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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Sale: CNG 73, Lot: 1219. Estimate $1000. 
Closing Date: Wednesday, 13 September 2006. 
Sold For $1150. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

ITALY, Venezia (Venice). Nicolò Tron. 1471-1473. AR Tron (6.43 g, 6h). Bust left; three leaves on branch below / Winged Lion of St. Mark facing slightly left, holding Gospel; all within wreath. Papadopoli 6; Paolucci 2. Good VF, darkly toned.

Belonging to one of Venice’s case nuove, or families lacking a long aristocratic tradition, Nicolò Tron, a successful merchant, aspired to be a leading figure in Venetian politics. His marriage to Dea Morosini, a member of one of the city’s most important families, gave him an all-important entré into the realm of the power elite. In 1471, as a member of the city’s naval board and an ambassador to Pope Pius II, he easily beat out both Pietro Mocenigo and Andrea Vendramin as the choice of the Council of Ten for Doge. During his reign, Venice secured its control over Cyprus and checked Ottoman control in the area through an alliance with the local Turkish ruler, Uzan Hassan Beg. To alleviate the financial difficulties created by Venice’s military buildup, Tron instituted a reform of Venice’s coinage, including a new silver denomination, appropriately called the Tron. Contrary to tradition, this new coin featured Tron’s portrait in classical profile. Unpopular and offensive to many Venetians upset by Tron’s self-promotion, it was withdrawn from circulation upon the Doge’s death two years later.