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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Sale: Triton VIII, Lot: 1574. Estimate $300. 
Closing Date: Monday, 10 January 2005. 
Sold For $390. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

GERMANY, Hesse. Hermann II of Thuringia. 1227-1242. AR Bracteate Pfennig (0.65 gm). V•S•V•S•, armored knight on horseback left, holding banner; Calvary cross to left. Bonhoff 1420; Löbbecke 948; Reichmann 1884. Good VF, broad flan, slightly flattened, dark toning. ($300)

From the Robert Schonwalter Collection.

Hermann II employs a number of symbols on his pfennigs ­ towers, steeples, birds, fish, etc.­but this Calvary cross symbol may be a specific reference to the Crusading history of his family. His grandfather, Hermann I, Landgrave of Thuringia, was instrumental in establishing the order of the Hospitallers, which had its German headquarters in Thuringia. His father, Ludwig IV the Pious, died in 1227 while on crusade with Frederick II Hohenstauffen. The sources are silent regarding Hermann II's role in the Crusades, but it might be assumed he continued in the family tradition, at least in spirit.