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Henry IV, also known as "Good King Henry", was King of Navarre from 1572 to 1610. Upon the death of his brother-in-law and distant cousin Henry III of France, Henry was called to the French succession in 1589. He initially kept the Protestant faith but after four years and at least 12 assassination attempts, he abjured the Calvinist faith. He promulgated the Edict of Nantes in 1598, guaranteeing religious freedom and ending the Wars of Religion. He was assassinated in 1610 by a fanatical Catholic. Unpopular immediately after his accession, Henry's popularity greatly improved after his death. The "Good King Henry" (le bon roi Henri) was remembered for his geniality and his great concern about the welfare of his subjects. Henry is said to have originated the oft-repeated phrase, "a chicken in every pot."WO86330. Silver 1/4 Ecu, cf. Duplessy 1224A var. (RX vice REX), Ciani 1517 var. (RX vice R), KM 27, VF, toned, well centered, tight flan, bumps and scratches, small edge crack, weight 9.507 g, maximum diameter 28.9 mm, die axis 0o, Bayonne mint, 2nd type, 1605 L; obverse + •SIT•NOMEN•DOMINI•BENEDICVM• (Blessed be the name of the Lord) followed by Bayonne mintmark, crowned shield of France, II - II flanking across field; reverse + HENRICVS IIII•D•G•FRANC•E•NAVA•RX•1605 (Henry IV, by the Grace of God, King of France and Navarre), Foliate cross, quatrefoil around cross of five pellets at center, lily arms, pellet at each end; $350.00 (€297.50)
France, Charles IX, 1560 - 1574
Charles IX ascended the throne of France upon the death of his brother Francis II. After decades of tension, war broke out between Protestants and Catholics after the massacre of Vassy in 1562. In 1572, after several unsuccessful peace attempts, Charles ordered the marriage of his sister Margaret of Valois to Henry of Navarre, a major Protestant nobleman and the future KingHenry IV of France, in a last desperate bid to reconcile his people. Facing popular hostility against this policy of appeasement, Charles allowed the massacre of all Huguenot leaders who gathered in Paris for the royal wedding at the instigation of his mother Catherine de' Medici. This event, known as the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre, was a significant blow to the Huguenot movement. Religious civil warfare soon began anew. Charles ordered the Siege of La Rochelle, but was unable to take the Protestant stronghold. Charles died of tuberculosis without legitimate male issue in 1574 and was succeeded by his brother Henry III.WO86742. Silver teston, Duplessy 1071, Lafaurie 9015, cf. Roberts 3551, Ciani -, VF, toned, parts of legends weak, weight 9.308 g, maximum diameter 29.5 mm, die axis 45o, Lyon mint, 1566 D; obverse CAROLVS•VIIII•D•G•FRANCO•REX•M• (Charles IX, by the Grace of God, King of France), laureate and cuirassed boy's bust left, D (mint-mark) below; reverse + SIT•NOMEN•DNI•BENEDICIM•M•D•LXVI•M.clover. (Blessed be the name of the Lord, 1566), crowned coat of arms (three fleur de lis); ex Gordon Andreas Singer; very rare; $350.00 (€297.50)
Vittore Gambello "Camelio", Venice, 1530's, The Divine Cleopatra 33mm Brass Medal
Vittore di Antonio Gambello, called Camelio, c. 1455/60 1537, was a sculptor, armorer, die engraver, jeweler, and medalist. He studied drawing under Jacopo Bellini. Camelio was the engraver at the zecca in Venice from 1484 to 1510 and engraver at the Papal Mint from 1513 to 1516.
Attwood and others have attributed this type to Belli but Flaten discusses how others have convincingly attributed it to Camelio based on style and his similar works.ME85860. Brass medal, Flaten 29; Hill and Pollard pl. 31, 4a-b; Attwood 384; cf. Kress 150, aVF/aF, with flan cracks, scratch, weight 26.339 g, maximum diameter 33.0 mm, die axis 180o, Venice mint, 1530; obverseCleopatra, Queen of Egypt, bust right, draped, hair tied at the back, wearing earring and jeweled diadem; reverse Nude youth (Apollo?) seated on a cloak-draped tree, uncertain objects (bow and quiver?) behind, dog (or sheep) below behind, flaming columnar altar at feet before him, ∆IA horizontal and KΛEOΠATPA downward (The Divine Cleopatra) in the right field; rare; $300.00 (€255.00)
Bulgaria, Second Empire, Early 14th Century A.D.
The Second Bulgarian Empire, 1185 - 1396, reached its peak under Tsars Kaloyan and Ivan Asen II and was the dominant power in the Balkans until 1256. Bulgaria defeated the Byzantine Empire in several major battles. In 1205, Kaloyan defeated the newly established Latin Empire in the Battle of Adrianople. Ivan Asen II defeated the Despotate of Epiros and made Bulgaria a regional power. Bulgaria spread from the Adriatic to the Black Sea and the economy flourished. Tarnovo, the capitol, was considered a "New Constantinople" and became the cultural hub and the center of the Eastern Orthodox world. In the late 13th century, however, the Empire declined under constant invasions by Mongols, Byzantines, Hungarians, and Serbs, as well as internal unrest and revolts. The 14th century saw a temporary recovery and stability, the "Second Golden Age of Bulgarian culture," when literature and art flourished. This was also, however, a period of Balkan feudalism as central authorities gradually lost power in many regions. Bulgaria was divided into three parts before gradually being conquered by the Ottomans in the late 14th and early 15th centuries.ME85965. Silver gros, Imitative of a Venetian grosso of Giovanni Dandolo (1280-1289); Radushev-ZhekovType 1.17.1, Youroukova-Penchev 160, Dochev –, gVF, well centered, weight 1.232 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain mint, early 14th century A.D.; obversenimbate Christ Pantokrator enthroned facing, holding gospels in lap, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Iισους Xριστος - Jesus Christ) flanking Christ's head; reverse Doge, standing on left, receiving tall flag from St. Mark, standing on right, DVX down flag staff; very rare; $280.00 (€238.00)
Bulgars in Byzantine Bulgaria(?), Anonymous Follis of Christ, Imitative of Class A3, c. 1023 - 1040 A.D.
This imitative was most likely struck by an unofficial mint in unruly Byzantine Bulgaria. In 1018, the Byzantine emperor Basil II conquered the First Bulgarian Empire. The Bulgarian aristocracy were given Byzantine titles and moved to Asia. The existing tax system, laws, and the role of low-ranking nobility remained, at first, unchanged. As the Byzantine Empire declined under Basil's successors, Pecheneg invasions and rising taxes led to discontent and major uprisings. Bulgaria remained under Byzantine rule until the brothers Asen and Peter liberated the country in 1185, establishing the Second Bulgarian Empire. BZ86796. Bronze anonymous follis, See Lampinen Imitative, p. 54, for a similar Class A imitative; prototype: Basil II & Constantine VIII, 1023-1028, SBCV 1818, VF, somewhat weak strike, other than the small flan and retrograde reverseinscription the style is similar to the official prototype, weight 7.975 g, maximum diameter 27.2 mm, die axis 180o, unofficial (Bulgarian?) mint, c. 1023 - 1040 A.D.; obverse facing nimbatebust of Christ, pallium and colobium, Gospels in both hands, no legend or inscription; reverse retrograde Greek inscription: + IhSuS / XRISTuS / bASILEu / bASILE (Greek: Jesus Christ King of Kings); $200.00 (€170.00)
Crusaders, Principality of Antioch, Tancred, Regent, March 1101 - May 1103 and Late 1104 - December 1112
This type was struck while Bohemond I was in captivity. It was the first type struck by Tancred. The order in which his types were struck has been firmly established by frequent overstrikes of later issues on earlier coins.
St. Peter is the patron saint of Antioch.ME86624. Bronze follis, Metcalf Crusades 52, Malloy Crusaders 3a, Schlumberger II 6, VF, desert patina, cut six-sided flan, porous, bumps and scratches, weight 5.472 g, maximum diameter 22.0 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch mint, obversebust of St. Peter facing, short curly hair and curly beard, scroll in right hand, cross in left hand, O / PE-TP/O/C (TP ligate) divided across field; reverse + / KE BOI/ΘH TO ∆V / ΛO COV TANKPI+ (O Lord, help your servant Tancred) in five lines; $160.00 (€136.00)
Normans, Southern Italy, Anonymous, Dukes of Apulia or Counts of Sicily & Calabria, c. 1060 - 1080 A.D.
This coin is certainly imitative, as it weighs less then 1/3 the weight of the even the lightest official Class B Byzantineanonymous follisForum has handled. Attribution to the Normans in Italy is based on the reputed find location and some similarity to other Byzantine imitatives issued by the Normans in Southern Italy and Sicily.ME73353. Bronze follaro, apparently unpublished, imitative of Class B Byzantineanonymous follis (SBCV 1823, Constantinople, 1028 - 1041); MEC Italy III -, MIR -, et al. -, F, weight 2.163 g, maximum diameter 23.3 mm, die axis 180o, uncertain Italian mint, c. 1060 - 1080 A.D.; obverse facing bust of Christ, wearing nimbus cruciger, pallium, and colobium, holding book of Gospels; reverse IS - XS / bAS-ILE / bAS-ILE (Jesus Christ King of Kings, mostly off flan), Cross on three steps, dividing legend; from a California collector; $150.00 (€127.50)
Normans, Kingdom of Sicily, Roger II, 1105 - 1154 A.D.
Roger II was King of Sicily, son of Roger I of Sicily and successor to his brother Simon. He began his rule as Count of Sicily in 1105, became Duke of Apulia and Calabria in 1127, and then King of Sicily in 1130. Roger II is remembered for having united all of the Norman conquests in Italy under one strong central government. He was also the grandfather of Frederick II.ME70465. Bronze follaro, MIR 10 135 (R2), MEC Italy III 227, F, both sides off-center, weight 1.120 g, maximum diameter 14.9 mm, die axis 180o, Messina mint, 1150 - 1151 A.D.; obverse half-length bust of the Virgin Orans facing, MHP - ΘV (Greek abbreviation for Mother of God) across field; reverse Arabic inscription arranged as a cross: umila five hundred forty five (struck in 545 AH), four dots arranged in a square in each quarter; very rare; $125.00 (€106.25)
France, Louis XV the Beloved, 1715 – 1774
Aix (Aquae Sextiae) was founded in 123 BC by the Roman consul Sextius Calvinus, who gave his name to its springs, following the destruction of the nearby Gallic oppidum at Entremont. In 102 B.C. its neighborhood was the scene of the Battle of Aquae Sextiae, where the Romans under Gaius Marius defeated the Cimbri and Teutones, with mass suicides among the captured women, which passed into Roman legends of Germanic heroism. In the 4th century A.D. it became the metropolis of Narbonensis Secunda. It was occupied by the Visigoths in 477. In the succeeding century, the town was repeatedly plundered by the Franks and Lombards, and was occupied by the Saracens in 731 and by Charles Martel in 737. Aix, which during the Middle Ages was the capital of Provence, its zenith was after the 12th century, when, under the houses of Barcelona and Aragon and Anjou, it became an artistic center and seat of learning. Aix passed to the crown of France with the rest of Provence in 1487, and in 1501 Louis XII established there the parliament of Provence, which existed until 1789. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the town was the seat of the Intendance of Provence. Archeological excavations in the Ville des Tours, a medieval suburb of Aix, have unearthed the remains of a Roman amphitheatre.WO86744. Copper sol d'Aix, Duplessy 1696, Lafaurie 703, Ciani 2144, Krause KM 542, VF, well centered on a tight flan, light marks and corrosion, weight 11.619 g, maximum diameter 28.6 mm, die axis 180o, Aix-en-Provence mint, 1772; obverse LUDOV. XV. - D. GRATIA (Louis XV, by the Grace of God), laureate head right, heart below; reverseFRANCIÆ. ET - NAVARRÆ. REX•1772• (King of France and Navarre), crowned arms of France (shield with three lis) with round bottom, & (mintmark) below; ex Gordon Andreas Singer; $120.00 (€102.00)
Crusaders, Athens, Frankish Greece, Guy II de La Roche, 1287 - 1308
Guy II de la Roche was the Duke of Athens from 1287, the last duke of his family. He succeeded as a minor on the death of his father, William I, at a time when the duchy of Athens had exceeded the Principality of Achaea in wealth, power, and importance. Guy was originally under the tutorship and regency of his mother, Helena Angelina Komnene, who was forced to make submission to Isabella of Villehardouin. In 1299, Guy was engaged to Matilda, daughter of Isabella and and her husband, Florent of Hainaut. Charles objected, as his permission had not been sought, but Pope Boniface VIII intervened on the young couple's behalf. In 1307, Guy was made bailli of Achaea by its new prince, Philip I of Taranto. He governed well, but for barely a year. He died, 5 October 1308, at the age of twenty-eight, but was respected and renowned for his chivalry and manners, typical of the Frankish courts kept in Greece.ME85309. Billondenier tournois, Malloy Crusaders 85, Metcalf Crusades Variety 1c and pl. 42, 1067; Schlumberger XXXIX 14, VF, well centered, toned, areas of weak legend, tiny edge cracks, weight 0.783 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 45o, Athens mint, majority, 1294 - 1308 A.D.; obverse + GVI DVX ATENES (trefoils flanking cross, trefoil stops), cross pattée; reverse + ThEBANI.CIVIS (trefoils flanking cross), castle tournois, double pellet at beginning and end of legend; ex C. Subak (Chicago, Sep 1975); $115.00 (€97.75)
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