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Duchy Of Ferrara Grossetto, Ercole II (1534-59) - Seek Help On Legend

 
 
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 Posted 01/09/2019  8:22 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add tdziemia to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
A part of my collection which is numismatically a bit obscure is the coinage of Ferrara, Italy under the Este dynasty. This family ruled Ferrara first as lords/marquis (1264-1450), then as dukes (1450-1597) until a succession crisis led to Ferrara being subjugated as yet another Papal State.

The city center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site (1995) and well worth a visit for anyone lucky enough to be within striking distance from Venice or Bologna (it's a bout midway between on a major train line and autostrada).

I just received this silver grossetto (1.48 g, 20 mm) from the reign of Ercole II (1534-59), and bearing his portrait. I haven't run across many silver coins with portraits that are modestly priced. I lack a catalog, but according to the seller, it is Varesi 301. Too bad for the scratches, but they are not so noticeable in hand as in the photos
Obv: HER II DVX FERRAR IIII (Ercole II, 4th Duke of Ferrara)
Rev: PERFICIT ET OFICIT ?
I would be grateful for any help in confirming the reverse legend and its translation from the ancients experts (or someone with a catalog). The figure reverse is supposed to be Saturn.


Edited by tdziemia
01/09/2019 9:24 pm
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 Posted 01/09/2019  8:32 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Bob L to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Here's one that appears to have same reverse legend: https://www.numisbids.com/n.php?p=l...=1082&lot=45

Note the "sic!" in the description.
Edited by Bob L
01/09/2019 8:33 pm
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 Posted 01/09/2019  8:34 pm  Show Profile   Check echizento's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add echizento to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Interesting coin, looks like a double strike in some areas.
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 Posted 01/09/2019  9:42 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add tdziemia to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for the link, Bob. The first letter of the last word reverse almost looks like a backward S or even a Q on mine. Maybe someone with a knowledge of Latin will jump in and tell us what the spelling should be! And I was glad to read that Saturn is holding a snake that is biting its tail. I'd gone looking for images of this god holding something, and tended to find something more unsettling.

@echizento, agree on the strike issue (I assume you are noticing this obverse at 6:00). Oddly, I also have a grossetto from Alfonso II who succeeded this duke, showing something even more pronounced around the same place.



Edited by tdziemia
01/09/2019 9:46 pm
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 Posted 01/10/2019  06:32 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Spence to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@tdz, yes this is an interesting coin, although it looks like there has been some tooling around some of the letters, especially toward the end of PERFICIT. Also, I'm not sure about the obv doubling--my amateur interpretation of the I/I is that the first one was engraved on the die wrong.

I've looked for this coin in my Biaggi, but unfortunately that reference ends its coverage of Ferrara with Ercole I (1471 to 1505 AD). None of his coins have a similar rev inscription as yours. I'm not familiar with the Varesi reference that you cited, but note that picking up the CNI would be extraordinarily expensive. I would go with PERFICIT ET OFICIT (blundered) for your coin. Incorrect Latin on the rev would seem to fit with a misengraving on the obv. Sorry that I can't be more helpful.
"The danger we all now face is distinguishing between what is authentic and what is performed."
-----King Adz
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 Posted 01/10/2019  08:29 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add tdziemia to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for checking in Biaggi. I know that CNI is available online, and some time ago I printed out the section on Duchy of Ferrara, but it seems to have gotten misplaced last time I moved. The link to the previous sale of this type in NumisBids at least gives me that reference, too.

On engraving and tooling ... Embarassing that Ercole couldn't attract a more skilled engraver, as Ferrara was one of the epicenters of Italian Renaissance art in the 16th century. And I'm not familiar with what to look for as evidence of tooling, but I see the marks you're referring to. Maybe someone was also messing around trying to remove corrosion, which could explain some of the scratching (for instance at Saturn's elbow and the duke's chin).



Edited by tdziemia
01/10/2019 4:48 pm
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 Posted 01/10/2019  09:52 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add antwerpen2306 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
1 : the spelling : IMO the right spelling is PERFICIT ET OFFICIT with two F , 3th person from the verbs perficere and officere .
2 : the translation : perficere = to improve , to finish,to accomplish , officere : to stand in the way,to harm,to do wrong .
I think it has anything to do with the representation of the snake biting his tail as a symbol for the principles of Ercole II .My problem here is that in the Renaissance the Latin words had not allways the same meaning as in Roman time . As I am not at home now , I can t check more . albert
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 Posted 01/10/2019  11:10 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add antwerpen2306 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I was checking in my old Latin dictionary I have here (1878 : nova editio !! ) , and found the word officiosus , a derivative of officere ( officio in my dict.) with translation : helpful ,benevolent .
So IMO the translation is : he made the things better and he was helpful . albert
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 Posted 01/13/2019  8:33 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add tdziemia to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I found my CNI download for Duchy of Ferrara

First, on this denomination ... The grossetto is equivalent to 2 soldi (I bet everyone was just dying to know that).

The correct reverse legend is PERFICIT ET CONFICIT (CNI Vol. X, XXXI, 18/65-73). CNI writes this abbreviated or bungled version on my coin as PERFICIT ET 9FICIT (CNI 74-95).

The google translator is not very helpful, ("carrying traverses"). And somehow in 12 years of Catholic schools, I never learned Latin. I see that if I just type "perficit" in the translator, I get "empowers." Maybe PERFICIT ET CONFICIT is something like "enabling change" or "enabling transition?"

Lastly, for anyone interested in the artistry of Renaissance era coins from this place, I encourage you to open BobL's link, and click the back "browse" arrow, which will reveal a dozen lots in that auction from the Duchy of Ferrara. You will quickly see why I pounced on this coin
Edited by tdziemia
01/13/2019 8:34 pm
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