THE HOARD OF JAGIELLONIAN HALF-GROSCHEN FROM LOMZA - A TENTATIVE RECONSTRUCTION OF COIN CIRCULATION IN MAZOVIA, LITTLE POLAND AND GREAT POLAND AT THE TURN OF THE 15TH CENTURY
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In 1955 a hoard of 342 coins was found in Lomza -podlaskie voivodeship (actually in the National Museum in Warsaw). Crown half-Groschen of Sigismund the Old (1506-1548), John Albert (1492-1501), Alexander (1501-1506), Casimir IV (1447-1492) and Wladyslaw Jagiello (1386-1434) make up the core of the hoard. They were accompanied also by a number of Lithuanian half-Groschen of Alexander and Sigismund the Old, a Gdansk shilling of Casimir IV, as well as ternaries and a Lvov half-Groschen of Wladyslaw Jagiello. A Frisian pfennig of George of Saxony (1504-1515) is an atypical coin in the hoard. The deposit is dated by the half-Groschen of Swidnica of Louis Jagiellon (1516-1526), struck in 1517. Analysis of the hoards from the beginning of the 16th century from the area of the Polish Crown points out a clear predomination of half-Groschen. The phenomenon of the penetration of the territories of the Crown, the frontier ones in particular, by both Teutonic and Prussian shillings is plain to see. As far as Lithuanian values are concerned, their occurrence in the territories of the Crown is rather sporadic; a slight admixture in hoards might be found in frontier complexes. At that time the monetary systems of Poland and Lithuania were quite hermetic against each other. The deposits in question contain also a few Lvov half-Groschen and ternaries of Wladyslaw Jagiello. Thus the occurrence of these in the Lomza hoard is by no means coincidental; although a century had passed since they were struck, they were still present in monetary circulation. The first two decades of the 16th century are characterized by a small number of hoards. The one from Lomza does not by any means stand out in comparison to the other finds of the time, the proportions of coins by particular rulers do not differ from those in the remaining hoards. The turn of the 15th century is marked by the abandonment of the thesaurisation of denarii; the foregoing coins prevail in hoards from the first half of the 15th century. Denarii make up rather homogenous deposits, with no admixture of other coins. The beginning of the 16th century is already characterized by a considerable predomination of half-Groschen in hoards. The phenomenon might be accounted for by discovery of new silver deposits in Europe and the fall of the price of this metal, which in consequence led to a large number of coins bigger than denarii being struck. In the second half of the 15th century among half-Groschen in hoards those of Wladyslaw Jagiello prevail. Later the ratio changes for the benefit of half-Groschen of following rulers, John Albert in particular, and coins of the III Kubiak Type of Casimir IV.
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