Hungary was among the last kingdoms in Central Europe to adopt Christianity, resisting conversion until the reign of St. Stephen in 1038 CE. But the Magyars took to the new religion with great zeal, as evidenced by these silver denar coins featuring the image of the Madonna and child.
A bulwark against the encroaching Muslim forces, medieval Hungary was almost constantly at war with the Ottoman Turks, who sought to bring Islam to Central and Western Europe. In spite of this uninterrupted warfare, the kingdom was prosperous, maintaining high-quality silver coinage throughout the period.
Unlike earlier European coins of the Middle Ages, these silver denars were among the first to feature a full date, although it is generally obscured or off the flan completely due to the crude manufacturing methods. The choice of Madonna and child was perhaps a sign of piety, or a combination of Christian faith and defiance of the Turks. The complex coat of arms evolved during the centuries, culminating in King Rudolf’s design, which combined the many variations into a single coat of arms.
Minted from the mid-15th to the early 17th centuries, the coins are one of the most revered of the time period. Known as Maddonnenmunzen, to differentiate them from earlier “shield coins,” the new design heralded the beginning of the Renaissance in Hungary.
This authentic silver denar coin circulated in the Kingdom of Bohemia and Hungary in the Medieval and Early Renaissance periods. It was hand struck by Magyar craftsmen under the authority of the reigning monarch, and circulated for centuries.
One side shows the coat of arms, while the other features the Virgin Mary and the baby Jesus. Only a small quantity of these rare and beautiful coins have survived the passage of centuries.
Data: Weight: 0.5-0.6 grams; Diameter: 15.5-16mm Album open measures: 11” x 7.5” Album folded measures: 5.5” x 7.5”
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