CAROLINGIANS. Charlemagne (Charles the Great).
|CNG 91, Lot: 1140. Estimate $2000.
Sold for $3600. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.
As Charles I, King of the Franks, 768-814. AR Denier (17mm, 1.11 g, 9h). Class 2. Metallum (Melle) mint. Struck 771-793/4. C(AR)O/LVS in two lines; small hook emanates from ligate bar / mEDOLVS around angled quadralobe with central void; L does not end in hook. Depeyrot 605; M&G 268 var. (central pellet on obverse); cf. MEC 1, 727. Good VF, minor porosity. Rare.
Charlemagne’s father, Pépin ‘le Bref’ (the Short), having deposed the last Merovingian king, paved the way for Charlemagne to become the most powerful Western monarch since the fall of Rome, formalized by his proclamation as Holy Roman Emperor by Pope Leo III on Christmas Day in the year 800, while being acknowledged as Imperator twelve years later by Byzantine emperor Michael II. This facilitated the introduction of the silver penny, which became the mainstay of early medieval commerce.