Vasto 1706 1/2 tallero

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Heritage sale 3064, lot 31213
Vasto H3064-31213r.jpg
This specimen was lot 31213 in Heritage sale 3064 (Chicago, April 2018), where it did not sell. The catalog description[1] noted,
"Vasto. Cesare d'Avalos 1/2 Tallero 1706 VF35 NGC, Augsburg mint. An extremely rare singular type featuring the well-coiffed, right-facing bust of Cesare d'Avalos with the collar of the Golden Fleece, and reverse depiction of crowned arms surrounded by Golden Fleece, with marks of the city of Augsburg and mintmaster J.C. Holeisen. Handsomely toned and nearly extremely fine, with the typical appearance of Bavarian-struck talers from the period, this having been minted in Augsburg. A search of auction records reveals that this type has not been offered at public auction since 1977. According to Morosini Volume 1, Signore e Principati, there were only five auction appearances of this type in the 20th century, from Gnecchi in 1902-3 to Munzen & Medaillen Basel in 1977, with possible duplication. The only similar coin seemingly offered during the internet era was a full Tallero in comparable grade (N.A.C. 35 lot 560 in 2006). In total, a lovely piece, and quite possibly a once-in-a-generation opportunity for acquisition.

Vasto produced only four coins in its entire history, all in 1706, and all very rare. D'Avalos was a skilled diplomatic player in the War of the Austrian Succession. Though sentenced to death by the King of Spain for his aide to Emperor Leopold I, he escaped, and in 1704 was rewarded by Leopold with a salary of 24,000 florins per year, the title of Prince of the Holy Roman Empire, and the right of coinage which was exercised in minuscule numbers in 1706."

The known coinage comprises a 1/2 tallero, tallero, 1/2 zecchino and zecchino. The town of Vasto, in the Abruzzi, is now a resort on the shores of the Adriatic.

Recorded mintage: unknown.

Specification: silver.

Catalog reference: KM 5, CNI-5.

Sources:

  • Michael, Thomas, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1701-1800, 7th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2016.
  • [1]Cristiano Bierrenbach and Warren Tucker, Heritage World Coin Auction 3064, featuring the Doug Robins Collection of Canadian Tokens, Dallas, TX: Heritage Auction Galleries, 2018.

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