Following the entries that I have written this early summer about Vierzon (and its 12th century coinage, which can be read here) and Nogent-le-Roi (and its 11th century coinage, which can be read here), here is another obscure autonomous realm of middle medieval France.
Saint Aignan, Celles-sur-Cher, Vierzon, Gien in Berry.
The castle and territory of Saint Aignan was awarded by Odo II (Eudes) of Blois as Count of Champagne to his vassal Geoffroi de Donzy sometime around 1000/1010 to become his fief and power base in Berry. Geoffroi, who started the Maison de Donzy, involved himself in the Blois-Normandy war of 1008-14 and was eventually murdered as a result of the...
Many of us on like black backgrounds for our coin images. Achieving a uniformly black background can be a challenge. Ideally, we would like for the background to be solid black without having to digitally edit the images.
Shooting against a black background is best even if you plan to digitally paint the background black. If you shoot against anything with color, the color is reflected onto the edges of your coin and it is just about impossible to correct.
Even though I painted my homemade copy stand and coin platform with matte black paint, there was still quite a bit of light reflected from the paint, made worse by the bright light shone upon the coin.
I'd love to paint my copy stand and platform with Vantablack but it is not available to the public. There is one artist licensed to use Vantablack-- Anish Kapoor. Enter Stuart Semple, an artist with a grudge. Incensed that he could not use...
One of my main collecting interests is medieval bracteates. Since bracteates are not shown in this forum too often, I thought it a good idea to post pictures of a couple of pieces from my collection along with short answers to some frequently asked questions on these coins.
Please feel free to post your own bracteates or other medieval favorites!
This is my current favorite:
Bishopric of Halberstadt, under Gerno von Schembke, AR bracteate penny, 1169–1177 AD. Obv: + S–STEPHANVSPROTOMARTI; bust of St. Stephen facing between three stones and star. Rev: negative design. 25mm, 0.83g. Ref: Berger 1324; Slg. Bonhoff 483.
What are bracteates?
Bracteates are thin, uni-faced coins struck with a single die. They were usually produced by placing a sheet of silver on an engraved bottom die and striking it with a tool covered in a soft material such as leather or lead. As a result, the reverse of a bracteate is an incuse...
Dear Friends of ancient mythology!
Today I want to talk about the mysterious Venus Verticordia.
Roman Republic, Mn. Cordius Rufus, gens Cordia
AR - Denarius, 19.5mm, 3.82g
Rome, 46 B.C.
Obv.: Conjugate heads of the two Dioscuri, wearing laureate pilei surmounted by
behind RVFVS II.VIR
Rev.: Venus Verticordia standing l.., holding in extended r. hand scales and in the left
hand transverse sceptre; on her left shoulder Cupido
in right field MN.CORDIVS (MN ligate)
Ref.: Crawford 463/1a; Sydenham 976; Cordia 2s
about VF, weak struck on reverse left
ex Harlan J. Berk
The home of the gens Cordia, Tusculum, only 12 miles from Rome, was a center of worship of the Dioscuri. The reverse is a clever play on the moneyer's name (CORDIA > CORDIVS) and can also be taken as a compliment to Julius Caesar, whose gens claimed a direct descent from Venus. The particular representation of Venus on the rev. may be derived from a...
Last summer I was in the South of France. We had a good time and visited some interesting Ancient sites. Although I thought about posting something about this before but I haven't had the time so far, but now I have.
The most interesting place that we visited were the ruins of ancient Glanum. That's why I want to post about that now.
Glanum is located in the extreme south of France in the limestone hills of the Alpilles. it is around 25 km from the city of Arles. The area is very wooded and rocky. It can also become very hot in the summer. During my visit it was already around 35 ° C at the end of the morning.
The history of Glanum
The first settlement dates from between the fourth and second centuries BC.
Then Celto-Ligurian tribes built an oppidum in the valley. There would have been a water source with healing effect there. Soon a small town was created...
The "Happy Victory Day" post reminded me a group of medals that I have that were given to service men and women who participated in World War II. Since the whole article, which I wrote a few years ago, is rather long, I will break it up into posts.
Tom Brokaw called them "The Greatest Generation." Many of us call them "father and mother," "grandfather and grandmother," and now "great grandfather and great grandmother." As the passing of time push their heroic deeds further back into the pages of history, there is a series of military medals that provide us with tangible reminders of how they saved us from scourge of world domination by the Axis and Japan. Today we call those tangible reminders "World War II service medals." On a more informal basis we could call them "every man's World War II medals" because the U.S. Government awarded them to almost all of the 16 million men and women who served in the armed forces during the war era.
The American Defense Medal...
At the auction of the Oriental Numismatic Society (yesterday), a new avenue opened up for me. I had my attention fixed on several nice and attractive coins (Sasanian and Arab-Sasanian, Artuqid, Mongol and such), but there was a section on old Chinese coins too, and attractive Chinese cash coins of 2000 years old were going for only $15 or $20. The very first, an impressive thick piece from 7-23 AD, I bought for 14$, the price of a few beers! In fact I don't know about prices. But the coins look so attractive for so little money...
I restrained myself in the past because I’m not at all knowledgeable, while there are many fakes around. But the O.N.S. (old-fashioned website) is a serious society counting many renowned experts under its members, several of whom looked at the coins with their own eyes, and on the website (Zeno). I've been a member for ages. So I think I’m as safe as may be hoped for in this. In all I bought seven...
Here is a new Caracalla tetradrachm from the Michel Prieur collection that I won at a recent CNG auction. I think it just might be my favorite coin of the year so far, I absolutely LOVE this portrait. They took Caracalla’s usual angry scowl, dialed it up a few notches, and ended up with this:
Caracalla, Phoenicia (Tyre), AR Tetradrachm (27mm, 15.23 g, 12h). Struck AD 213-215. Laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right / Eagle standing facing on club right, head and tail left, with wings spread, holding wreath in beak; murex shell between legs. Prieur 1550.
CNG E-Auction 453, From the Michel Prieur Collection.
In the portrait, he really looks like the archetype of a murderous tyrant (from “Central Casting”, as my mother would say). His angry mug takes up almost all of the 27mm flan, and his scowl is so intense that it looks like the letters in the legend tried to run away over the top of the coin (or maybe it’s just struck a little off center, I...
Recently, I acquired an intriguing lot of banknote engravings that may be of interest to collectors of stocks, checks, and obsolete notes from the 1830s to '80s. These aren't vignette proofs, they are ornaments and elements used to "build" a banknote product. As the more mundane components of a note, proofs like these usually get little attention, so I thought I'd give them their own spotlight for once. I'm also including examples of usage, to give a better understanding of their placement.
Underprint patterns. These patterns were printed repetitively across a note or security, usually in a second color, to create a fine-line undertint that was difficult to counterfeit. The patterns on this proof are a little too large for a banknote and were probably used on a stock or bond.
Revenue stamp fields. Around the time of the...
I like coins that present a mystery, and this one has yet to be solved. Some background will be needed as most are probably unaware of this issue of coinage.
The proposed date of the coin in question is generally around the third Syrian war between the Seleucids and Ptolemies, at least that is a good place to start. Prior during the 2nd Syrian war Antiochus II made peace with Ptolemy II after 8 years of war. The stipulation was that Antiochus marry Ptolemy's daughter Berenice Syra. This was advantageous to Prolemy as the child of this marriage and future ruler would be from the house of Ptolemy. There was one problem however, Antiochus was already married to his cousin Laodice I.
But to make peace, Antiochus divorced his wife and married Berenice. The happy marriage lasted a few years until Ptolemy died, at which point Antiochus decided to go back to his first wife. After the divorce Laodice moved into a palace in Anatolia. It has been said Antiochus preferred Laodice as...
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