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Sale 75

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Lot 4480

Poland. Breateate, ND. "Berakhak Blessing-type" Leszek the White (1202-1227), Prince of Sandomierz and High duke of Poland. Bracteate. Ref. HP-7. Kopicki -, Czapski -,Karolkiewicz -. Rare .Young face with short tufts of hair facing in an ornate frame, "Blessing" ???? in Hebrew above. In Judaism, `Berakhah acknowledges God as the source of all blessing. On this coin, it may be taken as a general blessing or specific. The engraver may be asking for Gods blessing on Leszek, who was often in the field and beset by civil war; or on his own family. But given the youthful face below, it is likely the blessing is for this child. As such, this coin may celebrate the birth in 1211 of Salomea, daughter of Leszek and his wife Grzymislawa Ingvarevna. It is also possible that it is for the birth of their son, Boleslaw (later Boleslaw V, the Chaste) in 1226. NGC graded AU-58.
From the dawn of the Kingdom to the early years of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Polands tolerance made it a shelter for the persecuted and expelled Jews of Europe. Known as paradisus Iudaeorum ("Paradise for Jews"), Poland would become home to the worlds largest Jewish community of the time, and after, the Jewish expulsion from Spain, their spiritual and cultural center.

Jews first arrived in Poland in the 10th Century, while the contemporary German rabbi and scholar Yehuda ben-Meir (Yehuda ha-Kohen) mentions the first permanent settlement in 1085 in the city of Przemysl. Major immigration from Western Europe, though, didnt occur until the First Crusade. Encouraged by the broad-minded nature of Boleslaw III (1102-1139), Jews began to settle throughout Poland. Enjoying peace and prosperity, the Jews formed Polands middle class and helped to drive the Polish economy. Knaanic legends in Hebrew script, meanwhile, appear on a fair number of Polish coin types of the 12th Century showing that the recent immigrants were also finding employment as coiners and mint masters -- leasing mints from Polands rulers. Hebrew legends and types continue to a lesser extent into the 13th Century under Leszek the White. Estimated Value $2,000 - 3,000


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