New purchase - 1782 Bologna 50 Bolognini

Discussion in 'World Coins' started by stlnats, Jun 12, 2024.

  1. stlnats

    stlnats Active Member

    And now for "something completely different," for me.

    Recently I've taken a break from pursuing US National Currency to add a couple of Papal coins. I usually focus on coins of the Rome mint of the late Baroque period (1650-1700 for me), but despite the condition, the reverse of this Bologna piece intrigued me enough to pick it up. It's a 50 bolognini (great name for a denomination, no?) or 1/2 of a "Scudo Romano" dated 1782. Scans were cobbled together from those provided by the seller. For those keeping score, its Muntoni 205 and Berman 3046.

    In 1782, Pius VI made a trip to Austria to meet with emperor Joseph II who had made social and ecclesiastical reforms as a way of influencing appointments within the Catholic hierarchy (Wikipedia). Despite the trip, Pius was unsuccessful, and he returned home later that year.

    The reverse legend is "ADVENTUS OPTIMI PRINCIPIS" around what is described as a temple. The legend roughly translates as "arrival of the best prince" and echos a legend used by Probus and other late 3rd century emperors announcing or commemorating the visit of the emperor to a mint city. Pius did in fact stop in Bologna en route to Vienna and met with other church leaders. I did a presentation of roman types used, sometimes with modification, by the various popes so this was a nice tie for me. And while there's a number of generic, contemporary medals of Pius about the trip itself, none that I can find seem to be specific to the Bologna stop. So, I'm still looking for a bit of documentation that this coin is in fact a commemorative of his visit, altho I'm pretty sure it is.

    Also I'm curious if the temple on the reverse is a specific one or just a generic type referencing the Church/Pope. My guess is that it's the latter. Muntoni and Berman merely refer to it as a temple and a similar temple is used as a design device on other coins of the period (cf the illustrations in Berman 2896, 2930,2958, 3220, 3223, 3255-6, etc).

    I'd appreciate hearing if anyone has insight into either question. At any rate, altho not in the best condition, the little coin did and does provide a lot of entertainment for the price of a common, lower grade national. What fun!

    Last edited: Jun 12, 2024
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  3. Joshua Lemons

    Joshua Lemons Well-Known Member

    Nice. I really like the reverse.
    stlnats likes this.
  4. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & Eccentric Moderator

    Handsome piece. It's really got that quintessential 18th century look, doesn't it?
  5. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & Eccentric Moderator

    Sounds like if you had several loaves of Wonder bread, some mustard, and some American cheese slices, you could make a helluva lot of baloney sammiches with that! :hilarious:

    What's the approximate diameter, BTW?
    Looks like a jdmern/Boardwalk Numismatics background. I got to meet him at the FUN show last year.
  6. Joshua Lemons

    Joshua Lemons Well-Known Member

    Boardwalk has some good stuff.
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  7. stlnats

    stlnats Active Member

    They're new to me, being mostly a NBN guy, but someone knows their ebay sellers.

    The coin is not perfectly round and I've not used my calipers for a while, but it seems to range between 33.5 to 34.0 mm. Nice size to show off the design. And a nice gray, probably original tone which is a plus for me. What fun!
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2024
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