||Walachian ducat - Vladislav I||
20 mm, 1.1 g, silver |
Obverse Walachian coat of arms - mountain eagle perched on a helmet; at left a six-ray star, a cross, a not identified object and a ladder
Between the inner linear and the outer pearl circle
Slavic legend: +IωVLA___DISLAV+
Reverse Coat of arms of the Basarab
family(?) inside an inner pearl circle: a shield split vertically; four colored bars inside the first field - two sanguine and two silver, waning crescent inside the second one; a Maltese cross above the shield; outer pearl circle
Slavic legend: +IωVLADISLAVĂVOEVωD
This medieval coin belongs to the collection of Mr. Bogdan Costin, through the kind permission of whom the pictures are present on Romanian coins.
The letter Ă (that we used to change into Latin alphabet letters the reverse legend) denotes the Slavic sound spelled alike the vowel in birth.
This silver coin was issued by Vladislav (Vlaicu) I of Walachia, the first Romanian prince known to have struck coin.
As a type this coin is known to Romanian numismatics as Walachian ducat, as complying to the system of ducats struck by Venice. In which concerns its pattern (obverse - reverse), it belongs to the most common denarius and ducat type, type that occured to almost every coin issue of the Walachian princes, since Vlaicu I (1364 - 1377) to Basarab (the Old) Laiotă (1473 - 1477, with many interruptions).
The legends on the coinage of Vlaicu I were written both in Latin and Cyrillic (Slavic). This one uses Cyrillic.
There are plenty of other variants in which concerns the legend, its respective fonts and of course misspellings.
According to the Bible of Romanian numismatics, Monede și bancnote românești by George Buzdugan, Octavian Luchian and Constantin Oprescu (1977), this ducat is the first coin type struck in Walachia and it is classified as belonging to the common type of the Walachian denarii and ducats.
For some time we presented on this very page, in a quite large paragraph, some speculations about the representation of the coat of arms of the Basarabs during prince Vlaicu (more exactly about the colors that were used). We thought at the time that we were able to identify the colors used by the prince on his heraldic representation. "As you see on the reverse, at left the Basarabian shield is charged with four alternating bars, two crosshatched and two clean. We identified the crosshatching (made by intersecting lines at 45 and 135 degrees, trigonometrical system) as being sanguine (dark red as the blood) with Pimbley's Dictionary of Heraldry. This color is so rare because was just seldom used. One bearing this tincture must have been not hasty in battle, yet a victor."
One of the site visitors, more skilled in heraldry than us, informed us that the representation of colors by hachures was introduced after the 14th century, and thus many years after this coin was struck. We made what would be, properly called, an anachronism.
The idea of color representation can be found also in the monograph Monede și bancnote românești, so we are not the first to be deceived. From the book Din heraldica României by Mrs. Maria Dogaru we find that the use of black and white representations for heraldic colors began in the 16th century. This representation became widely used at the middle of the 17th century. In 1638 the Italian Silvestro de Pietra Santa used for the first time the conventional signs in a printed book.
If you are in possession of Romanian medieval coinage other or better than the one featured by our site we ask you to please aid us with pictures. Help from other collectors to complete this numismatic icon is more than needed. Do not hesitate to contact us.