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Unknown French Coin To ID

 
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Pillar of the Community
Canada
2633 Posts
 Posted 08/11/2019  7:29 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add oriole to your friends list Get a Link to this Message




It weighs 1.34 grams and the widest dimension is 23 millimeters. Metal looks to be billon.

I am unsure of the orientation of one image but I do see a few letters. the other has a crown on the top and 2 fleurs de lis on each side.

But otherwise I cannot make out the lettering
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United States
2246 Posts
 Posted 08/11/2019  8:27 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add tdziemia to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
First photo 11:00-12:00 is GR, perhaps part of "... D G REX.." Looks like an S at 8:00. Double annulets as punctuation, visible at 1:00 and 8:30.
Reverse, starting from 12:00 looks like + T O N, and ends with X an 11:00. Though more normal would be M O N E T A (place).

Otherwise, I think we need to go by the cross with fleur-de-lis tips on the reverse to look for a match.

Tough
Edited by tdziemia
08/11/2019 8:40 pm
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United States
12496 Posts
 Posted 08/11/2019  9:11 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Spence to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Medieval Navarre (and a few other places) used that floriated cross. Interestingly, this one has a slightly shorter top arm, kinda like a Double Tournois of Brittany under Charles of Blois (AD 1341-1364). On these coins, the horizontal member is biased toward the top of the vertical member. In your coin, the lower part of that cross is unfortunately gone. If I'm right, that would make the rev inscription MONETA DUPLEX. If I squint, I can at least read MONE...LEX on your coin.

Here is a link to the numista image of this coin. It is also in pretty rough shape, but maybe at least a decent starting point.

https://en.numista.com/catalogue/pieces50649.html
"The danger we all now face is distinguishing between what is authentic and what is performed."
-----King Adz
Pillar of the Community
Canada
2633 Posts
 Posted 08/13/2019  11:01 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add oriole to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply



I rotated the first image 90 degrees counterclockwise.

I can sort of make out 2 lines of letters:
BRIT
()NV

A number of the coins of Charles de Blois had the obverse inscription in the Circle BRIT TONV.

The reverse (image 2) is right side up and it matches very well MONETA DUPLEX with a cross at 12 o'clock.

I cannot locate an obverse inscription that has GR_:

However, reading up on these coins, there are a number of types issued from a number of towns, and a number of inscriptions, not well-illustrated.

Does my interpretation, that this is indeed a coin of Charles de Blois, or at any rate one from the duchy of Bretagne (ca) 1350, make sense to everyone?

According to one source, coins of Charles de Blois are fairly common but most are not in great shape, being made during the war of the Breton succession.

The history of this war itself is a bit crazy. How many died to determine which ruler got to exploit the peasants?

Valued Member
Sweden
71 Posts
 Posted 08/13/2019  3:05 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add erafjel to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I agree a double tournois of Charles de Blois is the best guess. With some further guessing, I think the inscription from 5 to 12 o'clock could read ...S:DEI:GRA:DVX which could be a match for Duke Charles. It would be an uncatalogued variety.

I can only think of one other possibility. The inscription in the circle is really hard to make out. I could read

FRAN
CORV

as well as

BRIT
TONV

The former would point to a variety (also uncatalogued) of a French double tournois from about the same time. It would be Philip VI, John II or Charles V - although then it has to be something other than DVX and I really cannot make it into REX... So I think Bretagne is more likely.
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Canada
2633 Posts
 Posted 08/13/2019  7:16 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add oriole to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks. These horribly worn medieval coins are quite the headache to attribute...
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Russian Federation
2673 Posts
 Posted 08/14/2019  02:43 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add january1may to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I can only think of one other possibility. The inscription in the circle is really hard to make out. I could read

FRAN
CORV

as well as

BRIT
TONV
I agree - it looks much more like the former to me. Though I can see how it could be either.

I feel like I can almost see ...NNES at 6-8 hours in the original (or 3-5 hours in the rotation). If correct, this would point at a ruler called John - John II for France, numerous candidates for Brittany.
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Canada
2633 Posts
 Posted 08/14/2019  11:51 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add oriole to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I agree that the reading of the inscription in the circle as:

FRAN
CORV

is more plausible.

However, I cannot find any images with this inscription in a circle.

Has anyone seen any? If so, could you give me the link?

All of the ones of similar style show:

BRIT
TONV

or something similar.
Valued Member
Sweden
71 Posts
 Posted 08/14/2019  3:08 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add erafjel to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Well, none that matches your coin's layout very well, but here are two French double parisis with FRAN CORV in the center.

Philip VI double parisis:
https://en.numista.com/catalogue/pieces33592.html
https://www.ma-shops.com/rittig/ite...id=190705035

Jean II double parisis:
https://www.cgb.fr/jean-ii-le-bon-d...91005,a.html
Pillar of the Community
Canada
2633 Posts
 Posted 08/14/2019  3:24 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add oriole to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@erafjel, thanks. The Jean II seems to match the design elements fairly well, except for the inscription on the obverse. The weight is wrong, but the illustrated specimen is badly clipped compared to mine.

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United States
2246 Posts
 Posted 08/14/2019  6:00 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add tdziemia to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@oriole, I think Jean II could be right.
I think I can make out these letters obv:

10:00 to 11:30 annelet I O (the gothic O that is pinched)
4:30 to 6:00 E S annelet
6:00 to 9:00 DE[I?] GR[A?]
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Russian Federation
2673 Posts
 Posted 08/15/2019  08:16 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add january1may to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I think I can make out these letters obv:

10:00 to 11:30 annelet I O (the gothic O that is pinched)
4:30 to 6:00 E S annelet
6:00 to 9:00 DE[I?] GR[A?]

I'm not seeing an O at all, unless the gothic O looks really unlike a regular O. Which I don't think is the case.
(Now that I think of it, there's an O in MON[ETA] on the reverse, which has approximately the shape I expected.)

Here's what I see (relative to the rotated image):

3:00 to 6:00 N? N E S annelet* (faint, but relatively clear, especially the second N at 4:00)
6:00 to 7:30 D? I? ? annelet? (can't make much sense of those letters)
7:30 to 10:30 G R ? annelet (this much is clear, assuming that's what a G looks like)
10:30 to 12:00 D? R? X? (only the upper left line of the third letter is visible, but it fits an X and not much else)

The section from 12:00 to 3:00 is flat and/or clipped, and would not yield any more letters.

This is consistent with a legend reading [IOHA]NNES:DEI:GRA: and either DVX or REX; the latter fits the letters I see slightly better.
Brittany did have several 14th century rulers named John/Jean, so in principle it could be one of their coins.
On a quick search I couldn't find any example (either French or Breton) that had the two-line legend in the circle placed so low, and/or that had a [name]:DEI:GRA:[title] legend.

Come to think of it, with some squinting we could probably read [IOHA]NNES:###:FRA:REX, which I think might fit the catalogued legends slightly better, but I can't figure out what the ### could be.
I'm reading BI[S?], which makes no sense, I think? The first letter could also be an E or, with some squinting, a D, and the third letter is just a blob at 7:15.
I think I can read DEI if I try, which would fit if the G actually is a G (which it probably is, now that I think of it), but we'd have to assume some damage at 7:00ish to make the E look like an I.

Maybe I just misinterpreted the letter spacing and the D starts half a letter earlier (immediately after the annulet, nearly touching it).
Then I can kind of see EI in the next two letters... on second thought, it would require a rounded E, while all the other E examples on this coin - in [IOHA]NNES, in [DV]PLEX, the visible left part in MON[ETA], and in REX if that's what it is - are plainly rectangular (plus serifs). So that doesn't work either.


*) I'm assuming that "annelet" refers to the two-ring colon thingy; I don't think "annelet" is the correct term for it, but I couldn't find the right word on Google, so I'll just keep using this one for now

[EDIT: apparently this forum's editor joins together my multiple question marks; I exchanged them for other symbols in the one place where the number was important, and I guess I'll just have to live with being less clear everywhere else.]
Pillar of the Community
Canada
2633 Posts
 Posted 08/15/2019  1:26 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add oriole to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
This coin is certainly giving many people, including me, headaches and/ or eyestrain. Thanks to everyone who suffered a bit on my behalf. We have definitely narrowed down the period and the country. The ruler is probably a John or Jean, possibly but not certainly Jean II le Bon.

Now, is there a catalogue of French coins which gives the inscriptions of all the possibilities?
Valued Member
Sweden
71 Posts
 Posted 08/15/2019  2:01 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add erafjel to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The most recent catalogue is Les Monnaies Franšaises Royales de Hugues Capet Ó Louis XVI (987-1793) by Jean Duplessy, 2nd ed, Maison Platt, 1999. It comes in two volumes, Jean II is found in Volume 1. It can be found on Amazon for instance, but it is pretty costly if you are just going to look for a specific coin.

You can however find 19th century well known and still used catalogues in the public domain online. I would recommend Les Monnaies Royales de France depuis Hugues Capet jusqu'Ó Louis XVI by H Hoffman, published 1878 but still a good reference. There you will have all the inscriptions known. It can be found as a Google Books scan here:https://books.google.se/books?id=4p...ge&q&f=false

I have checked both books without finding a good match for your coin, however...
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 Posted 08/15/2019  8:07 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Spence to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Now, is there a catalogue of French coins which gives the inscriptions of all the possibilities?


Duplessy's two books on Royal coins and two books on Feudal coins are all very good, but a little expensive as noted by @erafjel. Also, they are written entirely in French. I like his works as a back-up, but my workhorse for medieval France is Roberts, "The Silver Coins of Medieval France". The organization is a little weird, with like designs being co-located (as opposed to organizing by geography or chronology). This actually helps when you are looking to identify a coin and need to just sift through pics until you get close.
"The danger we all now face is distinguishing between what is authentic and what is performed."
-----King Adz
Pillar of the Community
Canada
2633 Posts
 Posted 08/15/2019  8:22 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add oriole to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Yes, it would not be worth it to get the catalogues for a single coin, but if I ever got a hoard it might be good. I can handle written French in a passable way, so that would not be a big issue. But since @erafjel cannot find a good match, it may be that we either have an uncatalogued variety or that the coin's wear is giving misleading or insufficient details.

Like most people, I like closure on a coin ID, but this one is not giving up all its secrets yet.
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