10. Boy Bishop Token England temp. Henry VII-Henry VIII (c. 1485-1530) Bury St. Edmunds ‘Boy Bishop’ PB Token, 26.28mm x 4.40 grams Obv.: +SANCTE NICHOLAE ORA PRO NO. Bust of St. Nicholas right, wearing mitre and holding crozier Rev.: AVE | REX | GEN | TIS inside, ECCE | NOVA | FACIO | OMNIA outside, around a long cross with three pellets in each angle Ref.: De Wit 4228 While not my first token, this is my first Medieval Token! I was aware of the existence of the tokens of the Boy Bishop, but never really considered owning one. As I was browsing eBay, I saw this one pop up from a reputable seller, so I nabbed it! A small write-up I posted on St. Nicholas’ day can be found here. 9. Normandy PAX Denier Feudal France - Normandy William II-William Clito/Henry I, r. 1035-1135 (1075-1130) AR Denier, 19.02 mm x 1.0 grams Obv.: +NORMANNIA. Patriarchal Cross with two pellets below. Legend begins at 3h Rev.: Church pediment, containing pellet, surmounted by cross, the letters P A X within semicircles on each side Ref.: Dumas XX-23 variety Ex. Richard A. Jourdan Collection Note: Dumas group C et D according to Moesgaard I’ve been trying to focus a bit on the coins of the Normans, particularly those minted in Normandy. The later coins (after Richard the Fearless) tend to be quite rough, however. There is a surprisingly wide variety of designs that came out of Normandy, and this one is not particularly rare, but it is a nicer example. We can’t date these precisely, but the inclusion of ‘PAX’ on this issue might be a mirror of William the Conqueror’s issue from England, which has prompted speculation that this may have been issued by him in Normandy. 8. Laudislaus II of Bohemia Denar Bohemia Ladislaus II, r. 1140-1172 (1140-1158) AR Denar, 17.23 mm x 1.0 grams Obv.: +DVX VVLADIZLAVS. Saint anointing a standing figure Rev.: +SCS WENCEZLAVS. Sitting figure on left, Standing figure to right, standard between Ref.: Frynas B.16.2 Note: Issued as Duke of Bohemia, before being crowned King in 1158 This was one of the first coins I bought this year, and I never got around to doing a full write-up! This is an issue by Laudislaus II as Duke of Bohemia before he was crowned King in 1158 with Frederick Barbarossa’s approval. Exactly what the imagery on the coin is meant to convey is a bit of a mystery, but I loved the artistry of the issue. It is apparently also a very rare issue according to Frynas (neither the De Wit Collection, nor the Marquis von Hohenkubin Collection contain an example). I need to retake the photo though! 7. Andrea Dandolo of Venice Mezzanino Italy - Venice Andrea Dandolo, r. 1343-1354 (1346-1353) AR Mezzanino Nuovo, 15.52 mm x 0.9 grams Obv.: ANDADVL ·SMVENE DVX. Saint Mark left receiving candle from Doge right. Or in field (unknown mintmaster) Rev.: ·XPS·RES VRESIT·. Christ emerging from sepulchre Ref.: MEC 12-1131; CNI VII, 30-3 (pg. 73); cf. De Wit 3640 These are one of the more visually unique coins issued in the middle ages, with the depiction of Christ rising from his tomb. I missed an opportunity to buy a gorgeous example a couple years ago, and I happened to stumble upon this one on MA-Shops for a reasonable price. Full write-up can be found here. 6. Manius Aquillius Roman Republican Denier Republican Rome Manius Aquillius Mn. f. Mn. n., 65 B.C. Rome Mint AR Serrate Denarius, 18.19 mm x 4.01 grams Obv.: VIRTVS right, III VIR left, helmeted and draped bust of Virtus right Rev.: MN AQVIL right, MN.F.MN N left, Manius Aquillius standing right, holding shield and raising up kneeling figure of Sicily Ex. Robert Couet Each year I let my students choose two special topics that we spend a week delving into greater detail through primary source research. The group this year chose Spartacus and the Slave Wars for one of them. As I was doing preparatory reading, I learned about the existance of some related coins. One was issued by the slave ‘king’ of the First Servile War, Eunus (which I have searched for, and best I can tell the only known example is held in the British Museum), but another coin was issued by a descendent of Manius Aquillius commemorating his success in the Second Servile War. I don’t have any of the in-depth texts and catalogues on Roman Republican coins (I only have Sear which does not list this coin), so I opted not to do a write-up on this particular coin as I’m sure I would miss something. But I loved the imagery and its connection to history - the fact that it was issued around the time of the Spartacus Rebellion is another great nod to its historical context (and the same reverse design would be issued again under Augustus). 5. Přemysl Ottokar I of Bohemia Denar from the De Wit Collection Bohemia Přemysl Ottokar I, r. 1192-3, 1197-1230 (1198-1230) AR Denar, 18.70 mm x 1.1 grams Obv.: + VSCES[…]VM. Winged figure/angel r. holding lance fighting a dragon Rev.: +SCS NSN. Bust of Ottokar facing with raised hands between two towers of a stylized building Ref.: Frynas B.22.6 (This coin depicted), De Wit 2764 (this coin), Lanz Graz XIII, 465 (this Coin), (Cach 659, Šmerda 296) Ex. Richard A. Jourdan Collection, Ex. Prof. G.W. De Wit Collection, Ex. Marquis von Hohenkubin Collection Note: Issued as King of Bohemia, beginning the hereditary line of Bohemian kings This is the second Bohemian issue I’ve purchased. I started the year delving into these quite a bit, as they are interesting artistically. This coin in particular was appealing mostly because of the provenance, and it being the plate coin to Frynas’ catalogue. The whole story is here. 4. A Carolingian Imitation Early Medieval - Carolingian Imitation Viking / East Francia?, 10th c. (900-920s) AR Denier, 20.92 mm x 0.9 grams Obv.: Blundered legends surrounding Degenerate CAROLVS monogram Rev.: Nonsense legend surrounding cross pattee. Perhaps imitating an issue of Curtisasonien Ref.: Moesgaard, ‘A Survey of Coin Production and Currency in Normandy,’ 99-109 Ex. Todd Hansen Collection, purchased from Superior Stamp and Coin Note: Imitating a GDR (Gratia Dei Rex) denier of Charles the Bald (but likely an immobilized issue of Charles the Simple) I found a couple of very interesting issues related to my focus on Normandy. This is potentially related: an enigmatic imitation of a Carolingian issue. This was potentially created by the early Normans, but there is no way to really prove that. As high ranking as this coin is on my list, it was an addendum to another purchase this year, but I gave it a short write-up in another thread. 3. An Irregular issue from the time of the English ‘Anarchy’ England Irregular Issue (1138-1153) Lincoln Mint, AR Local Issue Penny, 20.01mm x 1.02 grams Obv.: [STIEFNE R] Bust facing crowned and diademed Rev.: +[?GODWIN]E : ON : L[INC], lozenge with incurved sides, star at center, trefoil at each end, annulet in each corner Ref.: North 897, SCBC 1301 Note: Worn obverse die Here’s another one for which I neglected to do a write-up! During the English anarchy (which I did write about some time ago in this post), many of the mints were cautious about showing a particular allegiance to either Stephen or Matilda but still issued coins independently. This is one of those ‘irregular’ issues - and while it looks terribly worn on the obverse, this was intentionally done to obscure the mint’s allegiance. 2. An English Imitation from Scandinavia Scandinavia (?) English Imitation, 11th c. AR Penny, 17.53 mm x 1.7 grams Obv.: Bust right, scepter right, imitating Æthelred II ‘Crux’ type Rev.: Short cross pattée, imitating Æthelred II Short Cross type I have been after a Scandinavian imitation of an English penny for some time. There are many varieties which have a clear English influence, were made by English engravers, or even come from English dies! This one is a little more enigmatic, and about 2/3 of it is damaged. But, the bust is still clear enough for my tastes, and the price was good for what it is. A full write-up was posted here. 1. A Louis the Pious Imitation Early Medieval - Carolingian Normandy Anonymous (Viking/Rollo-William Longsword), 10th c. (920s) AR Denier, 16mm x 0.57 grams Obv.: Counterclockwise legend +DOVVICVSIMP around small cross Rev.: Clockwise legend XRISTIANA REL around temple Note: Imitation of a Louis the Pious denier I did not even know this type existed until this year. As soon as I read Jens Christian Moesgaard’s article “A Survey of Coin Production and Currency in Normandy, 864-945,” I was intrigued by his theory that these Louis the Pious imitative issues may have been an early Norman Issue - perhaps by Rollo, or more likely William Longsword. I was even more surprised to find one for sale! It was expensive, but was the type which had the most distinguishing features from the original (with the legend moving counterclockwise on the obverse). A write-up for this coin can be found here. This has probably been my best year since 2017 - and clearly I need to tone down the purchases! I have one more bid I am waiting on, and while that coin won’t make my top 10, it might make it into my top 20.