Bishopric of Lausanne, Denier


Bishopric of Lausanne, Denier (obverse) Bishopric of Lausanne, Denier (reverse)

In the Middle Ages the Bishop of Lausanne was not only the bishoprics spiritual leader, but also held the sovereignty and the jurisdiction over the town and its surroundings. And he was the richest clerical dignitary in Switzerland: in 1245 his revenues were estimated at over 60,000 ducats.

For nearly three hundred years the bishops of Lausanne minted their money anonymously; the date of issue of the coins can therefore only be reconstructed from the motifs.

This denier has a Gothic inscription, an Italian fashion found only towards the end of the 14th century north of the Alps. This leads to the assumption that its issuer was Bishop Aimon de Cossonay (1355-1375), though it is absolutely feasible that Cossonay's predecessor was a fashion-conscious man who had the Gothic inscription on his coins before it came in common use.


Signet Sunflower Foundation