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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Featured Collections| ▸ |Louis G Estate Collection||View Options:  |  |  | 

The Louis G. Estate Collection of Frankish Greek Coins

The Louis G Estate collection includes a remarkable variety of Frankish Greece (Frankokratia) deniers, including great rarities. After Constantinople was conquered during the Fourth Crusade in 1204, Greece was divided among the Crusaders. The Latin Empire held Constantinople and Thrace, while Greece itself was divided into the Kingdom of Thessalonica, the Principality of Achaea, and the Duchy of Athens. The Venetians controlled the Duchy of the Archipelago in the Aegean, and the Despotate of Epirus was established as one of the three Byzantine Greek successor states. Michael VIII restored the empire in 1261, having also regained the Kingdom of Thessalonica. By his death in 1282, Michael had taken back the Aegean islands, Thessaly, Epirus, and most of Achaea, including the Crusader fortress of Mystras, which became the seat of a Byzantine despotate. However, Athens and the northern Peloponnese remained in Crusader hands. With the exception of the Ionian Islands and some isolated forts which remained in Venetian hands until the turn of the 19th century, the final end of the Frankokratia in the Greek lands came with the Ottoman conquest, chiefly in the 14th to 16th centuries.Frankokratia_Map

Crusaders, Frankish Greece, Principality of Achaea, Charles I of Anjou, 1278 - 1285

|Greece|, |Crusaders,| |Frankish| |Greece,| |Principality| |of| |Achaea,| |Charles| |I| |of| |Anjou,| |1278| |-| |1285||denier| |tournois|
Charles I (early 1226/1227 - 7 January 1285), commonly called Charles of Anjou, was a member of the royal Capetian dynasty and the founder of the second House of Anjou. He was Count of Provence (1246-85) and Forcalquier (1246-48, 1256-85) in the Holy Roman Empire, Count of Anjou and Maine (1246-85) in France; he was also King of Sicily (1266-85) and Prince of Achaea (1278-85). In 1272, he was proclaimed King of Albania; and in 1277 he purchased a claim to the Kingdom of Jerusalem.Carlos_I
CR88453. Billon denier tournois, Metcalf Crusades pl. 39, 950; Tzamalis Frankish KA203; Malloy Crusaders 11 (S), VF, toned, small edge cracks, overstruck on an earlier coin(?), weight 0.680 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 270o, Corinth mint, 1278 - 1285; obverse + ▼K• R• PRINC' ACH' (R with wedge shaped foot = Corinth mint), cross pattée; reverse ▼CLARENCIA▼(R with wedge shaped foot = Corinth mint), castle tournois surmounted by cross; from the Louis G Estate; scarce; SOLD


Crusaders, Frankish Greece, Principality of Achaea, Charles II of Anjou, 1285 - 1289

|Greece|, |Crusaders,| |Frankish| |Greece,| |Principality| |of| |Achaea,| |Charles| |II| |of| |Anjou,| |1285| |-| |1289||denier| |tournois|
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.Frankokratia_Map
CR88454. Billon denier tournois, Malloy Crusaders 12 (S); Metcalf Crusades pl. 39, 942; Tzamalis Frankish KA101; Schlumberger XII 17, VF, toned, light marks, weight 0.974 g, maximum diameter 18.6 mm, die axis 90o, Clarentza mint, 1281 - 1289; obverse + • K• R• PRINC ACh• (curly foot R = Clarentza mint), cross pattée; reverse :DE: CLARENCIA: (colons indicate double x stops, DE probably abbreviates denarius, curly foot R = Clarentza mint), castle tournois surmounted by a cross; from the Louis G Estate; scarce; SOLD


Crusaders, Frankish Greece, Duchy of Athens, William or Minority of Guy I de La Roche, 1280 - 1294

|Crusaders|, |Crusaders,| |Frankish| |Greece,| |Duchy| |of| |Athens,| |William| |or| |Minority| |of| |Guy| |I| |de| |La| |Roche,| |1280| |-| |1294||denier| |tournois|
This type was minted either under William de La Roche, 1280 - 1287, or during the minority of Guy I de La Roche, 1287 - 1294. William I de la Roche succeeded his brother, John I, as Duke of Athens in 1280. William reversed the territorial losses of his brother's reign, extending his control over Lamia and Gardiki. He married Helena Angelina Komnene, daughter of John I Doukas, ruler of Thessaly, securing a military alliance with him.Frankokratia_Map
CR88467. Billon denier tournois, Metcalf Crusades 1030, Malloy Crusaders 85, VF, toned, clashed dies, weight 0.756 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, die axis 105o, Thebes mint, perhaps minority of Guy I de La Roch, 1280 - 1294; obverse +:G:DVX:ATENES: (: = double trefoil stop, trefoils resembling Y), cross pattée; reverse :ThEBE:CIVIS: (: = double trefoil stop, trefoils resembling Y), castle tournois with open corner circles, surmounted by cross, distinctive style; from the Louis G Estate; SOLD


Crusaders, Frankish Greece, Principality of Achaea, William of Villehardouin, 1246 - 1278

|Crusaders|, |Crusaders,| |Frankish| |Greece,| |Principality| |of| |Achaea,| |William| |of| |Villehardouin,| |1246| |-| |1278||denier| |tournois|
William of Villehardouin became Prince of Achaea when his brother Geoffrey II died in 1246. He conquered the remaining Peloponnese territory and built the fortress of Mistra near Sparta. In 1249 he accompanied Louis IX of France on the Seventh Crusade, joining him in Cyprus with 400 knights and 28 ships. Louis gave him a license to mint coins in the style of royal French money. William defeated Venice in the War of the Euboeote Succession and defeated the Duke of Athens in 1258, reaffirming his power over the duchy. In 1259 he formed an alliance with the Byzantine Despotate of Epirus against Nicaea. He led the Achaean forces against the Nicaeans, but the Epirote army deserted and William was defeated. He fled and hid under a haystack, but was captured. He remained captive until 1262 and permanently lost all his power.Arms_of_Achaea
CR88481. Billon denier tournois, Tzamalis Frankish GV224; Malloy Crusaders 10a; Metcalf Crusaders pl. 39, 940, VF, centered, toned, weight 0.822 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 180o, Corinth mint, 1246 - 1278; obverse +:G:PRINCE ACh', cross pattée; reverse VCLARENTIAD, castle tournois, spire in the form of Λ, surmounted by cross; from the Louis G Estate; SOLD


Crusaders, Frankish Greece, Principality of Achaea, William of Villehardouin, 1246 - 1278

|Crusaders|, |Crusaders,| |Frankish| |Greece,| |Principality| |of| |Achaea,| |William| |of| |Villehardouin,| |1246| |-| |1278||denier| |tournois|
William of Villehardouin became Prince of Achaea when his brother Geoffrey II died in 1246. He conquered the remaining Peloponnese territory and built the fortress of Mistra near Sparta. In 1249 he accompanied Louis IX of France on the Seventh Crusade, joining him in Cyprus with 400 knights and 28 ships. Louis gave him a license to mint coins in the style of royal French money. William defeated Venice in the War of the Euboeote Succession and defeated the Duke of Athens in 1258, reaffirming his power over the duchy. In 1259 he formed an alliance with the Byzantine Despotate of Epirus against Nicaea. He led the Achaean forces against the Nicaeans, but the Epirote army deserted and William was defeated. He fled and hid under a haystack, but was captured. He remained captive until 1262 and permanently lost all his power.Arms_of_Achaea
CR88482. Billon denier tournois, Tzamalis Frankish GV222; Metcalf Crusaders pl. 39, 938; Malloy Crusaders 10b, aVF, well centered, toned, weight 0.660 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 270o, Clarentza mint, 1246 - 1278; obverse +•G•PRINCEPS, cross pattée; reverse :CLARENCIA▼, castle tournois, spire in the form of Λ, surmounted by cross; from the Louis G Estate; SOLD


Crusaders, Frankish Greece, Principality of Achaea, Philip of Savoy, 1301 - 1307

|Crusaders|, |Crusaders,| |Frankish| |Greece,| |Principality| |of| |Achaea,| |Philip| |of| |Savoy,| |1301| |-| |1307||denier| |tournois|
Philip of Savoy was the lord of Piedmont from 1282 until his death and prince of Achaea between 1301 and 1307. He was the son of Thomas III of Piedmont and Guyonne de Châlon. Philip's first marriage was celebrated in Rome on February 12, 1301 to Isabella of Villehardouin, Princess of Achaea. By that marriage, he became Prince of Achaea, though he had already been lord of Piedmont by inheritance from his father in 1282. As prince, Philip ventured to reconquer all of Lacedaemonia from the Greeks. He was, however, an authoritative prince and this put him at odds with the baronage of his realm. He tried to placate the barons of Morea, but was forced to accept a parliament in 1304. The Greek peasantry, crushed by taxes, then revolted in turn. In 1307, King Charles II of Naples, the suzerain of Achaea, confiscated the principality and gave it to his son, Prince Philip I of Taranto. Metcalf indicates all of Philip's coins appear to have been struck at Corinth.Frankokratia_Map
CR88485. Billon denier tournois, Malloy Crusaders 18; Metcalf Crusades type PS3, VF, well centered, sight coppery tone, light deposits, weight 0.783 g, maximum diameter 17.9 mm, die axis 270o, Corinth mint, 1301 - 1307; obverse +•Ph's•D'SAB•P•AChE•, cross pattée; reverse +⚜DE CLARENCIA⚜, castle tournois, surmounted by cross, pellet on each side of castle, five pointed star below castle; from the Louis G Estate; SOLD


Crusaders, Frankish Greece, Despotate of Epirus, Philip I of Taranto, 1294 - 1312

|Crusaders|, |Crusaders,| |Frankish| |Greece,| |Despotate| |of| |Epirus,| |Philip| |I| |of| |Taranto,| |1294| |-| |1312||denier| |tournois|
Philip received Lepanto in 1294 as a dowry from his wife Thamar. In 1306 Charles II of Naples gave his son Philip I of Taranto the title "Despot of Romania." Romania referred to Frankish lands previously ruled by the Byzantine Empire (the Romans), including: Albania, Corfu, the Principality of Achaia, the Duchy of Athens, the Duchy of the Archipelago, and the Despotate of Epirus. Coins were struck for Philip with this title at Lepanto (Naupaktos), in Epirus, across the Gulf of Corinth from Patras. In 1313, Philip abandoned his claim to Epirus and claimed the defunct Latin Empire of Constantinople instead as the inheritance of his wife Catherine II of Valois, Princess of Achaea.Frankokratia_Map
CR88459. Billon denier tournois, Metcalf Crusaders DR2(b)ii, pl. 43, 1119; Malloy Crusaders 113; Saulcy XV 13, VF, toned, light deposits, irregularly shaped flan with several small edge splits, tiny edge chip, weight 0.825 g, maximum diameter 21.4 mm, die axis 90o, Lepanto (Nafpaktos, Greece) mint, c. 1307 - 1313; obverse + :Ph'S P. ACh' TAR D' R: (Philippus princeps Achaie, Taranti, despotus Romanie, rounded letters, C closed by bar), cross pattée; reverse ⚜ NEPANTI CIVIS (rounded letters, C closed by bar, serif at the foot of V), castle tournois, surmounted by a cross, fleur-de-lis below; from the Louis G Estate; SOLD


Crusaders, Frankish Greece, Duchy of Athens, Guy II de La Roche, 1287 - 1308

|Crusaders|, |Crusaders,| |Frankish| |Greece,| |Duchy| |of| |Athens,| |Guy| |II| |de| |La| |Roche,| |1287| |-| |1308||denier|
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.Arms_of_Athens
CR88461. Billon denier, Metcalf Crusades 1a var., pl. 42, 1059 var.; Malloy Crusaders 93 (does not list varieties); Pylia Hoard -, VF, toned, clashed dies, slight double strike on reverse, bump upper reverse, weight 0.728 g, maximum diameter 19.1 mm, die axis 90o, Thebes mint, majority, 1294 - 1308; obverse + (trefoil or lis?) GVI DVX (rosette) ATENES (closed angular letters), cross pattée; reverse ThEBAHI (rosette) CIVIS (closed angular letters), castle tournois surmounted with a cross; from the Louis G Estate, apparently unpublished with these marks and stops; very rare variety; SOLD


Crusaders, Frankish Greece, Duchy of Athens, Guy II de La Roche, 1287 - 1308

|Crusaders|, |Crusaders,| |Frankish| |Greece,| |Duchy| |of| |Athens,| |Guy| |II| |de| |La| |Roche,| |1287| |-| |1308||denier|
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.Frankokratia_Map
CR88463. Billon denier, Metcalf Crusades 2 & pl. 42, 1077 var. (stops); Malloy Crusaders 96, VF, rosy toning, clashed dies, slight double strike, tight flan, weight 0.742 g, maximum diameter 18.6 mm, die axis 225o, Thebes mint, majority, 1294 - 1308; obverse +:GVIDVXATENES, cross pattée; reverse ThEBAHICIVIS:, castle tournois, surmounted by a cross, pierced mullet (heraldic six-pointed star-shaped spur rowel) below; from the Louis G Estate; SOLD








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REFERENCES|

Malloy, A., I.Preston, & A. Seltman. Coins of the Crusader States, 2nd Edition. (New York, 2004).
Metcalf, D. Coinage of the Crusaders and the Latin East in the Ashmolean Museum Oxford. (London, 1995).
Metcalf, D. "The Pylia Hoard: Denier Tournois of Frankish Greece" in MN 17 (New York, 1971).
Schlumberger, G. Numismatique de l'Orient latin. (1878; supplement 1882; reprinted: Graz, 1954).
Tzamalis, A. "The first period of the Frankish tornesio. New evidence from an old hoard" in NK 9-10 (1990-1).


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