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Examples Of Coins "Claimed" By Multiple Countries

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 Posted 05/13/2021  1:59 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add tdziemia to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
While pursuing my Poland collection, I've become aware of two instances where a coin has been cataloged under two different countries. I am sure there must be many more examples, so I hope others will add theirs. This is NOT about occupation coinage, which is yet another interesting numismatic category. It is about other situations where the political relationship concerning sovereignity is murky or confusing, allowing for different interpretations by later catalogers.

1. Duchy of Krosno / Margravate of Brandenburg-Kustrin (1540s).

Krosno (Crossen or Krossen in German) is a place in the northwest corner of Silesia, a European region which straddles today's Poland-Germany-Czech Republic.
In late medieval times, it was a fief of the King of Bohemia, as was most of Silesia. But in the early 1500s, it was contested by the Margraves of Brandenburg after the last Piast duke died without heir, and after some violent struggles, was formally annexed by Duke Johan of Brandenburg-Kustrin in 1538.

1 and 3 groschen coins were minted by Johan between 1544-1546. In Numista, the same coins are listed in two places: as Bohemia/Silesia/Duchy of Krosno
and as Germany/German States/Margravate of Brandenburg-Kustrin

The coin is listed as Silesian in the Kopicki (Kop.) and Friedensburg (Fr.u.S. or F.u.S.) catalogs, but as Brandenburg in the Bahrfeld (Bahrf.) catalog as best I can tell.
In catalogs of Polish auction houses it is always found under Silesia/Duchy of Krosno, whereas it is usually found as Brandenburg or Brandenburg-Kustrin, Krossen in German auctions.
A link to mine, posted for year 1544 in the most recent "How Far Back...?" thread:

I had not realized this coin was attributed two different ways until @j1m posed a question over on that thread.

So, in this case, the ambiguity is due to the change of sovereignity of this place (from Bohemia/Silesia to Brandenburg in 1538).

Second example to follow.
Edited by tdziemia
05/13/2021 2:02 pm
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 Posted 05/14/2021  05:34 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add bjherbison to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I think the "claimed by" in the title is a bit off. I don't see evidence that countries claimed those coins, just that some modern numismatists are confused and don't understand the coins. I expect that in 1544 there would be no confusion at the mint or by the rulers of who issues the coin and for what purpose.

The Numista entries have two difference Bahrfeld numbers. Does anyone have that catalog to see if the numbers are correct and what Bahrfeld gave for the attribution of the coins?
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 Posted 05/14/2021  12:33 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add thq to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I was on the trail of the doubloon a couple days ago. The term appears to originate in Italy, then proceeds to France to become the ecu, then to Spain as escudo. The familiar French term for 2 ecu (ca 6.7g) was "doblon", which became the doubloon of pirate fame, as well as the French gold Louis. However, in America the term was used for the 8 escudo, which is the basis for the Brasher Doubloon and New Orleans Mardi Gras novelty coins.

"Pistole" was another term for the 2 escudo, which was more universal. Its near relative was the "pistareen" 2 reales silver....which is also the basis for the American quarter.

The Dutch dukaat is another coin which descends from the ecu lineage. Today there is only one currency which still incorporates the term "doubloon". Sao Tome and Principe uses the Portugese derived "dobra".
"Two minutes ago I would have sold my chances for a tired dime." Fred Astaire
Edited by thq
05/14/2021 12:43 pm
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 Posted 05/15/2021  8:08 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add tdziemia to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@bjh, yes, that's a fair comment, and why I used the quotes in the title, but then tried to explain my point more fully in the text that followed.

In hindsight, it might have been better if I had titled the thread "Examples of Coins Cataloged by Multiple Countries" since it is indeed this later viewpoint of the catalogers you mention which caught my attention.

@thq, interesting example of how a denomination name has morphed as it was translated from country to country. I guess we could also follow the groat / gros / grosso / groschen / grosz and some others. That denomination remains a part of the modern Polish currency (making it around 700 years old there), but I think has largely vanished elsewhere in Europe due to the Euro.

Edited by tdziemia
05/16/2021 08:07 am
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 Posted 05/17/2021  07:06 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Grinya to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I have a couple of such coins:
1. Genovese-Mongol asper from the city Caffa. Something similar at Numista:
One side is European with the city name and shield. Another is arabic with a tamga of a Golden Horde ruler (Dawlat-Berdi or Muhammad khan) and arabic inscription

2. Polish-Russian Kopiejka of Wladyslaw IV Waza as Tsar of Russia.
Numista Polish:
Numista Russian:

And one more unique example of such coin which is with flip-over double struck (both obverse and reverse are on both sides)

Edited by Grinya
05/17/2021 07:12 am
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 Posted 05/17/2021  08:17 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add tdziemia to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Very nice examples!

I was aware of the Russian coin, which is also "claimed" in Polish catalogs because this is a period when Poland intervened in Russia and installed Wladyslaw (son of SIgismund III of Poland, and a future King of Poland) as tsar of Russia 1610-1612.

A similar situation is this coin, which is normally claimed as "Polish":

This coin was minted in Glogoau, Silesia, by Sigismund of Poland, who was Duke of Glogau before he became King of Poland in 1506. The coin is more properly attributed as Silesia / Duchy of Glogau, even though the devices on the coin are the typical ones of Poland-Lithuania.
Edited by tdziemia
05/17/2021 08:19 am
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 Posted 05/21/2021  08:48 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add tdziemia to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Duchy of Lorraine / Grand Duchy of Tuscany, Teston of Nicolas Francois in Exile, 1634-35.

In 1634 France invaded the Duchy of Lorraine, and Duke Charles IV abdicated under French pressure, in favor of his younger brother Nicolas Francois. Nicloas left Lorraine for Florence, where he ruled in exile for two years (1634-35) until abdicating the crown back to Charles.
This teston was minted in Florence to Lorraine standards. It bears Nicolas Francois' title obverse, and the Lorraine coat of arms reverse, but states that it was struck in Florence (MONETA NOVA FLORENT CVSA).
It is listed in catalogs covering Lorraine (Flon, de Saulcy) but also in catalogs covering Tuscany (MIR, CNI). Krause has it as German States/Lorraine (KM#55), but that's another story
In French auctions it is invariably listed as French/Feudal/Lorraine.
In Italian auctions it is invariably listed under Grand Duchy of Tuscany.
In German/Austrian auctions it can go either way.
Heritage has called it France, while Heritage Europe has called it Italy.

So, from a catloger's viewpoint, it's probably the most confusing coin in my collection.

Edited by tdziemia
05/21/2021 09:04 am
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 Posted 05/21/2021  10:02 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add erafjel to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
That is a great example of the confusion this thread illustrates!

The modern day view is that minting is something done by nations, while back in Nicolas's days, minting rights rather followed an individual. So trying to cram a "multi-national" individual's coins into the nation view is bound to be open to multiple outcomes.

I wonder how the Lorrainians themselves took the repeated shifting of to whom they belonged? "Should we speak French now, or is it German? Not Italian, I think ... Flemish, maybe? No, I think we'll just keep on with our Lorrainisch!"
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