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My first medieval Holy Roman Emperor in the collection: Friedrich II.


wittwolff

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Hello fellow collectors,

I collect coins mainly by the monarchs featured on them. While doing this I also created a collection of Holy Roman Emperors, till now only from the Habsburg era (1440-1806).

But now I finally got my first Pre-Habsburg coin from the Empire and the Emperor featured on it is not just anyone but one of the greatest medieval rulers: Emperor Friedrich II. of Hohenstaufen called Stupor Wundi (The wonder/ marvel of the world) by some and the antichrist by mainly higher church officials.

His rule mainly focused on his italian possessions where he left a rich heritage. From the famous Castel del Monte (Castle) to his very own  magnificent trade coinage called "Augustalis". Owning such a coin is definitely a little dream of my but for now I settled on a german minted Pfennig. Even in his Germany he was one of the more prolific coin minters.

Castel_del_Monte_BW_2016-10-14_12-26-11_r.jpg.3330ffba4be3591eb5f4f27842168b0e.jpg

Augustale.jpg.dfe10544f328ce7444083874855cb435.jpg

(Not my Castle and not my coin either - Images from Wikipedia)

Anyways my coin surely is far away from an Augustalis but still features a for medieval standarts quite good profile bust of the Emperor holding a cross in his hand. I could write a lot more about the historic figure of Friedrich II. here but I want to end this with a little request for help. While the obverse is quite easy to recognize I really cant make out what is happening on the reverse on the coin or even how I have to turn it. So if anyone here can help me with this problem I would be very grateful. Anyways here the coin with all the data I for now was able to get on it:

HRR0FriedrichII1.png.a4f98d3e13d714ba044e719fd2987426.png

So thank you for reading this and maybe thanks in advance if anyone can identify what to see on the reverse. Also feel free to post your own coins featuring medieval Holy Roman Emperors or Frederik II. in special. Maybe someone here even owns and Augustalis? 😉

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..kool coin man!...:)...i go the way of the Habsburg HRE's also (and then some!)...my latest coin is a pfennig from Styria of Frederick lll (HRE).. these types are one-sided but old habits die hard so i took the 'reverse too........here's to pfennigs of the Fredericks! 😄  

Steiermark: Einseitiger Hälbling o.J. Friedrich V. ( III.), 1424-1493:

IMG_1758.JPG

IMG_1760.JPG

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Very cool, @wittwolff, and a solid writeup.  Personally, I have to like the Castel del Monte even more than the Augustalis.

Maybe just a little implicitly, @ominus1 nailed it regarding your question.  The pfennig is known as a bracteate (German Brakteat).  These were uniface coins which were thin enough to have an incuse mirror image of the obverse on the other side.  (Edit:) They're especially widespread in German issues, where they minted, in various modules, from the 12th at least through the 15th century, as in @ominus1's example.

If you go back far enough, lots of people on the forum have posted about these; there might even be a whole thread on them.  This is just the English Wiki article on them; actually pretty good for the genre.

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

Edited by JeandAcre
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If you are willing to settle for a more modest multiple tari of Frederick II, rather than aspiring to ownership of the lofty augustalis, you may be able to find something like this.  From CGB auction in 2022, in which it hammered for 300 euro, plus fees.  3.14 grams.  The CGB auction photo was not flattering, which may have inhibited the bidding.  I like my pictures better.  

Obverse:  IC XC  NIKA

Reverse:  pseudo-cufic inscription

 

image.png.2c3009ea80dacdfd414ad5d54be81bb7.png

image.png.be62a5593e8e50b6e56c5ae08a294629.png

 

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Wasn't sure I had any pics.  This is a pleasant surprise. 

Messina or Palermo.  Frederick with first wife, Constance of Aragon, minted 1209-1213.  (Edit:)  Half denaro.

image.jpeg.9fbf896d482f17fb728037cfb162ec68.jpeg

Crowned eagle (a variant of the Hohenstaufen arms).  (From 1 o'clock:) FREDERIC . REX

Floriate cross; crescents and pellets in angles.  (From 4 o'clock, punctuated by the flowers:) + C / RE / GI / NA

D'Andrea 96.  D'Andrea notes that Constance of Aragon can be distinguished by Frederick's mother, Constance of Sicily, because the latter, as the queen and dowager of Henry VI, always used the title of Empress (Imperiatrix).

Edited by JeandAcre
Too many; additions, typos and clarification regarding Constance of Sicily, relative to the operant chronology.
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@JeandAcre Yes I am aware that the Bracteates where unifaced. But I have seen some other Pfennigs of Friedrich II. that where not unifaced but had the same Obverse as mine. I have seen examples featuring eagles and some featuring castles or city walls. On this page there are some examples to see: https://www.acsearch.info/search.html?similar=538229 . This makes me think that mine might not be unifaced but instead just had a very messy reverse that is quite hard to make out 🤔

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29 minutes ago, wittwolff said:

@JeandAcre Yes I am aware that the Bracteates where unifaced. But I have seen some other Pfennigs of Friedrich II. that where not unifaced but had the same Obverse as mine. I have seen examples featuring eagles and some featuring castles or city walls. On this page there are some examples to see: https://www.acsearch.info/search.html?similar=538229 . This makes me think that mine might not be unifaced but instead just had a very messy reverse that is quite hard to make out 🤔

Sorry for completely misinterpreting what you were saying, @wittwolff.  Your level of erudition about this summarily blows mine out of the water!

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Germany, Ulm (Königliche Münzstätte). Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor, AD 1220-1250. AR Bracteate Pfennig (20mm, 0.40g). Obv: Crowned, armored, and winged bust of Frederick II facing, with hand raised in benediction; all within border of alternating crosses and squares. Rev: Incuse of obverse. Ref: Bonhoff 1866. Ex CNG e242 (13 Oct 2010), Lot 271.

image.jpeg.4524a9df4442ac2873be7795fb93d681.jpeg

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On 7/16/2023 at 9:08 PM, wittwolff said:

This makes me think that mine might not be unifaced but instead just had a very messy reverse that is quite hard to make out 🤔

Your coin is the obverse type with the lily sceptre (Slg. Bonhoff 2013), so the reverse should show two ascending birds with a staff/spire in between. As usual with these, the reverse is barely struck. Even on exceptionally good examples of Nuremberg pfennige from that period, the reverse is at best partially there:

MADeutschlandetc.NurnbergReichsmunzstatteLowenu.Kreuz.png.661e29cb4d16a5bbc0e727d87bc7c94e.png

Nuremberg, imperial mint, under Frederick II, AR pfennig (group 6), c. 1245–1250 AD. Obv: lion walking l. within high ring; roses around. Rev: cross between two standing lions, ring and roses around (weak strike as usual). 20mm, 0.94g. Ref: Slg. Erlanger 32, Fd. Hersbruck 19, Slg. Bonhoff 2015.

 

Edited by Ursus
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