Modena 1782 tallero Dav-1393

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Goldberg sale 59, lot 3927
photo courtesy Ira & Larry Goldberg
This specimen was lot 3927 in Goldberg sale 59 (Beverly Hills, June 2010), where it sold for $4,600. The catalog description[1] noted,

"Italian States -- Modena. Tallero of 3 Scudi, 1782. Ercole III, d'Este, 1780-1796. Bust left, wearing Order of the Golden Fleece. Reverse: Large crowned arms supported on eagle below, wreathed by two elaborate chains of Royal Orders. Greatly detailed by a sharp strike, with only trifling flatness at the Orders beneath shield. The reverse fields show bold cartwheel luster. Nicely toned, the lighter reverse with multi-colored iridescence, tending to blue and green. Rare in this quality. NGC graded MS-61.

Periodically various Italian states would issue the tallero, a coin aligned in size and weight to serve as a counterpart to the German and Habsburg thalers. This Modena issue must have have been intended for central European consumption, since the famed Maria Theresa talers, and the Dutch lion dollars, were already successful Far Eastern trade coins. The image here is easily compared, in the style of its engraving and in the dress of the ruler, with early American images of George Washington and other statesmen. Ex Millennia, Lot 729."

The Este family managed to remain Dukes of Modena from the sixteenth century until the coming of Napoleon in 1796. At the time, 6 denari = 1 sesino, 2 sesini = 1 soldo, 20 soldi = 1 lira, 12 lire = 1 tallero or scudo.

Recorded mintage: unknown.

Specification: silver, 27.69 g; this specimen 27.72 grams.

Catalog reference: Davenport-1393; CNI-IX, no 368, KM C19.1.


  • Michael, Thomas, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1701-1800, 7th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2016.
  • Davenport, John S., European Crowns, 1700-1800, 2nd Ed., London: Spink & Son, 1964.
  • [1]Goldberg, Ira, and Larry Goldberg, Goldberg Sale 59: the pre-Long Beach sale, Beverly Hills, CA: Ira and Larry Goldberg Auctioneers, 2010.

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