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313, Lot: 591. Estimate $100.
Sold for $340. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

SERBIA. Stefan Lazarevic Hrebljanovic. As Despot of Serbia, 1402-1427. AR Dinar (13mm, 0.31 g, 1h). +ΔЄCΠOT CTЄΦA, cross pattée; pellet in each quarter / Double-headed eagle; three pellets around. Novaković type 1; Jovanovic 41.24; Ivanisevic 42.17; Dimitrijevic –; D&D 39.1.13. VF, toned, areas of flat strike. Extremely rare, only 4 examples noted by Novakovic.

Stefan Lazarevic was the son of Lazar Hrebeljanovic, and succeeded him as knez of Pomoravlje following the Battle of Kosovo Polje. After the battle, Hungary, a traditional opponent of Serbia, took advantage of the situation by seizing the northern Serbian lands. In reaction, Lazar's widow, who was regent while Stefan was in his minority, recognized the suzerainty of the Ottoman sultan. As such, Stefan fought alongside the Ottomans, against the Christian forces, at a number of major battles in the following years, including Karanovasa (1394), Rovine (1395), and Nicopolis (1396). In fact, Stefan's Serbs were pivotal in the Ottoman success at Nicopolis, reversing the initial gains of the Christian army, and changing the momentum of the battle in favor of the Turks. Stefan and his forces were also sided with the Ottomans at the battle of Angora in 1402, where the Turks were defeated by Tamerlane. The overwhelming defeat of the Ottomans at Angora enabled Stefan to reconcile with the Christians, particularly the Byzantines, who now recognized Stefan as Despot of Serbia. Relations were also repaired with Hungary, who returned the northern Serbian lands they had earlier seized. Although Serbia was relatively independent, it still was a nominal vassal of the Turks. Relations between sultan Suleiman and Stefan were good, but the sultan's death in 1411 brought his son, Musa to the throne, who was a staunch enemy of Stefan. Musa's brother, Mehemet I, however, made a bid for the throne, provoking a civil war. Stefan sided with Mehemet I, and their joint forces defeated Musa in 1413 near Mt. Vitosa. Stefan's rule was very prosperous for Serbia in many respects, economically, socially, and intellectually. He was also very pious, and founded a number of monasteries. Recognizing the power of his neighbor, the Hungarian king Sigismund I invited Stefan to join his Order of the Dragon in 1408. Stefan died in 1427, at only 53 years old, leaving the despotate to his capable nephew, Djuradj Brankovic.