Denmark. Penning 1234. The earliest dated coin of Europe. Unique and of the utmost importance.
Denmark, Valdemar II, the Victorious, 1202–1241. Penning (pfennig, penny, denar, denier) struck in the city of Roskilde “In the yearof our Lord” 1234, 1,00g. Very Fine condition.P. Hauberg, “Danmarks Myntvæsen”, Copenhagen 1906, Tab. V, 12; A. Frey, “The Dated European Coinage prior to 1501, New York 1915, N1; R. A. Levinson, ”The Early dated coins of Europe 1234–1500", New Jersey 2002, VI-1.The coin shows a crown on the obverse and a miter (bishop's hat) on the reverse and bears the following legends in uncial script: +ANNO DOMINI / MCCXXXIIII.From an old Swedish collection. First published in Nordisk Numismatisk Unions Medlemsblad, August 2003, by Kent Bengtsson.Of the utmost historical importance. A wonderful example, probably the best of the 7 in existence and unique in private hands.
The present coin, which ranges among the most famous and most important of all European coins ever, owes its position to the fact that it is the earliest dated coin in the history of European numismatics. In his standard reference work Robert Levinson puts it very accurately when he says that “The decision to begin dating coins to an Anno Domini standard was hardly a trend-setter: 138 years passed until the next European coins were dated in 1372”, and the first collectable dated coin is normally considered as being the 1374 Groschen from Aachen.The reason for the issue of this outstanding coin has since its first discovery around 1700 been something of a mystery, and in fact precisely the mysterious could hold some of the explanation for the dating of this coin. In the Medieval world superstition played a vital part in every day life and the magic in numbers should not be underestimated. After all, never before - or for that matter since - has there been a year containing such a “powerful” sequence of numbers, no matter if you use the Arabic numbers 1–2 - 3–4 or the Roman numerals M (x 1) C (x 2) X (x 3) I (x 4).Most of the 13th century there was an intense conflict between the King and the Catholic Church, and king Valdemar tried to secure full proceeds from the minting, which was divided between the crown and the church. Following a meeting in 1234, Niels Stigsen, who was bishop of Roskilde from 1225 till 1249, apparantly succeeded in maintaining “his” share of the income, and so the present coin, showing the miter of the bishop, could be seen as a sort of ecclesiastical commemorative.
Trésor - Anniversary auction, 20 November 2008
- Price realised