Copacii, ramurile şi frunzele. Clasificarea emisiunilor monetare moldoveneşti din vremea lui Petru I (cca. 1375-1392) / The Trees, the Branches and the Leaves. The Classification of the Monetary Issues from the Reign of Petru I (around 1375-1392)
|Limba de redactare||română (rezumat în engleză)|
|Excerpt||So far, the main criteria used for classifying the coinage of the Moldavian prince Peter I (cca. 1375-1392) was based on counting the number of lily flowers rendered on the revers of the coins, in the heraldic shield. Actually, since 1977, the basic catalogue used by coin collectors and professional scholars to study the coinage of Peter I was Romanian coins and banknotes, edited by G. Buzdugan, O. Luchian and G. Oprescu the work of a group of enthusiastic amateurs, but lacking of real scholarly training. The chapter consecrated to the Moldavian coinage was edited by O. Luchian. He proposed such a confuse system of classification of the issues of Peter I, that it was almost impossible to assert a particular coin to a real chronological or typological group of issues or die variant.
The author proposes a new system of classification of the coinage of Peter I based on the series of marks, rendered next to the coats of arms depicted on the reverses of the coins. These marks consist in several sets of graphic devices: no marks (class A), pellet above the shield (class B), crosslet above the shield (class C), heraldic lily above the shield (class D), crescent above the shield (class E) and six rayed star above the shield (class F). The classes A, B and D present several sub-classes based on combinations of pellets, heraldic lilies and crescents rendered above or on the left or right sides of the shield. So far, I was able to identify 22 combinations of such marks, which I consider to represent the marking system used to distinguish the issues of a particular officina (representing a mint or section of a mint in charge to strike a series of parallel or successive issues). The second criteria used to classify the coinage of Peter I was the number of the lily flowers rendered on the reverses. From this point of view, the coinage of Peter I could be divided in seven main groups, and an odd group with the transposed positions of the barriers and lilies on the heraldic shield, due to an engraving error. But unlike in the old system of classification proposed by Luchian, in my opinion, the number of the flowers has only a general chronological significance. The group of early issues (struck before 1383) are characterised by the representation of more numerous lily flowers rendered in the heraldic shields (from seven to five), meanwhile the late coinage (struck after 1385) is characterised by the use of the designs with a reduced number of lily flowers (two or one). The issues struck during the transitional stage between the early and late period of Peter’s I coinage present representations including only four to three lily flowers in the heraldic shield. The third criteria used to classify the coinage of Peter I is based on the presentation of the position of the different heraldic devices rendered on the obverses. So far, in the current numismatic literature are mentioned 23 variants of the obverse designs. The last criteria takes into consideration the formulas used in the rendering of the monetary inscriptions. In spite of the fact that the main language of the medieval Moldavian chancellery was the Slavonic, all the monetary inscriptions of Peter I coinage are written with Latin letters, in Latin or German. So far are known seven types of inscriptions, of which three are retrograde.
The marking system used in Moldavia to control the monetary administration is quite similar to that followed in the Hungarian mints used to produce the last issues of deniers of Louis I, presenting on the revers of the coins the image of Saint Ladislaus, holding a battle axe (dated 1373-1382). The style of the first Moldavian issues as well as the techniques used to produce the coin dies and to strike coins were also similar to those in use in the contemporary Hungarian mints. The author concluded that the first Moldavian mint was established by 1378 with the technical contribution of a team of die engravers and other experts in mint administration dispatched from Hungary. Their style indicates an Italian origin. By 1383-1385 a second team arrived to Moldavia, from Poland and started to work alongside the old mint masters and producing a peculiar style coinage.
During the late stage of the coinage of Peter I, cca. 1386-1392 at least three local coin dies engravers were acting, also producing a lot of more or less clumsy issues, with a peculiar style. One could suppose that such people was used in a series of emergency mints established in a troubled political period to provide the ready cash needed to finance the military activities.
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