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

Coins of Sicily

Byzantine Empire, Heraclius & Heraclius Constantine, 23 January 613 - 11 January 641 A.D.

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Heraclius offered peace to Khusro, presumably in 624, threatening otherwise to invade Persia, but Khusro rejected the offer. Heraclius marched into Persia with an army of probably less than 25,000 men, willingly abandoning any attempt to secure his rear or maintain lines of communication. Heraclius fought brilliantly and bravely repeatedly defeated the Persian forces. When the war ended in 628, Khusro had been murdered by his own men, the Byzantines regained all their lost territories, their captured soldiers, a war indemnity, and most importantly for them, the True Cross and other relics that were lost in Jerusalem in 614.
BZ64050. Bronze decanummium, Anastasi 62; DOC II part 1, 257; Wroth BMC 410; SBCV 886; Hahn MIB 241, VF, pit (flan defect?) on reverse, weight 5.067 g, maximum diameter 10.0 mm, die axis 180o, Sicily, Catania mint, 625 - 626 A.D.; obverse facing busts of Heraclius on left, bearded, and Heraclius Constantine on right, beardless; both crowned, draped and cuirassed; cross between their heads; reverse large I (10 nummi), ANNO right, X/ς (year 16) right, CAT in exergue; scarce; $70.00 (62.30)


Byzantine Empire, Leo V the Armenian and Constantine, 25 December 813 - 25 December 820 A.D.

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In 815, Leo concluded a 30-year peace treaty with Khan Omurtag of Bulgaria. The treaty was honored by both sides and renewed after the accession of Michael II in 820. In 821, Thomas the Slav rebelled and laid siege to Constantinople to seize the Imperial throne. Omurtag sent an army to help Michael II put down the rebellion. Byzantine accounts report that Thomas' army was routed at the Battle of Kedouktos (winter 822 or spring 823), however, modern scholars consider the battle a victory, albeit costly, for the rebel.
BZ65995. Bronze follis, Anastasi 497; DOC III, part 1, 19; Morrisson BnF 30/Sy/AE/01; Wroth BMC 22; Tolstoi 22; Ratto 1803; SBCV 1635; Sommer 29.7, gVF, typical tight flan, weight 3.267 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, die axis 0o, Syracuse mint, 817 - 25 Dec 820 A.D.; obverse facing busts of Leo, on left, with short beard and Constantine, each wears crown and chlamys, cross between above; reverse ΛK (initials of Leon and Konstantine), cross above; $70.00 (62.30)


Kingdom of Sicily, Frederick II (HRE), 1198 - 1250

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Frederick II was one of the most powerful Holy Roman Emperors of the Middle Ages. At two he was crowned King of Sicily, co-ruler with his mother Constance, the daughter of Roger II of Sicily. In 1220, he was made King of the Romans, and as such, King of Germany, of Italy, and of Burgundy. He became King of Jerusalem through marriage and the Sixth Crusade. Due to frequent disputes with the Papacy, he was excommunicated four times and Pope Gregory IX called him the Antichrist. An avid patron of science and the arts, he spoke Latin, Sicilian, German, French, Greek and Arabic.
ME66346. Billon denaro, MEC Italy III 549, MIR 10 282 (NC), Biaggi 455 (NC), Spahr 121, VF, porous, weight 0.533 g, maximum diameter 17.6 mm, die axis 45o, Apulia, Brindisi mint, 1239; obverse F- IM-PER-ATO-R, long cross intersecting legend; reverse RI-ER'-ETS-ICL', crowned head superimposed at center on long cross intersecting legend; $70.00 (62.30)


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.
ME66627. Billon denaro, MIR 10 322 (NC), MEC Italy III 597, Biaggi 484 (R), aVF, weight 0.566 g, maximum diameter 15.4 mm, die axis 0o, Brindisi mint, obverse + SECVNDVS R, C in center surrounded by four crescents; reverse + IERL ET SICIL', cross with crescent in each quarter; scarce; $70.00 (62.30)


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.
ME66632. Billon denaro, MEC Italy III 610, Biaggi 1278 (NC), MIR 10 480 (R), VF, well centered, weight 0.702 g, maximum diameter 14.9 mm, die axis 45o, Brindisi or Manfredonia mint, 1258 - 1266; obverse + NFRIDVS REX, MA / Y in center, crescent above; reverse SICILIE +, long cross; scarce; $70.00 (62.30)


Byzantine Empire, Constans II and Constantine IV, 13 April 654 - 15 July 668 A.D.

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In 654, Constans II appointed his two-year old son Constantine IV as co-emperor (Augustus). In 659. Constans II also elevated Constantine IV's younger brothers, Heraclius and Tiberius, as co-emperors.
SH69722. Bronze follis, Anastasi 157; DOC II, part 2, 180; Wroth BMC 358; Morrisson BnF 6; Tolstoi 278; Ratto 1604; Hahn MIB 209; Berk 696; Sommer 12.91; SBCV 1109, F+, overstruck, ragged flan, weight 5.629 g, maximum diameter 27.0 mm, die axis 135o, Syracuse mint, 654 - 659; obverse Constans (left) in military attire with long staff in right, and Constantine in chlamys with globus cruciger in right, both crowned and stand facing; reverse large M (40 nummi), monogram above, SCL (Sicily) in exergue; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; $70.00 (62.30)


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.
ME68268. Bronze follaro or half follaro, MIR Sicily 27 (follaro), MEC Italy III 180 (follaro), Biaggi 1222 (NC, half follero), Spahr 77 (half follero), F, typical crowded flan and uneven strike, weight 1.437 g, maximum diameter 15.3 mm, die axis 330o, Messina mint, c. 1130 - 1138 A.D.; obverse the king sitting facing on a throne, Latin inscription flanking: P/O/Γ/E/P/I - A/N/A/Σ (King Roger); reverse cross potent with pellet at each end, IC - XC / NI-KA (Jesus Christ Conquers) in angles; scarce; $70.00 (62.30)


Normans, Kingdom of Sicily, William II, 1166 - 1189 A.D.

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Secluded and pleasure-loving, William II, the Good, seldom emerged from his palace life at Palermo. Yet his reign was marked by an ambitious foreign policy and vigorous diplomacy. Champion of the papacy and in secret league with the Lombard cities he was able to defy the common enemy, Frederick I Barbarossa.
ME68451. Bronze follaro, MEC Italy III 401 ff., Biaggi 1233, VF, weight 0.762 g, maximum diameter 14.3 mm, die axis 180o, Messina mint, 1166 - 1189; obverse + OPERATAT IN VRBE MESSANE, o / REX W / SCOVS in center (OV ligate); reverse Arabic legend "al-malik / Ghulyalim / al-thani" (King William 2nd) in center, "bi-amr al-malik al-mu'azzam al-musta'izz" around edge; $60.00 (53.40)


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.
ME67160. Bronze denaro, MEC Italy III 610, Biaggi 1278 (NC), MIR 10 480 (R), VF, weight 0.830 g, maximum diameter 13.4 mm, die axis 315o, Brindisi or Manfredonia mint, 1258 - 1266; obverse + NFRIDVS REX, MA / Y in center, crescent above; reverse SICILIE +, long cross; scarce; $36.00 (32.04)


Kingdom of Sicily, Manfred von Hohenstaufen, 1258 - 1266

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The reading of the legends on this rare type is not certain. Biaggi did not have an adequate specimen and used a line drawing in place of the usual photograph. MEC notes there are no know specimens with clear legends.
ME54999. Bronze denaro, MEC Italy III 609A, Biaggi 1277 (R2), F, square flan, weight 0.993 g, maximum diameter 14.8 mm, die axis 270o, Messina mint, obverse + MAYNFRID, S entwined around cross; reverse + SICILIE REX, Ω over R ; rare; $32.00 (28.48)




    



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REFERENCES

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Bellinger, A. & P. Grierson, eds. Catalogue of the Byzantine Coins in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection and in the Whittemore Collection. (1966 - 1999).
Biaggi, E. Monete e Zecche medievali Italiane dal Sec. VIII al Sec. XV. (Torino, 1992).
Calciati, R. Monete Bizantine di Bronzo della Sicilia. (Cairo, 2000).
Chimiernti, M. & F. Rapposelli. Monete Italiane Regionali: Italia meridionale continentale: zecche minori. (Pavia, 2010).
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Grierson, P. & L. Travaini. Medieval European Coinage, Vol. 14: Italy III: South Italy, Sicily, Sardinia. (Cambridge, 1998).
Hahn, W. Moneta Imperii Byzantini. (Vienna, 1973 - 1981).
Hahn, W. Money of the Incipient Byzantine Empire (Anastasius I - Justinian I, 491 - 565). (Wien, 2000).
Hahn, W. & M. Metlich. Money of the Incipient Byzantine Empire Continued (Justin II - Revolt of the Heraclii, 565 - 610). (Vienna, 2009).
Morrisson, C. Catalogue des Monnaies Byzantines de la Bibliothque Nationale. (Paris, 1970).
Ratto, R. Monnaies Byzantines et d'autre Pays contemporaines l'poque byzantine. (Lugano, 1930).
Sambon, A. Les monnaies antiques de l'Italie. (Paris, 1903).
Sear, D. Byzantine Coins and Their Values. (London, 1987).
Sommer, A. Die Mnzen des Byzantinischen Reiches 491-1453. Mit einem Anhang: Die Mnzen des Kaiserreichs von Trapezunt. (Regenstauf, 2010).
Spahr, R. Le Monete Siciliane, dai Bizantini a Carlo I d' Angio (582 - 1282). (Graz, 1976).
Spahr, R. Le Monete Siciliane, dagli Aragonesi ai Borboni (1282 - 1836). (Basel/Graz, 1982).
Trivero, A. La monetazione di rame della Sicilia bizantina (testo e archivio fotografico allegato). (Achao, 2006).
Tolstoi, I. Monnaies byzantines. (St. Petersburg, 1913 - 1914).
Travaini, L. "Hohenstaufen and Angevin denari of Sicily and Southern Italy: their mint attributions" in NC 1993.
Varesi, A. Monete Italiane Regionali - Sicilia. (Florence, 2001).
Wroth, W. Catalogue of the Imperial Byzantine Coins in the British Museum. (London, 1908).

Catalog current as of Sunday, March 26, 2017.
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Sicilian Coins