PORTUGAL, Kingdom. Afonso V o Africano (the African).
|Sale: Triton XII, Lot: 1051. Estimate $400.
Closing Date: Monday, 5 January 2009.
Sold For $475. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.
1438-1481. BI Espadim (22mm, 1.41 g, 2h). Porto mint. (lis) ΛIVTORIV : DOS : OVI : FЄCI, Portuguese coat-of-arms set on quadrilobe; pellet-in-annulet in spandrels / AILO : RЄISS PORTVGAII E •, manus Dei
holding sword by blade downward; P to lower right; to left, A flanked by three pellets; all within quadrilobe; arches ending in annulets; pellet-in-annulet in spandrels. Cf. Gomez 24.01-3; cf. Vaz A5.74-5. EF. Exceptional quality metal and strike for issue.
Ex G.W. de Wit Collection; Münz Zentrum 29 (27 April 1977), lot 2830.
Surnamed o Africano (the African), because of his expansionist policies in North Africa, Afonso established a Portuguese order of knighthood. Known fully as the Ordem Militar da Torre e Espada, do Valor, Lealdade e Mérito, it was a chivalric institution similar to the English Order of the Garter, which had been established almost a century earlier by Afonso’s great-great grandfather, Edward III, king of England. Seemingly focused more on the royal person rather than chivalric ideals, the order fell into disuse following the king’s death in 1481. It was not until 1808 that the order was revived to commemorate the safe arrival of the Portuguese royal family in Brazil following their flight after Napoleon invaded Portugal. Throughout the 19th and into the early 20th centuries, the order underwent several reformations pertaining to the then current political situation, and today still exists as the highest Portuguese award, though available only to heads of state.