ITALY, Salerno. Mansone. Vicedux
|CNG 84, Lot: 1747. Estimate $1500.
Sold for $3100. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.
of Amalfi, fl
. circa 1077/8-1096. Æ Follaro (25mm, 2.61 g, 12h). Amalfi mint. Bareheaded and draped facing bust; eight-rayed star to left and right / MAN/SOVICЄ/[DVX] in three lines. CNI XVIII 4; Travaini, Monetazione
type 68; MEC 14, 124. VF, brown patina. Overstruck on Travaini type 93. Very rare.
The last example of this type to appear at auction was in the Moneta Imperii Romani Byzantini Sale (Stack’s, 12 January 2009), lot 3438, where it realized $2800.
Apart from the numismatic evidence, nothing else about this Mansone, or the office he held is known. Mansone was a family name for the Dukes of Amalfi, and several are known for this period. Originally attributed to Mansone III (981-983), the stylistic similiarity to the coins of Ruggero Borsa, as well as the existence of an example overstruck on one of the anonymous ITALIЄ types attributed to Ruggero Borsa would certainly put the coinage of Mansone into this period; definitely before 1096 when Amalfi became independent. Several interpretations of the reverse legend have been offered, and the prima facie one – vicedux as written – seems most plausible, even though no documentary evidence confirming such a title is known. Grierson (p. 95) notes that Mansone IV, deposed in 1053, had a son and grandson, each of the same name and who appear with the title dominus in contemporary documents. The coinage of Fulco di Basagerio, an apparent contemporary of Mansone, who also struck coinage, suggests that Ruggero Borsa’s weak rule may have allowed for the semi-independence of, or delegation of some authority to minor rulers like Fulco and Mansone, who were thus allowed to strike coinage.