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An AR gigliato of Robert of Anjou


robinjojo

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I don't collect medieval coins on anything like a systematic basis, hardly at all.  I have the impression that this issue of Robert is very common.  In fact I might had one before but memory fails me.

I am sure that many of the members of this forum have seen innumerable offerings. Roma Numismatics seems to have a virtually inexhaustible supply of these coins in their E-Sale auctions.  Still, looking for a decent type example can be somewhat a challenge if one is looking for a complete and decently centered coin.  The coin below seems close to meeting these criteria, albeit with a die shift of a fairly moderate nature.

Naples, Robert of Anjou, AR gigliato, circa 1309-1317.

MIR 28

3.91 grams

D-CameraNaplesRobertofAnjouARgigliatocirca1309-1317MIR283.90grams.jpg.412866aa681a986aba7e559d2922b169.jpg

My question for those familiar with this type is are there rare varieties?  The reason I ask is that one lot from Roma's E-Sale 115 hammered at £300!  The lot's description does not mention scarcity or rarity, but then this could just be an omission.  This was lot 1522, a coin in pretty rough condition.

Here's a link:

https://romanumismatics.com/280-lot-1522-italian-states-napoli-naples-kingdom-roberto-i-d-angio-ar-gigliato?arr=0&auction_id=181&box_filter=0&cat_id=25&department_id=&exclude_keyword=&export_issue=0&gridtype=listview&high_estimate=3000&image_filter=0&keyword=&list_type=list_view&lots_per_page=100&low_estimate=20&month=&page_no=2&paper_filter=0&search_type=&sort_by=lot_number&view=lot_detail&year=

Thanks

Edited by robinjojo
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robertanjou.jpg.27cca5acec6623d228345b7ec71febd3.jpg

Robert of Anjou (1309 - 1343 A.D.)

AR Gigliato
O: + ROBЄRTUS DЄI GRA IЄRL ЄT SICIL RЄX. King enthroned holding sceptre in right hand and globus cruciger in left, cross at neck.
R: + ҺOҺOR RЄGIS IUDICIU DILIGIT., cross fleury with lys in each quarter.
3.85g
24.5mm
Naples Mint, Italy
Biaggi 1634 MIR (Varesi) 28

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One of my first medievals (which eventually transitioned me to Byzantine) was one of these. At first I thought they were rare, so I overpaid off eBay for a graded example… now I find they’re pretty common.

never heard of them having rare types but other than randomly seeing these in auctions, I have little experience. A rare variant is certainly possible.

IMG_4922.jpeg.e8c4d64edbfe047c695c96734e45d163.jpegIMG_4923.jpeg.aec0e3c8126e5c86872c8fa7e00473ee.jpegIMG_4924.jpeg.3e19081e5bcd409f58b49ca0b99523f8.jpeg

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Some impressive examples, and an engaging question, @robinjojo.  By sheer luck, I can be of a little help with this!  Warning: by way of context, in pronounced contrast to a direct answer.

You're owed the further disclaimer that I don't do a whole lot with the 14th century generally (Black Death, Hundred Years' War  --total war on an unmistakably proto-Modern scale-- it gets depressing after a while).  And I've never owned one of these, although I've liked them for a long time.  But for earlier periods, I did get vol 14 of MEC: Italy (III): (South Italy, Sicily, Sardinia), coauthored by two premier authorities, Philip Grierson and Lucia Traviani.  (Paper, "digitally printed."  1998.  Oxford UP, 2009.)

Where coverage of Robert's gigliatos is concerned, there's an embarrassment of riches, between the introductory chapters and the listings of the plates (right, from the Fitzwilliam Museum).  I really wish I had a scanner.  But here's the highly abridged version ...which, with apologies, still took two evenings.

The book's interpretive material for Robert includes these varieties, noting that the full list provided is only '[a] provisional classification [...;] it is not scientific and the series is still in need of extensive study before the issues and varieties are understood.'  First, though, the  primary distinction between the two main varieties, each with several sub-variants, is whether the obverse legend begins with +ROBERTVS or ROBERT'.  Especially for the latter, Grierson and Traviani list numerous variants, all based on different devices appearing (or not) in the obverse fields.

...Hmm.  Surprise, Surprise.  I guess where closer inspection is concerned, it's better late than never.  Among your /@robinjojo's and @ela126's examples, both with the  "ROBERT'" legend, along with @Kali's one, with "ROBERTuS" --noted and listed as the earlier of the main subtypes-- all have nothing in the reverse fields.  Correspondingly, they're provisionally noted as (...can you handle the suspense?) the earliest issues of each of them.  ( Pp. 224-5 of the interpretive material.)

Sequeing to the plates and descriptions, the "ROBERTuS" variety, with nothing in the obverse fields, corresponds to Plate 37 [p. 685], with descriptions on p. 684; running to plates 695-701.  (In the absence of adequate light, I can't do a lot with the even more nuanced legend variants.)

The plate for the corresponding "ROBERT'" one, with the emphasis, "GIGLIATI, LATER SERIES" (pl. 38 [p. 687], with listings on p. 686) is divided into lifetime issues (plates 706-10), and ones described as being "of poor style, possibly posthumous and of uncertain mint attribution" (plates 711-7).   ...The plates aren't the best, but from here, it's looking as if the ones that you guys posted are both lifetime issues.  Never mind @Kali's, with the earlier legend variant.

One factor in the closing price for the Roma one that you / @robinjojo included the link to (https://romanumismatics.com/280-lot-1522-italian-states-napoli-naples-kingdom-roberto-i-d-angio-ar-gigliato?arr=0&auction_id=181&box_filter=0&cat_id=25&department_id=&exclude_keyword=&export_issue=0&gridtype=listview&high_estimate=3000&image_filter=0&keyword=&list_type=list_view&lots_per_page=100&low_estimate=20&month=&page_no=2&paper_filter=0&search_type=&sort_by=lot_number&view=lot_detail&year=) is likely to be the presence of the (what, globule?) in the left obverse field.  Among all the variants noted in the operant volume of MEC, this is not among them.

It's easy to imagine a collector (/'investor'?) saying, 'Yow, this is unpublished; it Must Be Rare.'  And going Ape-Stuff with the bidding. 

Except that, we're still talking about medieval European.  Which, with the sole, relative exception of English hammered, and as the MEC volume had taken pains to note, even for an issue this late, will likely end its life, among modern collectors, woefully underpublished.

The Roma listing dates this listing to the earliest phase of the issue's mintage.  Yes, the MEC volume gets into the markings in the obverse fields, at least in some less ambiguous instances, as indications of the date of issue, along the lines of contemporaneous 'mint marks [sic]' in later Angevin English coins (Edward III or, from memory, later, but at least by the 15th century).  The ensuing irony is that, on stylistic (and, from here, correspondingly impressionistic) grounds, the Roma listing is the only one of the four in this thread that may be "of poor style, possibly posthumous."

...By way of comic relief, one thing I really need about this entire issue is the motif of the king enthroned, especially with the lion arm rests on the throne.  This goes back to the iconic trams (/drachms; cf. esp. contemporaneous Ayyubid dirhams, of much the same module) of Levon I, King of Cilician Armenia.  I can't find pics of mine; here's one from @Steve, from a thread I obviously need to spend more (thank you, some) time with.

Armenia Cilician.jpg

 

This fun little detail is perpetuated by the later Lusignan kings of Cyprus and titular kings of Jerusalem, as in this example (also not mine).  Henry II, king of Cyprus & Jerusalem, 1285-1324. 

image06029.jpg

https://www.coinarchives.com/w/lotviewer.php?LotID=6456858&AucID=7477&Lot=6029&Val=c9fabd6e3416bdf3d6dcfa85f872c7dc 

Given that the Angevin (really cadet Capetian) dynasty of Naples* eventually inherited the (empty) Lusignan title to Frankish Jerusalem, it's no surprise that this issue (right, already imitating the one of Cilician Armenia) is that much more resonantly prototypical of those of Robert of Anjou.  Thank you, from the module to the reverse cross.  The one here is the coat of arms of the Frankish kings of Jerusalem.  Maybe, at this remove from the fall of Acre (right, in 1291; this Henry was evacuated to Cyprus in the nick of time), the variant motif of Robert's discretly later ones may have involved an eloquently tacit acknowlegment of the obvious.

*Only going back to Charles of Provence and Anjou, the most adventurous of Louis IX's younger brothers.  (Anjou had only been conquered in the early 13th century; as a younger son, Charles got it as an appanage.)  Following Louis IX's death on his second crusade --the more disastrous of the two-- Charles contemplated a new one ...opting instead to undertake a fresh, unsuccessful invasion of the Byzantine empire.

 

 

Edited by JeandAcre
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The gigliato of Robert is a very handsome type, but it is relatively abundant so prices are quite reasonable.  Here is a century of gros including Robert’s coin, as it seems to me that it is part of this series.  image.png.e2b6f2642a046c9d212b3b913471978b.pngThe plural of gros is gros, conveniently.  
image.png.849da94b5350efa615d7aec1b34304ef.png
 

#1 Saint Louis IX (25 April 1214 – 25 August 1270 AD.)   Europe’s first gros tournois circa 1266-1270 AD. Some luster remaining.  Ciani 181.  

Obv:  cross, légende intérieure : + LVDOVICVS. REX    légende extérieure : + BNDICTV: SIT: NOmE: DHI: nRI: DEI: IhV. XPI, (ponctuation par trois besants superposés).   Traduction: (Louis roi ; Que le nom de notre seigneur Jésus-Christ soit béni).     Rev:  TURONIS CIVIS.    Purchased from Alex Malloy 6/1989

 

#2  Bohemund VI of Tripoli   1251-75 AD.   He was knighted in Acre by St. Louis IX, married Sybilla of Armenia, daughter of King Hetoum, bringing peace between Armenia and Tripoli, and assisted the Armenians and the Mongols in the capture of Aleppo and Damascus in 1260 AD.  Antioch was lost to Baybars during his reign, in 1268AD.  

Obv:  Cross.  BOEMVNDVS COMES. Rev:  Star. CIVITAS TRIPOLI.  Purchased 3/1993 from Andy Singer 

#3 Bohemund VII of Tripoli 1275-87 AD.   OBV:  Cross. SEPTIMVS BOEMVNDVS COMES. Rev:  CIVITAS TRIPOLIS SYRIE.  Bohemond VII spent much of his reign at war with the Templars and the Genoese.  He left no known legitimate children.  This gros was the same weight as the French gros tournois.  It was the last Crusader coin struck in the Holy Land.  Tripoli was lost to the Mamluks in 1289, two years after his death.   Purchased from Stephen Huston circa 1989 

#4 Robert d’Anjou, Kingdom of Naples.  Also called a gigliato.  1309-1343 AD.   Obv: HONOR REGIS IUDICIUM DILIGIT    Rev: ROBERT DEI GRA IERL ET SICIL REX. The honor of the king delights in justice.  Psalm 98:4 Vulgate.  Purchased from Stephen Huston

#5. Kingdom of Cyprus, Peter I. 1359-1369 AD.    His reign was the acme of military power of the Cypriot Kingdom.  Appropriately, he holds a sword, by which his coins can be quickly identified.  Purchased from Andy Singer 8/1989 

 

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That's an impressive array, @Hrefn.  I especially need that last example of Peter I --replete with the sword-- for the 'crusade' for which he made direct appeal to western Europe from 1365.  

It was directed toward Alexandria, the target of the 5th and the 7th (/Louis IX's first) crusade during the preceding century.  But now with increasing urgency, owing to the proximity of the more militant Mamluk regime to late Lusignan Cyprus. 

The crusade never received the traditional papal endorsement, and the 'crusaders' enlisted from western Europe ran heavily to veterans of the worst phases of the Hundred Years' War; effectively brigands.  Alexandria was sacked, after which most of the victors summarily left with the spoils.  Now lacking an army, Peter was forced to sail home to Cyprus, in the effectively total absence of any permanent positive consequence of the victory. 

Edited by JeandAcre
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On 1/2/2024 at 11:18 PM, robinjojo said:

My question for those familiar with this type is are there rare varieties?  The reason I ask is that one lot from Roma's E-Sale 115 hammered at £300!  The lot's description does not mention scarcity or rarity, but then this could just be an omission.  This was lot 1522, a coin in pretty rough condition.

@JeandAcre already explained above that the Roma coin has a pellet in the right obverse field – which makes it somewhat unusual. Yet, there are numerous subtypes with different fieldmarks (lis, ringlet, etc.) that usually don't sell for much of a premium. My theory: either two specialist collectors wanted to have this one badly and were willing to pay whatever necessary, or at least two bidders just didn't know better. Now, the number of people who collect medieval gigliati by field mark likely fits into a single Toyota Prius. Thus, the second option seems more likely...

I bought mine for 28€ plus auction fees and shipping in June 2019. That was a good bargain back then, but not excessively so. The type is common and there aren't many collectors.

MAItalienNeapelRobertderWeise(neu).png.ee24674df62adc4c3f8306315ee5ed21.png

Kingdom of Naples, under Robert "the Wise" of Anjou, AR gigliato, 1309–1317. Naples mint (?). Obv: +ROBERT DEI GRA IERL ET SICIL REX; Robert sitting facing on lion throne, holding lily scepter and globus cruciger. Rev: + hOnOR. REGIS. IUDICIU. DILIGIT; floral cross, lilies in quadrants. 28mm, 3.93g. Ref: MIR Napoli 28.

Edited by Ursus
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3 hours ago, Ursus said:

@JeandAcre already explained above that the Roma coin has a pellet in the right obverse field – which makes it somewhat unusual. Yet, there are numerous subtypes with different fieldmarks (lis, ringlet, etc.) that usually don't sell for much of a premium. My theory: either two specialist collectors wanted to have this one badly and were willing to pay whatever necessary, or at least two bidders just didn't know better. Now, the number of people who collect medieval gigliati by field mark likely fits into a single Toyota Prius. Thus, the second option seems more likely...

I bought mine for 28€ plus auction fees and shipping in June 2019. That was a good bargain back then, but not excessively so. The type is common and there aren't many collectors.

Well done.  I paid $150 for mine thirty years ago.  It was the first one I had ever seen.  

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