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Bourgeois Obol Of Philip Iv Of France (Ad 1311)

 
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 Posted 01/25/2020  6:13 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add Spence to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
My first pick-up of the new year deserves a thread I think.

Here is an Obol of Philip IV of France that I picked up as I continue filling in my OFEY collection. While Philip IV ruled from AD 1285 through 1314, these coins were issued on the 26th of January 1311--almost exactly 709 years ago. For the record, the obv legend is +PHILIP PVS REX while the rev legend is BVRGENSIS NOV VS. I like that the letters are clear for the most part and the slight edge chipping is not too intrusive. It is attributed as Roberts 2641 and Duplessy 233.

Larger silver coins with similar designs were issued at that same time and these are relatively available on the interwebs, although without an image of a saint (@tdz) or being from Hungary (@eddiediz), it might only be me and @pep who are remotely interested in these.



"If you climb a good tree, you get a push."
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"The danger we all now face is distinguishing between what is authentic and what is performed."
-----King Adz

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 Posted 01/25/2020  6:32 pm  Show Profile   Check echizento's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add echizento to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Nice coin Dave, I hope to add some of these to my collection this year.
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 Posted 01/25/2020  8:06 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Bob L to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I agree - quite nice, Dave. Sadly, though, no A's for me to test my working knowledge of your "A" subtypes.
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 Posted 01/25/2020  10:45 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add tdziemia to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Nice pickup!

I find the extension of the cross through the inner circle at 6:00 to make it a Latin cross quite unusual.

Since I know you travel, Bourges is home to one of France's great Gothic cathedrals. These are a passion for me, though I have not (yet) gotten to this one.

I do get back to the 13th and 14th centuries in my collection for Brabant and Lorraine ... even without a saint!
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 Posted 01/26/2020  06:04 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Spence to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thx for the kind words guys.

@Ron, there is at least one similar piece available right now on ma-shop.
@bob, yes sadly no letter As on the inscriptions, but as @tdz pointed out, the Latin cross is a little unusual. I only have about 10 years nailed down from the 14th Century and so when I find myself without reasonable options for filling holes in the 15th Century, I'm trying to get started on the 1300s.
@tdz, good point--I haven't made it to Bourges yet. I'm pretty sure that the last time I was in France, it was when I walked over the border from Geneva.
"If you climb a good tree, you get a push."
-----Ghanaian proverb

"The danger we all now face is distinguishing between what is authentic and what is performed."
-----King Adz

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 Posted 01/26/2020  07:02 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add tdziemia to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I only have about 10 years nailed down from the 14th Century

If you do not already have 1339, take a look at the plates in the back of your Ghyssens, and you will see a nice groat with a rampant lion (gros compagnon) known to have been minted in 1339. These are abundant, attractive, and not too expensive (almost every Elsen auction there are one or two).
1338, 1380 and 1384 are some other dates with accessible Brabant coins.

Elsewhere you had mentioned 1491 being a tough date for your OFEY. I noticed somewhere a French gold coin that can be dated to 1491 (I know ... kinda pricey). Were there no silver French coins minted that year?
Edited by tdziemia
01/26/2020 08:58 am
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 Posted 01/26/2020  07:27 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add oriole to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@spence, I find it interesting that you know the precise date of minting, and surprising that this would have been documented. Can you add anything?
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 Posted 01/26/2020  09:09 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Spence to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@oriole, you are not the only one who is surprised by the ability to precisely date these old French coins--talk about amazing mint records! I can't give you a better answer beyond this is what the catalogs tell us. In some cases, French coins of a specific Monarch are separated into "emissions", with small differences in the legends or punctuation permitting that determination. In other cases (such as the specific case of this coin), there is only one emission. Other Obols of Philip IV were made on throughout his reign, including one type (224) made between AD 1280 and 1290, two types (224A and 224B) made between AD 1307 and 1310, another type (226) made between AD 1290 and 1295).

As we have discussed a little bit upthread, the Latin cross is somewhat unusual and at least for Philip IV was only used on three denomination of silver, all minted in January 1311. While it doesn't answer the broader question of dating medieval French coins, perhaps these specific coins were issued in anticipation of the Council of Vienne?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Council_of_Vienne

"If you climb a good tree, you get a push."
-----Ghanaian proverb

"The danger we all now face is distinguishing between what is authentic and what is performed."
-----King Adz

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 Posted 01/26/2020  09:55 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add oriole to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@spence yes, any government documents surviving 700 years through wars and revolutions are quite remarkable.
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 Posted 01/26/2020  10:11 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add erafjel to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
An adorable little coin! And filled with mysteries... Why is it called bourgeois? Why bourgeois novus? And how come it has a Latin cross instead of the square (or Greek) cross that is otherwise exclusively used on French coins from this time?

The little detective in me stays restless until I have answers to these mysteries, and here is what I have found out (so far, more input is welcome!):

1. The name BVRGENSIS, translated to bourgeois in French as well as English. The obol is part of a series of three coins emitted at the same time: a double parisis (with the text BVRGENSIS FORTIS - "strong bourgeois"), a denier parisis (BVRGENSIS NOVVS - "new bourgeois"), and the obol parisis (half denier, same text as the denier). There are no other French coins called like this, before or after. Duplessy says nothing about the naming, but Lafaurie has a theory: In the early 14th century, the bourgeois was one of three officially established classes in the French society - the other two were the clergy and the nobility - with their own assemblies (though rarely in session). Not always on good terms with the bourgeois class, this emission of coins was an attempt at flattery at a time when Philip wanted their support in his dealings with the Lombards. (Not sure I buy that explanation, but until I find a better one, I guess it will have to do.)

2. The addition novus/new to bourgeois. Since there are no previous coins called just bourgeois, the word novus seems superfluous. But the word probably just refers to the coin being of a new type compared to previous coins. In this case, new does not mean better, the previous coins were in fact heavier and contained more silver.

3. The Latin cross. The only precedents I have found among French royal coins are a few 12th century issues, minted in Bourges - Bourges seems to have used the Latin cross a symbol. (That the coins discussed here carry the name Burgensis has nothing to do with the city of Bourges; the Latin name for Bourges is Bituriges.) Could it have been used to distinguish coins minted according to the parisis standard from coins using the tournois standard? Both standards were in use and the previous issue of tournois coins carries Greek crosses. But previous parisis issues have Greek crosses too... Looking at coins minted after the reign of Philip IV, there is some evidence that a Latin cross signifies parisis issues and a Greek cross tournois issues, but not consistently.

Quote:
perhaps these specific coins were issued in anticipation of the Council of Vienne?

Interesting thought, could you elaborate? What would the connection with Latin crosses be?
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 Posted 01/26/2020  10:40 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add erafjel to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
... talk about amazing mint records!

The royal ordinances of the French medieval kings were collected in a number of volumes printed in the 1720s and have been reprinted a number of times (Ordonnances des roys de France de la troisième race).

Many of the ordinances concerning money and minting have been made available online by the French coins dealer cgb.fr: http://www.ordonnances.org/index.html

The one about minting of the bourgeois coins can be read here (well, provided you are comfortable with medieval French ): http://www.ordonnances.org/textes/p...13110127.pdf
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 Posted 01/26/2020  10:52 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add tdziemia to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
That the coins discussed here carry the name Burgensis has nothing to do with the city of Bourges; the Latin name for Bourges is Bituriges


Thank you for that clarification. I think I was the one who incorrectly assumed Bourges

And great detective work!
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 Posted 01/26/2020  12:03 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Spence to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Yes that is a super job @arefjel with coloring in some of the history around this. My mention of the Council of Vienne was pure speculation. Thinking that a new series of coins might be commemorating some event, I dug around on the interwebs until I found an event for that year in France. Other than occurring in the same year, there is no obvious connection between these coins and the Council.

Added: here is what Roberts has to say on the subject of the Bourgeois:


Quote:
A final, and considerably earlier, group is based on the Bourgeois standard (BVRGENSIS, with the term FORTIS replaceing DVPLEX to indicate a double. The unit of value under this standard was the same as the Denier Parisis, 1.25 Deniers Tournois.
"If you climb a good tree, you get a push."
-----Ghanaian proverb

"The danger we all now face is distinguishing between what is authentic and what is performed."
-----King Adz

Edited by Spence
01/26/2020 12:08 pm
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 Posted 01/26/2020  12:04 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add tdziemia to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
So that I don't hijack this thread, I will start another on the question of assigning dates in these situations.
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