My first 2021 coin: A colorful lion

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Orielensis, Jan 21, 2021.

  1. Orielensis

    Orielensis Supporter! Supporter

    My first coin purchase of 2021 arrived yesterday. As many of you know, medieval bracteates are my principal collecting area, and I simply couldn't resist this coin. Its magnificent toning is even more colorful in hand:
    Bildschirmfoto 2021-01-21 um 15.29.01.png
    Brunswick-Lüneburg, under William of Lüneburg (aka William Longsword, William of Winchester), 1195–1213 AD, Lüneburg mint. Obv: Welf lion passant l. Rev: negative design (bracteate). 22mm, 0.55g. Ref: Berger 373; Bonhoff 77.

    To give you some historical context: The political situation in high medieval Germany was characterized by the rivalry between the two most powerful families of the realm, the House of Hohenstaufen and the House of Welf. My bracteate was minted for a protagonist of the Welf faction, William Longsword. It displays the insignia of this dynasty, the Welf lion.

    William Longsword (1184–1213) was the youngest son of Henry the Lion, the great Welf rival of the Hohenstaufen emperor Frederick Barbarossa, and the English princess Matilda. Since his father had gone into exile to England in 1181 after his uprising against the emperor had failed, William was born in Winchester and raised at the court of Richard the Lionheart. After the death of Henry the Lion in 1195, William and his elder brothers Henry and Otto, the later German king Otto IV, returned to Germany and took possession of the Welf allodial lands in Saxony. The Welf imperial ambitions were foiled once more, though, this time by the Hohenstaufen prince Frederick II, who ousted king Otto in 1215. William, on the other hand, ruled quite succesfully over the area around Lüneburg and married the Danish princess Helena, effectively securing a future for the Welf family.

    After seeing @AnYangMan 's and @lordmarcovan 's beautiful William Longsword bracteates here on CT, I had wanted to add one to my own collection, too – and I'm happy to now have found such a nice example.

    Please feel free to show your bracteates, Welf vs. Hohenstaufen coins, or ancient and medieval lions!
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2021
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  3. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

    Looks like a lovely looking coin.

    Ones like that deserve a video to give us a better look at what you see.

    I have several lions but this was my most expensive so he needs to earn his $ to continue being fed.

    Cilicia, Tarsus; Satrap Mazaios, (361-334 B.C.)
    AR Stater
    O: Baal of Tarsos seated left, holding eagle, grain ear, grapes, and scepter; TR (in Aramaic) to lower left, M (in Aramaic) below throne.
    R: Lion attacking bull, monogram below.
    Casabonne Series 2, Group C; SNG BN –; SNG Levante 106

    Ex.Philip Ashton Collection
    Ex Harlan J Berk Buy or Bid, #214, Lot #89
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  4. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    A very attractive coin. I like these bracteates you speak of!

    Lions? For you, I have lions.

    Mysia, Kyzikos, boar and lion.

    Mysia, Kyzikos, Boar-Lion diobol, jpg version.jpg

    C. Poblicius, Hercules and Nemean Lion.

    Poblicius (Hercules & Nemean Lion).jpg

    Faustina II, Cybele with lion.

    Faustina II -Marti Magnae (Cybele left with lion under throne).jpg

    Septimius Severus, Dea Caelestis riding lion.

    Septimius Severus, Indulgentia, Dea Caelestis & lion - jpg version.jpg

    Septimius Severus, Africa with lion at her feet.

    Septimius Severus - Africa jpg version.jpg

    Philip I.

    Philip I Antoninianus (Lion Reverse) jpg version.jpg


    Gallienus L - Lion L - Antioch 265 AD jpg version.jpg

    Divus Maximian.

    Divus Maximianus Half Follis Lion Reverse jpg version.jpg
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    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    Awesome example, @Orielensis, with a writeup to do it justice. Great stuff!
    (Sorry, most of what I could find pics for has been posted recently, in one case twice.)
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  6. Clavdivs

    Clavdivs Supporter! Supporter

    Congratulations - wonderful addition!

    Mysia, Kyzikos. Circa 510-475 BC. AR Obol
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  7. Spaniard

    Spaniard Well-Known Member

    Don't know much about bracteates but I must say that's a sweet looking coin!
    Looking at the diameter weight ratio these are quite thin yes?....Enjoyed the write up too Thanks!
    Here's a couple of Eastern lions...
    Toramana II...Lifetime issue..
    Shahis of Ohind...Vakadeva
    Rev. Lion to the right with gaping mouth, tongue out and one front paw raised. Diamond symbol in the rump.
    lion and elephant.jpg
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    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    ...Well, okay, here are my two bracteates of the bishopric of Magdeburg, c. mid- and late 12th-early 13th century, respectively. Both featuring St. Maurice, the first with a martyr's palm, the second with a sword (he was a soldier under Diocletian).
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2021
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  9. aleppo

    aleppo Member

    looks pretty interesting, ive never seen a medieval coin like that
    kaykhusraw ii ar dirham, sivas mint

    got this coin from the last nbs auction in december. was pretty pleased with this, the reverse is a bit worn, but the lion on the obverse is pretty sharp, which is more important to me.
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2021
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  10. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter

    Very cool coin, @Orielensis ! I need a bracteate..


    Roman Republic Anon AE Double-Litra 275-270 BCE Apollo Lion S 590 Cr 16-1a

    Ionia Miletos AR Tetartemorion 5.6mm 0.21g Roaring Lion Hd - Bird Klein 430 SNG Kay 941

    Thrace - Lysimachos 305-281 BCE AE20 Sysimachia mint 4.64g 19.5mm Athena - Lion SNG Cop 1153 Muller 76
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  11. Orielensis

    Orielensis Supporter! Supporter

    Thanks for the kind words, everyone!

    Your lion, though on a lovely coin, looks rather hungry. Are you sure you feed him enough?

    And what a splendid selection of lions, for that matter! I particularly like your Septimius Severus with the Africa reverse. That's a very desirable type.

    Yes, indeed – think of the thin aluminum sheets that soda cans are made from. Peronally, I like how delicate medieval bracteates are. It doesn't fail to amaze me that something so delicate has withstood time so well.

    Thanks for showing these – as you know, I'm a big fan of your earlier coin and of the Magdeburg Moritzpfennige in general. This one continues to be my personal favorite:
    MA – Deutschland etc., Magdeburg, Moritzpfennig 1586, Reliquie.png
    Archbishopric of Magdeburg, under Albrecht von Käfernburg, bracteate penny, ca. 1220–1232. Obv: OICI – IVSDV; St. Maurice, nimbate and wearing armour, standing facing, holding cross and lance flag; below, church building with two towers and an arch; inside, cranium relic. Rev: negative design (bracteate). 23mm, 0.68g. Ref: Berger 1586; Slg. Hauswaldt 167; Slg. Bonhoff 712.

    That's one of the most interesting medieval Islamic types. I also like how clumsy the lion looks on many of these:
    Orient, MA – Rumseldschuken, Kaykhusraw II, AR dirham, 1241–1242, A-1218.png
    Seljuq Sultanate of Rum, Kaykhusraw II, citing caliph al-Mustansir, AR dirham, 1241–1242 AD (639 AH), Qunya (Konya) mint. Obv: Kufic legend citing caliph: "al-imam al-mustansir billah amir al-mu'minin;" lion r. with sunface above. Rev: name and titles of Kaykhusraw II in Naskh: "as-sultan al-azam / ghiyath al-dunya wa ud-din / kay khusraw bin kay qubadh;" around, mint and date: "duriba bi-quniyat / sanat tis' / thel[athin] sittm'iat." 23mm, 2.97g. Ref: Album 1218.

    Yes, you do! :happy: Here is another lion to nudge you in the right direction:
    MA – Deutschland etc., Braunschweig, Stadt, Löwe, Brakteat.png
    City of Brunswick, AR "Ewiger Pfennig" (bracteate), after 1412 AD. Obv: lion walking l. Rev: negative design (bracteate). 21 mm, 0.45g. Ref: Berger 993–1001. Ex Leu, Webauktion 8, lot 1929.
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  12. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter

    WONDERFUL coin! Definitely an inducement to chase these! Thank you.
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  13. svessien

    svessien Senior Member

    That’s a beautiful, well centered, high relief bracteat, Oreilensis. Congratulations with your first coin of the year, and a really good one!
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2021
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  14. Rudy1198

    Rudy1198 Member

    I have a lion bracteate of Brunswick as well, although a bit later than yours =]

    Albrecht der Große 1252-1279
    A few small tears in the flan, but these are fragile coins!
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  15. AnYangMan

    AnYangMan Well-Known Member

    A wonderful purchase to open the year with! Especially gorgeous strike for this series!

    Since you tagged it, my example (desperately need to reshoot it):


    And some of my favourite lions:


    County of Flanders, Louis I de Nevers. AR Leeuwengroot (1341-1343, Ghent)


    Cyprus under Venetian rule, AE Emergency Bisante (1570, Nicosia under Siege)


    Gotland, City of Visby, AR Gote/Örtug (1412-1420)
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  16. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & Eccentric Moderator

    Nice one, @Orielensis! I'm glad I seem to have provided some small inspiration.

    Here's mine. :)

    German States (Brunswick-Lüneburg): silver bracteate of William Longsword, ca. 1195-1213
    Obverse: lion passant, left.
    Reverse: incuse mirrored image of obverse.
    Issuer: William of Winchester, Lord of Lüneburg (aka "William Longsword").
    Specifications: silver, 21.5 mm, 0.54 g.
    Grade: PCGS AU55, cert.#40724034.
    Reference: Numista-106982 (other references cited there).
    Provenance: ex-Münzenhandlung Brom, Berlin, Germany, 8 July 2020.* Purchased raw.

    Here's a rather imaginative picture of William of Winchester, in a 19th century painting.


    Image: public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.
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  17. panzerman

    panzerman Well-Known Member

    Beautifull Wilhelm "LongSword" Bracteate! I think you did not want to mess with him.

    I have some "Leos" too. Dead and alive. 48b2569bdca0bf1ce3326ce84527df51.jpg 232_1.jpg cb6871af29d35553de9a9a27a0f0932e.jpg ee47b796459246455c1345f5698c7806.jpg d80d6c4ed7ac0cdb93b5af70fc29bfa8.jpg sicily-syracuse-405-400-bc-av-6649290-XL.jpg
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  18. Bayern

    Bayern Active Member

    Wonderful coin~ I've been wanting to get one of these as well~ Hopefully my financial and health situation will have a better outlook soon:happy: Coins featuring members of the cat family are one of my sub collections:cat:
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  19. Bayern

    Bayern Active Member

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  20. tibor

    tibor Well-Known Member

    1475-ii17-2.jpg 1474-ii15.jpg
    The 1475 piece is a double Briquet, the 1474 piece is a single Briquet.
    Most of the population during these times were illiterate. To make it
    easier for them, the value was denominated by how many lions were
    on the coin.
  21. tibor

    tibor Well-Known Member

    1475-i146a.jpg 1475-i149.jpg
    The first piece was minted in Freiberg, the second in Leipzig.
    Both are half spitzgroschen.
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