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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Medieval & Modern Coins| ▸ |Bulgaria||View Options:  |  |  | 

Coins of Bulgaria

Bulgaria is a Balkan nation with diverse terrain encompassing Black Sea coastline, a mountainous interior and rivers, including the Danube. A cultural melting pot with Greek, Slavic, Ottoman, and Persian influences, it has a rich heritage of traditional dance, music, costumes, and crafts. At the foot of domed Vitosha mountain is its capital city, Sofia, dating to the 5th century B.C.

Bulgars in Byzantine Bulgaria(?), Anonymous Follis of Christ, Imitative of Class A3, c. 1023 - 1040 A.D.

|Bulgaria|, |Bulgars| |in| |Byzantine| |Bulgaria(?),| |Anonymous| |Follis| |of| |Christ,| |Imitative| |of| |Class| |A3,| |c.| |1023| |-| |1040| |A.D.||anonymous| |follis|
This imitative was most likely struck by an unofficial mint in unruly Byzantine Bulgaria. In 1018, the Byzantine emperor Basil II conquered the First Bulgarian Empire. The Bulgarian aristocracy were given Byzantine titles and moved to Asia. The existing tax system, laws, and the role of low-ranking nobility remained, at first, unchanged. As the Byzantine Empire declined under Basil's successors, Pecheneg invasions and rising taxes led to discontent and major uprisings. Bulgaria remained under Byzantine rule until the brothers Asen and Peter liberated the country in 1185, establishing the Second Bulgarian Empire.
CR111244. Bronze anonymous follis, See Lampinen Imitative, p. 54, for a similar Class A imitative; prototype: Basil II & Constantine VIII, 1023-1028, SBCV 1818, aVF, green patina, light earthen deposits, off center, weight 7.969 g, maximum diameter 26.3 mm, die axis 0o, unofficial (Bulgarian?) mint, c. 1023 - 1040 A.D.; obverse facing nimbate bust of Christ, pallium and colobium, Gospels in both hands, no legend or inscription; reverse retrograde Greek inscription: + IhSuS / XRISTuS / bASILEu / bASILE (Greek: Jesus Christ King of Kings); ex Morton & Eden auction 119 (6 Dec 2022), lot 333 (part of); $200.00 SALE PRICE $180.00


Second Bulgarian Empire, Ivan Shishman, 1371 - 1395 A.D.

|Bulgaria|, |Second| |Bulgarian| |Empire,| |Ivan| |Shishman,| |1371| |-| |1395| |A.D.||grosch|
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 The Virgin Orans facing, infant Christ's head facing at Her breast, M - Θ (Greek abbreviation: Mother of God) 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 SALE PRICE $54.00 Out of Stock!


Bulgaria, First Empire, Peter I, 927 - 969 A.D., Lead Bulla Seal

|Bulgaria|, |Bulgaria,| |First| |Empire,| |Peter| |I,| |927| |-| |969| |A.D.,| |Lead| |Bulla| |Seal||bulla| |(tag| |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







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REFERENCES

Dimnik, M. & J. Dobrinić. Medieval Slavic Coinages in the Balkans. (London, 2008).
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 - ).
Levinson, R. The early dated coins of Europe 1234-1500. (Williston, VT, 2007).
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).

Catalog current as of Friday, September 29, 2023.
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