Superb History of the Crusades series reaches its tenth coin with the poignant Last Crusader

Regular readers here will know that Numiscollect’s History of the Crusades is one of our favourite series of collectable silver coins. First appearing in 2009, the coins have consistently been of a high standard, detailed and well designed. Each reverse has taken one of the main protagonists from each of the main crusades and depicted them in front of a scene from the campaign. There have been some great designs over the years and you can see them all in our Coin Series Profile to the range.

The obverse has been common to the series since its debut, even the date being carried on the other side. The battlements in silhouette with the series title inscribed above is clean and iconic. The obligatory Queens effigy is present, but sits in open space so doesn’t detract from the overall look. The reverse on this tenth coin is a break from the norm. Instead of a specific character and a crusading scene, this coin is a reproduction of a beautiful painting by 19th-century German historical and landscape painter, Karl Friedrich Lessing. Called “Der letzte Kreuzfahrer” (“The Return of the Crusader”) and painted in 1835, it depicts an old Knight Templar returning from the Holy Land, dejected and alone. A powerful piece, it looks great on the coin.

The coin will come in a box with an enclosed Certificate of Authenticity, all packaged in a coloured outer shipper. Available in May, we’d expect pre-orders to begin shortly and prices to be around the €80 mark. Site sponsors Minted-UK, PowerCoin and First Coin Co have stocked previous coins and will probably get this one. In great news, despite the Alexandrian Crusade being the last of the major Middle-Eastern campaigns, there were several crusades into the Baltic in the thirteenth century. Numiscollect have announced that the series will grow by five coins to incorporate these lesser known, but fascinating events.

2017 TENTH CRUSADE SILVER COIN

MINTS DESCRIPTION

After the 10th Crusade there were just some minor crusades left as the spirit of crusading was finished. Increasing Muslim victories and Christian defeats led to the end of the Crusades.

The crusade series will continue with 5 new upcoming coins of the northern crusades. Stay tuned; this isn’t the end.

The 10th Crusade is also called the Alexandrian Crusade. The brief Alexandrian Crusade, also called the sack of Alexandria, occurred in October 1365 and was led by Peter I of Cyprus against Alexandria in Egypt. Relatively devoid of religious impetus, it differs from the more prominent Crusades in that it seems to have been motivated largely by economic interests.

DETAIL OF THE RELIEF

THE ALEXANDRIAN CRUSADE

The brief Alexandrian Crusade, also called the sack of Alexandria, occurred in October 1365 and was led by Peter I of Cyprus against Alexandria in Egypt. Relatively devoid of religious impetus, it differs from the more prominent Crusades in that it seems to have been motivated largely by economic interests.

Peter I spent three years, from 1362 to 1365, amassing an army and seeking financial support for a Crusade from the wealthiest courts of the day. When he learned of a planned Egyptian attack against his Kingdom of Cyprus, he employed the same strategy of preemptive war that had been so successful against the Turks and redirected his military ambitions against Egypt. From Venice, he arranged for his naval fleet and ground forces to assemble at the Crusader stronghold of Rhodes, where they were joined by the Knights of the Order of St. John.

In October 1365, Peter I set sail from Rhodes, himself commanding a sizable expeditionary force and a fleet of 165 ships, despite Venice’s greater economic and political clout. Landfall was made in Alexandria around 9 October, and over the next three days, Peter’s army looted the city killing thousands and taking 5000 people to be enslaved. Mosques, temples, churches and the library also bore the brunt of the raid.

Facing an untenable position, Peter’s army permanently withdrew on 12 October. Peter had wanted to stay and hold the city and use it as a beachhead for more crusades into Egypt, but the majority of his barons refused, wishing only to leave with their loot. Peter himself was one of the last to leave the city, only getting onto his ship when Mamluk soldiers entered the city. Monarchs and barons in Europe, struck by the abandonment of the city, referred to Peter as the only good and brave Christian to have crusaded in Alexandria.

ADVERTISEMENTS

icon
icon
iconicon
icon
icon
icon

SPECIFICATION

NAME 2017 TENTH CRUSADE
DENOMINATION $5 Cook Islands
COMPOSITION 0.925 silver
WEIGHT 25.0 grams
DIAMETER 38.61 mm
FINISH Antique
MODIFICATIONS None
MINTAGE 1,000
BOX / COA Yes / Yes

MINT LINK

NUMISCOLLECT