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Research Coins: Feature Auction

CNG 111, Lot: 973. Estimate $2000.
Sold for $2750. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

ITALY, Toscana (Granducato). Cosimo III de Medici. 1670-1723. AR Tollero (42mm, 27.27 g, 6h). Livorno (Leghorn) mint. Dated 1704/3. COSMVS · III · D · G · MAG · DVX · ETRVRIAE · VI, crowned and cuirassed bust right; (quatrefoil) 1704/3 (quatrefoil) below bust / (quatrefoil) ET FAVET ET PATET (quatrefoil), view of Livorno Harbor. Cf. CNI XI 75 (overdate unlisted); cf. MIR 64/19 (same); cf. Davenport 1498 (same). Superb EF, blue iridescence, light hairlines.

The lighthouse, called the Fanale dei Pisani, was originally built by the inhabitants of nearby Pisa in 1303 upon a rock emerging from the sea. Comprised of two main embattled cylindrical constructs, the tower's distinct shape is clearly represented here. The great-grandfather of Cosimo III, Grand Duke Ferdinando I de' Medici, ordered the construction of warehouses in the tower's basement in 1584, expanding its use. The original edifice, however, was destroyed near the end of World War II in 1944 by German troops. Following the war, a new Fanale was built, according to the plans of its predecessor and using even material recovered from the rubble.