O serie monetară necunoscută a Ţării Româneşti din secolul al XV-lea atribuită voievodului Vladislav II / An Unknown Wallachian Monetary Series Issued During the 15th Century, Attributed to the Voivode Vladislav II (1447-1448; 1448-1456)
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|Excerpt||Two previously unknown, apparently, unique Wallachian silver coins are presented. There is one ducat (AR 0.74 g-14 mm, chipped) and one ban (AR 0.28 g-12x11 mm). Both were found in Bulgaria (the first coin was found nearby Ruse). Both coins have, basically, the same designs, i. e. On obv. the per pale shield of the Bassaraba dynasty, in dextra, barry of six, in sinistra, an uncertain symbol, perhaps One large lily; on rev. there is the Wallachian crest, an eagle perched to left on a helmet, with a 5-pointed star on the helmet's lower part and the same star in the right field, and lambrequin. The ducat has a Cyrillic inscription mentioning a voivode named Vladsl... : Obv. +IWBЛ[...]OДI / Rev. (beginning at 10 h) IW B-[?+ЛA]ДCЛ.
The ban is anepigraphic, but bears the mint-marks A-A/M, in Gothic script. This feature, as well as its high quality, made the author consider that perhaps its die-sinker was a skilled Transylvanian craftsman, which brought in Wallachia also the custom of double identical mint-marks, as a mark of a city mint (i.e. the Târgovişte mint, the most important urban centre during that time). These mint-marks can also be interpreted as initials of the engraver's/mint master's name.
Based on the general features, the coins are typical for the mid-15th century Wallachian coinage. The reading of the Slavonic inscription allows for identifying them as issues of the voivode Vladislav II (1447-1448, 1448-1456), which also struck a well-known, slightly different type of Wallachian silver ducats. However, one could suppose that these coins could be issues of the voivode Vlad II Dracul (1436-1442, 1443-1447), based on the alternative meaning of the inscription and some documents issued by this ruler which mention ducats and bani as real coins, although only a single type of bani (with the dragon) is recorded from findings.
The author also develops a theory regarding the particularities of the Wallachian coinage of the 15th century, making some connections with the contemporary Moldavian coinage. The main idea is that the Wallachian rulers (after 1420 until the 7th decade of the century) struck fairly small amounts of coins, often having a low content of silver, and put these coins in circulation at a face value considerably higher than their intrinsic value. In this manner the local coins, which were also regarded as 'prestige' coins, could meet some special needs, such as payment of troops and payment of custom fees (probably the exchange rates of Wallachian coins versus foreign currency were also established by the voivode, same as the custom fees, although no documents of this kind are so far known). The use of the Wallachian coins was quite often forbidden from the neighbouring Transylvanian and Hungarian markets, as Hungarian documents prove it, and author's theory offers a possible explanation for this, and also for other facts such as the extreme scarcity of 15th century Wallachian coins compared to the huge number of Ottoman silver akçes and Hungarian gold florins (repeatedly mentioned in commercial documents) which were the 'trade coins' of Wallachia during that period.
In conclusion, the paper deals with a previously unknown coin series attributed to the Wallachian ruler Vladislav II (1447-1448, 1448-1456), represented by two apparently unique silver coins of different values, a ducat and a ban.
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