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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Sale: CNG 61, Lot: 2198. Estimate $1500. 
Closing Date: Wednesday, 25 September 2002. 
Sold For $2750. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

THE FRANKISH KINGDOM OF GAUL. PEPIN THE SHORT. 751-768. AR Denier (1.02 gm). Struck circa 754/5-768. St. Denis mint. R P (Rex Pipinus); bar above, pellets around / LA TRD- LO in three lines. MEC 720; Prou 4; Depeyrot 892. VF. Very rare. ($1500)

Grierson and Blackburn attributed this coin to an uncertain mint. However, Georges Depeyrot has recently given it to the mint of St. Denis, where in 754 Pepin was anointed by Pope Stephen II as king of Francia. A new dynasty was thus shaped, leaving the last of the Merovingian rois fainéant, Childeric III, to be tonsured and shut in a monastery. The Papal request for military help against the Lombards, influenced perhaps by the forged “Donation of Constantine”, led Pepin to launch two campaigns in 754 and 756, against the Lombards and to force them to restore to the pope twenty-eight towns, formerly Byzantine, in central Italy. This established the “Patrimony of St. Peter” and, as it seemed to the pope, to consolidate and guarantee his universal power over Christendom.