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

Medieval Coins of Italy

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; $120.00 (106.80)


Kingdom of Naples, Charles II of Anjou, 1285 - 1309

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When his father died, Charles was a prisoner of Peter III of Aragon. King Edward I of England mediated peace, and Charles was liberated on the condition that he was to retain Naples alone. Sicily was left to the Aragonese. Three of his sons and 60 nobles were sent as hostages for his release. Pope Nicholas IV immediately absolved Charles from all the conditions he had sworn to observe, crowned him King of Sicily in 1289, and excommunicated King Alfonso III of Aragon. The two sides fought for the next 13 years until Charles finally gave up all rights to Sicily, agreed to marry his daughter Eleanor to King Frederick, and lived the rest of his life peacefully in Naples.
ME65257. Billon denaro, MIR Napoli 25, Biaggi 1631, MEC Italy III 689, VF, toned, grainy, weight 0.554 g, maximum diameter 17.4 mm, die axis 45o, Naples mint, 1290 - 1292; obverse +: KARL': SCD': REX:, crowned bust facing; reverse +: IERL': ET: SICIL':, cross fleure; $115.00 (102.35)


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.
ME66350. Bronze follaro, MIR 10 133 (R2), MEC Italy III -; CNI XVIII -, Fair, weight 0.852 g, maximum diameter 11.5 mm, die axis 135o, Bari mint, 1139 - 1154 A.D.; obverse half-length figure of St. Demetrius standing facing, nimbate, transverse spear in right, shield in left; reverse pseudo-Kufic one-line inscription, cross above; very rare; $100.00 (89.00)


Lot of 8 Deniers of Lucca, Tuscany, First Crusade, 11th or 12th Century, "ERAT HAEC NOSTRA MONETA"

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During the 10 and 11th centuries Lucca was the capital of the feudal margraviate of Tuscany, more or less independent but owing nominal allegiance to the Holy Roman Emperor. In 1160 Lucca became an independent republic, which it remained for almost 500 years.

The deniers of the mint of Lucca along with those issued from the mints of Charters, Le Mans, Melgueil, Le Puy, Valence and Melle are mentioned by the chronicler Raymond of Aguilers who accompanied the count of Toulouse Raymond of Saint-Gilles as the "Erat Haec Nostra Moneta" the coins used in the Latin East by members of the First Crusade. These coins frequently turn up in hoards found in lands held by the Franks in Syria and Palestine.
ME76444. Billon denier, cf. Metcalf 9 - 18, weight c. 0.7 g, maximum diameter c. 16 mm, Lucca mint, 11th or 12th Century; obverse +IHPERATOR, degraded OTTO monogram; reverse +ENRICVS (blundered), LVCΛ around central pellet; $100.00 (89.00)


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 + CSECVNDVS, crowned eagle facing with head left; reverse + IER ET SICIL'R, cross patte, pellet in second and third quarters; rare; $100.00 (89.00)


Kingdom of Naples and Sicily, Phillip III of Spain, 13 September 1598 - 31 March 1621

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Naples was ruled by the Crown of Aragon as part of the Spanish Empire from 1504 to 1714.
ME66317. Bronze tornese, MIR Napoli 225 var. (unlisted control symbol), aF, weight 2.182 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 45o, Naples mint, 1619; obverse + PHILIPP III D G REX, cornucopia overflowing with bunches of grapes, other fruit, and stalks of grain, 16-19 flanking across field; reverse * VIGILAT ET CVSTODIT (watches and keeps), recumbent lion atop round altar with ornamented side, MV (control symbol) below; rare (R2); $95.00 (84.55)


Kingdom of Naples, Phillip III of Spain, 13 September 1598 - 31 March 1621

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Naples was ruled by the Crown of Aragon as part of the Spanish Empire from 1504 to 1714.
ME66318. Bronze 2 cavalli, MIR Napoli 225/6, aF, weight 3.954 g, maximum diameter 23.9 mm, die axis 180o, Naples mint, 1620; obverse + PHILIPP III D G REX, cornucopia overflowing with bunches of grapes, other fruit, and stalks of grain, 16-20 flanking across field; reverse * VIGILAT ET CVSTODIT (watches and keeps), recumbent lion atop round altar with ornamented side; rare (R2); $95.00 (84.55)


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.
ME66658. Bronze denaro, MIR 10 356 (R), MEC Italy III 665, Biaggi 499 var. (legends reversed, NC), VF, weight 0.546 g, maximum diameter 15.9 mm, die axis 90o, Brindisi mint, 1277; obverse + DEIGRAREXSICIL, K in frame of six arches; reverse + DVC APVL PRIC CAP, cross with trefoil at each end and star in each quarter; $95.00 (84.55)


Kingdom of Naples, Joanna of Castile and Charles V, 1516 - 1519

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Joanna of Castile, known as Joanna the Mad, was the daughter of Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella of Castile. She was a great beauty in her youth, and one of the most educated women in Europe, fluent in several languages. At 17 Joanna married Philip the Handsome, who was crowned King of Castile in 1506, initiating the rule of the Habsburgs in Spain. After Philip's death that same year, Joanna became mentally ill and was confined to a nunnery for the rest of her life. Though she remained the legal queen of Castile throughout this time, her father, Ferdinand II of Aragon, was regent until his death, when she inherited his kingdom as well. From 1516, her son, Charles, ruled as king in her name.
ME70802. Bronze half sestino, MIR Napoli 123/1 (R3), aF, weight 1.470 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 90o, Naples mint, 1516 - 1519; obverse + LETICIA POPVLI, radiate crown over IC; reverse IVSTVS REX, cross potent; very rare; $90.00 (80.10)


Kingdom of Naples, Robert of Anjou (the Wise), 1309 - 1343 A.D.

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Robert of Anjou, known as Robert the Wise, was King of Naples, titular King of Jerusalem, Count of Provence and Forcalquier from 1309 to 1343, and the central figure of Italian politics of his time.
ME68463. Billon denaro, MEC Italy III 718 - 719, Biaggi 1637, MIR Napoli 29, aVF, nice green patina, slightly wavy and crowded flan, light scratches, weight 0.476 g, maximum diameter 16.0 mm, die axis 180o, Naples mint, 1309 - 1343 A.D.; obverse + ROBERTU DEI GRA, four lis around center, upper lis at center of heraldic label; reverse + IERL ET SICIL' REX, cross potent; $90.00 (80.10)




    



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REFERENCES

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Bellinger, A.R. and P. Grierson, eds. Catalogue of the Byzantine Coins in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection and in the Whittemore Collection. (1966 - 1999).
Berman, A. G. Papal Coins. (New York, 1991).
Biaggi, E. Monete e Zecche medievali Italiane dal Sec. VIII al Sec. XV. (Torino, 1992).
Corpus Nummorum Italicorum. (Rome, 1910-1943).
Erslev, K. Medieval Coins in the Christian J. Thomsen Collection. (South Salem, NY, 1992).
Grierson, P. & L. Travaini. Medieval European Coinage, Volume 14: Italy III: South Italy, Sicily, Sardinia. (Cambridge, 1998).
Hahn, W. Moneta Imperii Byzantini. (Vienna, 1973-81).
Lunardi, G. Le Monete della Repubblica di Genova. (Genoa, 1975).
Metlich, M. A. The Coinage of Ostrogothic Italy. (London, 2004).
Monete Italiane Regionali. (Pavia, 1996 - present).
Pannuti, M & V. Ricco. Le monete de Napoli. Nummorum Auctiones S.A., Lugano. (Naples, 1984).
Sear, D.R. Byzantine Coins and Their Values. (London, 1987).
Travaini, L. "Hohenstaufen and Angevin denari of Sicily and Southern Italy: their mint attributions" in NC 1993.
Wroth, W. Catalogue of the Coins of the Vandals, Ostrogoths, Lombards and of the Empires of Thessalonica, Nicaea, and Trebizond in the British Museum. (London, 1911).

Catalog current as of Monday, December 05, 2016.
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Medieval Italy