ITALY, Milano (Duchi). Lodovico Sforza.
|Sale: Triton XIII, Lot: 1861. Estimate $2500.
Closing Date: Monday, 4 January 2010.
Sold For $6000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.
1494-1499. AR Testone (9.64 g, 8h). (mitered head) LVDOVICVS · M · SF · ANGLVS · DVX · MLI, armored bust right / (mitered head) P P · ANGLE · Q3 · CO · AC · IANVE · D · 7C, crowned familial coat-of-arms of Sforza, garlanded and surrounded by branding irons and buckets. CNI V 19; Morosini 5; Crippa 2; Biaggi 1578. EF, toned.
Lodovico il Moro (the Dark One), brother of Galeazzo Sforza, was in fact the real master of Milan during the rule of his nephew, Gian Galeazzo, who eventually died un-mourned in 1494. Lodovico was a true Renaissance prince---bold, scheming, and a lavish patron of the arts. Bramante, da Vinci, and other artists found a welcome at his splendid court, and his patronage of the arts is reflected in the continuing Milanese tradition of magnificent numismatic portraiture. Unfortunately, he also strove to elevate his status and encouraged the French king, Charles VIII, to meddle in Italian affairs, intending to use French patronage to expand his realm. Instead, he was expelled from Milan by the French in 1499, and died as their prisoner in 1508. His two sons held the title of the duke of Milan at the sufferance of the contending armies of France and Switzerland, and the dynasty ended ignominiously with the early death of Francesco Maria in 1535.