Papal States (1316-34) gros tournois Ber-176

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Künker sale 293, lot 2016
This specimen was lot 2016 in Künker sale 293 (Osnabruck, Germany, July 2017), where it sold for €1,200 (about US$1,617 including buyer's fees). The catalog description[1] noted,
"ITALIEN, KIRCHENSTAAT/VATIKAN, Johannes XXII. 1316-1334. Grosso tornese o. J. (1316-1334), Pont de Sorgues. RR Sehr schön. Exemplar der Sammlung Trampitsch, Auktion Crédit de la Bourse, Paris 1994, Nr. 6. (Papal States, John XXII, 1316-34, undated grosso. Rare, very fine.)"
This medieval looking coin was struck in the county of Venaissin in southern France, the popes having been driven from their Italian dominiions by the anarchy and feuding there. That is why this rare coin is called by its French name, gros tournois, rather than the Italian grosso. The grosso was intended to be four denari or silver pennies. The popes would not return to Rome until 1377, only to have the Great Schism erupt the following year.

Recorded mintage: unknown but rare.

Specification: silver, this specimen 3.90 g.

Catalog reference: Muntoni 7, Ber-176.


  • Berman, Allen G., Papal Coins, South Salem, NY: Attic Books, 1991.
  • [1]Künker Münzauktionen und Goldhandel, Katalog 293: Münzen aus Mittelalter und Neuzeit u. a. die westfälischen Privatsammlungen Werner Bröker und Bernd Terletzki, Osnabrück: Fritz Rudolf Künker GmbH & Co., AG, 2017.

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