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Bogdan Costin

Location: Bucharest, Romania
Joined: 01 Jul 2009

Posts: 1

PostPosted: Wed 01 Jul, 2009 9:16 am    Post subject: A Sword depicted on a E European medieval coin - type?         Reply with quote

Dear Forum members,

As this is my first post, I'll say hello to you all! I found here a truly interesting forum, keep up the great job!

I'm a coin collector from Romania, and my main interest is in the medieval coinage of Wallachia and Moldavia. Old weapons are a secondary field of interest for me (especially arrowheads).

Recently a special, important coin came into my attention, and I am conducting a research regarding it. I attached an image of the obverse of this coin, depicting a certain kind of sword. I am very interested to know your opinion regarding the type/subtype this sword may belong to. I've done some reading and acquired a relevant book of Oakeshott, but of course I still need help from experts in this field to properly describe the depicted sword. Also any comments regarding the heraldic significance are more than welcomed.

I really need to know if the actual date when this coin was issued (I won't post it now to avoid influencing any judgements) will be around the age when this type of sword was used. Please excuse me if this sounds like an excessive or un-necessary mystery, it's not my intention to be dramatic.

Thank you in advance!


 Attachment: 140.86 KB
Wallachian ducat sword.jpg
Obverse of a Wallachian coin with a sword
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Sean Flynt

Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Joined: 21 Aug 2003
Likes: 10 pages
Reading list: 13 books

Spotlight topics: 7
Posts: 5,977

PostPosted: Wed 01 Jul, 2009 11:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think your caution is wise. As for the sword--what it looks like to me doesn't make much sense in the Eastern European context but I'll offer it anyway. The first thing many of us here would think (if seeing this coin without any other context) is that it looks like a distinctive Irish type characterized by an open-face pommel and flared cross terminals, sometimes horiztonally recurved. The problem for you is that this is a uniquely Irish form. Irish mercenaries did fight on the Continent, so it's not out of the question that such a sword could have been seen in what is now Romania. Dürer depicted one in an early 16th c. drawing after visiting the Low Countries, so the type was known as far east as Germany by that time. But even if such a sword appeared in the region of your interest, I would be at a loss to explain why it would be depicted on something as privileged as coinage. The example shown below is probably in the 1450-1550 range (just my guess).

 Attachment: 66.32 KB


Author of the Little Hammer novel
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