No Century for Old Men

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by +VGO.DVCKS, Sep 20, 2020.


    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    ...Speaking, in this case, of the 10th. Here are a couple of examples, found un- and underattributed on Delcampe and French ebay.
    This first one is of Raoul /Rudolphe (923-936), the only king of Carolingian Francia who was neither Carolingian nor Robertian (/proto-Capetian).
    AR denier, Orleans. Obv. Monogram, loosely adapting the the one for Eudes /'ODO' (a Robertian) to include some letters of 'RADVLFVS.'
    (From 9 o'clock: ) GRATIA D-I REX. ('Gratia Dei Rex;' a formula in use since Charles the Bald's reform of 864.)
    (Duplessy (3rd ed., 2008) 733; Nouchy (1994) 32, Roberts (1996) 1798.)
    The next one was, er, tougher than that to attribute. But it's either from a Real Robertian or a Real late Carolingian. I frank(ish)ly think the former.
    Charles III le Simple, King of Francia 898-923, or Hugues le Grand /Hugh Magnus, Dux Francorum 936-956. (Father of Hugues Capet.) AR denier, Senlis.
    Rev. (In two lines, crosslets above and below): SILVA NECTIS (the 'N' ligated with the 'E,' and the final 'S' retrograde); medieval Latin for 'Senlis.'
    Obv. 'KAROLVS' monogram --or 'HVIIO DVX' around a small cross (?).
    Depeyrot 915, Nouchy 268 (if Carolingian); Duplessy (Feodales) 6, Legros 44 (if Robertian.)
    I only know of the Legros citation from this listing by Leu Numismatik:
    ...Sure, I want it to be Hugues le Grand, but without a better eye, it's a tough call. On the other hand, even in its present state, there are enough nuances to suggest Hugues over Charles le Simple. On the reverse, the ligated 'NE' at the beginning of the second line, rather than an 'IE,' distinguishes it (like the example from Leu Numismatik) from any Carolingian issues I've seen. Similarly, enough of the obverse, 'GRATIA D-I REX' legend is discernible to establish that it's not retrograde, as much of it is on the Carolingian ones I can find in print. Meanwhile, the only examples of Senlis in Dumas (Fecamp) have a completely different legend, presumably from later in the century than either Charles or Hugues (6598-9).
    Part of what you can take away from the available numismatic references, resonantly complementing the political history, is the sheer pitch of instability the period witnessed. ...In the absence of anything resembling the infrastructure of the later Roman Empire, starting with mere literacy. Kind of along the lines of "Mad Max," or Cormac McCarthy.
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2020
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  3. Robert Ransom

    Robert Ransom Well-Known Member

    Love the coins. Day by day, you Ancient(?) Hunters keep drawing me in.:)
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  4. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter I dig ancient coins...

  5. Orielensis

    Orielensis Well-Known Member

    Nice coins. Collecting the 10th century is probably one of the hardest things you can do in this hobby. Coins from this century are at the same time scarce, expensive, and often aesthetically challenged.

    My favorite from this century are the Otto-Adelheid-Pennies. Their contribution to the remonetization of European economy in the late 10th and 11th centuries can hardly be overestimated. (I did a little write-up on this type a while ago, so I will spare you the details here).

    MA – Deutschland etc., Otto–Adelheid–Pfennig (neu).png
    Otto III with Adelheid of Burgundy as regent (or immobilized under his successors), Holy Roman Empire, "Otto-Adelheid-Penny," 983/991– ca. 1050, probably Goslar mint. Obv: [+D]'I GR'A + R[EX], cross with OD[D]O in quadrangles. Rev: [A]TEAH[LHT]; "wooden church," pellet to right. 19mm, 1.39g. Hatz IV 5/6.
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    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    Gosh, Gosh, Thanks, Thanks, everybody. And Everybody should look at @Orielensis's post (above)! It's absolutely top drawer.
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  7. seth77

    seth77 Well-Known Member

    I have posted this grand denier before -- first to @FitzNigel 's Fair thread and then to the thread about unattributed buys -- but it fits well here for the end of the 10th century:

    Anonymous issue for Provins et Sens, around the reigns of Eudes I de Blois (Count of Provins ca. 975-996) and Renard I de Sens (Count of Sens 948-996)
    AR21mm, 1.07g, grand denier, minted at the Chateau de Provins(?), 996-999.
    + PSDIVNS CATO; monogram with strong vertical bar, croisette and annulets in the right field, horizontal E over crescent in the left field.
    + SENONS CIVI; cross.
    cf. Poey d'Avant #5959-5961, p. 248; Boudeau #1753, p. 224.

    This one shows a variation (degeneree) of the monogram of Raoul on a coinage minted in the very late 10th century for Provins and Sens, in the very early stages of feudal coinage in the general area of Champagne, before the introduction of the champ + peigne (field + comb) that would become so famous and well-established in the 11th century.

    A similar specimen here.
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2020
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    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    Yes, @seth77, that one is good enough to see again!!!
  9. seth77

    seth77 Well-Known Member

    It fits with your monogram of Raoul.
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  10. +VGO.DVCKS

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    One good reason to complement Depeyrot with Nouchy (Les Rois Carolingiennes, 1994 --priced right when I found it) is his concise but useful discussion of Raoul's monograms (p. 272.) He distinguishes three principal types, all adapting prior ones: "Type Carolin" and two "Types Odoniens."
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  11. seth77

    seth77 Well-Known Member

    And I think that the hoards of Puy and Fecamp put the usage of the degeneree of Raoul (Eudes?) between ca. 977 and ca. 990. At least for the coinage of Provins et Sens, a thoroughly feudal coinage by that time.
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  12. Broucheion

    Broucheion Supporter! Supporter

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  13. +VGO.DVCKS

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

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  14. +VGO.DVCKS

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    @seth77, sorry for the oversight. Your example is Dumas (Fecamp) pp. 163-4, no.s 6667-6674 and Pl. XI. She notes that "ces pieces nouvelles date a plus tard de 975- 980" (163). In the introduction, with citation of examples establishing terminus ante quem, she dates the hoard to c. 980 (13).
    I'll have to post some of my GDR degenerees of Provins and Troyes, and of Troyes and Crepy. (Yes, there are even Pictures!) They've also been dated, with a couple of intervals of (oxymoron alert: ) progressive degeneration for the former. (Christophe Adam, Corpus des Monnaies Feodales Champenoises, Troyes, 2018.)
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  15. seth77

    seth77 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for checking. So are the two variations -- with Raoul monogram and the inverted monogram contemporary?
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  16. +VGO.DVCKS

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    Sorry for that, @seth77. Yes, in Nouchy, they're contemporary to Raoul.
    ...At least initially. In the printed French sources in my acquaintance, there's a pretty pronounced divide between Carolingian and feudal. As you will know, the numismatic taxonomy tends to start with geography (Nouchy being the exception, organized by Carolingian-era reign), progressing to chronology on a subordinate basis. But as such, the line between 'carolingien' and 'feodal' is kind of set in stone.
    ...Thank you, in the case of immobilizations, this puts you in a mess of trouble. Takes a Lot of real estate (please read, open table space --gave up on my desk, for that, a long time ago) to establish the connections.
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2020
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  17. +VGO.DVCKS

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    ...Well, hold up a minute. If you mean they're contemporary to your (can't stop myself in time: terrific) example of Provins and Sens, you were right all along; that's an early immobilization, from later in the century.
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  18. Alegandron

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

    LOL, these are all CE / AD era. Most of my collection is BCE... these are MODERNs to me (and, yes, I am half-joking)

    There are so many cool areas to Ancients, and they literally span thousands of years. :)
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  19. seth77

    seth77 Well-Known Member

    Thank you for the details, @+VGO.DVCKS I had been under the impression that Boudeau #1751 was an earlier series (ca. 977 to around 990) while #1753 with the reversed monogramme degeneree of Raoul was a later issue, possibly continued a few years after the death of Eudes (and Renard). But now from your info, I gather that there is no relative chronology as to which of them (#1751 or #1753) came first. Although an intuitive perspective would be to consider #1751 earlier than #1753, simply on the strength of the monogram being more similar to the regular monogram of Raoul and less degeneree (and/or reversed).
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  20. seth77

    seth77 Well-Known Member

    I am away from home and my library so I can't check and I can't recall if it was in Lafaurie that I read the assignment of this type to late 990s, but I have a feeling that Dumas means a terminus post quem of 980, rather than ante quem, as she dates the coins at Fecamp later than ca. 975-980.
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  21. +VGO.DVCKS

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    @seth77, thanks for the engaging comments! Your last one first: I am So Busted!!! No idea how I managed that.... Yes, terminus post quem.
    I finally checked my copy of Boudeau, and the variation in the monogram, given that it's already immobilized in all the issues, looks slight enough to be less than conclusive about relative chronology.
    ...Except, Oops, here's Christophe Adam's book, partly to the rescue.
    (I hope you can find a copy of this. I could send scans, once I got organized enough. --Sadly, today's supposed to be my Big Errand Day; timing is Not optimal. But anyway, here it is again: Adam, Christophe. Corpus des Monnaies Feodales Champenoises. Troyes, 2018. Only place Iknow of where it was for sale was CGB. Alas, they're sold out at the moment.,librairie,royal-and-feudal-coins-feudal-coins,3-7-10.html
    At any rate, let's try to start from the top. For "Provins /Sens (10e siecle)," his Type 1 consists of issues "entre 975 et 980: monogramme type tresor de Fecamp" (pp. 34-6, no.s 62-70 inclusive). He lists 8 variants, all (as he characterizes it) with the ODO, not the Raoul monogram. Of those, none cite Boudeau; just a bunch of blanks for both him and Poey (both abbreviated in each entry, so yes, he checked). His Type 2 (again, all with versions of the ODO monogram) is "entre 980 et 996; type tresor de Troyes [a hoard with which I'm entirely unfamiliar]." (Pp. 36-8, nos. 71-76 inclusive.) Here's where we get some traction. Oddly, although he cites Boudeau 1751 for most of these, he doesn't cite any other of Boudeau's lisstings. Over pp. 40 ff., he proceeds to "Provins /Sens (11e siecle)," all of which already have the fully realized 'peigne' motif.
    ...His reference for le Tresor de Troyes issues would appear to be his:
    Adam (Christophe), La Monnaiage de Troyes (561-1773), Versailles, 2008.
    ...Hope that was some help. But Yes, if you tried hard enough, I'll bet you could talk me into getting organized enough to send you scans. ...I fell into a scanner when someone here upgraded, and could count on one hand how many times I've used it, but that can happen. And I can try to squint out which of his variants is closest to yours. --But Hold me to that!
    ...The scanner is a little reminiscent of how I got my copy of Boudeau. A French collector from ebay xeroxed his copy, The Whole Thing, and mailed it to me. Free. Craziness. ...Yeah, time to pay it forward, or what?
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