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Renaissance Coinage


Al Kowsky
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Medieval coinage finally gave way to Renaissance coinage around the early 14th century. The Romanesque style changed to a more ordered style as Europe became more centralized. Charlemagne, who became the Holy Roman Emperor in AD 800, should be given credit for beginning this centralization. Renaissance coinage was more complex than Medieval coinage, coats of arms appeared more frequently, & the the Roman style of lettering was replaced by the more complex Gothic lettering. The coin pictured below has been in my collection a long time & is a good example of early Renaissance coinage. The French Ecu d'or of Charles VI, pictured below it, is a good example of French Renaissance coinage. NVMIS FORVMS members are welcome to post examples of their Renaissance coinage ☺️.

1411824759_FredericoIIIARpierrealeSicily(Messina).jpg.672a72a673128f4a8bcee7bf829be644.jpg

Kingdom of Sicily, Federico III D'Aragon, 1296-1337. Messina Mint. AR Pierreale: 3.2 gm, 25 mm, 1 h. Obverse: Crowned eagle with spread wings facing right, within border of 8 connected arches, & an annulet in each spandrel. Inscription within two beaded rings (+ FRIDERIC T: DI: GRA: REX. SICIL'). Reverse: Aragonese coat of arms with rosette above, within the same decoration as the eagle on the obverse. Inscription within two beaded rings (+ DUC'. APUL' t PRINCIPAT'. CAPUA). NGC XF 45

1288431117_90088613PCGSAKCollection.jpg.ea05bc18a30c2e71ba33aba789308238.jpg

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Those are real beauties, @Al Kowsky!  (But then, maybe all your coins are! 🤩)  

The "proto-Renaissance" arguably started in the mid-13th century.  I would say the first fiorino coinage in Florence (where the Renaissance proper got going a century later) would count as proto-Renaissance at least... what do you think, @Al Kowsky?  Still fairly medieval-looking lettering but these are certainly of high quality both in terms of production value and engraving, compared to what came before.  Here's one dating to 1237-50:

image.jpeg.61f565aafacbd9ec713348bcec31a37b.jpeg

Florence, Republic, 1185-1532 Fiorino vecchio da 12 denari c. 1237-1250, 20 mm, 1.80 g.

Here's a grosso from Milan, Gian Galeazzo Visconti (1395-1402).  Full-on Renaissance now!

image.jpeg.628169d13a5b1d781c03f78632a26851.jpeg

The "biscione" on the obverse, showing the mysterious Visconti coat of arms with the dragon eating some poor little guy, is still seen on Milan's Alfa Romeo car company's logo.

This next one is probably my favourite Renaissance coin, issued by the Medici pope Leo X: 

image.jpeg.fa945c22680acbbe7baa0843376b942b.jpeg

Giovanni di Lorenzo de’ Medici was pope from 1513 to 1521.  He was the son of Lorenzo the Magnificent of Florence, patron to Raphael, and granted the indulgences that so incensed Martin Luther, sparking the Reformation.

The member known as ycon on the other site discovered for me that the dies for this coin were engraved by Pier Pietro Maria de Pescia (also known as Pier Pietro Maria Serbaldi) who made many of the greatest coins of Julius II and Leo X.  He is mentioned by the Renaissance artist Giorgio Vasari as a master in stone intaglio:

Quote

 

This art afterwards rose to even greater excellence in the pontificate of Pope Leo X, through the talents and labours of Pier Maria da Pescia, who was a most faithful imitator of the works of the ancients; and he had a rival in Michelino, who was no less able than Pier Maria in works both great and small, and was held to be a graceful master.

These men opened the way in this art, which is so difficult, for engraving in intaglio is truly working in the dark, since the craftsman can use nothing but impressions of wax, as spectacles, as it were, wherewith to see from time to time what he is doing. And finally they brought it to such a condition that Giovanni da Castel Bolognese, Valerio Vicentino, Matteo dal Nassaro, and others, were able to execute the many beautiful works of which we are about to make mention.

 

The coin was produced by the Fugger (originally spelled Fucker! :classic_ohmy:) banking family - you can see their mark at the bottom left of the reverse.  They replaced the Medici as Europe's foremost bankers and financed the rise of the Hapsburgs.  Jakob Fugger "The Rich" was directly involved in selling the offending indulgences, and Martin Luther criticized him directly.  Jakob, though, ended up building possibly one of the largest fortunes ever, though... estimated at 2% of Europe's GDP at the time! 🤯  Here he is in his portrait by Dürer:

spacer.png

So many threads come together in this one coin!

Edited by Severus Alexander
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50 minutes ago, Severus Alexander said:

Those are real beauties, @Al Kowsky!  (But then, maybe all your coins are! 🤩)  

The "proto-Renaissance" arguably started in the mid-13th century.  I would say the first fiorino coinage in Florence (where the Renaissance proper got going a century later) would count as proto-Renaissance at least... what do you think, @Al Kowsky?  Still fairly medieval-looking lettering but these are certainly of high quality both in terms of production value and engraving, compared to what came before.  Here's one dating to 1237-50:

image.jpeg.61f565aafacbd9ec713348bcec31a37b.jpeg

Florence, Republic, 1185-1532 Fiorino vecchio da 12 denari c. 1237-1250, 20 mm, 1.80 g.

Here's a grosso from Milan, Gian Galeazzo Visconti (1395-1402).  Full-on Renaissance now!

image.jpeg.628169d13a5b1d781c03f78632a26851.jpeg

The "biscone" on the obverse, showing the mysterious Visconti coat of arms with the dragon eating some poor little guy, is still seen on Milan's Alfa Romeo car company's logo.

This next one is probably my favourite Renaissance coin, issued by the Medici pope Leo X: 

image.jpeg.fa945c22680acbbe7baa0843376b942b.jpeg

Giovanni di Lorenzo de’ Medici was pope from 1513 to 1521.  He was the son of Lorenzo the Magnificent of Florence, patron to Raphael, and granted the indulgences that so incensed Martin Luther, sparking the Reformation.

The member known as ycon on the other site discovered for me that the dies for this coin were engraved by Pier Pietro Maria de Pescia (also known as Pier Pietro Maria Serbaldi) who made many of the greatest coins of Julius II and Leo X.  He is mentioned by the Renaissance artist Giorgio Vasari as a master in stone intaglio:

The coin was produced by the Fugger (originally spelled Fucker! :classic_ohmy:) banking family - you can see their mark at the bottom left of the reverse.  They replaced the Medici as Europe's foremost bankers and financed the rise of the Hapsburgs.  Jakob Fugger "The Rich" was directly involved in selling the offending indulgences, and Martin Luther criticized him directly.  Jakob, though, ended up building possibly one of the largest fortunes ever, though... estimated at 2% of Europe's GDP at the time! 🤯  Here he is in his portrait by Dürer:

spacer.png

So many threads come together in this one coin!

S.A., You posted some stunning coins 😲! Your 13th century 12 denari would certainly qualify as proto Renaissance ☺️. Your grosso from Milan represents the epitome of Renaissance numismatic design 🤩. Whenever I visit the Corning Museum of Glass I marvel at the beauty & elegance of Renaissance glassware made in Venice. Pictured below are three of my favorite objects from the CMOG.

1170982517_BehaimBeakerVenicec_1495.jpg.6b6835ade2874cf76c1c7453f9beb425.jpg

Behaim beaker, Venice, c. 1495

1209148862_EwerVenice1stquarterof16thcen..jpg.f688b1d7ccfca8566de8ee19f9243a2e.jpg

Blown marbled glass ewer, Venice, 1st quarter of the 16th century

1521796623_Venetianwinegalss17thcen..jpg.3c8337b18884d95a0adb75c3fa3fd2be.jpg

Venetian wine glass, 17th century

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So many masterpieces among the renaissance coinage !

e5e6127b6b1141abb1e74ebcaacdd99a.jpg

Charles VI (1380-1422) - Blanc guénar - Atelier incertain - 11/03/1385

+ KAROLVS: FRANCORV: REX, (O longs, ponctuation par 2 annelets pointés superposés, N retrograde). Écu de France.

+ SIT: NOME: DNI: BENEDICTV, (O long, N rétrograde, ponctuation par 3 besants superposés). Croix cantonnée aux 1 et 4 d'une couronne, aux 2 et 3 d'un lis.

25 mm - 3,05 gr

Ref : Ciani # 506, Duplessy # 377

 

0ef0a3a8d3604cf580a7197d00f0eb25.jpg

Charles VII (1422-1461) - Ecu d'or - 3° emission de 1424, atelier de Toulouse (annelet sous la cinquieme lettre)
Croisette sur etoile initiale, KAROLVS : DEI : GRATIA : FRANCORVM : REX, Ecu de France couronné
+ XPC : VINCIT : XPC : REGNAT : XPC : IMPERAT, croix arquée, evidée et fleudelisée, cantonnée de quatre coronelles
3.76 gr, 28 mm
Ref : Ciani # 617

Q

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Posted · Benefactor
Posted (edited)

Great coins Al, Sev and Q ... nuthin' but total winners!

Ummm, I've already posted my sweet Lorraine ex-coins in a different thread, but I can't resist parading them out whenever there is an opportunity ... oh, and I also have an Italian example that's similar to Sev-Alex' cool coin ... wanna see 'em anyway? (okay, here they are for another curtain-call)

 

The Duke of Milan, Bernabo and Galeazzo II Visconti, AR Grosso or Pegione (below)

1355-1378 AD

Diameter: 25 mm

Weight: 2.50 grams

Obverse: Snake with maiden in its mouth between B G; above (an eagle) a aquiletta R/S

Reverse: Ambrose on the throne

Reference:

Ex-stevex6

Duchy Dragon a.jpg

Duchy Dragon b.jpg

 

Duke of Lorriane, Charles II, AR Petit Gros (below)

Nancy Mint

1390-1431 AD

Diameter: 25 mm

Weight: 2.54 grams

Obverse: Crowned duke standing facing, holding sword

Reverse: MONETA DE NANCEI, cross pattée

Reference: De Saulcy pl. IX, 18/19; Boudeau 1480 Flon p 433, 33

Other: fricken cool

Ex-stevex6

Lorraine 1300 1400 Charles II a.jpg

Lorraine 1300 1400 Charles II b.jpg

 

LORRAINE, City of Metz, AR Gros (below)

Provincial. Metz (évêché). Civic issues

1415-1540 A.D.

Diameter:

Weight: 2.93 grams

Obverse: S’ · STEPh’ · PROTh’ · m’ · (rosette stops), St. Étienne kneeling left; civic coat-of-arms of Metz to left and right; manus Dei above (two stars above the divine hand and a under the knees of the Saint)

Reverse: (shield) BИDICTV’ · SIT : nOmЄ’ · DNI’ · nRI’ · IhV’ · XPI’ ·/GROSVS (rosette) mETE (annulet and double annulet stops), cross pattée; star in each quarter

Reference: Fl p 519, 3-10; Robert p. 213, 4; Boudeau 1659-60; Roberts 8932
Ex-stevex6

Lorraine 1400 aa.jpg

Lorraine 1400 b.jpg

 

Lorraine, Duke of Lorraine, Antoine the Good (below)

AR Demi-plaque

Nancy mint

1508-1544 AD

Diameter:  22 mm

Weight: 1.59 grams

Obverse: + ΛnThOn : ∂ : G : CΛLΛBЧ : LOThOЧ : ЄT : BΛЧ : ∂ (double saltire stops), crowned ducal coat-of-arms

Reverse: + mOnЄTΛ : nOVΛ : FΛCTΛ : In : nΛnCЄIO : (double saltire stops), armored arm, wielding sword, emerging from clouds

Reference: De Saulcy pl. XIV, 13; Roberts 9491; Boudeau 1507

Ex-stevex6

Lorraine 1500 Sword a.jpg

Lorraine 1500 Sword b.jpg

 

Duke of Lorraine, Charles IV (2nd reign) ... below

AR Gros of Nancy

1661-1670 A.D.

Diameter:

Weight: 1.21 grams

Obverse: Crowned shield of arms

Reverse: Eagle

Reference: Big. Nancy. DS XXVI, 7. Flon p 719, 59

Other: good flan & nicely toned

Ex-stevex6

Lorraine 1600 aa.jpg

Lorraine 1600 b.jpg

 

LORRAINE, Theobald II, Duke of Lorraine (below)

Double denier (¼ Big Spadin, s.d. Nancy)

1303-1312 A.D.

Diameter: 17 mm (verify?)

Weight: 0.87 grams

Obverse: + T - DV-X. LOTOR – EGIE. The Duke of Lorraine (in armour), riding caped steed to the right, carrying spear in right hand and shield in left  

Reverse: MONETA D - E NANCEI. Downward sword, cutting the legend at the top and bottom, between two Avalerions/Alerions

Reference: S.16 (3/16) Bd.1456 (6 f.) FlonII, n° 1-3, p. 391

Ex-stevex6

 

Lorraine Duche de Lorraine Thiebaut II a.jpg

Lorraine Duche de Lorraine Thiebaut II b.jpg

 

... so cool, right?

Thanks for allowing me to play 

Hi

 

Edited by Steve
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16th century Renaissance "Groschen" from Freiburg, Germany

normal_freiburg_001.jpg.b9f3e5580985b0cf81bdeda329b41c8f.jpg

Freiburg im Breisgau
Groschen
16th cent. AD
Obv.: *MON: NOVA. FRIBVRG. EN: BRISGO, raven or eagle (the coat of arms of Freiburg)
Rev.: AVE MARIA. GRATIA. PLENA, Madonna seated with child
AR, 2.36 g
Ref.: Berst. 141a var., Schulten 897, Rommel 17.

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3 hours ago, Steve said:

Great coins Al, Sev and Q ... nuthin' but total winners!

Ummm, I've already posted my sweet Lorraine ex-coins in a different thread, but I can't resist parading them out whenever there is an opportunity ... oh, and I also have an Italian example that's similar to Sev-Alex' cool coin ... wanna see 'em anyway? (okay, here they are for another curtain-call)

 

The Duke of Milan, Bernabo and Galeazzo II Visconti, AR Grosso or Pegione (below)

1355-1378 AD

Diameter: 25 mm

Weight: 2.50 grams

Obverse: Snake with maiden in its mouth between B G; above (an eagle) a aquiletta R/S

Reverse: Ambrose on the throne

Reference:

Ex-stevex6

Duchy Dragon a.jpg

Duchy Dragon b.jpg

 

Duke of Lorriane, Charles II, AR Petit Gros (below)

Nancy Mint

1390-1431 AD

Diameter: 25 mm

Weight: 2.54 grams

Obverse: Crowned duke standing facing, holding sword

Reverse: MONETA DE NANCEI, cross pattée

Reference: De Saulcy pl. IX, 18/19; Boudeau 1480 Flon p 433, 33

Other: fricken cool

Ex-stevex6

Lorraine 1300 1400 Charles II a.jpg

Lorraine 1300 1400 Charles II b.jpg

 

LORRAINE, City of Metz, AR Gros (below)

Provincial. Metz (évêché). Civic issues

1415-1540 A.D.

Diameter:

Weight: 2.93 grams

Obverse: S’ · STEPh’ · PROTh’ · m’ · (rosette stops), St. Étienne kneeling left; civic coat-of-arms of Metz to left and right; manus Dei above (two stars above the divine hand and a under the knees of the Saint)

Reverse: (shield) BИDICTV’ · SIT : nOmЄ’ · DNI’ · nRI’ · IhV’ · XPI’ ·/GROSVS (rosette) mETE (annulet and double annulet stops), cross pattée; star in each quarter

Reference: Fl p 519, 3-10; Robert p. 213, 4; Boudeau 1659-60; Roberts 8932
Ex-stevex6

Lorraine 1400 aa.jpg

Lorraine 1400 b.jpg

 

Lorraine, Duke of Lorraine, Antoine the Good (below)

AR Demi-plaque

Nancy mint

1508-1544 AD

Diameter:  22 mm

Weight: 1.59 grams

Obverse: + ΛnThOn : ∂ : G : CΛLΛBЧ : LOThOЧ : ЄT : BΛЧ : ∂ (double saltire stops), crowned ducal coat-of-arms

Reverse: + mOnЄTΛ : nOVΛ : FΛCTΛ : In : nΛnCЄIO : (double saltire stops), armored arm, wielding sword, emerging from clouds

Reference: De Saulcy pl. XIV, 13; Roberts 9491; Boudeau 1507

Ex-stevex6

Lorraine 1500 Sword a.jpg

Lorraine 1500 Sword b.jpg

 

Duke of Lorraine, Charles IV (2nd reign) ... below

AR Gros of Nancy

1661-1670 A.D.

Diameter:

Weight: 1.21 grams

Obverse: Crowned shield of arms

Reverse: Eagle

Reference: Big. Nancy. DS XXVI, 7. Flon p 719, 59

Other: good flan & nicely toned

Ex-stevex6

Lorraine 1600 aa.jpg

Lorraine 1600 b.jpg

 

LORRAINE, Theobald II, Duke of Lorraine (below)

Double denier (¼ Big Spadin, s.d. Nancy)

1303-1312 A.D.

Diameter: 17 mm (verify?)

Weight: 0.87 grams

Obverse: + T - DV-X. LOTOR – EGIE. The Duke of Lorraine (in armour), riding caped steed to the right, carrying spear in right hand and shield in left  

Reverse: MONETA D - E NANCEI. Downward sword, cutting the legend at the top and bottom, between two Avalerions/Alerions

Reference: S.16 (3/16) Bd.1456 (6 f.) FlonII, n° 1-3, p. 391

Ex-stevex6

 

Lorraine Duche de Lorraine Thiebaut II a.jpg

Lorraine Duche de Lorraine Thiebaut II b.jpg

 

... so cool, right?

Thanks for allowing me to play 

Hi

 

Steve, Thanks for posting this wonderful group of coins 🤩! I'm happy to see so much great material come out of the closet 😉.

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3 hours ago, shanxi said:

16th century Renaissance "Groschen" from Freiburg, Germany

normal_freiburg_001.jpg.b9f3e5580985b0cf81bdeda329b41c8f.jpg

Freiburg im Breisgau
Groschen
16th cent. AD
Obv.: *MON: NOVA. FRIBVRG. EN: BRISGO, raven or eagle (the coat of arms of Freiburg)
Rev.: AVE MARIA. GRATIA. PLENA, Madonna seated with child
AR, 2.36 g
Ref.: Berst. 141a var., Schulten 897, Rommel 17.

shanxi, Thanks for posting this lovely Freiburg groschen 😍. The design layout on the obverse of your coin is very similar to my pierreale, but the lettering has reverted back to the old Roman style 😉.

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For the Renaissance, I have this early gulden of Fredrick III ("Fredrick the Wise").

Germany, Saxony, Elector Frederick III, John, George, Gulden (Klappmützentaler), mintmark Cross, (1512–1523), Annaberg.

Dav 9709

28.9 grams

This coin is ex jewelry and the fields have been smoothed.

863588431_D-CameraGermanySaxonyFrederickIIIJohnGeorgeGulden(Klappmtzentaler)Mmz.Cross(15121523)AnnabergDav970928.9g6-23-22.jpg.82a90dc28ac13c6cd5cdb577e8f46332.jpg

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Scotland James V(1513~1542) AR Groat

 

jamesvgroatf.jpg.afbc15002da0a4de1beaa46a1d0e8d8f.jpgjamesvgroatr.jpg.d42668f418351511a1cf160c74d066ff.jpg

Groat or 1/6 or 18d, there are four varieties, the first with a double arched crown on the monarch, the second with a single arched crown, the third with and open mantle and a trefoil of pellets, and a fourth variety with a pointed nose. These pieces are nice attractive coins, and are very collectible.
This particular groat is the third variety, S-5378 and bears an attractive renaissance era portrait of the monarch.

James V would have the distinction of being the first of three Scottish monarchs in succession who would inherit the throne during the time they were still infants. His father, James IV was killed at the Battle of Flodden, after coming to the aid of the Scottish allies, the French, who were at war with the English. The earliest part of his reign was a regency under his mother, Margaret Tudor, but as she was the sister of Henry VIII of England, she not popular. James attained majority at the age of 16, and soon entered into a five year peace treaty with Henry VIII.

James V married Madeleine, the daughter of the King of France in 1537, but she died seven months after coming to Scotland. Thereafter he married Mary of Guise in June of 1538, they had two sons who died in infancy in 1541, and whose deaths were followed by their Grandmother, Margaret Tudor. With her death, conflict with Henry VIII became inevitable, and the Scots were defeated at the Battle of Solway Moss in 1542. James V had then entered into a period of depression that would only end with his death at the comparatively young age of 30. He left the throne to Mary, aged only seven days.

 

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11 hours ago, robinjojo said:

For the Renaissance, I have this early gulden of Fredrick III ("Fredrick the Wise").

Germany, Saxony, Elector Frederick III, John, George, Gulden (Klappmützentaler), mintmark Cross, (1512–1523), Annaberg.

Dav 9709

28.9 grams

This coin is ex jewelry and the fields have been smoothed.

863588431_D-CameraGermanySaxonyFrederickIIIJohnGeorgeGulden(Klappmtzentaler)Mmz.Cross(15121523)AnnabergDav970928.9g6-23-22.jpg.82a90dc28ac13c6cd5cdb577e8f46332.jpg

This is an excellent example of Germanic coin design from the late Renaissance 😊. Saxony became part of the Holy Roman Empire in the 10th century. This coin sports 8 different coats of arms & 3 impressive portraits. The portrait of Fredrick holding a sword became a common theme for many different German monarchs of the Renaissance & Baroque periods. 

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11 hours ago, UkrainiiVityaz said:

 

Scotland James V(1513~1542) AR Groat

 

jamesvgroatf.jpg.afbc15002da0a4de1beaa46a1d0e8d8f.jpgjamesvgroatr.jpg.d42668f418351511a1cf160c74d066ff.jpg

Groat or 1/6 or 18d, there are four varieties, the first with a double arched crown on the monarch, the second with a single arched crown, the third with and open mantle and a trefoil of pellets, and a fourth variety with a pointed nose. These pieces are nice attractive coins, and are very collectible.
This particular groat is the third variety, S-5378 and bears an attractive renaissance era portrait of the monarch.

James V would have the distinction of being the first of three Scottish monarchs in succession who would inherit the throne during the time they were still infants. His father, James IV was killed at the Battle of Flodden, after coming to the aid of the Scottish allies, the French, who were at war with the English. The earliest part of his reign was a regency under his mother, Margaret Tudor, but as she was the sister of Henry VIII of England, she not popular. James attained majority at the age of 16, and soon entered into a five year peace treaty with Henry VIII.

James V married Madeleine, the daughter of the King of France in 1537, but she died seven months after coming to Scotland. Thereafter he married Mary of Guise in June of 1538, they had two sons who died in infancy in 1541, and whose deaths were followed by their Grandmother, Margaret Tudor. With her death, conflict with Henry VIII became inevitable, and the Scots were defeated at the Battle of Solway Moss in 1542. James V had then entered into a period of depression that would only end with his death at the comparatively young age of 30. He left the throne to Mary, aged only seven days.

 

Lovely portrait with excellent detail on the crown & clothing, & a finely engraved coat of arms 🤩.

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11 hours ago, UkrainiiVityaz said:

Hungary King Vladislaus II(1490-1516) AR Denar dated 1508

 

hungarydenar1508.jpg.7cd874bec656fe25d13105a6942a2783.jpg

 

My earliest Christian Era dated coin, this AR denar was minted in 1508 with the mintmark KH for Kremnitz.

This is a very attractive denar with the coat of arms of Hungary, & also important as an early dated coin ☺️. Vladislaus came to power with the help of Fredrick III, & was constantly at odds with Matthias I, King of Hungary, & the Catholic church.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Posted · Supporter

I guess I'm late to this little Renaissance fair – but since there are already so many wonderful coins in this thread, I thought I might give it a bump.

Below is a Milanese coin weight with an (unofficial) portrait of Galeazzo Maria Sforza, one of the central figures of the Italian renaissance. Such weights were produced by specialized local craftspeople and used by merchants, bankers, and moneychangers:

748511618_MAItalienMailandGaleazzoMariaSforzaMunzgewicht.png.97a333a6f69bf88b75c8c28b8f3633f6.png

Italy, Milan (Duchy), under Galeazzo Maria Sforza, AE peso monetale (coin weight for the ducato d’oro), ca. 1466–1476 AD. Obv: armored bust of Galeazzo Maria Sforza r. Rev: originally blank; circular punch and retrograde S added after striking. 16mm, 3.34g. Mazza: I Pesi Monetari di Monete Milanesi 24 (or similar).

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