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353, Lot: 722. Estimate $100.
Sold for $75. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

FRANCE, Provincial. Provence (comté). temp. Alphonse II–Raimond-Bérenger IV. 1185-1245. Denier – Royal coronat (18mm, 0.98 g, 10h). Marseilles mint. Struck circa 1186-circa 1243. RЄX ° ARA ° GO(NE), crowned head left / PO|VI|NC|IA, long cross pattée, with three pellets at each limb. Duplessy, Féodales 1611; Boudeau 807 (as Alphonse); Rolland 11 (as Alphonse II); Poey d'Avant 3930 var. (obv. legend; as Alphonse II). EF, underlying luster.

Mid-12th century Provence is a perfect example of the complex systems of marriage alliances that characterized European politics at the time. The Catalan rulers of Aragon desired lands in southern France, but these were held by the counts of Toulouse. As the ruler of Toulouse, Raymond IV, was excommunicated and thus out of favor of the church, Raimond-Bérenger III of Barcelona was able to obtain permission to marry Douce I, countess of Provence, and the two ruled jointly until Douce’s death. The territory would remain in Aragonese hands through the House of Barcelona until Raimond IV (V) died without male heirs in 1245. The title would then pass to his daughter, Beatrice, and her husband, Charles d’Anjou.