CNG Bidding Platform


Products and Services

Research Coins: Feature Auction

Sale: CNG 70, Lot: 1141. Estimate $5000. 
Closing Date: Wednesday, 21 September 2005. 
Sold For $8000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

FRISIA, Frisians or Norsemen. Imitating Louis the Pious. Circa 830-850 AD. Base AV Solidus (4.55 g). VIIT VIIT, crude diademed and draped bust right / Degenerate legend surrounding cross potent. Cf. Grierson, "The Gold Solidus of Louis the Pious and its Imitations," Jaarboek voor Munt- en Penningkunde XXXVIIII (1951), Type XIII; cf. MEC 1, 752-756; cf. Delmonte 29. VF, toned. ($5000)

Grierson, in his study of the imitation solidi of the emperor Louis the Pious (814-840), classifies them according to 29 types. Although varying greatly by the competence of the engraver and quality of the gold, the imitations cited do share some common features. They often have a legend in which at least some part of the name of Louis can be discerned, ...VVDOV... or a variation thereof, and the cross on the reverse is usually enclosed within a wreath with a trefoil tie. Additionally, the reverse "legend" usually has an O at or near the 12 o'clock position. The present coin does not display any of these features, and in general appears more crude than the published examples. The iterated VIIT resembles the fragmentary legends of continental "Frisian" sceats of a century earlier, with a legend derived from a mint name ending in ...VIC, or -wick, the Anglo-Saxon term for "town". By the time of Louis the Pious, this had simply become a generalized coin legend that had been copied for generations. These and other extremely rare Carolingian gold solidi had little long term impact on the economy or coinage system, and it would be several more centuries, with the introduction of the Venetian ducat and the Florentine florin, that gold would play a significant role in the western economy.