French Angel Deniers... Stunning Examples of Medieval Art!
I admit - I've always love medieval Western European history... so I guess it was inevitable that I would fall in love with the main staple of post 800 AD medieval European currency - the silver hammered penny!
The examples here are stunning French deniers – just about the size of a US nickel. They are found throughout the crusader states, along pilgrim routes to the Holy Land.
Each is a tiny miracle – a survivor almost one-thousand-years-old that has a fascinating story to tell.
Made from 1157 AD to 1276 AD, these classically-medieval coins were used extensively in the Levant – the area traveled by the Crusaders on their way from Europe to Jerusalem. Their design is French, although they may have been minted in the Levant, rather than France. They depict a beautiful cross and crescent, in addition to the classic Crusader cross, on one side, and a stylized Angel on the other – hence their nickname: the “Angel Denier.”
The letter-forms are right out of an illuminated manuscript, lovely, fluted, and... let's be honest - not that easy to read. But worth it considering how lovely they are as an art form.