Author Topic: Kopje Floris V, Count of Holland  (Read 72 times)

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Offline Pellinore

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Kopje Floris V, Count of Holland
« on: November 29, 2018, 10:13:08 PM »
This coin I wanted to have for a long time. It is a medieval silver coin of where I'm living: the County of Holland, that reached from the island of Texel to the city of Dordrecht. It's a bit worn, but has good character.

County of Holland, count Floris V (1256-1296). Denier/ penny. Obv. ‘kopje’ = head to the left. Rev. Cross with HO-LL-ANT’. 14 mm, 0.46 gr.

-- Paul

Offline THCoins

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Re: Kopje Floris V, Count of Holland
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2018, 01:43:22 PM »
Nice one Paul, brings back memories ! Not of medieval history lessons, although i am Dutch. More childhood memories of the TV show which was aired in the beginning of the 70's (Though i wanted to be Sindala, not Floris).
I still regret not buying an example some years ago. I judged it to much money for such a small thin piece of silver at the time. That was another subtype though with different hairstyle and  "F Comes Hollandie" in the obverse margin.


Offline Figleaf

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Re: Kopje Floris V, Count of Holland
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2018, 12:00:46 PM »
One of the relatively common medieval coin types of the county of Holland, so if you wanted it for a long time, you waited for a magnificent specimen and you got it! This is an extraordinary quality. Most look they have been stuck under the soles of a long distance runner. Congratulations!

Small but important detail: Holland did not end at Dordrecht, but at what is now Zeeuws Vlaanderen, which was part of Flanders. Count Guy de/Gwijde van Dampierre made a last attempt to conquer Zeeland in 1302. Legend has it that he was beaten back nar Haarlem by an improvised army of people from Holland and Zealand, led by Witte van Haemstede (now Haamstede in Zeeland), a bastard son of Floris V. Centuries later, Vondel would write a play, Gijsbrecht van Aemstel, about the aftermath of the murder of Floris V that would be as influential on the Dutch language as Shakespeare's plays were on English.

The murder of Floris V gave rise to another legend, probably still repeated in Dutch schools: Floris was captured and killed by his own subsidiary noblemen for being too nice to commoners. Invariably, you are told that his nickname, presumably among nobility, was "god of the churls". In reality, it was all about the standard triangle of power, money and (possibly) sex. Floris indeed tried to curtail the power of lesser noblemen, but so did every lord in his position. Part of it was consolidation of their own power, part was ending abuses by lesser noblemen. The money part, maybe the most important part, was that Floris preferred an alliance with the king of England over one with king of France. England was Holland's most important trading partner, so the merchants loved that policy change. Therefore, lesser nobility saw it as a further threat to their position. The sex part is mentioned in "Gijsbrecht". Vondel has Witte van Haemstede rape - in a convent, of all places - Clarissa van Velsen, widow of one of the lesser noblemen, Gerard van Velsen. However, that may well have been a subtle plot twist invented by Vondel, a catholic working in a protestant environment.

All in all, a fantastic conversation piece from a period when the counts of Holland were credible candidates for the position of emperor of the holy Roman empire.

An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.