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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 9, Lot: 342. Estimate CHF3500. 
Closing Date: Monday, 20 October 2014. 
Sold For CHF5000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

MEROVINGIANS, Prevunda Silva . c. 620-640. Tremissis (Gold, 11mm, 1.27 g 9), The traditional attribution of this piece to Provins (Seine-et-Marne) is almost certainly incorrect (see below), Magnulfus. P REVVNDA SILVA (some letters inverted) Head with long hair to right. Rev. .MAGNVLFI + Cross on globe. Belfort 3678/80. NM II, p. 142, 2. Prou 2620. Very rare. Nicely centered and clear. Virtually as struck and extremely fine.

From the Cologny Collection. This coin has been ascribed to Provins (Pruvinus Castrum) by both Belfort and Prou but this seems very unlikely. In fact, the word Prevunda comes from the late Latin praebenda, which means state revenue used to support private individuals or the Church. Thus, the prevunda silva are the revenues from royal forests that were granted as a benefice to important personages. Exactly where these forests were is uncertain, but stylistically this coin appears to be from somewhere in northern France. For another example of this coin, struck from very similar dies (certainly engraved by the same craftsman), see Elsen 108, 2011, 578.