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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 3 & 4, Lot: 259. Estimate CHF10000. 
Closing Date: Monday, 9 May 2011. 
Sold For CHF8500. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

MEROVINGIANS, Poitiers, St. Hilaire (?). Late 7th century. Denier (Silver, 1.23 g 9), Mar..rus. MAR..RVS Diademed and armored bust to right, in Roman style. Rev. Stylized church formed by cross atop a triangular-shaped stand set on a cursive M. Cf. Depeyrot AG 51 (Poitiers) and 3-4 (Saint-Hilaire). Cf. Prou 2218. Extremely rare. Beautifully toned and unusually well-preserved. Good extremely fine.

From a Swiss private collection, ex Numismatica Genevensis V, 2 December 2008, 506.

This marvelous little coin is particularly annoying because even if we can read it, we can not be sure what it says! It seems to be northern, probably Neustrian, but its exact origin is at present uncertain. The obverse inscription is very tantalizing, it clearly begins with MAR, possibly continues with two letters under the bust (though they could both be part of the figure’s cuirass) and then ends with what seems to be the letters RVS (the S is on its side). As for the reverse, the type is very reminiscent of a prototype Carolingian church, but it could equally well be a cross atop a monogram of MA or AM. In any case, it is a particularly fine and attractive Merovingian silver coin.