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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 1, Lot: 203. Estimate CHF1250. 
Closing Date: Tuesday, 5 May 2009. 
Sold For CHF1300. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

ITALY, Venice. Marcantonio Giustinian. 1684-1688. Zecchino (Gold, 3.49 g 5). M.ANT.IVSTIN / DVX / S.M.VENET Doge kneeling left, grasping long, cross-tipped scepter handed to him by St. Mark, standing right before him Rev. SIT.T.XPE.DAT.Q.TV REGIS.ISTE.DVCA Christ standing facing in mandorla with sixteen stars. Gamberini 1059. Fr. 1341. Paolucci p. 109, 1. A superb example, lustrous and attractive. Virtually as struck.

Marcantonio Giustinian was elected Doge of Venice in 1684 at a time when the state was facing war with the Turks. He had had a successful career as a diplomat, was an elderly bachelor (and still a virgin it was said), and a very good administrator (he greatly helped the poor of Venice). His reign proved one of the high-points of Venetian history: under the brilliant Venetian naval commander, Francesco Morosini, with the land forces under the Swedish general, Count Königsmark, Venetian forces conquered all of southern Greece in 1687. These victories were wildly celebrated in Venice and when Giustinian died in March 1688, Morosini was unanimously elected as his successor. It was during this campaign that, on 26 September 1687, the Parthenon in Athens, which the Turks were using as a powder magazine, was blown up by one of Morosini’s mortars, destroying a great deal of the superstructure and the sculptures. Even more were damaged when Morosini attempted to remove them and they fell to the ground and were smashed.