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Medieval Bohemian denar

BOLESLAV I (929-967) SWORD-TYPE DENAR

A short sword is placed to the right in an inner circle of cut pearls. Above it is depicted an unspecified object, which used to be considered an anvil. The sword, a symbol of royal power, is of the Viking type, but its shape is unmatched on other coins. And so, although one can see in this motif an echo of the Nordic influence and although in terms of content it imitates the so-called St. Peter's coins of the Danish kings from York in North-humberland, this coin image is probably of domestic, Czech origin.

Throughout the first century of the independent mint, the oldest Czech mints were subject to the patterns of foreign worlds of thought, which the Czech ruling circles knew from a wide variety of, most often economic contacts. The breadth and scope of this circle is one of the most important sources for understanding the meaning and political and cultural orientation of the young Czech state.

Jos. Smolík, G. Skalskv and most recently P. Radoměrský place the so-called sword type of denarii at the beginning of the Czech coinage in general (up to the first half of the 10th century), V. Katz to the years 983-987 as a coinage of Boleslav II.

The stamp of this coin was mostly created by punching. Mainly, the Descriptions font is made up of individual parts, basic hallmarks.

Descriptions run counterclockwise + BOLEZLAV.

The outer circle is made of chopped pearls.

 

 

BOLESLAV II DENAR (967-999) WITH HIS WIFE'S NAME ADI VY- ELFGIFY

In the entire field, there is a schematic, ornamentally designed linear image of a V-head with a veil in the frontal view, surrounded by the letters Descriptions, which preserves the name of the first wife of Boleslav II, the Anglo-Saxon Adiva, originally also called Elfgifou. With simple means, a spade and a punch, a surprising effect is achieved under the influence of the pictorial content of Byzantine coins, known probably through Anglo-Saxon means. The Anglo-Saxon influence on Czech coins of the 10th century was already recognized long ago. In recent times, it has been newly and more abundantly documented, as evidenced by the denar just depicted.

Descriptions A + Dl | AHA

The outer circle is made of chopped pearls.

 

 

DENAR OF PRINCESS EMMA, WIFE OF BOLESLAV II (died 1005 OR 1006) OF THE ANGLO-SAXON (ETHELRED) TYPE

Princess Emma, ​​probably the second wife of Boleslav II, of Burgundian or Anglo-Saxon royal blood, also gave expression to her noble origin by minting coins in a separate mint at the castle of Mělník. All of them have the same images in several variants, imitating the coins of the Anglo-Saxon king Ethelred IL, with whose character the Guilds became familiar mainly in the markets near the Baltic Sea. T. vol. the Anglo-Saxon (Ethelred) type occurs most often among our denarii in the second half of the 10th century (late 1980s to 1990s). Its obverse schematic image depicts a bust of the prince facing left, modeled on the coins of Ethelred II. There is a cross in the left field. The prince has a mantle, fastened on the right shoulder according to the original antique model, the head is decorated with a vine, tied at the back. The same head is often found on the denarii of Boleslav II.

I accept with joy the deciphering of the still illegible Descriptions on the previous denarius by Pavel Radoměrský in the article Princess Emma, ​​but I cannot agree with his interpretation that Elfgifa — Adiva is identical to Emma. Emma is, in my opinion, rather the second wife of Boleslav II.

Descriptions + 3NMA + REGINA

The outer circle is smooth.

 

ANGLO-SAXON TYPE SOBÉSLAV SLAVNIKOVCE DENAR (981-995)

In addition to the Přemyslovci, he minted in Bohemia in the 10th century. Soběslav, the most powerful representative of the second tribal princely family, Slavníkovci.

Iconographically, a group of his coins, of several types, stand out for their wealth of motifs against the pictorial regularity and sobriety of the Přemyslovsk denarii, which were kept unchanged with regard to the payment function of the coin. Images of denarii by Soběslav Slavníkovec do not have many parallels in foreign coins. Thus, the obverse image of the hand of God protruding from the clouds, a characteristic image of coins of the Anglo-Saxon type, is enriched with a short sword placed across. The symbol of spiritual power is connected here with the symbol of monarchical power, probably an idea and work of domestic origin.

Descriptions + ZOBE + ZJVA

SILVER. 20mm 1.185g

COLLECTION OF THE HELLICH MUSEUM IN PODĚBRADY.

 

The reverse image of this coin, until the discovery of the denarii in Poděbrady. 1936 unique, represents a bird in a smooth circle; it is suggested that the pelican, a symbol of Christ's sacrifice and resurrection, is not meant here. The bird is bent in profile far left, ready to tear open its breast to feed its young with its own blood. The motif of its processing has no analogues elsewhere on coins, although the image of the bird penetrated, probably from the Orient via the Byzantines, into Russia and the Nordic countries as early as the 10th century.

Against the Anglo-Saxon influence on the pictorial content of the Slavnik denarii, the Byzantine influence comes to the fore here.

Indecipherable Descriptions - POS•T.VPFAER contains a group of letters VPFAER, very characteristic of the Soběslav mints.

 

ANGLO-SAXON-TYPE SOBESLAV SLAVNIKOVIC DENAR

Within smooth circle image of bird to right, head fully turned back to left. Although the subject of the image is the same as on the previous denarius, and although technically the same production method was used for both images, i.e. chisels for contour lines and punches for dots, with which the feathers on the body of both birds are ornamentally indicated, the motif itself is significantly different from the image of the pelican. Another bird, perhaps a dove, an important Christian symbol, is depicted here with simple means.

Indecipherable Descriptions is roughly punctuated.

 

SOBÓSLAV SLAVNIKOVIC DENAR LIBIC MINT

In full field, bearded head in front with low crown, rising in center to high crest of trefoil form. The image on contemporary Czech and foreign coins is unique, it is related to denarii with bird motifs due to its manufacture, i.e. the alternating use of a spade and rough punches. It was apparently created under the influence of Byzantine mints, manifested, perhaps through the Polish ones, in Slavník mints far more intensively than in Přemyslovsk mints. This painting is a source of interpretations about the political and cultural orientation of the Slavníkovci, as well as proof of their awareness of their own importance and power. Due to their rarity - only three pieces from the same pair of dies are known - and with this very obverse image, these Soběslav denarii are placed at the end of the series of his coins, just before the overthrow of Libya and the slaughter of Slavníkovci in 995.

Descriptions ZOBEZLAV

The outer ring is beaded.

 

Across the field a chapel with a cross on top of the roof. The hint of a temple is one of the most common motifs on Przemysl denarii under the influence of Bavarian, especially Rzesz, mints. The image of the entire chapel on Soběslav's denarius is apparently taken from the German so-called Otto - the Adelheid Phoenicians, perhaps through the Poles (Boleslav the Brave).

In Descriptions we read the name of the main Slavník castle and - next to Malín - the main mint in Libica: LTV 4- BV2 J

The outer circle is small.

 

DENAR OF BRETISLAV I (1034-1055)

An extremely schematic, almost ornamentally expressed image, perhaps St. Wenceslas. First, the image of this saint appears on the denarii of Prince Jaromír (1004-1012). It was then domesticated on Czech coins as the image of the country's patron saint and its symbol. It was last minted on a ducat from 1612. (See Fig. No. 61). Under Byzantine influence, the bust is depicted in the entire field, frontally, with an old gesture of prayer still of early Christian origin. Hands on outstretched arms grow to excessive size. Geometrically, a triangle represents the headdress, its halo with its five arcs, the gathering of the dress by sections of concentric circles, above which the dot, with the task of fastening the dress, also marks the center of the entire coin image, enclosed with Descriptions in an outer circle of chopped pearls. The first great reformer of the Czech coinage, Břetislav I, apparently did not pay special attention to its pictorial content.

Stamped Descriptions is directly part of the image and fills its empty areas VV ENCEZNVS

silver. 20 mm 1.01 g NATIONAL MUSEUM COLLECTION.

PURPLE, CZECH DENARS, TAB. VIT, No. 22.

 

DENAR OF VRATISLAV II (1061-1092)

In plain inner circle, head of Christ to front, with hair parted in centre. A great technical change, already announced in the 10th century, mainly on Slavník coins, gradually brought improvements in the production of stamps in the second half of the 11th century. At the same time, the figural and animal motifs were freed from their earlier schematic stiffness. Entire parts of paintings, later even entire paintings, are suddenly engraved on punches and no longer assembled in a mosaic, and the individual punched parts of the paintings are then connected by engraving. Against the image on the obverse, which is still geometrically designed with the shape of the prince's head with a triangular miter, the image on the reverse is already composed of larger punch units, which shift the expression of Christ's face.

Descriptions run counter-clockwise and do not have a cross to indicate the start of WENCEZJIS

The outer circle is made of chopped pearls.

The cutting of the denarius is probably a mark of a certain quality.

silver. 15x16 mm 0.65 g NATIONAL MUSEUM COLLECTION.

 

 

BORIVOJE DENAR RUBBER II (1100-1007; 1109-1110; 1109-1120) FIRST REIGN

In smooth inner circle prince in armor on horse galloping left.

He has a pointed helmet on his head, perhaps a wire balaclava, a staff in his right hand, resting on his knee. A spur can be clearly seen on the leg resting in the stirrup, as well as parts of the dress and clothing as well as parts of the horse's harness. This sense of realistic details is a characteristic feature of those great artists, iron cutters, who, for a surface of about 16 mm including the Descriptions strip or about 12 mm without the Descriptions strip, were able to artistically transcribe even these details from reality, without violating the proportionality of the entire image. The coin is very rare.

However, the hallmarked Descriptions do not agree with the image, as on some other denarii, where both images (obverse and reverse) are interchanged. Apparently he punched or engraved the Descriptions on the die with a different cutter than the images. Only part of it is legible + WENCEZ--VS

Only a few teeth are preserved from the serrated edge of the coin.

silver. 17 mm 0.825 g NATIONAL MUSEUM COLLECTION.

 

Prince seated in beaded inner circle. He is dressed in a fringed robe and mantle, fastened on the right shoulder. The head is bald, with curly hair. In his right hand he holds a spear with a long shaft, with his left he rests on a shield with a large buckle. The legs rest on the base.

The image is very similar in motif and composition to the image of St. Wenceslas on the reverse of the seal of King Vladislav I from 1169, although there is about half a century between the creation of the two.

Descriptions run counter-clockwise + BORIVVOI The edge of the coin is serrated.

 

DENAR OF BOŘIVOJE II

In a beaded inner circle, an image of a figure seated on a richly articulated throne with a backrest. The figure is turned to the left, holding an indistinct, perhaps circular object in the left hand, raising the right hand with an interpretive gesture of a raised finger. The whole figure in its proportionality, its movement, the details of the face, hairstyle, smooth upper and fringed lower dress, legs and throne are unusually realistically captured.

Descriptions + WENCEZLVAS

The edge is serrated.

 

DENAR OF BOŘIVOJE II SECOND REIGN (1118-1120)

The sense for the reality of details did not diminish the ability of master iron cutters for the overall layout and placement of the coin image, for the mutual relationships of parts to the whole and vice versa, for entire figures, whether human or animal, for their movement and its artistic expression. On the obverse of this denar Bořivoje II. a beaded circle encloses a scene of a hunter riding out to hunt with a falcon sitting on the rider's right hand. First of all, a motif is used here, which then often appeared on the coins of various countries, but the motif is undoubtedly secular in origin. It is often used as a symbol of the month of May in painted or plastic calendar images. Even religious symbolism attributed to him the representation of several ideas. Whatever symbol expresses the image, we can only admire how much life is captured in the movement of the horse and how much keen observation is contained in the representation of the rider.

Even in Descriptions, as in the three previous images, the entire letters are engraved on individual punches and thus punched, not composed of rectangles, triangles and dots as before.

Descriptions + DV-.BORIVOI

The outer edge is serrated.

 

In a beaded inner circle within a quatrefoil frame, frontal bust of a prince with smooth cheeks, fringed with hair on the sides, wearing a ducal cap. The sat attached to the right side reveals an antique pattern. On the sides of the bust are indications of the attributes of princely power: a banner on the right, a scepter on the left.

Descriptions + DVX.BORIVOI

The outer circle is made of chopped pearls.

 

DENAR OF BOŘIVOJE II

The beaded inner circle encloses a very well-developed scene integrated into a small area, in which the image of an angel lifting up a child, i.e. delivering a human soul into Abraham's bosom, is selected from the rich well of Romanesque religious ideas and transferred into the shape of a coin relief. How much longevity the phenomenon of the angel's kneeling, how much devotion and simplicity! Perhaps it is an echo of some Victoria or other goddess of ancient coins, as we see her on some other denarii from the time of their artistic heyday.

From Descriptions it is readable + • S • VV • ENCEZ--V-

The outer circle is made of chopped pearls.

 

DENAR OF PRINCE SVATOPLUK (1107-1109)

The pictorial content of Czech denars is very rich; the variety of motifs brings not only representative images of monarchs and the country's patron saint, but also entire ceremonial, combat and hunting scenes. Many of them stem from symbolism and religious themes, in some we can see echoes of real events and life. Many of these scenes we cannot exactly explain. Thus, the reverse of the depicted Svatoplukov denarius encloses three figures in a circle of pearls. The largest is seated, holding a cross on a long pole to the left. He relates the right to the second figure, who in the left half of the field hands a Broad Chalice to a seated man. A third, smallest figure, apparently assisting, stands by the cross. It is difficult to find any element of religious symbolism in this cluster of three unequally sized figures, but one cannot help thinking whether we cannot see in the scene some reminder of the imperial office of the highest waiter,

Descriptions + VVENCEZLAVS

The outer edge is coarsely serrated.

silver. 16.5mm 0.74g NATIONAL MUSEUM COLLECTION.

 

DENAR VLADISLAV I (1109, 1110-1118, 1120-1125)

The monumental image of the seated prince, enclosed in a circle of pearls, is, like the reverse of the same denarius, one of the most beautiful coins ever. With a sword in his right hand, his left resting on a shield, and a ducal cap on his head, the Czech prince sits there full of calm dignity, emphasized by his clothes and the shift of his legs, and complemented by a drawing of the princely throne.

Even the denarii of Vladislav I are sorted according to Fialov numbers for easier checking of citations, although we acknowledge the corrections of P. Radoměrský, Peníz of the Age of Kosmos, NCCsl. XXI, 1952.

Descriptions + DVX. VVLADI - LAVS

There are traces of small teeth on the edge.

silver. 17 mm 0.795 g NATIONAL MUSEUM COLLECTION.

 

In a pearl circle, the figure of St. Václav (left on the coin) and Vojtěch (right) from the front. In a wonderful formal purity and perfection with an extraordinary understanding and ability to artistically capture in tiny relief the entire figure and the details of the posture, movements, clothes and objects, echoes of the image of Byzantine mints are manifested in this beautiful coin image. St. Wenceslas in Byzantine-type knight armor and cloak holds a spear in his right hand, his left leaning on a shield. St. Vojtěch is dressed in an album, richly embroidered tunic and cape. He holds a bishop's scepter in his right, a book on his chest with his left. The Přemysl and Slavník saints jointly assume the function of patrons of the united country.

Descriptions + SWENCEL.VS . E • ADAL-ETVS

The border is unadorned.

 

Front view bust of the prince in anti-acid armor in a beaded circle. In his raised right hand, the prince holds a sword behind his head, his left hand and shoulder are covered by a shield. The influence of Byzantine coins on this Czech coinage is so obvious that we wonder if the gold coins of Anastasia L, Justin L, Justinian L, Constantino Pogonatus or their Ostrogothic or Visigothic imitations were not the direct model of the artist who in the first decades of the twelfth century he was inspired by their paintings. However, he also created this independently, he does not accept it - he has a pattern slavishly and currency, for example, a spear into a sword, a headdress into a hair. It is, however, an almost unanswerable question, where and how this iron cutter could have directly met the images of Byzantine coins.

Descriptions + DVX. WLADISLAV

The edge is serrated.

silver. 17 mm 0.665 g NATIONAL MUSEUM COLLECTION.

 

The pearl circle closes the scene of the fight with the lion, a frequent in Romanesque art and on Czech and foreign coins a repeated transcription of man's struggle with sin and evil. The relief rendering of this idea on a circular surface of minute diameter is full of life in the movement of a struggling man who holds a circular shield in his left hand and raises a sword in his right hand. Both the dress and the scabbard of the sword emphasize the movement. A sense of equal distribution of the image contrasted the image of the leaping beast with a hint of a plant.

Descriptions + DV-VVLADISLAVS

The outer circle is made of pearls.

silver. 17mm 0.822g NATIONAL MUSEUM COLLECTION.

 

In a circle of thicker pearls, a bare-haired archer on horseback to the left.

He is facing backwards in the saddle and shooting his bow. The painting, masterfully laid out in the area of ​​a small circle, is full of realistic details of the face and the whole figure, especially its movements, that secure hold in the saddle, clearly depicted. The details of the bow, especially the strengthening at the corners and its shape and the shape of the arrow, are as faithfully rendered as the details of the dress and horse harness. There is a dot below the rider's foot.

The stamp with the image of the horse's head was incorrectly applied, so the head is detached from the horse's neck.

Only the beginning of -i- DVX is readable from Descriptions

The edge is smooth.

silver. 16 mm 0.915 g NATIONAL MUSEUM COLLECTION.

 

In a circle of coarser pearls above the architectural hint of a wall in the middle with the gate of the heavenly city, from which a cross on a long pole protrudes upwards, two busts are slightly facing each other: on the right St. Wenceslas, bare-haired, in a robe tied on the right shoulder, to the left St. Audrey with a miter of the old form and in a priestly vestment with a pallium. We see similar "double portraits" on Czech denarii from the time of their artistic heyday several times. In the field on each outer side of both busts the letter E turned inwards.

In Descriptions, mostly illegible, only the name of St. Vác-1 ava.

The edge is smooth.

 

DENAR OF SOBESLAV I (1125-1140)

The graceful image of a seated angel fills the rare symmetry of the field on the reverse of the denarius, enclosed by a circle of pearls. Although it is a representation of an extraterrestrial being, every detail is realistic, whether in the face, hair, in the gesture of the hands raised in prayer, and in the whole body. The flat layout of the image in a circle is, by its proportionality, an example of a high feeling for decorative art. The small cross on the left in the field only underlines the noble regularity.

From the name of St. Václava in Descriptions, only part --W---OFZLAV--(letter O is in place of C, letter F in place of E) is legible.

Only part of the outer smooth circle is visible.

silver. 16x17 mm, 0.73 g NATIONAL MUSEUM COLLECTION.

 

The richest 2 figural scenes on the Czech denarii, enclosed in a beaded circle, depicting five figures of fighters, is not, as used to be interpreted, an image of a Czech army marching into battle, but rather an image of Christ's warriors (milites Christi, milites pugnantes), i.e. again a motif drawn from religious symbolism. They too are supposed to remind people of the fight against sin, evil and the devil. The first and fourth from the right are bald, they all have the same type of stabbing weapon, the first from the left also has a shield.

Only part of the corrupt Descriptions is readable! DSX S VOBE The border decoration is imperceptible.

silver. 18 mm, 0.63 g NATIONAL MUSEUM COLLECTION.

 

DENAR OF VLADISLAV II (1140-1173)

The scene closed by the pearl inner circle represents a variation of the struggle between man and evil, which is represented on the coin image this time by an attacking bear. In the serpent, which from the left of the bite is to the left shoulder of the defending man, we must see the representation of temptation and sin. Motivated by religious symbolism, this high-quality relief is also interspersed with lively movement with remarkable details, such as the shroud on the left hand of the struggling man, perhaps to cover wounds; the heads of both animals also deserve special attention.

Descriptions are not preserved at all.

The decoration of the edge of the coin is indistinct.

silver. 16.5mm 0.965g NATIONAL MUSEUM COLLECTION.

 

Another favorite symbol of the Christian struggle of man with evil is the image of Samson, a type of Christ, a tearing lion. This motif is often used in small and larger Romanesque sculptures. Also on this denarius, in proportion to its sculptural models, Samson is captured, his knees pressing down on a lion, on whose back he jumped. In the entire posture of his body, the power exerted by him is clearly expressed, and in contrast, in the body of the lion fleeing to the left, horror and pain. The beautifully laid out relief is closed by a beaded inner circle.

Only part -DVXVVLADT----S is readable from Descriptions

The outer circle is smooth.

silver. 16mm o.68g NATIONAL MUSEUM COLLECTION.

 

DENAR OF VLADISLAV II (I)

One of the most beautiful equestrian scenes on Czech denars from their heyday is evenly spread out in the pearl inner circle. The horseman kills with a short sword a lion that has jumped on the horse's back, i.e. he fights against the sin that threatens man. The picture is full of dramatic tension, in which every movement has a precise function and place. The entire relief is richly composed and divided with great decorative sense.

From the Descriptions, only the part + DV--------LAVS is readable

The outer circle is smooth.

silver. 16x17 mm 0.96 g NATIONAL MUSEUM COLLECTION.

 

Iíc so called of the coronation denarius of the Czech king Vladislav I. shows in relief, somewhat higher, a crowned male figure, sitting on a wide chair without backs, holding in his left hand a lily wand and in his right hand giving the crown to an uncrowned figure, who receives it with both outstretched hands in an attitude full of respect and humility. The painting belongs to the few historical ones, that is, to those whose content is explained by a certain historical event. Here, in 1158, Frederick Barbarossa hands over the royal crown to his loyal ally, the Czech prince Vladislav II. It is surprising that the crown being handed over is richer and higher than the one on the emperor's head.

Only the beginning of REX is readable from Descriptions----------

The decoration of the region is indistinct.

SILVER. 16x17 mm 0.687 g NATIONAL MUSEUM COLLECTION.

 

In a beaded inner circle, bust of a man, turned slightly to the right, without halo, spear top with banner in right hand, shield in left. This reverse image also has a higher relief, which thus achieves the surprising expression of the head, especially its face, as well as the drawing of the banner and the tip of the spear.

Descriptions is almost indiscernible.

The outer circle is smooth.

 

DENAR OF VLADISLAV II. (I.) AS KINGS

In a beaded inner circle, a frontal view of the seated Queen Jitka. A veil hangs from under the crown around the head, the long dress, tight at the top and fringed at the bottom, has cut, deep-falling sleeves. Both hands of the queen are raised, in the left the queen holds an object similar to a goblet with a spherical lid. This object, so far difficult to explain, often appears in a somewhat deviant drawing on Czech denarii from the middle of the 12th century and in the frieze of a silver headband found in 1937 in České Budějovice.

The attention Czech princes paid to their wives in the 10th century - Boleslav I listed the name of his wife Biagota on the reverse of one type of denarii; Boleslav II in the same way, with Descriptions around the head, he preserved the name of his first wife (see fig. no. 2) and honored the second, Emma, ​​by allowing her to be minted (see fig. no. 3) - thus it comes to life again under Vladislav II. (L), who even had his and his wife's names stamped on another type of his denarius. The depicted reverse of Vladislav's denarius shows a realistic image of the first Czech queen.

Descriptions and the outer circle are invisible.

silver. 16x17 mm 0.82 g NATIONAL MUSEUM COLLECTION.

 

In a beaded inner circle, a blessing angel before which a male figure humbly bows. The painting is a beautiful example of the representation of angels. The relief is full of movement in symmetrical gestures and directly masterfully incorporated into the surface of the circle. The blessing and protection movement of the angel's hand is complemented by the movement of the censer on the long curtain.

Fragments of Descriptions are unreadable.

The outer circle is smooth.

silver. 16x17 mm, 0.53 5 g NATIONAL MUSEUM COLLECTION.

 

Another reverse of this denarius features an angelic scene in a beaded inner circle: two angels facing each other touch a ball with a cross on a long pole, which both hold with their free hands. The meaning of this symbolic scene is perhaps the maintenance of the church's rule by supernatural power. Its execution shows the same masterful hand in the layout of the whole and in the details as the face of the denarius. However, the two angels on the reverse differ from each other in their clothing. The right one is wearing a man's dress, the left a flowing, tunic dress is a woman's.

Only individual letters are readable from Descriptions.

The edge is decorated with small teeth.

 

Bare-haired rider with banner on short pole on horseback left in beaded inner circle. In the field behind the rider, the letter R. In its entirety, this relief is a dignified contrast to the rider struggling with a lion. The very well-preserved piece shows a remarkable purity of detail, given a little harder than in the lovely picture of the hideous match (Fig. No. 29). The letter R is interpreted as the beginning of the designation "king" (Rex) and the denarius is therefore assigned to the reign of Vladislav II. like a king.

Descriptions is unreadable.

The border is indistinct.

silver. 16x17 mm 0.67 g NATIONAL MUSEUM COLLECTION.

 

DENAR OF PRINCE FRIEDRICH (1173, 1179-1182, 1182-1189)

Excellent engraving art on Czech denarii in the second half of the 12th century, disappearing. The existing literature, however, places several denarii of high quality worthy of note in this period.

According to the older model, the bust of St. is engraved in the beaded inner circle. Wenceslaus, holding a scepter-like cross in his right hand, his left hand raised, haloed and in a mantle clasped on his right shoulder. The halo is embossed, as if placed under the head. The saint's head, unusually finely carved, has an impressive facial expression. Against the persuasiveness of the head, the body is somewhat stooped and the right hand is disproportionately small. With its artistic qualities, this denar belongs to older denars.

Only --VVENCEZL-- can be read from Descriptions

The outer circle is indistinct.

silver. 16 ir .m 0.84 g NATIONAL MUSEUM COLLECTION.

 

DENAR OF PRINCE VACLAV II. (1191-1192)

The era of great engraving art has passed. Iron cutters retain the knowledge of the great pictorial possibilities on coins, but the ability of artistic expression is substantially reduced. Our denarius features a full-length prince in plate armor within a beaded inner circle. He has a helmet on his head, a spear with a banner on a long pole in his right hand, a shield in his left. At the right hand is an unknown object in the form of an arrowhead turned downwards, which used to be a symbol of the trinity, in the upper left field the letter VV. The feet of the prince and part of the pole extend beyond the circle into the Descriptions bar. The denarius testifies to the decline of the precision that characterized the denarius of the previous era.

Only some letters are legible from Descriptions.

The outer circle is indistinct.

The entire image is shifted from the center on the coin cut.

silver. 19 x 20 mm 1.12 g NATIONAL MUSEUM COLLECTION.

 

DENAR OF PŘEMYSL I. (1192-1193, 1197-1230)

The image of this rider with a fluttering comb and a banner on a disproportionately small horse already seems like an echo of those beautiful equestrian images of Czech denarii from the first half of the 12th century. The presentation of the cloak is in the Byzantine style. The pearl inner ring reveals a technical novelty with its irregularly punched pearls, an auxiliary thin linearly under-drawn circle, on which the pearls have just been discharged.

Only some letters are legible from the Descriptions.

The outer circle is smooth.

silver. 18 mm 1.355 g NATIONAL MUSEUM COLLECTION.

 

A half-length figure of a beardless man in a circle of pearls, perhaps a hint of architecture. In his right hand he holds an object in the form of a scepter, in his left he has an upraised one. Descriptions suggests that it could be St. Václav, although it cannot be overlooked that he does not have a nimbus. On the sides are two moon crescents and on top a symmetrically distributed trio of eight-pointed stars. The imagery of the artistically well-designed and engraved denarius probably echoes the influences of the new German coins, the bracteates.

Only some letters are legible in the description.

The outer circle is smooth.

The coin image is strongly pushed from the center down.

 

LARGE BRACTEATE FROM THE FIRST HALF OF THE 13TH CENTURY

The frequent withdrawing and renewal of Czech coins in the second half of the 11th and throughout the 12th century made it possible to change the coin image on our denarii and certainly had a stimulating effect on the development of their formal side. However, the real value of Czech money fell at that time, which led to a complete disruption of the monetary economy, which the short reigns of individual, conflicting members of the Přemysl family in the second half of the 12th century could not put in order. Only Přemysl I (1192-1193, 1197-1230) made two attempts to improve the coinage: by introducing heavier and better denarii and around 1210 by introducing a new type of money altogether, single-sided bracteates, which had been minted in Germany since the first half of the 12 century and in whose images engraving art reached its peak on German coins. *

The Czech bracteates imitated the Meissen pattern in terms of grain, size and impact, because one of their main tasks was to expel the Meissen mints entering the country from the Guilds. From Meissen, the so-called the large Czech bracteates differ in all variants of the basic type only by the crown on the head of the monarch, who is sitting frontally and holding various symbols of monarchical power in both hands. Thus, on the depicted piece, in the right hand is a scepter, decorated under the cross, a symbol of the Christian faith and the power of the monarch, and a malvm ring, inlaid as a symbol of eternity; in his left hand a scepter composed of a double lily, a symbol of peace and divine protection.

The quality of the bracteates was excellent and technically they brought progress by speeding up production, as several could be punched with one blow of one punch on a soft base.

silver. 44x42 mm 0.84 g NATIONAL MUSEUM COLLECTION.

 

MEDIUM BRACTEATE FROM THE SECOND HALF OF THE 13TH CENTURY

As perhaps some silver mines in the Bohemian-Moravian Highlands enabled Přemysl L to introduce large bracteates around 1210, silver deposits, probably around Jihlava, provided the possibility for his namesake, Přemysl II, to around 1260, through decentralization and a new organization of the Czech mint introduced the so-called medium and small bracteates (roughly about 17-32 mm, Moravian 13-24 mm in diameter). The inertia of the iconography of the large bracteates was replaced by a varied mixture of motifs from the animal world, mainly fabulous, geometric elements, parts of the human body and architecture, and various heraldic symbols, which became popular coin motifs in the era of rapidly developing strict heraldic rules. The vast majority of even smaller Czech and Moravian bracteates are mute, i.e it has no Descriptions and can therefore only be determined with difficulty and only by a strict analysis of the finds. The depicted central bracteate has a rare Descriptions on the grooved indented edge of the coin. The actual coin image represents the sovereign's head from the front with a crown, surrounded by three towers, in an extremely schematic presentation.

Descriptions + REX•OTACKARVZ

silver. 26x27 mm 0.86 g NATIONAL MUSEUM COLLECTION.

 

 

Among the various motifs, almost always depicting heraldic animals or various monsters in a stylized form, the image of the Czech lion appears for the first time in heraldic perfection on a Czech coin. It is upright, crowned and two-tailed and is transcribed into the relief of the central bracteates purely heraldically and with a great decorative sense. On the edge of the coin is a circle of chopped pearls.

SILVER. 24 X 2 5 mm 0.84 g NATIONAL MUSEUM COLLECTION.

 

 

Crowned head of monarch between two rings. Above arch-. a twisted hint of architecture with two towers on either side. Above the arch, a larger tower with battlements. The relief is clear, uncluttered and decoratively very effective. •*

silver. 26 x 27 mm 0.615 g NATIONAL MUSEUM COLLECTION.