Milan (1481-94) teston

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Ponterio sale 177, lot 13238
photo courtesy Stacks Bowers LLC

This specimen was lot 13238 in Ponterio sale 177 (Chicago, August 2013), where it sold for $1,292. The catalog description[1] noted, "ITALY. Milan. Teston, ND (1481-94). Giovanni Galeazzo Maria e Ludovico Maria Sforza (1481-94). Toned. NGC EF-40. From the Demarete Collection." This type was struck by the Sforzas just prior to the French occupation of Milan. The French invasion of Italy was the beginning of the end of the Renaissance as the devastation of the resulting war terminated Italian prosperity. The teston, a half dollar size coin, was the first large coin issued as Italy emerged from the Middle Ages and the increased volume of trade demanded larger coins. Soon after, the German thaler, struck on a press, would supersede the teston.

Recorded mintage: unknown.

Specification: silver.

Catalog reference: CNI-V, pg.189#25; Biaggi-1569.


  • [1]Ponterio, Richard, Ponterio sale 177: The August 2013 Chicago ANA Auction, World Coins, Irvine, CA: Stack's Bowers, LLC, 2013.

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