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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 5, Lot: 97. Estimate CHF1000. 
Closing Date: Monday, 24 October 2011. 
Sold For CHF1000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Italy, Florence. Francesco III. 1737-1765. Medal (Bronze, 86.5mm, 181 g 12), an original cast by Lorenzo Maria Weber, 1739. FRANCISCVS.III.D.G.LOTH.BAR.ET.M.ETR.D.REX.HIER. Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust of Francis III of Lorraine to right, wearing a cuirass that is elaborately decorated with scenes of battle. Rev. SPES PVBLICA / ADVEN OPT PRINC / MDCCXXXIX The Grand Duke on horseback to right, greeted by a kneeling personification of the city before the triumphal arch at the Porta San Gallo in Florence; below, signature, I.M.WEBER. Domanig 275. Molinari 160. Vannel-Toderi 373. An attractively darkly toned early cast. Taken from a slightly rusty mold, otherwise, extremely fine.

This records the entrance of François III of Lorraine into his new Grand Duchy of Tuscany. In an elaborate dance of musical chairs François agreed to give up Lorraine and receive Tuscany in compensation (upon the death of its last Medici ruler, Gian Gastone). He also agreed to marry Maria Theresa and become Holy Roman Emperor. The Lorrainers were not greatly loved in Florence, but they did inaugurate a period of reform that brought stability and prosperity to Tuscany. His son Leopold I ended capital punishment and torture in 1786, a reform that has led, in 2000, to the initiation of Cities for Life Day (30 November) an annual holiday celebrated by cities all around the world.