The Leal of Oporto of King Afonso V

The Leal of Oporto of King Afonso V

Temporary exhibition that took place between November 27 2019 and March 1 2020.

 

For the first time in an exhibition the unique silver coin of King Afonso V will be showcased.

A unique coin 

The silver leal of King Afonso V struck in Oporto is a one-of-a-kind piece of Portuguese numismatics. At present, only one specimen is known to exist, from a national collection. This coin remained unknown to the main studies and catalogues of Portuguese numismatics. It is shown here to the public for the first time.

 

The history of the leais

The silver leal was a coin minted in Portugal in the reigns of King Duarte and King Afonso V. It was probably created in 1434-35, during a period of monetary stabilisation in the kingdom, following five decades of strong currency debasements. According to the royal charter of 30.11.1436, its initial value corresponded to 10 reais brancos. In view of the kingdom's difficulties in obtaining silver, the king exempted all imported silver destined to the Lisbon Mint House from customs tithe until 1439. 

The hoarding and flight of leais abroad led Infante D. Pedro, regent in the name of King Afonso V, to order the raise of its legal value to 12 reais brancos in 1441. The leal was probably the only good silver coin (91,6% pure silver) minted in Portugal between the end of 1385 and c. 1463.

In Oporto, in 1441, one leal bought one bushel of wheat or two mudd of wine; in 1449, 15 to 17 leais would buy one thousand sardines in the same city.

 

Exhibition credits

Curatorship and project management
Museu do Dinheiro - Departamento de Comunicação e Museu/Banco de Portugal

Executive production
Museu do Dinheiro - Departamento de Comunicação e Museu/Banco de Portugal

Museography and architectural features
Departamento de Comunicação e Museu/Banco de Portugal

Graphic design and communication
Departamento de Comunicação e Museu/Banco de Portugal

Education and mediation
Museu do Dinheiro - Departamento de Comunicação e Museu/Banco de Portugal

Structures 
José Jesus Cardoso Unipessoal Lda.

Printing 
AF Atelier

Translation
Departamento de Relações Internacionais/Banco de Portugal 

Security and lighting
Departamento de Serviços de Apoio/Banco de Portugal

Acknowledgements
Doutor Rui Borges (CENIMAT/i3N, Departamento de Ciência dos Materiais, FCT - Universidade Nova de Lisboa)
Doutor Luís Cerqueira Alves (C2TN, Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa)
Arquivo Histórico Municipal de Coimbra
DGLAB – Arquivo Nacional da Torre do Tombo

 

Information

Temporary exhibition that took place between November 27 2019 and March 1 2020.

Initially, this exhibition was scheduled to end on February 23, but due to the high interest it was prolonged.

During the course of the exhibition there were special visits by the curator João Pedro Vieira.

Other visits to the exhibition were guided by the education team.

More information to info@museudodinheiro.pt or +351 213 213 240

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