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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Sale: CNG 73, Lot: 1212. Estimate $750. 
Closing Date: Wednesday, 13 September 2006. 
Sold For $950. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

ITALY, Palmanova. Austrian Siege issue. BI 50 Centesimi (12.09 g, 5h). Dated 1814. NAPOLEONE IMPERE (Ns retrograde), CENT/50 in two lines across fields; in exergue, lamp right; all within wreath / (star)MONTA D´ASSEo PALMA (N retrograde), crown; 1814• below. Pagani 281; Montenegro 65; KM -. Superb EF, toned. Rare.

Founded in 1593 in commemoration of the victory at Lepanto, Palmanova was a fortress-like city which lay strategically close to the Ottoman border in northeastern Italy. Initially under Venetian control, it was conquered by the French as part of Napoleon’s Italian campaign. Under the terms of the Treaty of Campo Formio, Palmanova was ceded to Austrian control. In 1805, Napoleon retook the city from the Austrians and incorporated it in his new Kingdom of Italy.

In 1814, the Austrians, one of the members of the victorious coalition that had brought the first defeat and abdication of Napoleon, used the opportunity to seize Palmanova from the Bonapartists. After a brief siege, at which time this coin was struck on behalf of the defenders, the Austrians were successful and retained control of the city until 1866.