Papal States (1559-65) 1/2 lira

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Jean Elsen sale 123, lot 1226
Papal States JE 123-1226r.jpg
This specimen was lot 1226 in Jean Elsen sale 123 (Brussels, December 2014), where it sold for €160 (about US$233 including buyer's fees). The catalog description[1] noted,
"ITALIE, ETATS PONTIFICAUX, Pie IV (1559-1565), (Giovannangelo de' Medici), AR bianco (mezza lira), s.d. Bologne. Droit: B. à droite, vêtu de la chape. Revers: BONONIA MATER STVDIORVM Lion rampant à gauche, tenant une bannière. Petite tache de vert-de-gris. Très Beau à Superbe. (Papal States, Pius IV (1559-65), silver bianco or half lira, without date, Bologna mint. Obverse: caped bust right; reverse: lion rampant to left, bearing a banner. Small stain of verdigris, very fine to extremely fine.)"
The SCWC does not state the equivalent value of a mezza lira in terms of the giulio or the piastra; based on the weight, we presume this coin was worth half a testone. Berman[2] notes, "AR Bianco (= half lira). Abr. R.: BONONIA METER STVDIORVM, lion rampant l. with banner, CNI 15, S. 238-41, M. 70."

Recorded mintage: unknown.

Specification: silver, this specimen 4,63 g.

Catalog reference: Munt., 70; Berman-1076.


  • [2]Berman, Allen G., Papal Coins, South Salem, NY: Attic Books, 1991.
  • [1]Elsen, Philippe, et al., Vente Publique 123, Brussels: Jean Elsen et ses Fils, S.A., 2014.

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