very rare in high grade.

The First Florin:

ITALY, Firenze. Repubblica. 1189-1532 - Struck 1252-1267

AV Fiorino d'oro (20mm, 3.56 g,). Series III, Type C. Segno: pyramid of three pellets. Struck 1252-1267. + FLOR ENTIA, large ornate lily / (triple pellets) S : IOHA NNES • B •, Saint John the Baptist standing facing, holding cross-tipped scepter and raising right hand in benediction. Cf. Grierson, Coins of Medieval Europe 250 (for type, but different segno); CNI XII –; Bernocchi 81; MIR 3/3; Biaggi 785; Friedberg 275

TOP POP, Historically Important as the earliest Italian trade coin, and Extremely Rare in this Grade, NGC lists only this coin in this grade and none higher from this first issue of florins. The next highest grades at AU 58.

NGC MS 62...................$10,000

The first true Western Medieval biblical design, is the Salut D'or (golden annunciation) of Charles I of Anjou, son of Louis VIII of France, Count of Provence and Anjou and King of Naples and Sicily, and a leader of the VII and VIII Crusades through which he became titular King of Jerusalem - as proclaimed in the obverse legend of this coin.

This early renaissance masterpiece depicting the annunciation, and claiming Dominion over Jerusalem, was designed by Charles himself and engraved by Giovanni Fortino.

His son Charles II (The lame) continued the issue, though the Saluto (or Carlino) d'or of Charles II are far more rare. Charles II marrried his daughter Margaret to Charles Valois who left Anjou to his son Philip who became King of France as Philip VI.

Naples, Charles I of Anjou 1266-1285

Salut d'or, ND. Fr-808; CNI-XIX pl.15,1; Biaggi-1624. (4.37 grams). Split arms of Jerusalem and Anjou. Leg: +KAROL' DEI GRA IERL'M SICILIE REX. Reverse: The Annunciation: lily in vase below. Leg: AVE GRACIA PLENA DOMINUS TECUM. -(Fb. 808; MEC 14, 675-6; MIR 18),

remarkably well struck centered and preserved, with two well struck and wonderfully expressive faces: rare thus.

PCGS graded MS 63.........$10.000

Naples, Charles II of Anjou 1285-1309

Salut d'or, ND. Fr-810; CNI-IX,pl.II,6. Arms of Jerusalem and Anjou with stars around.  + KAROL'. DEI. GRA. IERL'm. SICILIE. REX Reverse: Annuciation scene with Archangel Gabriel kneeling before Virgin, flower in vase between them. AvE. GRACIA. PLEnA. DOMInUS. TECum  F.808 - PA.3970 (89/6) - CNI/XIX.n° 1 p. 13, (2/6

Remarkably well struck, centered and preserved example: a rare coin in superb condition

NGC graded MS-63. .........$10,000

Philip IV "The Handsome" was France's first modern monarch. In a never ending quest for Gold, he expelled the Jews, destroyed the Knights Templar and orchestrated the removal of the Papacy from Rome to Avignon. When Clelment V - a frenchman was elected Pope in 1305 Philip commemorated his coup by issuing the first GOLD LAMB, or Agnel D'or which insinuated that Philip was a humble servant of God, rather than a Tyrant who owned the Pope.

KINGS OF FRANCE: Philip IV 1285-1314

1305 Agnel d'or ND AU58 NGC.  Fr-258. + AGn · DI  QVI TOLL · PЄCAT MV'DI · MISЄRЄRЄ · nOB, Agnus Dei (Lamb of God) left, head right, before a standard with banner; PH | RЄX in exergue  / + XPC ° VInCIT ° XPC ° RЄGnAT ° XPC ° IMPЄRAT, cross fleurée with rosette in quadrilobe; lis in quarters and spandrels.

NGC graded AU 58..............sold

     

Philip VI of France issued an extensive gold coinage, a tribute to France at the apex of her medieval power. Among the many designs introduced by Philip, is the first Gold Angel, in which the Archangel Michael kills the dragon, a symbol of the Devil. A variation on this design becomes a staple of English coinage in the next century.

He also issued the images of himself on the throne with lions at his feet, with the Lion D'or and the Parisi D'or and he issued the famous Gold Pavillion, a coin which exemplifies the Gothic Warrior King aesthetic. The Pavillion was the tent in which the King resided on military campaign: a fitting symbol for the King under whose reign the 100 years war was initiated.

KINGS OF FRANCE Philippe VI de Valois (1328-1350)

AV Lion d'or. Struck from 31 October 1338. PҺ' ⁝ DЄI ⁝ GRA ◦ ◦ FRANC ⁝ RЄX ◦, Philippe seated facing within Gothic portico, holding lis-tipped sceptre in each hand; at feet, lion couchant to left, head facing / ✠ ⁝ XP'C ⁝ VIꞂCIT ⁝ XP'C ⁝ RЄGNAT ⁝ XP'C ⁝ IИPЄRAT, cross quadrilobée, feuillue, and fleurdelisée; quadrilobe in centre of cross; all within quadrilobe, arcs ending in trefoils; crown in each spandrel. Duplessy 250; Ciani 290; Friedberg 265. 4.86g, 30mm, 6h.

A very rare coin of great beauty with a near perfect strike. Extremely rare in any grade, this is the highest graded. PCGS has an MS 63 which sold at MDC Monaco in 2019 for $30,000

Ex Maison Palombo SA, 6 May 2006, lot 189 (hammer: EUR 12,000).

TOP POP: NGC graded MS63 +

$35,000

THE FIRST FRENCH FRANC: The ordonance of 5 December, 1360

Jean II Le Bon (John the Good) passed an ordonance creating the first 'franc' on 5 December, 1360. This gold coin of 3.885 grammes of 24 carat gold. showing the king on horseback, was minted as payment for the ransom of the King held prisoner by Edward III, King of England, after the defeat at Poitiers, on 19 September, 1356. The name 'franc' comes from the ordonance itslef: : “We have been released from prison, and we are 'franc' (free) and released for ever.”

The ransom was supposed to be equivalent of 4 million British Crowns and was later reduced to 3 million British pounds. But it is not clear how many francs were produced or delivered. Certainly most were melted in England, as the coin is quite rare today, and never turns up in British hordes

It should be noted that Jean II was extended every courtesy in the court of Edward III, as was customary under the etiquette of chivalry which prevailed at the time.

   

KINGS OF FRANCE Jean II le Bon (1350-1364).

Franc à cheval ND (1360).- 3,88 g
Av. IOHANNES: DEI: GRACIA: FRANCORV: REX. Le roi à cheval, galopant à gauche, l'épée haute, coiffé d'un heaume couronné sommé d'un lis, portant par-dessus sa cotte de mailles une cotte d'armes fleurdelisée ; le caparaçon du cheval est fleurdelisé.
Rv. + XPC* VINCIT* XPC* REGNAT* XPC* IMPERAT. Croix feuillue avec quadrilobe en cœur, dans un petit quadrilobe anglé, orné de palmettes et cantonné de quatre trèfles évidés. Dy.294 - Fr.279 ;

Top Pop: Extremely Rare in this near gem grade . Tied with one other coin as the highest graded, none higher. With an exceptionally strong even strike, perfectly centered with gleaming fields.

NGC MS 64

KINGS OF FRANCE Jean II le Bon (1350-1364).

Mouton d'or ND (1355). 4,53 g
Av. + AGN. DEI. QVI. TOLL'. PCCA. MVDI. MISERERE. NOB'. Agneau pascal à gauche, la tête tournée à droite, devant une croix avec gonfanon qui coupe la légende de l'exergue, dans un polylobe interrompu en bas ; à l'exergue, IOH' - REX. Rv. + XP'C: VINCIT: XP'C: REGNAT: XP'C: IMPERAT, ponct. par 2 rosettes superposées. Croix tréflée et feuillue, avec en cœur un fleuron dans un petit quadrilobe anglé, accosté de quatre lis, dans un quadrilobe anglé cantonné de huit petits lis.
Dy.291 - Fr.280 ; - 

Well struck on a round flan and choice mint state - very rare in this condition

PCGS MS 63.....................$15,000

LOW COUNTRIES, Vlaanderen (Flanders). Lodewijk II van Male. 1346-1384.

AV Gouden schild – Vieil écu à l'aigle (30mm, 4.46 g). Brugge (Bruges), Gand (Ghent,) and Mechelen (Mechlin) mint. Struck 1348-1357. Lodewijk enthroned facing within Gothic canopy, holding sword and resting hand on coat-of-arms decorated with eagle / Cross tréflée and feuillue; in center of cross, • within quadrilobe; all within quadrilobe, trefoil fleurée at end of each arc; trilobe in spandrels. Elsen 22; Delmonte, Or 454; De Mey, Flanders 177; Friedberg 152.

The Gold Shield of the Eagle is a rare medieval coin, often confused (and mislabeled) as the Chaise d'or. This coin has the gold shield of Holy Roman Emperor Louis IV, to whom the Low Countries had pledged fealty. Especially rare so well struck and in near gem condition.

PCGS MS 64.......................$8500

LOW COUNTRIES, Vlaanderen (Flanders). Lodewijk II van Male. 1346-1384.

1/4 de vieille écu à l'aigle d'or o. J. (1346-1384), Brügge. 1.07 g. Obverse: Louis seated facing on Gothic throne, holding sword with the Heraldic Eagle of Louis IV. Reverse: Voided cross fleuree within polylobe.Vanhoudt/Saunders 260. Delmonte 456 (R2).

A very rare Medieval fractional coin in choice mint state, crudely struck but as nice as this coin comes.

PCGS MS 63.................$2800

ANGLO- GALLIC GOLD:
Edward III of England
(Plantagenet/Anjou), Philip IV's maternal grandson, began the 100 years war to battle Philip VI (Capet/Valois - Philip IV's nephew) for control of France. Major fighting took place in Anjou, Normandy, Burgundy and Aquitaine. Edward issued two coins unique to Great Britain's short lived claim on France: the Guyennois d'or (French for Aquitaine), and the Leopard D'or.

The first Anglo Gallic gold coin is the Ecu D'or of Edward III, issued in 1345 (according to Capra), in imitation of the Ecu of Philip VI. The workshop where this extremely rare issue was minted is still a mystery.

The design of the Leopard D'or, minted in 4 issues between 1355 and 1360, seems to be a direct challenge to the French Agnel D'or. The legends of the Leopard announces that Edward, by the grace of God, is now king of both England and France; but the entire mintage was recalled in 1361 when Edward renounced his claim on France in exchange for ratification of his possession of Aquitaine: hence the great rarity.

The Guyennois d'or with the King flanked by two lions is most simillar the Parisis d'or of Philip VI, though it is really a unique issue in the history of coinage. It was issued once by Edward in 1362.

Edward's son Edward Prince of Wales became the Black Prince of Aquitaine after the Treaty of Calais in 1362 and (enigmatically) revived the issue of the Leopard (naming him as Prince - or princeps - of Aquitaine) for a single short-lived mintage.

A note on Rarity. All gold Anglo-Gallic coins are very rare, with the Pavillion being the most widely available. Most of the coins that have come to market in the last 2 years are from a single British collection formed over generations that was sold off all at once to major British dealers, hence the temporary availability of these rare and unique design types.
   

ANGLO-GALLIC. Edward III. 1327-1377. KING of FRANCE AND ENGLAND 1337-1360

Écu d'or à la chaise, imité de l'écu d'or de Philippe VI 4,49 g.
A/ + EDWARDVS DEI GRA AGL FRANCIE REX. Ponctuation par deux sautoirs. Édouard III assis dans une stalle gothique, couronné, vêtu du haubert et de la cotte d'armes, tenant de la main droite l'épée levée et de la gauche l'écu de France aux lis sans nombre, dans un polylobe cantonné de petits trèfles. La marche de la stalle est ornée de quatre sautoirs et de quatre petits tréfles.
R/ + XP C VInCIT XP C REGNAT XP C IMPERAT. Ponctuation par deux points superposés. Croix quadrilobée et fleuronnée, dans un quadrilobe orné de feuilles et cantonné de quatre trèfles sans queue.
Dy.286-Fr.-- Laf.-. 

Extremely Rare. The first Anglo Gallic Coin, in exceptional condition for this most difficult issue.

ANGLO-GALLIC. Edward III. 1327-1377. KING of FRANCE AND ENGLAND 1337-1360

Gold Leopard D'Or, third issue (July 1357), crowned lion walking left, within tressure of ten arcs, mullet in one spandrel, pierced quatrefoils in other spandrels and on cusps, beaded circles and legend surrounding, Latin legend and beaded borders surrounding with double pierced quatrefoil stops, initial mark cross pattee, EDWARDVSxx DEIxx GRAxx ANGLIExx FRAnCIExx REX, rev. six pellets in central compartment of floreated ornamental cross, lions over pierced quatrefoils in angles, all within cartouche, voided quatrefoils in spandrels, Latin legend and beaded borders surrounding, +XP'Cxx VInCITxx XPCxx REGHATxx XPCxx IMPERAT, weight 3.61g (Elias 39a; cf.SCH 14; AGC 44 dies 4/b; S.8039).

Even though the Leopard d’or of this third emission is struck on the name of Edward III, King of England, it definitely bears the symbol of the Famous Black Prince, Edward of Woodstock, son of Edward III: The Leopard of Aquitaine.

Very Rare. Magnificent bold strike on a round flan. Extremely rare in this quality, the finest graded and certainly amongst the finest extant.

ex-stacks Aug Ana 2017 lot
20312

Graded NGC MS 63.........$30,000

ANGLO-GALLIC. Edward III (1327-77) KING of FRANCE AND ENGLAND 1337-1360

Gold Leopard d'Or, 3.60g third issue from July 1357, crowned lion walking left, wide crown, within tressure of ten arcs, quatrefoil of pellets in spandrels and on cusps, mullet in one spandrel, beaded circles and legend surrounding, Latin legend and beaded borders surrounding with double pierced quatrefoil stops, initial mark cross pattée, EDVVARDVSxx DEIxx GRAxx AnGLIExx FRANCIExx REX, rev. six pellets in central compartment of floreated ornamental cross, lions over pierced quatrefoils in angles, all within cartouche, voided quatrefoils in spandrels, Latin legend and beaded borders surrounding, +XPCxx VINCITxx XPCxx REGNATxx XPCxx IMPERAT., (Elias 39b; cf.Schneider 14; AGC 44 dies 6/b; S.8039). 

Even though the Leopard d’or of this third emission is struck on the name of Edward III, King of England, it definitely bears the symbol of the Famous Black Prince, Edward of Woodstock, son of Edward III: The Leopard of Aquitaine.

Very Rare. Well centered, on a round flan, clear and very high grade for this magnificent emblem of Medieval Chivalry.

PCGS MS 62....................$23,500

ANGLO-GALLIC. Edward III (1327-77) KING of FRANCE AND ENGLAND 1337-1360

AV Guyennois. La Rochelle mint, 3.80g ЄD D GRΛ RЄX Λ G LI (inverted) DO AQVIT Λ IЄ, king walking to right, holding sword and shield, within Gothic arch, two lions below; R (mintmark) to upper right / ✠ GLIΛ : IꞂ : ЄXЄELCIS : DЄO : ЄT : IꞂ : TЄRRA : PΛX · ҺOIBVS (double and single pellet in annulet stops), cross fleurée and chênée with central quadrilobe; lis and leopard in alternating quarters; all within tressure of nineteen arches; pellet at end of each arc. Elias 48; SCBC 8045; Withers-Ford 54A.2g; Friedberg 1.

Very Rare especially in this quality - well struck and clear on a round flan. Exceptional for this most difficult issue.

NGC MS 60...................$25,000

 

 

 

 

 

For info, comments, purchase requests contact: Jeff Kahn at Jkahn21@nyc.rr.com
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