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Research Coins: Feature Auction


Extremely Rare 6 Scudi – Previously Unknown Date for Denomination

Triton XV, Lot: 1761. Estimate $50000.
Sold for $40000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

ITALY, Genova. The Biennial Doges. 1528-1797. AR Da 6 scudi (60mm, 229.50 g, 8h). Third phase. Dated 1719/5. · ET · REGE · EOS · 1719/5 · F · M · S · (star stops), the Madonna seated facing among the clouds, head right, holding scepter and Holy Infant; above, two cherubim placing crown of eleven stars upon her head / + DVX · ET · GVBERNATORES · REIP · GENV, voided cross pattée, with lis at each limb and facing head of cherub in each angle; all over short cross fleurée in saltire. CNI III -; Lunardi -; Varesi type 284 (unlisted date); Ricci type 289 (same); Davenport 549 var. (same); KM 158 var. (same). VF, toned, a few marks and some striking flaws. A previously unknown date for this denomination; an impressive and extremely rare piece.

Technically a communal republic, Genoa was in fact an oligarchy ruled by a small group of merchant families, from whom were selected the city's doges, or rulers. Beginning with Simone Boccanegra in 1339 and continuing through 1528, these so-called "perpetual" doges were supposed to hold office for life. Few, however, did, as the city was periodically under the control of both Milan and France. In 1528 Andrea Doria threw off French control and re-established a Republic. Though he himself ruled as a virtual dictator, his successors were now limited to a two-year term of office, and were subsequently known as "biennial" doges, a political arrangement which continued until Napoleon's formation of the Liguran Republic in 1798.