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Country Of The Day: Italy, Unique Charles V Gold Medallic Testone D'oro Della Pieta ND NGC XF40

 
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 Posted 04/06/2021  5:15 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add CCFPress to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Milan. Charles V (1535-1556) gold Medallic Testone d'Oro della Pieta ND (c. 1535) XF40 NGC, cf. CNI-Va.37 (in silver), Gnecchi-Unl., Gnecchi Collection-Unl., MEC XII-Unl., MIR-Unl., Bellesia-47 (R5; this coin), Crippa-26/A (Unique?; this coin). 19.40gm. By Leone Leoni. Reportedly produced for Holy Roman Emperor Charles V's homage by the Senate of Milan after he had annexed the duchy as an imperial state in 1535, it would seem hardly surprising if this very specimen was intended for presentation to a key participant in the ceremony. Drawing heavily from Roman motifs, the reverse scene depicts Pietas seated on a curule chair, holding a patera in her right hand (a traditional bowl used for offerings) and flanked by a cuirass on either side. Though the design and layout seem to have prototypes in several different Roman Imperial issues, such as the denarii of the Emperor Hadrian and sestertii of Trajan, closest both for its plethora of legends and style of Pietas, ironically, is a Sesterius of Caligula produced c. AD 40-41 for his dedication of the Temple of Divus Augustus (cf. RIC I-51). Whether or not this was indeed the model from which Leoni drew inspiration, it is notable as the first gold type of a Holy Roman Emperor produced in Romanesque fashion since the Augustales of Frederick II which were struck c. 1230-1250. Evenly worn over the high points, though without noticeable damage, it is easily imaginable that this medallic selection is as imposing today as it was nearly 500 years ago.



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 Posted 04/06/2021  5:56 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Coinfrog to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Imagine what the buying power of that must have been back then!
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 Posted 04/06/2021  6:42 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add sel_69l to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Testones were the largest silver coins that were issued into circulation at that time. An off metal strike in gold would have been appropriate for a presentation piece. Extra care would have been taken to produce this piece.
At 19.4 grams, it would have been a significantly large gold coin for that period, and thus considered medallic in form.

I am a bit reticent to assigning Sheldon grades to hammered coins. I think that Sheldon never considered other than US coins. I feel that a European auction house would have applied a traditional adjectival grading to it.
Nevertheless, they would have reported the slab grading if it had been in an auction lot.
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 Posted 04/07/2021  07:58 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add tdziemia to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I have never heard the term "Romanesque" applied to medallic art. Usually it is an architectural style that preceded Gothic.

It is a little hard to extract from the text, but it looks like they are using this for the combination of a "laureate" bust for the emperor, and a classical design reverse?

The closest contemporary coins I know like this are some spectacular testons of the Duchy of Ferrara which pre-date this one by a few decades, with classical motifs reverse, but as the sovereign is just a lowly duke, there is no chance for a laureate representation obverse. They are about the same size as that great coin of Charles.
https://en.numista.com/catalogue/pieces128415.html
https://en.numista.com/catalogue/pieces116816.html
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 Posted 04/07/2021  3:39 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add january1may to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
It is a little hard to extract from the text, but it looks like they are using this for the combination of a "laureate" bust for the emperor, and a classical design reverse?
I interpreted it as meaning "Roman-esque" as in "basically mimicking Roman style".

For this particular coin (medal?) I would have easily thought it was actually Roman if I didn't look carefully (the reverse in particular is quite convincing); they've made a good job of the style-mimicking.
The augustales, on the other hand, look like the barbarous imitations they are, and to a lesser extent so does the second Ferrara teston linked by @tdziemia (the first does not look Roman at all).
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