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Research Coins: Feature Auction


Second Known

Sale: Triton X, Lot: 876. Estimate $2000. 
Closing Date: Monday, 8 January 2007. 
Sold For $1200. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

LOMBARDS, Lombardy & Tuscany. Aistulf. 749-756. Æ Follis (0.92 g, 6h). Class II. Ravenna mint. Dated IY 6 (752/3). [D N AISTVL]F PRN, bearded, 'uncrowned' draped bust of Aistulf facing, [holding globus cruciger in right hand]; hair parted frontally in the Lombard fashion, [wearing a diadem surmounted by a cross] / [D N AISTVLF RX], crowned and bearded bust of Aistulf facing, wearing robes of state, holding scepter in right hand, possibly terminating in a cross(?); S (indictional date) in right field. Cf. Triton VII, 1070, otherwise unpublished. VF, dark green patina, small section broken and repaired. Extremely rare, apparently the second known.

This recently discovered coin type of Aistulf, struck in Ravenna in 752/3, appears to present startling new historical and constitutional evidence on early medieval Italy. Aistulf apparently proclaimed himself princeps after his conquest of Ravenna in 750/1. Previously, the earliest attested numismatic use of this title was by Arichis II of Beneventum (see next lot), who altered his title from dux to princeps after Charlemagne's overthrow of the Lombard kingdom in 774. An article on this new type, by M.D. O'Hara, with I. Vecchi, is forthcoming.