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Three months after Henri was made the elected king of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, his brother, Charles IX of France, died and Henri returned to France to assume the French throne. Henri brought several Polish inventions back to France, including septic facilities which deposited excrement outside the castle walls, a bath with regulated hot and cold water, and the fork. Henri gave protestant Huguenots the right of public worship, except in Paris and at Court. In response, Henry I, Duke of Guise, formed the Catholic League. Henri III was eventually forced to flee Paris. After he had the duke assassinated, Henri III prepared to return to Paris but was murdered before he could return. During the French Revolution, Henri III was disinterred from his tomb, his body was desecrated and thrown into a common grave.
On May 31, 1575, Henry III created a new 14.188 grams, .833 fine silver coin with the value of 20 sols tournois. The gold écu was set at 60 sols. The gold franc equaled 1/3 écu or 20 sols. This coin, corresponding to the value of the medieval gold franc, naturally took the name franc d'argent (silver franc). Our coin is a franc avec fraise, distinguished from the contemporary franc au col plat by the addition of a lace ruff to the king's collar. It was unique to the Toulouse mint. Due to constant clipping, the coinage of francs was suspended for good on October 13, 1586. After the death of the king, however, mints held by the Catholic League struck francs in his name.SH84614. Silver franc, Duplessy 1130A, Ciani 1434, Roberts 3612, Lafaurie 970, aVF, iridescenttoning, weight 13.995 g, maximum diameter 35.2 mm, die axis 180o, Toulouse (M) mint, 1586; obverse •HENRICVS•III D•G FRANC ET•POL•REX• (Henry III, by the grace of god, King of France and Poland), laureate and cuirassedbust of Henry III, ruffled collar, M (Toulouse workshop letter) below bust, 1586 at bottom between end and beginning of legend; reverse * SIT•NOMEN•DOMINI•BENEDICTVM S (Blessed be the name of the Lord), foliate cross fleurée, H surrounded by dots in the center; $600.00 (€510.00)
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.WO86329. Silver teston, cf. Roberts 3551, Duplessy 1063, Ciani 1356, Lafaurie 895, VF, toned, scratches and marks, areas of weak strike, weight 8.927 g, maximum diameter 28.7 mm, die axis 255o, Saint-Lô mint, 1561; obverse CAROLVS•VIIII•D•G•FRANCO•REX• (Charles IX, by the Grace of God, King of France), laureate and cuirassed boy's bust left, C (mint-mark) below; reverse SIT•NOMEN•DNI•BENEDICIM•M•D•LXI (Blessed be the name of the Lord, 1561), crowned coat of arms (three fleur de lis), crowned C's flanking; very rare; $450.00 (€382.50)
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; $340.00 (€289.00)
France, Strasbourg, Louis XIV, 1684
The Free City of Strasbourg remained neutral during the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648) and retained its status as a Free Imperial City. However, the city was later annexed by Louis XIV of France to extend the borders of his kingdom. Louis' advisors believed that, as long as Strasbourg remained independent, it would endanger the King's newly annexed territories in Alsace, and, that to defend these large rural lands effectively, a garrison had to be placed in towns such as Strasbourg. Indeed, the bridge over the Rhine at Strasbourg had been used repeatedly by Imperial (Holy Roman Empire) forces, and three times during the Franco-Dutch War Strasbourg had served as a gateway for Imperial invasions into Alsace. In September 1681 Louis' forces, though lacking a clear casus belli, surrounded the city with overwhelming force. After some negotiation, Louis marched into the city unopposed on 30 September 1681 and proclaimed its annexation. SH84610. Silver Sol, Ciani 2054, Gadoury 87, Duplessy 1599, Krause KM 245, VF, toned, light deposits, weight 0.936 g, maximum diameter 17.2 mm, die axis 180o, Strasbourg mint, 1684; obverse MON• NOV• ARGENTINENSIS (new currency of Strasbourg), fleur-de-lis; reverse *GLORIA• IN• EXCELSIS• DEO• (glory to God in heaven), •I• / •SOL• / 1684 in three lines; ex Gordon Andreas Singer; $180.00 (€153.00)
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; $170.00 (€144.50)
Kingdom of Naples and Sicily, Philip IV of Spain, 31 March 1621 - 17 September 1665
Naples was ruled by the Crown of Aragon as part of the Spanish Empire from 1504 to 1714.ME66312. Bronze 3 cavalli, MIR Napoli 276 (R4), F, weight 2.223 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 0o, Naples mint, 1647; obverse PHILIPP IIII D G REX, bare head right, GA/C (mint master Giovanni Andrea Cavo) left, 46 (or 47) below; reversefoliate cross, rosette at center, flame from each angle; extremely rare; $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 MP − ΘY (Greek abbreviation: Mother of God), half-length bust of the Virgin Orans facing; 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; $140.00 (€119.00)
United Kingdom, George IV, 29 January 1820 - 26 June 1830
From 1811 until his accession, George IV served as regent during his father's mental illness. He forbade his wife from attending his coronation and unsuccessfully attempted to divorce her, which brought the contempt of the people. For most of George's regency and reign, Prime Minister Lord Liverpool controlled the government with little help from George. George's extravagant lifestyle and wasteful spending angered taxpayers at a time when Britain was fighting the Napoleonic Wars. He did not provide leadership in a time of crisis, nor did he act as a role model for his people. Liverpool led Britain's ultimate victory, negotiated the peace settlement, and attempted to deal with the social and economic malaise that followed. George IV was succeeded by his younger brother William. UK84145. Silver shilling, SCBC 3812, aEF, toned, reeded edge, weight 5.668 g, maximum diameter 23.5 mm, die axis 180o, Tower mint, 1825; obverse GEORGIUS IV DE GRATIA 1825 (George IV, by the grace of God, 1825), bare head left; reverse BRITANNIARUM REX FID ET DEFENSOR (King of The British territories, Defender of the Faith), crowned lion standing left, atop a larger crown; rose, shamrock, and thistle below; $140.00 (€119.00)
Crusaders, Frankish Greece, Principality of Achaea, Charles II of Anjou, 1285 - 1289
Charles II succeeded his father, Charles I, in Achaea as well as Sicily (now reduced to the Kingdom of Naples), but he was a prisoner in Aragonese hands. In the interim, the rule of Achaea devolved upon a series of baillis chosen from the Morean nobility. Not long after his release and coronation in 1289, he granted the Principality to Isabelle of Villehardouin upon her marriage with Florent of Hainaut, in part to redress the greedy application of the Treaty of Viterbo at William's death. However, he retained feudal overlordship over the Principality, and his grant provided that neither Isabelle nor any daughter who was her heir might marry without his consent.ME85308. Billondenier tournois, Malloy Crusaders 12; Metcalf Crusades pl. 39, 942; Tzamalis Frankish KA101; Schlumberger XII 17, Choice VF, well centered, toned,, weight 0.779 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 90o, Clarentza mint, 1285 -1289; obverse + • K•R•PRINC ACh•, cross pattée; reverse + : DE: CLARENCIA (colons indicate double x stops), castle tournois; old anonymous dealer or collector envelop priced $20,00 and notes, "Ex: Carl Subak (Chicago, Sep 1975)" and "select hoard piece"; scarce; $130.00 (€110.50)
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); $130.00 (€110.50)
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