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Second Bulgarian Empire, Vidin Kingdom, Ivan Stratsimir, 1356 - 1397 A.D.
Ivan Alexander divided his kingdom between his two sons. Ivan Stratsimir received Vidin. In 1365, the Hungarian King Louis I of Anjou captured Vidin. Sratsimir and his family were held captive in Croatia for four years but in 1369 Sratsimir was restored to his throne under Hungarian overlordship. After the Ottoman invasion in 1388, he was forced to acknowledge Ottoman overlordship and garrisons. In 1396 Sratsimir and his subjects aligned themselves with the anti-Ottoman Crusade led by the Hungarian king Sigismund of Luxemburg. The crusade ended in disaster at the battle of Nikopol on 25 Sep 1396. By the end of 1397 Sultan Bayezid I approached Vidin and, assured by the promise of his safety, Ivan Stratsimir came out to meet him. On the order of Bayezid I, Ivan Stratsimir was arrested and conveyed to Bursa, while the Sultan confiscated the contents of the Vidin treasury. Sratsimir's fate is unknown. Vidin was likely annexed by the Ottoman Empire in 1397, but at least part of the realm remained under the control of Sratsimir's son and heir Constantine II.
This type is described as a half grosch in older references. ME47140. Silver grosch, reduced weight; A. Radushev, G. Jecov. Catalog of the Bulgarian Medieval Coins. p. 178, 1.14.4; Moushmov 7542, c. 0.50g, c. 16mm diameter, Vidin mint, 1371 - 1376 A.D.; obversenimbate half length figure of Christ, right hand raised in benediction, book of gospels in left, IC - XC flanking head, legend around; reverse Stratsimir enthroned facing, nimbate, scepter in right, mappa in left, lis left and right, rosette between legs, legend around; VF, typical crude examples with uneven strikes and wavy flans; Forum's random selection from the same group as the coins in the photograph; one coin; rare; $60.00 (Ä51.00)
Second Bulgarian Empire, Ivan Shishman, 1371 - 1395 A.D.
Ivan Alexander divided his kingdom between his two sons. Ivan Shishman inherited the central portion of Bulgaria with the capital Tarnovo. In 1393, after three-month siege, Tarnovo fell to the Ottoman Empire. Ivan Shishman continued to rule in Nikopol as an Ottoman vassal but Sultan Bayezit I had him beheaded on June 3, 1395.ME47142. Silver grosch, reduced weight; Moushmov 7454, pl. LXV 8, c. 0.60g, c. 15mm diameter, Tarnovo mint, c. 1380 - 1393 A.D.; obverse Czar standing facing, cruciform scepter in left, legend and monograms around; reverse half length figure of Virgin Orans facing, infant Christ's head facing at Her breast, M − Θ across field flanking head; VF or better, nice examples with the usual imperfect strikes and slightly wavy flans; Forum's random selection from the same group as the coins in the photograph; one coin; $60.00 (Ä51.00)
First Bulgarian Empire, Peter I, 927 - 969 A.D., Lead Bulla Seal
This seal was reportedly found together with a hoard of Romanus I, Constantine II and Romanus II solidi, some of which are now available for sale in our Byzantine Gold section. The seal may have once tied a leather bag containing the coins; perhaps a Bulgarian imperial payment.
Peter was the son of Simeon the Great 893 - 927, architect of the Golden Age for the Bulgarian Empire. In 927 the Bulgarians and the Byzantines signed apeace treaty which recognized Peter's Imperial title, the borders and the Bulgarian Patriarchate. In addition, Peter married Maria Lecapene, renamed Eirene (Peace) for the event.
An inferior example (with a finder's cut defacing Peter) was estimated $1000 and sold for $650 plus fees in Triton XI, 2008.SH33751. Lead bulla (tag seal), gVF, weight 18.524 g, maximum diameter 22.8 mm, die axis 0o, obverse + IhSuS XPI[...]+, facing bust of Christ, holding book of Gospels in left hand, cross behind head; reverse blundered legend naming Peter, facing busts of Peter, wearing chlamys, and his wife, Eirine (Maria) Lecapene, wearing loros, both crowned, holding patriarchal cross between them; well formed seal, nice round thick flan, attractive buff-grey patina; SOLD
Dochev, K. Coins and Coin Usage in Turnovo (XII-XIV c.). (Tirnovo, 1992).
Jordanov, I. Corpus of Byzantine Seals from Bulgaria. (Sofia, 2003).
Krause, C. & C. Mishler. Standard Catalog of World Coins. (Iola, WI, 2010 - ).
Mouchmoff, A. Numismatique et Sigillographie Bulgares. (Sofia 1924).
Raduchev A. & G. Zhekov. Catalogue of Bulgarian Coins. (Sophia, 1999).
Romanoff, D. The Orders, Medals and History of the Kingdom of Bulgaria. (Denmark, 1982).
Youroukova P. & V. Penchev. Bulgarian Medieval Coins and Seals. (Sofia, 1990).
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