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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 5, Lot: 22. Estimate CHF850. 
Closing Date: Monday, 24 October 2011. 
Sold For CHF900. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Italy, Parma. Ottavio Farnese, Duke of Parma and Piacenza. 1547-1586. Medal (Bronze, 31mm, 22.22 g 12), A very sharp early cast by Gianfederico Bonzagna (after 1507-1588), c.1547/1550. OCTAVIVS.F.PARM.ET.PLAC.DVX.II. Bare-headed, cuirasssed and draped bust of Ottavio to left; below, signature I.F.B Rev. CVM.DIIS.NON.CONTENDENDVM. (= do not contend with the gods) Apollo, laureate and with cloak over his shoulders, standing left, holding lyre with his left hand and raising his right towards Marsyas, kneeling left, bound to a tree trunk. Attwood 956. A splendid, sharp early, if not contemporary cast with lovely brown patina. Extremely fine.

This medal probably refers to the difficulty Farnese had in coming into his inheritance. He was married to Margaret of Austria, natural daughter of Charles V, when he was 14 and she 15 - they seem to have never liked each other. Nevertheless, she gave him an heir, Alexander Farnese, who became one of Spain’s best generals in the war in the Netherlands.