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Crusaders, County of Edessa, Joscelin I de Courtenay, 1119 - 1131
NEW R. Pesant in "Three Additional Folles Presumably of Joscelyn of Edessa" in NumCirc 100/9 (Nov 1992), pp. 302 - 303, attributed very similar coins to Joscelin I de Courtenay, count of Edessa. He read the inscription in the angles of the cross as corrupt Latin naming Joscelyn. The legend and attribution remain less than certain.BZ113807. Bronze follis, see Pesant NumCirc 1992 p. 302 - 303 (for similar types); Metcalf Crusades -; Malloy Crusaders -; Wäckerlin -, Porteous -, aVF, crude, irregularly shaped flan, weight 5.211 g, maximum diameter 21.9 mm, die axis 180o, Mesopotamia, Edessa (Urfa, Sanliurfa, Turkey) mint, c. 1119 - 1131; obverse nimbate and crowned bust of a Saint facing, gospels in his right hand, cross in his left hand; reverse large cross with uncertain legend in angles; ex Leu Numismatik web auction 26 (8-13 Jul 2023), lot 5993; ex European collection formed before 2005; extremely rare; $1350.00 SALE PRICE $1215.00
Crusaders, County of Edessa, Joscelin I de Courtenay or Joscelin II, 1119 - 1150
NEW R. Pesant in "Folles of Doubtful Attribution to Joscelyn de Courtenay, Count of Edessa" in NumCirc 93 (Jul-Aug 1985), pp. 101, attributed this type to Joscelin I or II. Metcalf notes, "The discovery of a few more specimens, clearly related to the first, has reinforced the proposed attribution."BZ113787. Bronze follis, Pesant NumCirc 1985, 3; Metcalf Crusades p. 38; Malloy Crusaders -; Wäckerlin -, VF, harshly cleaned, crude as usual, irregularly shaped ragged flan, weight 2.475 g, maximum diameter 20.1 mm, Mesopotamia, Edessa (Urfa, Sanliurfa, Turkey) mint, 1119 - 1150; obverse nimbate bust of Christ Pantocrator facing, holding book of Gospels in his right hand; reverse IEVSEΛIN (or similar, blundered), traces of legend around large Cross in pellet circle; ex Leu Numismatik web auction 26 (8-13 Jul 2023), lot 5992; ex European collection formed before 2005; very rare; $800.00 SALE PRICE $720.00
Crusaders, County of Edessa, Joscelin I de Courtenay, 1119 - 1131
NEW R. Pesant in "Three Additional Folles Presumably of Joscelyn of Edessa" in NumCirc 100/9 (Nov 1992), pp. 302 - 303, attributed very similar coins to Joscelin I de Courtenay, count of Edessa. He read the inscription in the angles of the cross as corrupt Latin naming Joscelyn. The legend and attribution remain less than certain.BZ113788. Bronze follis, see Pesant NumCirc 1992 p. 302 - 303 (for similar types); Metcalf Crusades -; Malloy Crusaders -; Wäckerlin -, Porteous -, VF, crude, harshly cleaned, irregularly shaped flan, edge crack, weight 4.131 g, maximum diameter 21.0 mm, die axis 90o, Mesopotamia, Edessa (Urfa, Sanliurfa, Turkey) mint, c. 1119 - 1131; obverse nimbate and crowned bust of a Saint facing, gospels in his right hand, cross in his left hand; reverse large cross with uncertain legend in angles; ex Leu Numismatik web auction 26 (8-13 Jul 2023), lot 5989; ex European collection formed before 2005; extremely rare; $800.00 SALE PRICE $720.00
South Africa, Elizabeth II, 5 Shillings, 1959
NEW Key date!UK112524. Silver 5 Shillings, SCWC KM52, Choice UNC, weight 28.200 g, maximum diameter 38.8 mm, die axis 0o, Pretoria mint, 1959; obverse ELIZABETH II REGINA, young laureate portrait of Queen Elizabeth II right; reverse SUID-AFRIKA · 1959 · SOUTH AFRICA (bilingual Afrikaans-English), springbok right, 5s below; rare; $550.00 SALE PRICE $495.00
Islamic, Sphero-Conical "Mercury" Vessel, 9th - 15th Century
Sphero-conical vessels have been found from the Levante to Central Asia, dating from the 9th to 15th century A.D. More than 30 are in the Palestine Archaeological Museum and many others in collections in Jerusalem. Shape, style and decor vary greatly. They have been identified as vessels, fire grenades, aeolipiles, plumb bobs, and decorative finials.
R. Ettinghausen in "The Use of Sphero-Conical Vessels in the Muslim East" (1965) discusses specimens that have been found with traces of Mercury inside. In the Muslim world, mercury was used in medicinal drugs for headaches, paralysis, palsy, deafness, insanity, and loss of vision, as a tonic, and in salves employed against scabs, itch and mange. It was used in veterinary medicines and as poison against lice, mice, snakes and scorpions. In industry, it was used for backing of mirrors and embellishments. Ettinghausen notes, however, that despite conclusive evidence for use as mercury containers, this was not their exclusive function.
A. Ghouchani and C. Adle in "A Sphero-Conical Vessel as Fuqqa'a, or a Gourd for 'Beer'" (1992) provide convincing evidence that some of these vessels, especially some inscribed with Kufic, were used for storing and drinking beer. Examples of inscriptions include: "As long as it is full, they will kiss it, When empty they will drop it." "Do not give your heart to woman, because they will make a gourd of beer out of a man." "Drink to your good health." Literature and inscriptions indicate the "gourds" were placed in ice to cool the beer and the beer was under pressure and would gush out after the gourd was opened.
In one case, these "gourds" were actually used as grenades. The Arab historian Al-Damiri (1341 - 1404), wrote, "There are deadly scorpions around Nasibayn. It is said that they originated from Shahr-i Zur. A king encircled Nasibayn. He took the scorpions and put them into beer gourds and catapulted them into the city!"AA99527. See Ettinghausen (1965) and Ghouchani-Adle (1992) for discussions of the type, near Choice, repaired crack, chips, tip of "cone" missing; 13.5cm tall, 12cm diameter, probably pre-Mongol, 9th - mid 13th century; unusual pine-cone decor (we did not find another in references or online), ex Mera Antiq (Yossi Eilon, Tel Aviv, 25 Jun 2013), found in Israel; $450.00 SALE PRICE $405.00
France, Duchy of Normandy, Robert Curthose (Robert II), 1087 - 1106
Similar reverses are sometimes described as a church or cathedral facade, however, the evolution of the type suggests something different. Richard I (942 - 996) struck a denier at Rouen with a temple reverse, imitative of a type struck by Louis the Pius, son of Charlemagne. Only a few years later, by the turn of the millennium, the temple had degenerated into a variety of nearly unrecognizable abstract patterns. That the image on this specimen may resemble a church or cathedral is likely only coincidental. More than 20 different abstract "temple" types are known.ME111851. Billon denier, cf. Roberts 4833; Dumas pl. XX, 2, gF, toning, light encrustations, weight 0.663 g, maximum diameter 16.1 mm, Rouen mint, 1087 - 1106; obverse + NORMAN DVX, cross, pellet in each quarter; reverse crude abstract two temples side-by-side, cross above center between triangular pediment peaks, annulet on the front of each temple, pellet below (according to references, our photo and description are upside down); very rare; $400.00 SALE PRICE $320.00
Crusaders, Principality of Antioch, Raymond of Poitiers 1136 - 1149 A.D.
NEW Raymond of Poitiers was Prince of Antioch from 1136 to 1149. He was the younger son of William IX, Duke of Aquitaine and his wife Philippa, Countess of Toulouse, born in the very year that his father the Duke began his infamous liaison with Dangereuse de Chatelherault.CR113210. Bronze AE 16, Malloy Crusaders p. 203, 17; Metcalf pl. 18, 462; Schlumberger pl. 2, 19, VF, dark patina, tight flan as usual, weight 0.715 g, maximum diameter 16.2 mm, die axis 90o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 1136 - 1149 A.D.; obverse R A M in ornamental style within a triangular pattern; reverse AN/TIOC/HIE in three lines; very rare; $300.00 SALE PRICE $270.00
Crusaders, Principality of Antioch, Bohemond IV, 1201 - 1233
Bohemond IV the One-Eyed, was Count of Tripoli from 1187 to 1233, and Prince of Antioch from 1201 to 1216 and from 1219 to 1233. The dying Raymond III of Tripoli offered his county to Bohemond's elder brother, Raymond, but their father Bohemond III of Antioch sent Bohemond to Tripoli in late 1187. Saladin, the Ayyubid sultan of Egypt and Syria, conquered the County in summer 1188, save for the capital and two fortresses. The county was returned in the truce that Bohemond's father made with Saladin in 1192. After his father died Bohemond seized Antioch. He made an alliance with Ayyubid emir of Aleppo and the Seljuq sultan of Rum, who often invaded Cilicia in the following years, preventing Leo I of Cilicia from attacking Antioch. Leo I supported a rebellion in Tripoli, which Bohemond crushed, but he lost an eye fighting. Bohemond confiscated the property of the Hospitallers, for which he was excommunicated by Pope Gregory IX. He tried to secure Cilicia for his younger son, Philip, but Constantine of Baberon, who had administered Cilicia, imprisoned Philip and Philip was murdered the following year. Bohemond's excommunication was lifted shortly before his death when he made an agreement with the Hospitallers.CR111856. Bronze fractional denier, Malloy Crusaders p. 222, 88a, VF, nice green patina, highlighting red earthen deposits, weight 1.011 g, maximum diameter 16.2 mm, die axis 270o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, probably first reign, 1201 - 1216; obverse +AIITIOCHE, large B, dotted inner and outer borders; reverse +AIITIOCHIA, cross pattée, dotted inner border; very rare; $250.00 SALE PRICE $200.00
Crusaders, Principality of Achaea, William II of Villehardouin, 1245 - 1278
William of Villehardouin became Prince of Achaea when his brother Geoffrey II died. He conquered the remaining territory of the Peloponnese 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.CR112805. Bronze denier, Malloy Crusaders p. 356, 3; Metcalf Crusades pl. 38, 877; Schlumberger p. 313 & pl. 12, 7; Tzamalis F56, aVF, centered, tight flan, center weak, edge ragged with splits, weight 0.702 g, maximum diameter 16.9 mm, Corinth mint, 1245 - 1278; obverse G•Π•AC-CA-IE•, long cross pattée, extending beyond inner circular border and dividing legend, right arm shorter making space for •; reverse COR/INT/Vm (squared legend, clockwise from 2:00, N appears as H, m appears as ligate on), fortified gateway with central tower surmounted by cross pattée flanked by pellets; $200.00 SALE PRICE $180.00
Italy, Campobasso, Nicolas I of Montforte, 1422
Robert of Anjou gave Campobasso as a fief to Richard de Montfort in 1326, to reward him for his loyalty. Nicolas I de Montfort was his descendant. Campobasso is the capital of the Molise region and of the province of Campobassoa in southern Italy; located in the high basin of the Biferno river, surrounded by the Sannio and Matese mountains. The main tourist attraction is the Castello Monforte, built by Nicolas II over Lombard or Norman ruins. The castle has Guelph merlons and stands on a commanding point, where traces of ancient settlements (including Samnite walls) have been found. The castle was rebuilt after the earthquakes in 1456 and 1805.ME98087. Billon tornese, Biaggi 538 (R5); CNI XVIII p. 234, 10; cf. MIR 10 369 (stops, Nicolas II), MEC Italy III 938 (same), VF, well centered, light corrosion, light deposits, tiny edge crack, weight 0.673 g, maximum diameter 16.7 mm, die axis 180o, Campobasso mint, 1422; obverse * NICOLOA CONI * (closed C's and unbarred A, rosette stops), Châtel tournois topped with a cross; reverse + • CAmPIbASSI • (closed C and unbarred A's, pellet stops), cross pattée; ex Nomisma SpA (San Marino) auction 31 (Mar 2006), lot 325; very rare; $180.00 SALE PRICE $162.00
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