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Tete Chinonaise of Blois and neighbors


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I decided to revamp and update this thread beyond the three coins I originally posted. The comments that follow refer to the unedited version of the post. Rather than start a new thread, I thought I would edit and expand with the previous comments intact. I've deleted two images that will reappear in new entries below.


"Three recent purchases to share (December through February).


The first dates to about 970 and is either an issue of Thibaut the Trickster (ca. 957 to 978) or it is a bit later and is an issue of Eudes I (ca. 978 to 996). A design of this type was found in the Fecamp hoard. The coin is extremely rare (probably less than 5 known)."




Denier, Blois

Thibaut the Trickster

ca. 957 - 978

Legros 928v

Roberts 5054v

Duplessy 573

Dumas 6928v




The County of Blois held an important position in medieval France situated in the midst of extensive fertile agricultural lands. In 940, Thibaut the Trickster, founder of the House of Blois, assumed the title of Count and built the infrastructure to protect the populace from the invading Bretons and Normans. By 987, the Counts of Blois were poised as rivals of the Capétiens. The family was intimately tied to the Capétians and the royal lineage. Thibaut's mother was the sister of Eudes king of France (888-897). Eudes himself had been count of Blois and Anjou, abbot of St. Martin of Tours, and count of Paris. Her other brother, Robert, was king of France from 922-923. His son, Hugh the Great, was father of Hugh Capet, the first of the Capétian line of French kings.

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thanks for sharing. I like coins from the "dark age".


Somehow, with this era I receive the most complete pictures when I dream a little about how these old coins moved through the life of the people. Maybe it's because I also like stories from the middle-ages.



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  • 5 months later...

Denier, Blois

Eudes II

ca. 996 - 1037

Legros 943

Roberts 5055v

Duplessy 575





Eudes II seized the counties of Troyes and Meaux after 1019. He acquired Champagne in 1023 and succeeded in encircling the lands of the Capétians. In 1032, he acquired the kingdom of Burgundy. When he died in 1037, the lands were divided among his descendants.

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Denier, Blois

Thibaut III

1037 -1089/90

Legros 965

Roberts 5056

Duplessy 578




The first tete chinonaise I acquired in 2002 from Pegasi.


In April of 2006, I acquired this unlisted variety from Pegasi. (Note two dots or bezants on the obverse to the left of the three bars forming the mouth and chin instead of the one in the type example. The reverse inscription is partially blundered and lacking the cross that typically marks the top of the design and begins the legend.)




Thibaut III was unable to sustain the gains of his father, losing territory through inheritence practices and continued battles with the likes of Count Geoffrey Martel of Anjou. The loss of Touraine in 1044 ended the expansionist goals of the House of Blois.


Approximately 100 years passed after ca. 1100 before coinage would resume in Blois.

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Denier, Saint-Aignan

Geoffroy I of Donzy

996 - 1037 (coinage likely dates ca 1030 to 1175)

Legros 1461

Roberts 5147

Dupplesy 608




The lords of Donzy were vassals of the Counts of Blois. The earliest examples of their coins date to the first quarter of the 11th century. All varieties of the basic type shown here are rare. Compare the basic style of this piece with that of Eudes II above. Either the mints shared the same die cutters, or the artists closely copied the Blois style. When the Blois mint ceased production, the coins of Saint-Aignan changed to the style of Chartres and Châteaudun. Compare this to the next coin of Celles that maintains the blésoise style head.

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Denier, Celles

Robert I

1178 - 1189

Legros 1442

Roberts 5033

Duplessy 611A




The lords of Celles were vassals of Saint-Aignan (in turn vassals of Blois). What I find interesting is that their die cutters copied the earlier style of Eudes II at a time when the mint at Saint-Aignan was copying those of Chartres and Châteaudun. Both mints converted to the emerging castle (châtel-tournois) style that replaced the tête chartrain. I particularly like the unique lettering style on the reverse. As with the coins of each of the minor mints, all Celles coins are rare.

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Obol, Blois

Hugues de Chatillon

1292 - 1307

Legros 992

Roberts 5065s

Duplessy 591




After a 100 year lapse, coinage began again in Blois under Jean de Chatillon (1241-1279). Most likely, the Capétien-Plantagenêts conflict that heavily impacted the Chartrain played a role in the demise of some coinage. While the lands of Champagne yielded to the crown in the 1200s, followed by those of the Chartrain and Chartres to relieve debts, the lands of Blois and Dunois preserved their independence until Louis XII became king in 1498 when Blois becomes the royal residence of Louis.


Jean Châtillon reunited the lands of Chartres and Blois in 1256. His son, Hugues, struck the obol pictured here. The lily pays hommage to the ties to the royal French line. All coins from the late period of the history of Blois are rare.


Despite the poor preservation of this particular coin, one can still see the improved technique and quality of the die engravers.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Denier, Vendome

Jean II


Legros 1239

Roberts 5123

Duplessy 545v




Vendome's earliest Tete Chinoaise style deniers are clearly based on those of Blois or at least inspired by them. Count Bouchard the Worthy (958-1012) was allied with Hugues Capet and that may help explain the influence of Blois, although Vendome exercised its own independence. Their coinage was more likely that of Anjou for much of the 1100s explaining an apparent lack of coinage between ca. 1065 and 1150. Vendome is caught up in the battles between the English and the Capetians over the next 50 years. Local coins are produced, but they are extremely rare. Vendome emerges with some stability under the Capetians by 1200.


Deniers of the type shown here are attributed to Jean II (1202-1207). There are multiple varieties of this type, likely indicating a production period greater than that of Jean II or a reinvigorated economy and montary production. These are most common of the Vendome deniers (although I have managed to acquire onlly one in the past few years).


The coins of Vendome are the subject of a book by Bernard Diry, Vendome: monnaies & tresors.


Some speculate the crescent in front of the face relates to a marriage alliance between Vendome and Chateaudun some years earlier (Jean II's grandmother? was from Chateaudun). I'll attempt to link up some of the symbols when I post my Chateaudun series. The coins of Jean III include the lily, likely reflecting the alliegence to the Capetian crown.

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  • 2 years later...

I've acquired a couple more early Blois deniers that were in the Maurice Vallas collection sold in December 2006. The collection had an impressive number of early pieces. Many of the pieces were purchased by jean Elsen and they have been slowly selling them one or two at a time in their auctions.


The first is the earliest in my collection ca 940 AD.




The second dates to about 980 AD.



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  • 9 years later...

...almost scared to post anything in this thread as the examples that Bill has posted are truly beautiful examples...

However, thankfully there are budget examples available on the market (ie within my budget :)). here's a few examples i've managed to acquire...warts and all.

The first is an obol from Chateaudun (as far as i can determine that is). Roberts places it 13th Century


The second is from Blois 10th / 11th centuries ad


The third is from Chartres circa 10th /11th centuries ad


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