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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Medieval & Modern Coins ▸ Medieval & Modern RaritiesView Options:  |  |  |   

Rare Medieval & Modern Coins

Normans, Kingdom of Sicily, Roger II, 1105 - 1154 A.D.

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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; $160.00 (€142.40)
 


Kingdom of Naples, Charles V (HRE), 1516 - 1554

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Though always at war, Charles was a lover of peace. "Not greedy of territory," wrote Marcantonio Contarini in 1536, "but most greedy of peace and quiet." Charles pushed for the convocation of the Council of Trent, which began the Counter-Reformation. It was during Charles reign that Spain conquered the Aztecs of Mexico and Incas of Peru, and then extended its control across much of South and Central America. Charles provided five ships to Ferdinand Magellan whose voyage was the first circumnavigation of the Earth. He retired in 1556. The Habsburg Monarchy passed to his younger brother Ferdinand, and the Spanish Empire was inherited by his son Philip II. The two empires would remain allies until the 18th century. Charles was only 54 when he retired, but after 34 years of energetic rule he was physically exhausted and sought the peace of a monastery where he died aged 58. Charles' motto, Plus Ultra ('Further Beyond'), became the national motto of Spain.
ME66323. Bronze 2 cavalli, MIR Napoli 155/1 var. (obverse legend, pellets, MIR notes legend variations and varieties with pellets exist), gF, flan flaw reverse right edge, weight 3.510 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 45o, Naples mint, obverse CAROLVS V ROM IMP (sic), bare head right, pellet under neck; reverse + REX ARAGO VTRIVS S, imperial crown, three pellets in the field above, all within inner dot circle; rare variety; $140.00 (€124.60)
 


Crusaders, County of Tripoli, Raymond II, 1137-1152 A.D.

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Raymond II considered the Syrian Christians of Tripoli responsible for treachery which led to his father's defeat and death in a battle with Damascus. After the battle, he took many of them prisoner, and as William of Tyre wrote, "he visited upon them diverse tortures in the presence of the people, and, in just proportion to the enormity of the crime which they had committed, he caused them to suffer death in its most cruel forms." This act was praised by the Latin Christians as "the first proofs of valor which were given by the young count, whereby he won the affection of all his people and universal approval." In 1142 Raymond donated Krak des Chevaliers, an enormous fortress on the road from Homs to the Mediterranean, as well as other smaller castles, to the Knights Hospitallers. The Hospitallers were virtually independent in the county, for which they protected Tripoli's borders from frequent raids by the forces of Damascus and Zanki, the Turkish atabeg of Mosul and Aleppo.
ME76426. Bronze pougeoise, Sabine type 1, 194 - 199; Malloy Crusaders 5; Metcalf Crusades 513; Schlumberger VI 5, VF, octagonal flan, light corrosion, earthen deposits, weight 1.017 g, maximum diameter 16.9 mm, Tripoli mint, c. 1145 - 1149; obverse + RAIMVNDVS (cross at the bottom, legend starts at 7:00, ), eight pointed star, pellet between each ray, shallow crescent with horns up below, all within inner border; reverse cross pattée with three annulets at the end of each arm, crossed by smaller cross with crescent horns inward pellet and annulet at the end of each arm; very rare; $140.00 (€124.60)
 


Kingdom of Sicily, Henry VI (HRE), 1194 - 1197

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Henry VI was King of Germany from 1190 - 1197, Holy Roman Emperor from 1191 - 1197, and King of Sicily from 1194 - 1197. In 1197, his German soldiers mercilessly suppressed a revolt in Italy, especially in southern Sicily. In this same year, Henry prepared for a Crusade, but, on 28 September, he died of malaria (or he may have been poisoned) in Messina. His son, Frederick II, inherited both the Kingdom of Sicily and the Imperial crown.
ME72172. Billon dirham fraction, Biaggi 1780 (R2), Spahr 2 (RR); MIR Sicily 457 (R); MEC Italy III, 477, VF, typical tight flan, slightly off-center, weight 0.944 g, maximum diameter 10.1 mm, die axis 0o, Palermo mint, 1194 - 1195; obverse Arabic legend in Nashki script: Harir / quaysar / aughust (Henry Caesar Augustus); reverse + / Z REX / SICI +; rare; $130.00 (€115.70)
 


Normans, Southern Italy, Anonymous, Dukes of Apulia or Counts of Sicily & Calabria, c. 1081 - 1087 A.D.

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This coin is certainly imitative, as it weighs about 1/3 the normal weight of an official Class J Byzantine anonymous follis. 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.
ME68381. Bronze follis, apparently unpublished, imitative of Byzantine class J follis (SBCV 1900, Constantinople, 1081 - 1118); MEC Italy III -, Biaggi -, Wroth Western -, aF, on a very small thin flan compared to Byzantine proto-types, weight 2.200 g, maximum diameter 21.0 mm, die axis 180o, uncertain S. Italy mint, c. 1081 - 1087 A.D.; obverse bust of Christ facing, cross behind, wears pallium and colbium, raising right in benediction, Gospels in left, crescents above, IC - XC flanking, facing bust of Christ, wearing nimbus cruciger, pallium, and colobium, holding book of Gospels; reverse Cross with globule and two pellets at each extremity, large crescent below, four globules around each surrounded by pellets; from an American collection; very rare; $125.00 (€111.25)
 


Kingdom of Naples, Charles V (HRE), 1516 - 1554

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Though always at war, Charles was a lover of peace. "Not greedy of territory," wrote Marcantonio Contarini in 1536, "but most greedy of peace and quiet." Charles pushed for the convocation of the Council of Trent, which began the Counter-Reformation. It was during Charles reign that Spain conquered the Aztecs of Mexico and Incas of Peru, and then extended its control across much of South and Central America. Charles provided five ships to Ferdinand Magellan whose voyage was the first circumnavigation of the Earth. He retired in 1556. The Habsburg Monarchy passed to his younger brother Ferdinand, and the Spanish Empire was inherited by his son Philip II. The two empires would remain allies until the 18th century. Charles was only 54 when he retired, but after 34 years of energetic rule he was physically exhausted and sought the peace of a monastery where he died aged 58. Charles' motto, Plus Ultra ('Further Beyond'), became the national motto of Spain.
ME66324. Bronze 2 cavalli, MIR Napoli 155/3 var. (normal obv legend ends IMP RO, MIR notes legend variations exist), F, weight 3.115 g, maximum diameter 21.3 mm, die axis 135o, Naples mint, obverse CAROLVS • IIII • RO • IMP (sic), bare head right, A under neck; reverse + REX ARAGO VTRIVS, imperial crown; rare variety; $100.00 (€89.00)
 


Kingdom of Naples and Sicily, Charles I of Anjou, 1266 - 1285

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Charles I of Anjou was the King of Sicily by conquest from 1266, though he had received it as a papal grant in 1262. He was expelled from the island in the aftermath of the Sicilian Vespers of 1282.
ME66338. Billon denaro, MIR 10 347 (R3), Biaggi 493 var. (R), MEC Italy III 643, VF, weight 0.405 g, maximum diameter 15.9 mm, die axis 135o, Apulia, Brindisi mint, early coinage, 1266 - 1278; obverse K DEI GRA REX SCL, cross fleury; reverse + DVC AP ET PRIC CAPE, shield with lis and three pendants, flanked by two small lis; rare; $100.00 (€89.00)
 


Normans, Kingdom of Sicily, Roger II, 1105 - 1154 A.D.

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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.
ME72282. Bronze follaro, MEC Italy III 162, Biaggi 1216 (R, double follaro), Spahr 53, MIR Sicily 19 (R2), aVF, well centered, slightly rough, weight 3.643 g, maximum diameter 19.2 mm, die axis 180o, Messina mint, 1127 - 1130 A.D.; obverse Roger standing facing, long cross in right, globus cruciger in left, wearing crown with pendilia, R over II on left; reverse Christ seated facing on wide throne, nimbus cruciger behind head, Gospels in both hands on lap; rare; $90.00 (€80.10)
 


Kingdom of Naples and Sicily, Conrad II (Conradin), King of Jerusalem and Sicily, 1254 - 1258

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Conrad II in Sicily was officially Conrad III in Jerusalem but was called "the Younger" or "the Boy," and most often the diminutive "Conradin." Conradin was an infant when he assumed the throne. Manfred his regent, although only about 18 years old, acted loyally and with vigor in the execution of his trust. However, upon a false rumor of Conradin's death, Manfred was crowned king 1258 and refused to abdicate when the rumor was proved false. Pope Clement IV defeated and killed Manfred. At age 16, Conradin was defeated and beheaded by Charles of Anjou, ending the legitimate Hohenstaufen line.
ME76448. Billon denaro, MIR 10 310 (R3), MEC Italy III 590, Biaggi 482 var. (R, no R at end of reverse legend), Spahr 166, F, weight 0.488 g, maximum diameter 14.9 mm, die axis 0o, Brindisi mint, 1254 - 1258; obverse •+• C•SECVNDVS, crowned eagle facing with head left; reverse •+• IER ET SICIL'•R, cross pattée, pellet in second and third quarters; rare; $90.00 (€80.10)
 


Kingdom of Sicily, Manfred von Hohenstaufen, 1258 - 1266

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Manfred was frequently in conflict with the Papacy and was excommunicated by three different popes. In the Divine Comedy, Dante meets Manfred outside the gates of Purgatory, where the spirit explains that, although he repented of his sins in the moment of death, he must atone by waiting 30 years for each year he lived as an excommunicate, before being admitted to Purgatory proper. Queen Elizabeth is a descendant of King Manfred.
ME66670. Billon denaro apulo, Biaggi 485 (R), MIR Sicily 326 (R), Travaini 66, MEC Italy III - (discussed on p. 193, type 2), VF, weight 0.597 g, maximum diameter 14.9 mm, die axis 180o, Brindisi(?) mint, 1258 - c. 1263; obverse +• MANFREDVS•, gothic APl monogram, three pellets around, within inner border; reverse + REX• SICILIE•, cross pattée, wedge in each angle; rare; $80.00 (€71.20)
 




  



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Medieval & Modern Rarities