Collectors of the Italian series, and particularly the Venetian series, will be intimately familiar with the nearly universally recognized imagery of the doge of Venice kneeling with staff in hand before the figure of St. Mark, the patron saint of the Italian city-state. This image is widely seen in the longstanding series of ducats and zecchini issued by the city, one that spans centuries and presents a wide range of styles, qualities of production, and historical contexts.

While taken as a whole these issues remain relatively attainable to collectors, the significantly more limited issuances of larger multiple zecchini under various doges present an entirely different challenge, made available only to the few. Our April 24-27 Central States Signature Auction of World and Ancient Coins features one such example, a 15 Zecchini issued during the reign of Giovanni Corner (1709-1722). Though moderately circulated, this coin retains an admirable degree of detail, such that even the facial expressions of St. Mark, Corner, and Christ remain discernible, framed by bold legends and surrounded by golden fields expressing an admirable degree of luster.

At a considerable size – 49mm in diameter with a weight of over 51 grams – the selection offers what is essentially a medallic grandeur, appropriately matched only by its rarity, and there is no doubt that it will come to serve as one of the greater Italian highlights of any collection that it enters.

For more about the coinage of Venice, check out this piece by CoinWeek’s Mike Markowitz

Serenissima: The Medieval Coinage of Venice, by Mike Markowitz

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