Lombardy-Venetia 1854-V 1/2 lira

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Künker sale 293, lot 1693
This specimen was lot 1693 in Künker sale 293 (Osnabruck, Germany, July 2017), where it sold for €600 (about US$809 including buyer's fees). The catalog description[1] noted,
"KAISERREICH ÖSTERREICH, Franz Josef I. 1848-1916. 1/2 Lira 1854, V, Venedig. Hübsche Patina, winz. Kratzer, vorzüglich. (Empire of Austria, Francis Joseph I, 1848-1916, half lira of 1854, Venice mint. Handsome patina, some scratches, extremely fine.)"
The kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia was assembled by the Austrians to provide a unified administration for the Italian territories under their rule. This comprised the former duchies of Milan and Mantua and the republic of Venice. After crushing the rebellion of 1848, Austrian rule became deeply unpopular. Perhaps sensing her inevitable eviction for Italy, Austria cut back on minting activity in Milan and Venice. This type was minted at Venice 1854-55 only and is the last issue of this denomination. It is decidedly scarce. It is tempting to include it with our group of silver dimes of the world such as the Sardinia 1860-M 50 centesimi, but the coin is not really decimal, being one-sixth of a scudo. The Venice mint was closed in 1862 after an issue of half soldi, ending a thousand years of activity.

Recorded mintage: unknown.

Specification: 2.165 g, .900 fine silver, .062 troy oz ASW.

Catalog reference: J. 306, KM C36.


  • Cuhaj, George S., and Thomas Michael, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1801-1900, 7th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2012.
  • Gigante, Fabio, Gigante 2016: Catalogo Nazionale delle Monete Italiano Dal '700 All'Euro, 24a ed. Varese, Italy, 2015.
  • Montenegro, Eupremio, Montenegro 2015: Manuale del Collezionista di Monete Italiane, 30 ed., Torino, Italy: Montenegro s.a.s., 2014.
  • [1]Künker Münzauktionen und Goldhandel, Katalog 293: Münzen aus Mittelalter und Neuzeit u. a. die westfälischen Privatsammlungen Werner Bröker und Bernd Terletzki, Osnabrück: Fritz Rudolf Künker GmbH & Co., AG, 2017.

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