THE UNKNOWN PARVUS OF BOLESLAW III, DUKE OF BRZEG
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In the Poznan Auction House (Poznanski Dom Aukcyjny) a coin has been put up for sale which has no analogy in the existing publications: Obverse - eagle with no talons, a band upon the breast and three feathers in either wing, +BONEZLAV; reverse - ornamental capital B, little balls in the upper, lower and middle parts of the bar, +IBREIGAII. Axes of the dies 110 degrees, 0.28 g, 13.0 mm. The origin of the coin is unknown. Beyond any doubt it is a coin of Boleslaw III (1311-1352), called the Extravagant (Prodigus) or Dagger (Fixuralis Cultellus), as he was the first duke to strike coins in Brzeg, at the same time the last ruler of the city bearing the foregoing name. The style of the coin allows its classification as a denarius struck after the Groschen reform in Silesia, most often referred to as parvi. A similar coin is already known, a banded eagle and inscription BOLEZLAVS upon its obverse, three anchors and inscription BREGENSES on the reverse. The municipal symbols upon it testify a form of ownership of the mint by the city (pawn?). The parvus in question bears the letter B in place of the symbol of the city. It may be the duke's or the city's initial. Legends also differ: there is BREGENSES upon the coin already known, which is a paraphrase of the formula included in Bohemian coins:'grossi pragenses' and 'prag[enses] parvi'. The inscription BREGA on the coin in question presumably specifies the coins' striking place. The difference from the reverse already known seems to point out that the parvus was not struck in a mint owned by the city, thus it would have been earlier than the above-mentioned one. There are no grounds to accurately date the parvus. If it preceded the already known parvus struck before Boleslaw III's death (Easter 1352), or if the 'Renovatio monetae' took place in Brzeg probably annually at Easter time - the latest possible issue time of the coin are the years 1350-51. The author suggests that the fact that both sides of the coin being provided with legends, which was quite rare upon early parvi, alongside the silhouette of an eagle, mean the parvus should be dated to the second quarter of the 14th century.
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